Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

How does this "bump/overbooking" process work?

How does this "bump/overbooking" process work?

Old Feb 23, 10, 3:15 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: DL Skymiles
Posts: 19
How does this "bump/overbooking" process work?

I am scheduled to fly to San Diego on March 04, out of Atlanta on flight 1039. It leaves at 8:20 am. I went to check on my seats and is showing that there are no available seats which tells me that they are booked, and/or overbooked. It turns out that I am pretty flexible with my schedule, and would be more than happy to give up my seat if I can get a later flight the same day. How would I go about doing this, and what should I expect in return? Should I mention this at the gate, or at the ticket counter? I am new to all of this, but any help would be great. Thanks.
grandeflipper is offline  
Old Feb 23, 10, 3:28 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: 2 hours from GEG
Programs: Delta PM, Alaska
Posts: 169
It doesn't necessarily mean that all the seats are taken. That's happened to me a few times, and when I got to the airport I discovered there were a lot of seats; they had just blocked them online for some reason. (Probably other FT-ers will have more of a clue why they do this.)

Ask at the ticket counter if the flight actually is overbooked. If it is, be first in line when the gate agent arrives. Ask if they are looking for volunteers, and if so, what the compensation is. They may take your name, or maybe your boarding pass, in case your seat is needed. You'll probably have to wait until everyone is boarded, so if they end up not needing your seat, you risk not having any space in the overhead bins; but that's part of the gamble.

If you hit the jackpot, they'll offer you anywhere from a $200 to $400 voucher. You can try to negotiate, but lately they've been kind of in a "take it or leave it" mood. If they offer a choice between the dollar-amount voucher or a free ticket, take the voucher, because there are so many restrictions on when you can use the ticket, and it doesn't accumulate mileage. The vouchers can be used like cash to buy a ticket--and you get SkyMiles for your flight. Not that the SkyMiles are good for much. LOL.
YDJanet is offline  
Old Feb 23, 10, 3:35 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Programs: DL PM, HH Diamond, Fairmont Prem, SPG Gold, Priority Club Plat/IC Amb, AmEx Plat
Posts: 10,839
Using a free tool such as www.Seatcounter.com gives you better insight into the actual inventory available. Currently for DL1039 on 4 March, the flight is showing with AT LEAST 9 seats in Coach available for sale. The cheapest fare class of T has 5 seats for sale. Therefore there seems to be plenty of seats and as of now, unlikely for an overbooking situation. To be likely to be oversold, the numbers would be all colored red with 0s across the board.

As to why it may seem that seats are all taken... some seats are reserved for Delta Medallions, partner Elites or those flying on full fare (expensive) tickets. Also, some seats are blocked off, can't be pre-selected and left for assignment at the airport.
AndyTLe is offline  
Old Feb 23, 10, 3:39 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Mile-High Club, Marriott Plt, SPG P-75, PC Plt, Hyatt Dia, Carlson Gold, BW Dia
Posts: 1,845
Don't forget that you may also request meal vouchers and a possible bump up to F on your rebooked flight.

Originally Posted by YDJanet View Post
It doesn't necessarily mean that all the seats are taken. That's happened to me a few times, and when I got to the airport I discovered there were a lot of seats; they had just blocked them online for some reason. (Probably other FT-ers will have more of a clue why they do this.)
I can offer one scenario, although it's uncommon. The "overbooked" flight had a FBI/CIA/TSA "person of interest" on it, and the TSA decided to throw several extra FAMs on onboard. The person of interest then missed the flight or for some reason did not end up flying. This would certainly account for a last-minute shift in several seats at once.
Jazzop is offline  
Old Feb 23, 10, 6:22 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DTW/FNT
Programs: Delta (nee NW), Hilton Diamond. IHG (PT)
Posts: 4,790
Originally Posted by grandeflipper View Post
I am scheduled to fly to San Diego on March 04, out of Atlanta on flight 1039. It leaves at 8:20 am. I went to check on my seats and is showing that there are no available seats which tells me that they are booked, and/or overbooked. It turns out that I am pretty flexible with my schedule, and would be more than happy to give up my seat if I can get a later flight the same day. How would I go about doing this, and what should I expect in return? Should I mention this at the gate, or at the ticket counter? I am new to all of this, but any help would be great. Thanks.
Welcome to FT....

While the seat map may show no seats available, some people will be upgraded to first class and that will open up some seats in coach.

Bob H
BobH is offline  
Old Feb 23, 10, 1:06 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Programs: HH Diamond
Posts: 611
Delta blocks an outregous number of seats till 3 hours till departure time.
NWA012 is offline  
Old Feb 23, 10, 1:10 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: I don't know
Programs: Marriott Ambassador, UA Premier
Posts: 14,401
DL1039 on 3/4 is showing F9Y9 (and the only inventory bucket that isn't at 9 is T, which is at 5), which tells me that this flight is pretty wide open still. As NWA012 notes, Delta holds back a good number of seats back until 3 hours before departure, especially on the 757s.
mersk862 is offline  
Old Feb 23, 10, 2:06 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Programs: DL PM, HH Diamond, Fairmont Prem, SPG Gold, Priority Club Plat/IC Amb, AmEx Plat
Posts: 10,839
Originally Posted by mersk862 View Post
DL1039 on 3/4 is showing F9Y9 (and the only inventory bucket that isn't at 9 is T, which is at 5), which tells me that this flight is pretty wide open still.
Didn't I say the same thing this morning?
AndyTLe is offline  
Old Feb 27, 10, 10:33 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: MSP
Programs: Lapsed DL North PE, now nothing
Posts: 701
I'm in the MSP lounge and just inquired about my DTW-FRA flight later this afternoon. The agent said "oh yeah, it's oversold, by 4 in the front and 6 in the back" when queried.

Thing is, this is a quick turn MR on a T fare. I don't really want to give up my exit row seats for $400 then sit in bad seats for 20 some hours. I'd rather have a BE upgrade, which I'm certain that Dulta would never give on a T fare.

Is it 120 minutes before the scheduled departure that they open a INTL gate?
lotalota is offline  
Old Feb 27, 10, 10:37 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Programs: DL PM, HH Diamond, Fairmont Prem, SPG Gold, Priority Club Plat/IC Amb, AmEx Plat
Posts: 10,839
Originally Posted by lotalota View Post
I'd rather have a BE upgrade, which I'm certain that Dulta would never give on a T fare.
Never say never.
AndyTLe is offline  
Old Feb 27, 10, 10:44 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: BOSish
Programs: DL GM / MM, Nat'l EE, Radisson Rewards, Marriott Silver
Posts: 430
Bumped from the msp-bos flight this morning... got some good first class re-routing and the almighty travel voucher... definitely helped being the first person there when the ga arrived.... this is the first time in the last 10 or so that they've actually needed me... yeah!!!
nebraskaboy is offline  
Old Feb 27, 10, 10:16 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist & Ambassador: China
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: DEN
Programs: DL DM/MM, UA 1K, AA Exp, HH Dia, WOH Glob, IHG Plat, Marriott Gold, NA EE, Hertz PC
Posts: 17,213
Originally Posted by NWA012 View Post
Delta blocks an outregous number of seats till 3 hours till departure time.
Any ideas why they do this differently? What is "outrageous"? We already know row 5's on the A319/20...
mnredfox is offline  
Old Feb 28, 10, 2:45 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: MSP
Programs: Lapsed DL North PE, now nothing
Posts: 701
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry 8830: BlackBerry9630/4.7.1.61 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

Originally Posted by AndyTLe
Originally Posted by lotalota View Post
I'd rather have a BE upgrade, which I'm certain that Dulta would never give on a T fare.
Never say never.
Well, I can say never this time. Good morning from Germany!
lotalota is offline  
Old Feb 28, 10, 3:38 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Behind you
Programs: UA, DL, HA, QF (ex-TW, AA, NW)
Posts: 4,993
I'm not sure of seatcounter's reliability.

Overall, it's pretty good, but I'm watching my flight right now (DL278, leaving in a couple hours)... Seatcounter has been showing it all zeroed in back and all 9's in front, but the seat selection map shows 3 seats open in back (in case I wanted to change to a worse seat for some reason...) so I'm not sure what to make of it.

Of course, it'd be nice if Seatcounter is right, and those three seats belong to people who just haven't been able to select seats for whatever reason. Or better yet, if there are, say, ten people who're booked in back and haven't selected seats... and DL needs to move some plats up on the last day before diamonds take over everything...

As of 1:10 before departure time, all seats in coach were assigned according to delta.com. I didn't get an op-up, though, so they must have managed load "just right" - or there were higher-LTV folks on the flight who got it. I did wind up next to the friend of the girl in 21C, who proceeded to trade seats with me.

Last edited by DanTravels; Feb 28, 10 at 2:50 pm Reason: Took the flight; no op-up this time
DanTravels is offline  
Old Feb 28, 10, 5:34 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: ATL
Programs: DL:PM, Marriott:P/LTP, Hilton:G, NatCar:EE+, Hertz:PC
Posts: 8,756
My flight from ATL-DTW yesterday morning was oversold. You will get a message when you check in letting you know the flight is oversold and giving you the option to volunteer for a bump. No need to stand in line, nor even bother the GA. You can handle this at the kiosk now.

Funny how one person's "hit the jackpot" can be another person's annoyance! I'm glad that there are those who would find being bumped to be a good thing.

Also remember that many of us will same-day-confirm to a different flight, so even if the flight appears to be full, there may be DM/PM/GM seats that wind up open that day. (Personally, I SDC 75% or the time.)
CJKatl is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: