IATA supports overbooking practice followed by airlines

Published on : Wednesday, April 19, 2017

iataCiting seats in a flight a time sensitive and “perishable” product, global airlines body IATA said that carriers should be permitted to continue with the overbooking practice, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.


“Airlines should be allowed to continue long-established overbooking practices. The airline business is unique in that once a flight takes off, the seats on that flight are no longer available for sale; it’s a time-sensitive, perishable product,” the grouping said in a statement.


The statement comes against the backdrop of American carrier United Airlines forcibly evicting a passenger recently — an incident that sparked a global outrage.

IATA said the practice of overbooking flights is an important tool for managing inventory. IATA also noted that airlines can, with a degree of certainty, overbook a flight considering the number of no-shows expected.


While stating that some governments are considering regulations which would restrict the overbooking practice, IATA said it is an economically important activity that should not be denied to the carriers.


If the practice of overbooking is stopped then consumers might lose access to more flexible fares that are available, it added.


Overbooking refers to airlines allowing passengers to book seats in excess of available capacity.

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5 Responses to IATA supports overbooking practice followed by airlines

  1. Jane Z says:

    overbooking ok , is a longtime practice in civic passengers air transportation, however, airlines must manager chaos caused / related with the overbooking flights very carefully and succinctly, must not force to remove passenger(s) from the airplane seats by such stated right of overbooking but actually and apparently neglecting other people basic rights at the same time which is absolutely WRONG! Sorry for what happened between passengers and UA, that is sick chilling feeling shadowed among human being on the earth.

  2. Frank Weiss says:

    While I agree that the airlines deserve to make a profit and that overbooking gives them a shot at filling up the airplane, I think that the airlines have turned this overbooking practice into a cash cow. When overbooking was prevalent and before reservations computers took over the daily task of keeping track of reservations, overbooking was a necessary evil. The airlines are once again crying poor mouth that they lose money when people no-show a flight. The reality is that more than half of the seats are nonrefundable so airlines get to keep the money from the noshow ticket; or at the very least, the chage fee which is $200 for domestic flights. Meanwhile the passenger who got there with plenty of time to board the plane gets dragged out like a common criminal. Thanks Mr. Munoz for bringing this to light.
    My apologies to Dr. Dao who just wanted to get home and sleep in his own bed.

  3. humble junior says:

    IATA supports overbooking practice by airlines , but doesn’t support pulling and chasing passengers out of the plane horribly.

    Be more tactful and sensitive towards handling humans…

    Thank you

  4. Kamaal Ahmed says:

    The original practice of keeping waitlisting passengers was the best. People while purchasing knew where they stood and took the chance for any no-shows. The airlines made their money anyway as most of the non-refundable tickets pay off for the basic cost. Airlines should stop the practice of overselling confirmed tickets. Once a ticket is confirmed a passenger has already made plans and would like to fly. it is ridiculous that airline is deciding who should fly and who should not and whose work is priority. Voluntary giving off the seats is okay as pax gets compensated for it, but then not every body agrees for it.
    I have suffered once and know the mental torture one has to face even after having a confirmed ticket.


    The Airlines Staff who does the pre-flight checks knows very well by how many percent (say 5 to 10%) more the over booking for that particular flight can be done, depending upon the no-shows for previous two weeks flights. In case there are paxs being denied boarding due to over booking, the Airline must take the responsibility to upgrade those pax to a higher class (Business Class) free of cost, keeping in mind that the Business Class seats are available. Very bad to hear the news of a pax (being a foreigner) and how he was treated on UA flight.

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