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Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump Experiences on UA [2019]

Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump Experiences on UA [2019]

Old Aug 15, 19, 9:06 am
  #301  
 
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Originally Posted by skgolf91 View Post
8/14 GVA to EWR, Coach was full and 2 on the standby list but Polaris business was only booked 8(+10) out of 30. When I was at the airport and checking the app, it gave me options to take a later flight with a confirmed seat for $350 ETC or put in a bid for those later flights. I put in $1500 for those 3 flights that showed. When I got to the gate and checked the app, my seat opened up so I thought they took my bid but they ended up bumping me up to Polaris business! Finally a free upgrade but i would've been ok for GVA-IAD-EWR for $1500...
Op-up. Nice!
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Old Aug 17, 19, 7:50 pm
  #302  
 
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Is there a realistic chance of getting bumped or should I opt for comfort?

Preface
So I was flying AUH-ORD and then onwards to SEA in UA back in March. While checking in, the overbooked offer came up and I entered $1000 without thinking. When I came to the gate I noticed the GA's talking about 'overbooked flights' and remembering my offer, I went to them and offered to get bumped. They looked relieved (no one else volunteered it was the last flight) and proceeded to bump me with the voucher, a hotel and a taxi (interestingly, another lady who got kicked got nothing except a hotel, I took her along and we flirted a bit but she told me a few hours later she was married). Long story short, I enjoyed the experience and am still using the voucher for cheap UA flights.

Current Situation
I'm taking Air China from LAX at 1:40 AM on the 20th of September and have to (separately, as always) book another flight SEA-LAX. Now, the sensible thing would be to book AA6052 which flies direct and arrives 10 PM with just under 4 hours to go for my onwards flight.

However, I wonder if I could take an earlier UA flight and hope to get bump to a later one. To be precise, I'm looking at the following flights (connection through SFO) on 19 Sept:
  • UA 816 -> UA 229
  • UA 1494 -> UA1200
  • UA 414 (direct)
Is this a realistic shot (can some expert take a look at seat availability perhaps?) OR is it completely stupid and I should rather take the convenient AA flight rather than (potentially) pointlessly camping out at LAX for 8-9 hours.

Let me know your thoughts!
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Old Aug 17, 19, 7:52 pm
  #303  
 
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I think making a prediction more than a month out is impossible.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 8:00 pm
  #304  
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Normally airlines only bump when they are certain that the flight is oversold, which doesn't happen until at least after check in closes for the flight and sometimes just before the door closes at T-15 or whatever. So it would be extraordinary to manage to get yourself bumped to an earlier flight......and if this happens, the airline might not be required to offer compensation as you would presumably not arrive at your destination later than the originally scheduled time.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 8:02 pm
  #305  
 
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Normally airlines only bump when they are certain that the flight is oversold, which doesn't happen until at least after check in closes for the flight and sometimes just before the door closes at T-15 or whatever. So it would be extraordinary to manage to get yourself bumped to an earlier flight......and if this happens, the airline might not be required to offer compensation as you would presumably not arrive at your destination later than the originally scheduled time.
I meant a later flight not an earlier one lol. Sorry for the confusion!
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Old Aug 17, 19, 8:05 pm
  #306  
 
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that won't work out for you, man. trust me. anytime i'm actively trying to get a VDB, it never happens.

on the plus side, there are worse airports than LAX to be 'stuck' at for a few hours if you have nothing else to do that day. walk to in-n-out, uber to manhattan beach and hit the bars there. if you have access to the *A lounge in TBIT, catch a buzz there before your TPAC.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 8:05 pm
  #307  
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Who knows how mainland Chinese carriers handle bumps? It wouldn't surprise me if policy is to put you on another flight operated by Air China rather than a partner, which would probably mean the same flight on the following day. Plus, you would probably get a voucher good only on Air China, and it might be difficult or inconvenient to use the funds.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 8:12 pm
  #308  
 
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Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
that won't work out for you, man. trust me. anytime i'm actively trying to get a VDB, it never happens.
Yeah sounds about right lol. I think it's called Murphy's law or something .

Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
on the plus side, there are worse airports than LAX to be 'stuck' at for a few hours if you have nothing else to do that day. walk to in-n-out, uber to manhattan beach and hit the bars there. if you have access to the *A lounge in TBIT, catch a buzz there before your TPAC.
This is what I thought as well, I do have G* status so if nothing else I can sit at A* lounge at TBIT for 6 extra hours or maybe go to LA (I haven't seen that city before). Not TOO bad all things considered so I might just do this perhaps.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Who knows how mainland Chinese carriers handle bumps? It wouldn't surprise me if policy is to put you on another flight operated by Air China rather than a partner, which would probably mean the same flight on the following day. Plus, you would probably get a voucher good only on Air China, and it might be difficult or inconvenient to use the funds.
Oh I'm not hoping to get bumped on Air China. I'm basically thinking of doing this:
  1. Take earlier UA flight to LAX
  2. Hope to get VDB, take next available flight and still arrive before Air China departure 1:40 AM next day
  3. If not, arrive early in the day and wait out the extra time
I do apologize for not being clear initially lol.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 17, 19 at 8:19 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Aug 17, 19, 8:16 pm
  #309  
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Originally Posted by wariobahn View Post
...Is there a realistic chance of getting bumped...
No

First, best to realize UA VDBs 1 passenger per 50 flights throughout the year. VDBs are rare and UA attempts to avoid them.

Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
I think making a prediction more than a month out is impossible.
Very true, most VDBs occur due to irrops or peak leisure travel periods and UA has plenty of data to avoid most VDB situations, so predictable regular patterns do not exist. So best to think of VDB as double 00 on a roulette wheel.

Years ago it was easy to play the VDB game, the airlines have wised up and it most just plan luck nowadays.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 8:25 pm
  #310  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
No

First, best to realize UA VDBs 1 passenger per 50 flights throughout the year. VDBs are rare and UA attempts to avoid them.
This turns out to a probability of 0.006% which is quite surprisingly low. Given that me, my sister (both on UA) and my friend (TK) have all been bumped in the last year, it seemed a higher percentage anecdotally. This does put it into perspective though.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 5:43 am
  #311  
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Watching MCO outbounds closely today.... many disruptions last night resulting in crew rest delays, and out of position crews. Delayed flights are putting pressure on already-full flights. I fly MCO-ORD at noon today.. betting it will be a high percentage to take a VDB or two. Update coming.

UPDATE: No bueno. Several people showed up to the check-in counter a couple minutes after the deadline (8 to be exact), and they were denied. Oversold by 4 ended up being 4 cleared stand-by pax. Flight prior to mine did take volunteers (not sure what the comp was). UA633, however, did not.

Last edited by jjmoore; Aug 19, 19 at 11:32 am
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Old Aug 22, 19, 1:35 pm
  #312  
 
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UA5596, TVC-ORD, 8/22.
One volunteer taken -- $800 or 35k miles.

However, apparently 2 standbys cleared also, according to the GA?

And the volunteer wasn't processed correctly when they closed the flight, so now they're on the phone with the halp desk.
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Old Aug 22, 19, 6:15 pm
  #313  

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My recent experience with United voluntary bumping -- thoughts and advice, please.

At DTW, I checked in at the kiosk for a 4:49 pm flight to EWR. The electronic terminal displayed that the flight was in an overbooked status, and asked if I would be willing to give up my seat for compensation. I was given 3 alternate flights, and bid on each – $600 for the 6:22pm flight, $1,000 for the 7:10pm flight, and $1,000 for the 7:55pm flight.

At the gate, the agent asked for one volunteer for $500 (a little less than I bid, but still an acceptable amount to me). I volunteered; she took my name, pulled my details up on the computer, verbally confirmed I previously volunteered electronically, and could view my bid. She asked me to wait at my seat (next to the GA desk) until she called me.

She finished calling the boarding groups, and closed boarding. She addressed a lengthy issue with two travelers trying to make a connect with their international flight. I waited for her to finish, and caught her attention as she was readying to leave the desk – she had forgotten about me. She said I should have been on the departed flight.

She was polite, and apologetic. She rebooked me on the 6:22pm flight. I was given a $20 meal voucher and was emailed a customer care $150 electronic travel voucher.

I volunteer to be bumped often, and the gate agents have always told me to board whenever my seat was not needed.

My question to you Flyertalkers – Given the scenario, was the $150 customer care compensation appropriate? Or should I have received the $500 that was originally offered? Or the $600 I bid?

Your perspectives and advice is much appreciated.
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Old Aug 22, 19, 9:16 pm
  #314  
 
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Originally Posted by samaryatim View Post
My recent experience with United voluntary bumping -- thoughts and advice, please.

At DTW, I checked in at the kiosk for a 4:49 pm flight to EWR. The electronic terminal displayed that the flight was in an overbooked status, and asked if I would be willing to give up my seat for compensation. I was given 3 alternate flights, and bid on each $600 for the 6:22pm flight, $1,000 for the 7:10pm flight, and $1,000 for the 7:55pm flight.

At the gate, the agent asked for one volunteer for $500 (a little less than I bid, but still an acceptable amount to me). I volunteered; she took my name, pulled my details up on the computer, verbally confirmed I previously volunteered electronically, and could view my bid. She asked me to wait at my seat (next to the GA desk) until she called me.

She finished calling the boarding groups, and closed boarding. She addressed a lengthy issue with two travelers trying to make a connect with their international flight. I waited for her to finish, and caught her attention as she was readying to leave the desk she had forgotten about me. She said I should have been on the departed flight.

She was polite, and apologetic. She rebooked me on the 6:22pm flight. I was given a $20 meal voucher and was emailed a customer care $150 electronic travel voucher.

I volunteer to be bumped often, and the gate agents have always told me to board whenever my seat was not needed.

My question to you Flyertalkers Given the scenario, was the $150 customer care compensation appropriate? Or should I have received the $500 that was originally offered? Or the $600 I bid?

Your perspectives and advice is much appreciated.
I'd chalk it up to a learning lesson. I dont think you're entitled to the $500 that you were offered - you werent bumped from the flight. You didn't board, and yes the agent did mess up there. But you got $150 + meals for a 1.5 hour screw up which is fair. You probably could have asked for First Class or something but too late now.
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Old Aug 22, 19, 9:22 pm
  #315  
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Originally Posted by samaryatim View Post
....
I volunteer to be bumped often, and the gate agents have always told me to board whenever my seat was not needed. ....
Yes, the agent messed up

Originally Posted by samaryatim View Post
.... Given the scenario, was the $150 customer care compensation appropriate? Or should I have received the $500 that was originally offered? Or the $600 I bid? ...
The bid is a meaningless number and has no bearing on the VDB process other than to get your name on a list. The rest is just "data" collection experiment by UA (at least at this point).

The agent's problem is if they give you an unneeded VDB, this will come to the attention of their supervisor. The $150 is a bit light in this situation and I perhaps would have pushed for $250 which is in the agent's discretion range (I believe) -- anything more and the agent has got some explaining to do.

I would write this off as a "learning experience" to stay engaged with the gate agent. At this point to get more, which will be tough, would probably get back on the GA. Your choice.
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