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Can my flight get bumped?

Flight bumping is a reality of flying with commercial airlines. We hear stories of guests getting bumped from flights due to overbooking or overcrowded flights all the time, and you might be wondering if it can happen to you.

Airport

What is flight bumping?

Flight bumping means that a guest or passenger on a flight can be turned away from a flight that he or she has already been confirmed on. Often times, flight crews will announce that a flight has been overbooked and give guests the chance to give up their seat freely, before choosing passengers themselves. Volunteer passengers often get monetary rewards for giving their seat up, from flight vouchers, food vouchers and even cash for surrendering their seat.

If a passenger chooses to give up their seat, great! If not, it could result in an awkward encounter between the crew and guest, of which thought they had a definite seat on their upcoming flight. This often results in unhappy passengers and an unhappy airline.

Why do airlines overbook?

Airlines tend to overbook their flights to ensure all seats are full. That is - they take into account the amount of ‘no-shows’ that normally accompany each flight and double sell some seats to increase their chances of a full plane load. They use a series of factors to determine how many seats they should oversell in hopes of getting the exact amount of passengers. However, this means that more seats are usually sold than what the flight is able to accommodate. So, when all the passengers show up, there are no longer enough seats for everyone and the bumping begins.The practice of overbooking is done with the hopes of maximizing profits and get as many full seats as possible.

How you can avoid getting bumped:

Be on time: if you’re late, they might assume you’re a no-show and give away your seat.

Check in: Check-in early and let them know that you are going to make your flight. The last people to check in are usually the first to get bumped!

If you are bumped on your flight to the Whitsundays, be sure to check in with your tour and let them know what’s going on. We always recommend flying in a day or two early in case of cancellations or delays and to always get travel insurance just in case you are unable to make your tour.

Angie
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