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What's Happening Now

July 12, 2010 12:34 pm

Let them overbook, but make it painful if they deny boarding. The suggested penalties are not strong enough. The penalty should apply to all ticket holders except for company employees traveling on free tickets as part of their job.

First and foremost, whatever the penalty it must be paid in check or credit to a credit card immediately at the gate. No more vouchers, which tend to be be worthless because of the airlines travel rules and restrictions.

The starting point for the penalty should be the full fare cost of the ticket in whatever class the original ticket was issued. So full Y, B, or F fare; no discount. It should include all fees and taxes that would apply to the ticket if purchased by the consumer. (This gets DOT out of the business of determining the value and worrying… more »

…about inflation adjusted costs; the airline has already done the computation of the value of the ticket.) The consumer should also be booked at the airlines expense on the next available flight in the same class as the original ticket.

For every subsequent denied boarding for the consumer, they should get the same amount as the original payment to thus encourage the airline to get the passenger to their destination.

Airlines should not be allowed to offer any reduction to this penalty but could offer more in order to get passengers to deplane. Vouchers do not count; only cash incentives should be allowed.

The penalty should apply to any size commercial flight whether it be five, ten, or 300 seats.

Only when the penalty for over booking is truly onerous will the airlines stop this despicable practice. I have no sympathy for the airline as 90% of the tickets they sell are non-refundable and non-cancelable; so they cannot be used and the airline gets its money.

As to the argument that costs will increase, etc., then let the airlines sell a standby ticket which is not subject to these rules and penalties and let the consumer decide if they want to take the risk. However, knowing how the airlines work, no more than 5% of all tickets sold nor more than 5% of total seat capacity of the flight (whichever is less) should be permitted to be sold in this special category (otherwise they would immediately sell all their seats like this to avoid the penalties.)

Good luck. I don’t envy you up against the lawyers the airlines have on their payroll to say nothing of the pressure the airlines will exert on congress to get this watered down.
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July 12, 2010 3:05 pm

Thanks for your comment, jdanilson, and welcome to Regulation Room. We will keep them in mind while creating our discussion summary. In the mean time, please share your thoughts on other portions of the rule.

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