Should Overbooking Be Allowed?

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United’s forced removal of a passenger has become an Internet sensation, but the truth of the matter is overbooking and forced removals are actually pretty common — and United isn’t even the worst at it.

Overbooking seems wrong. There’s X seats, and they sell X + Y tickets. It seems like it’s just asking for trouble, but I think overbooking flights is a reasonable practice — given there’s an equitable way to resolve inevitable problems.

We all know airlines overbook, but hotels do the same – and that is wrong.

Why is one ok and not the other? Because of late arrivals.

You can’t arrive late to a plane — at least not after it has left the gate. If someone wants/needs your empty seat they should be able to get it. Imagine being stuck at an airport after a cancelled flight and being told “there’s empty seats

Dave Michels