Overbooking by flights: Read to know

Posted by Gauri Bansal
April 17, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Until now it was only the passenger trains where we had to rush and catch a seat because they work on ‘first come first served’ and even that doesn’t work out sometimes.

But at other sometimes we are not surprised enough and that is why the airlines want us to hop at the check in counter ASAP because otherwise, we don’t stand a chance in getting the very same seat we have pre-booked.

The news of passengers being kicked out of the planes ruthlessly made to stand and travel and better yet denied boarding are making rounds recently. And the fact that it is true and outrages the modesty of humanity is absolutely believable. Such phenomenon is called overbooking. Let us understand it better.


What is overbooking by airlines?

Booking more than the capacity of the carrier is called overbooking.


How does it help the airlines?

. Overbooking helps airlines to compensate for the ‘at- the moment’ cancelled bookings. The airlines play safe and overbook passengers in order to fill in for those who cancel their flights at the ninth hour. This way they are saved from going with even a single empty seat thereby reducing their losses. They play safe.


But sometimes fate plays it role and the gamble of airlines, which they have organised so well redirects at them with full force. Exactly, what will happen when all those who have booked for a particular airline including the overbooked ones show up and shockingly the airlines receive no cancellation requests. Well, that is when Lucifer comes out. The airlines are now forced to do three things:

  1. Well, you are thrown out ( recently a doctor was thrown out by the united airline’s crew).Asian Doctor dragged off the flight
  2. Or you are given the VVIP treatment where you get to stand on the pathway and travel ( A Pakistani flight had seven of its passengers stand and travel for a flight duration of two and half hours .)Seven passengers made to stand and travel due to overbooking.
  3. Or the more graceful treatment where you are denied to board the plane. When in a case of overbooking, if you show up at the last moment and the plane is handling an overbooked scenario then God help you, you can never board that plane.

There is, although, one way to avoid the situation where you are denied to board the plane. You can come as early as possible and rush like a marathon participant to the check-in counter to be the lucky one.


Let us have a look at some facts:

  1. In the past two months, 5,586 passengers were denied boarding, according to Director General of Civil Aviation.
  2. Due to denial of boarding at last minute, airlines had to pay a compensation amount of 15.62 crores in past two months.
  3. Along with compensation, the airline also had to provide the passengers with facilities like a refund, rebooking on another flight, hotel stays etc.( guidelines according to DGCA).
  4. Among all the flight carriers, Jet airways have topped the list with a maximum number of blocked passengers and compensation.


Airline Blocked passenger Compensation
Jet Airways 5037 15.37 crore
Air India 495 22.57 lakh
Spice Jet 22 1.59 lakh
Air Asia 32 1.13 lakh

Jan-Feb 2017 data, source: DGCA


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