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Is it safe to buy economy on Skyteam?

Is it safe to buy economy on Skyteam?

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Old Mar 4, 08, 3:22 am
  #1  
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Is it safe to buy economy on Skyteam?

Is it safe to get an economy ticket on any Skyteam airline?

Skyteam elite plus benefits include guaranteed reservations on sold-out flights.

Which means that a passenger who has bought an economy ticket on a Skyteam flight which then is sold out and then some elite plus members buy tickets will be involuntarily denied boarding.

Star Alliance looks safer: what their elite members get is priority standby and reservations waitlisting. Confirmed tickets are not liable to being thrown out to accommodate elites trying to get on sold out flights...
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Old Mar 4, 08, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Star Alliance looks safer: what their elite members get is priority standby and reservations waitlisting. Confirmed tickets are not liable to being thrown out to accommodate elites trying to get on sold out flights...
Are you sure that contrary to any other airlines in the world, Star Alliance members don't overbook their flights (which should result in them flying with many empty seats)? I wouldn't be so sure What ST does is factor the extra "guaranteed" seat in their yield management.
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Old Mar 4, 08, 1:35 pm
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There is no reason to believe that this benefit increases the number of IDBs that an airline would issue.

The fine print on the rule that you're citing is also rather limiting:
Originally Posted by skyteam.com
  • Air France offers this benefit from France to North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Middle East (except Israel), the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean destinations.
  • Alitalia offers this benefit from Italy to North America, South America, Asia and West Africa.
  • Continental offer this benefit for reservations booked and ticketed at time of reservation, at least 48 hours before departure.
  • CSA Czech Airlines offers this benefit from Prague to North America and Middle East (except Israel).
  • Delta does not offer this benefit on Delta Shuttle flights, Delta Connection flights and SONG flights.
  • Korean Air offers this benefit for flights with more than 4 hours of flying time.
  • Northwest offers this benefit on international flights with more than six (6) hours of flying time.
This benefit already exists for the elites on all the carriers anyways; the frequency of a ST E+ using it on other ST carriers can't be significant enough to actually alter the statistics. Moreover, CO doesn't actually do it unless they feel they can accomodate a passenger they would be bumping. I would imagine that the other carriers act similarly. This is one of those benefits that looks great on paper for your elites but in reality isn't all that helpful.
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Old Mar 4, 08, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Richelieu View Post
Are you sure that contrary to any other airlines in the world, Star Alliance members don't overbook their flights (which should result in them flying with many empty seats)? I wouldn't be so sure What ST does is factor the extra "guaranteed" seat in their yield management.
The other airlines ordinarily (are supposed to?) overbook by the number of expected cancellations/no-shows, minus a safety margin.

When all the expected cancellations are covered with overbookings, the airlines recognize that the flight is sold out and refuse to sell any further ticket - irrespective of full fare or elite status.

Whereas Skyteam carriers have an explicit obligation to their own (and each otherīs) elite plus members, to guarantee economy tickets. Which means that even when the Skyteam carrier is sold out and expects that any further sales are likely to result in involuntary denied boarding, they nevertheless sell tickets to elite plus.
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Old Mar 4, 08, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Whereas Skyteam carriers have an explicit obligation to their own (and each otherīs) elite plus members, to guarantee economy tickets. Which means that even when the Skyteam carrier is sold out and expects that any further sales are likely to result in involuntary denied boarding, they nevertheless sell tickets to elite plus.
Except that they don't actually do this. It is an occasionally bemoaned topic in the CO forum and CO Insider (a CO employee who answers our questions) confirmed that CO will only do it when there is a reasonable chance of accomodating any affected passengers.

And even if they did it all the time, the chances of it affecting you are way less than 1%. It is only a benefit for the long-haul flights where the planes have a capacity of 170-300+ passengers. Even if it got to an IDB situation the chances of that being you are pretty slim.

Your original question was if it is safe to buy a ticket and not be worried about IDB. I think that it is a very safe action.
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