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IATA plea: ‘Leave airline overbooking alone!’

May 11, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Public outrage at instances of overbooking on airlines, which have seen passengers dragged or ordered off aircraft when they had booked and paid for their seats, should not be used to make the practice stop, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA’s Director General and chief executive, Alexandre de Juniac, referred to the incident in which a doctor was dragged off a United Airlines domestic flight.

“Everyone, including United, agrees there is no justification for what happened to passenger Dr David Dao,” de Juniac said.

“United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized repeatedly and is taking steps to ensure there is never a repeat.

“The video was so shocking that it would be easy for lawmakers and regulators to get caught up in this groundswell of outrage and take steps to limit overselling of flights. However, the management of overbooking has actually worked well for decades. It ensures that scarce capacity is efficiently utilized; we see that in today’s record load factors.

“Overbooking helps airlines avoid empty seats, and that helps to keep costs – and fares – low. Governments have acknowledged that this ultimately benefits consumers. And if industry-level change is discussed, let’s make sure that there is a transparent fact-based dialogue between industry and regulators.

“We must be careful to not risk undoing the many benefits unleashed by the competitive forces of deregulation,” de Juniac concluded.

Edited by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    There was more justification for overbooking in the old days when airlines allowed you to hold an unticketed booking for a reasonable period of time. Now with the majority of bookings requiring ticketing within 72hrs, if not same day or even instantly, they should be able to manage capacity much better. Truth be told, they love the ability to double dip on seats, i.e. sell a non-refundable seat to someone, keep their money when the person is forced to cancel, but then resell the seat usually at a higher rate.

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