Have you ever been bumped off your seat on your flight because the airline overbooked it? Sound torturous right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. During peak travel times, this is especially likely to happen.
This brings with it a number of challenges, like having to wait for another flight and, possibly, find accommodation for the night. However, you should note that there are two types of being denied boarding, which is the correct term for being bumped off a flight. There’s involuntary and voluntary.
Let’s focus on the voluntary part because it can help you earn airline credits. If you are curious to learn how you can use getting bumped off a flight to your advantage, continue reading.
There Are No Guarantees
First of all, there are no flights that you are more likely to get this opportunity on than others. That being said, flights are generally oversold during the busy traveling periods of the year. However, it is still impossible to predict which flights will be overbooked.
You also can’t predict the time when you’re more likely to be bumped off a flight. It can happen when you least expect it to happen. At times you can get bumped off because the flight was oversold by just one person.
Find Info Ahead Of Time
If you really want to earn credits with a little bit more assurance, you need to dig deep and research ahead of time. You can’t see your airline still selling seats before you board and expect to be bumped off. If they are still selling it means they still have extra seats.
However, if the flight is close to being sold out or has been sold out, your chances are improved immensely. But don’t get your hopes up even if the flight seats are sold out, vacancies can happen at any time. Most of the seats may be reserved and not yet booked. They have a 24-hour hold period and if the client doesn’t pay, the seat is empty again. As stated in the first paragraph, there are no guarantees.
You want your chances improved, right? So, why not just volunteer yourself? Some flights ask for volunteers, while others generally don’t. The ones that don’t are the ones that exercise non-voluntary denied boarding.
For those that do ask, the agents typically wait until you’re checking in to ask if you’ll volunteer. All in all, you should arrive at the gate 30 minutes before your boarding time and ask if they are oversold and are in need of volunteers.
Find Out How Oversold The Flight Is
Airlines typically don’t want involuntarily denied boarding to happen and they’ll do all they can to avoid it. Also, with the volunteers, you want to have as much leverage on the airline as possible. However, if the flight is oversold by two or three, you have less leverage on them.
But when you hear the airline make continuous announcements asking for volunteers, know that you have some leverage. This means they need many volunteers and you should offer yourself, with conditions. Also, if the other route takes longer, you have more negotiating power. Use these points to find out how much leverage you have and get better credits by giving up your seat.
Giving up your seat can be a challenge especially when you didn’t plan for it. But you could receive enough credits to make you feel compensated if it does happen. If you do run into this situation, you’ll certainly get airline credits in exchange for your seat.