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Lost out on $1500 voucher due to being relatively calm

Lost out on $1500 voucher due to being relatively calm

Old Jan 15, 19, 10:32 pm
  #1  
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Lost out on $1500 voucher due to being relatively calm

Hey all. Was booked DEN-BWI this evening and the captain indicated that there was a delay with the paperwork. To WN veterans it was obvious that there was a problem that was preventing pushback. After 30 min or so the Ops Agent came on board and indicated that the aircraft was 1000 pounds overweight, and they needed 5 volunteers to take a later flight for a $1500 voucher. My hand immediately shot up and I began moving to the aisle from my seat 17A (window). Only one or two other hands immediately went up.

While I made my way to the aisle and towards the front, light bulbs were going off in other passengers heads, and those with better access to the front of the plane took advantage of their better positioning. There was jostling and a lot of enthusiasm on the part of those at the front of the plane who had become interested in the offer. The Ops agent selected those who made it to him first, there was a processing delay, one person ended up declining (apparently), but eventually I lost out on a voucher that was 3 times higher than any other I had seen offered, in 20 years of WN travel.

Iím not the kind to kick and scream when I donít get what I want, and to be honest I have never seen this scenario in 20+ years of flying WN. However, it seems like there should have been a better way. Being an elite on WN carries so few benefits, it would have been nice to have the bump offer extended to A+ and then A-list, first.

Your thoughts please.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Hot Pocket View Post
Your thoughts please.
In a "straight out of a movie" moment, not two minutes after I got up from a one-armed bandit in Lo$t Wage$ some dude hit a 4-figure jackpot on it.

Moral of the story: "Life ain't fair and --it happens sometimes. The end."
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Old Jan 16, 19, 6:14 am
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Not sure what the issue is here. WN's goal was to get the extra pax offloaded as quickly as possible and they did that, thus minimizing further delay.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 7:09 am
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Though I appreciate the thought about offering to "elite" passengers first - the idea is just not practical. The top concern was to get the damn plane out of there. Taking time to go through the process of selecting or offering to others just adds time and complications.

How many of the ma/pa kettles even know what the hell an A-Lister is? Guessing some might think if they had a "A" boarding position, they would be A-listers. LOL!

Sorry - they did the best they could. Only thing that seems a bit strange is the dollar amount. I am sure they could have gotten 5 folks at $1,000.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 8:47 am
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It is not different at the gate. People seated closer to the podium and who can run faster get the worm (or voucher).

WN ought to simply take the first 5 passengers who can make it forward. That is an advantage to those who are nimble, seated forward, and in the aisle.

Would you post the same thing if you misconnected at BWI and missed an important meeting while the agent sorted out priorities.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 9:49 am
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Tongue in cheek but also probably somewhat will be taken seriously -

Convey your experience to the Risk Management / Legal team at WN.

I bet they'll take a dim view of an OP's agent potentially starting a stampede on a fully loaded airplane moments from take off !

I can't really think of another fairer but practical method once on the plane if minimizing delays is important.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 10:00 am
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As WN does not intentionally overbook any longer, it is no longer a regular occurence, but for the carriers which do, the SOP is to offload the aircraft and then ask. The problem with the WN flight is that, unlikely as it is that nobody would jump at the $1,500, if that had happened, imagine the mess as the flight could not depart. The prospect of five Dao's likely does not excite anyone.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 10:01 am
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Yet another factor to consider for those people who post here about how important seat location is.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
As WN does not intentionally overbook any longer, it is no longer a regular occurence, but for the carriers which do, the SOP is to offload the aircraft and then ask. The problem with the WN flight is that, unlikely as it is that nobody would jump at the $1,500, if that had happened, imagine the mess as the flight could not depart. The prospect of five Dao's likely does not excite anyone.
It should never be ďa regular occurrenceĒ if the airline knows itís sold every seat. Counting on 5 no-shows to reconcile the cargo manifest is a piss-poor policy.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 10:44 am
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I think that you misunderstood the context.

WN does not intentionally overbook. Almost a certainty that the situation OP encountered was occasioned by unfavorable winds and or other ATC factors which would have caused a fuel diversion as loaded. Alternatively, a technical fault which did not ground the aircraft but required a lower flight level and thus more fuel. Thus, the W&B problem.

AA, DL, and UA all overbook as a practice and thus run the risk of an occasional oversale. None of the three will intentionally board the flight and then start seeking volunteers. That takes care of the overbooking / oversale issue occasioned by RM/IM policy.

Rather, had the situation which befell the WN flight occurred on one of the legacies, the aircraft would have been offloaded and the oversale dealt with.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I think that you misunderstood the context.

WN does not intentionally overbook. Almost a certainty that the situation OP encountered was occasioned by unfavorable winds and or other ATC factors which would have caused a fuel diversion as loaded. Alternatively, a technical fault which did not ground the aircraft but required a lower flight level and thus more fuel. Thus, the W&B problem.

AA, DL, and UA all overbook as a practice and thus run the risk of an occasional oversale. None of the three will intentionally board the flight and then start seeking volunteers. That takes care of the overbooking / oversale issue occasioned by RM/IM policy.
Good to know. So unfavorable winds delayed pushback 30 minutes awaiting W&B paperwork before 5 passengers were ordered off.

IDB rates show WN behind the majors:

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Old Jan 16, 19, 1:04 pm
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I think it would make more sense to offer $500. If five people volunteer, great. If only 3 people volunteer, raise it to $800. If you can get one, great. Raise the offer to $1,000. No takers. Raise the offer to $1,200. Two people raise their hands. Pick one. At the gate, all five get $1,200.

Granted, this takes longer, so maybe that's why they thought "$1,500 should do it" and they were right.

Another way to do this is offer $1,500, take all offers (up to a reasonable point, say ten people), then at the gate, give the A-listers a $1,500 voucher (say there's three), then take the next two that are easiest to re-route, and send the other five back on the plane. But that takes time too.

Unfortunately there is just no way to do this perfectly in a situation where everyone is on board.

On Delta, the kiosk will ask you if you are willing to volunteer for ? dollars and that saves time, but of course that only works in an oversale situation, not W&B calculations after everyone has boarded.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
Good to know. So unfavorable winds delayed pushback 30 minutes awaiting W&B paperwork before 5 passengers were ordered off.

IDB rates show WN behind the majors:

But there VDB's are way under the US3. Looks like WN doesn't intentionally overbook (as mentioned), but gives out somewhat lousy offers when they are oversold.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 2:11 pm
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Good point. VDB's are subject to many factors but overbooking likely dominates.

I just have a hard time believing a flight crew and dispatcher aren't factoring headwinds and fuel loads before the plane is boarded.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
Good point. VDB's are subject to many factors but overbooking likely dominates.

I just have a hard time believing a flight crew and dispatcher aren't factoring headwinds and fuel loads before the plane is boarded.
If they didn't, this would happen all the time.

Given the frequency with which people whine on this board about anything, it seems to be exceedingly rare. Weather can change at the last minute, etc.
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