July 16, 2024 | 2:48


How to avoid air overbooking and what to do if you are affected

Maria Jose Gonzalez

May 7, 2024 | 7:30 p.m.

Overbooking, although legal, can be a frustrating experience for travelers. Here we explain how to minimize the chances of facing this situation and how to act if you are affected.

Overbooking is a practice used by airlines to maximize their capacity and profitability, selling more tickets than available seats under the calculation that some passengers will not show up. Although this practice is legal, when all passengers show up, some are forced to stay on the ground, which can be quite disruptive.

How to reduce the chances of suffering from overbooking?

One of the most effective ways to avoid overbooking is to make the online check-in as soon as possible. Some airlines open their online check-in 24 hours before the flight. Doing so early not only secures your spot, but also shows the airline your firm intention to travel.

Check luggage in advance can also help you. In overbooking situations, airlines usually give priority to those passengers who have already checked their luggage, which is seen as an additional commitment to the flight.

Choose flights at less popular times or on lower demand days, such as midweek instead of the weekend, can also decrease your chances of facing overbooking. Flights very early in the morning or late at night tend to have less demand and therefore less risk of overbooking.

Although having a assigned seat It does not completely eliminate the risk of overbooking, but it can increase your chances of boarding, especially if the flight is overbooked.

What to do if you are affected by overbooking?

If despite your efforts you end up affected by overbooking, it is crucial to know your rights. According to EU regulations, if you are denied boarding against your will, you may be eligible for compensation of up to €600 depending on the distance of the flight, in addition to coverage of additional expenses caused by denied boarding.

It is important not voluntarily accept to stay on land unless the airline's offer is satisfactory to you. If you decide not to fly in exchange for benefits you consider appropriate (such as vouchers, refunds, etc.), make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of what you agree to.

More news