Overbooking: what to do, how to avoid it and how to protect yourself

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

When you are leaving, you are always afraid that something could go wrong. From the classic loss of documents or luggage to the frequent delay of the plane, there are several inconveniences that can happen to unfortunate travelers. Among all, one in particular is able to sow panic among passengers: we are talking about theOverbooking. Today we want to provide you with one little guide with info and useful tips not to lose your head !.


  1. What does Overbooking mean?
  2. What to do in case of overbooking? Refund information
  3. Passenger rights: Is it possible to claim damages?
  4. 3 Tips to avoid it
  5. User questions and comments

What does Overbooking mean?

It is an English word that can be translated into our language with the term "overbooking". It is a technique used by all airline companies time to rationing the costs of the flight in the greatest number of ticketsIn simple terms it consists of the grant a higher number of bookings compared to the number of places available. In this way, companies can protect themselves in the event that some passengers do not show up for boarding.

What to do in case of overbooking? Refund information

When an overbooking case occurs, the airline proceeds to search for volunteers willing to give their own place in exchange for a reimbursement ticket (within a week) orboarding on the first available alternative flight to the destination (even posthumously), guaranteeing all assistance services free of charge (meals, overnight stays, transfers, etc.).

If the company cannot find any volunteers, it will itself be a deny boarding also to non-consenting passengers; the latter will be entitled to a cash compensation or indemnity equal to:

  • € 250 for sections of less than or equal to 1.500 km;
  • € 400 for intra-community routes over 1.500 km and for all routes between 3.500 km;
  • € 600 for sections exceeding 3.500 km.

These refunds can be reduced by 50%: in the case of re-routing on an alternative flight with a maximum delay of 2 (for routes less than 1.500 km), 3 (for routes less than 1.500 km), or 4 hours (for routes greater than 3.500 km)

If you accept the travel in a lower category compared to the one you booked, you are entitled to a variable repayment between 30 and 70% of the ticket price based on the length of the route.

Passenger rights: Is it possible to claim damages?

But what rights do passengers who are denied boarding due to unavailability of seats? Can to ask for damages?
In fact, finding an answer to this question is not at all easy.
Know that this questionable practice is legitimate, in fact, there are very few legal quibbles that you can take advantage of in case you want to bring a lawsuit.

It must be specified that the term varies according to whether the flight route includes airports belonging to the European Community o no.
There are laws that if applied provide for the compensation of compensation as long as the conditions are verified following conditions:

  • The flight must be organized by a European company, or in any case it must depart or arrive at airports in the European territory.
  • The passenger must have a valid ticket on which the actual booking is indicated.
  • The passenger must be at the gate before the deadline.

If these conditions can be verified, then the conditions for compensation exist; therefore whoever finds himself in these conditions can contact a lawyer to start the legal procedure.

3 Tips to avoid it

We have seen that there are some reimbursement form towards travelers "victims" of overbooking; however it is possible to take some measures in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Here are 3 tips:

  1. avoid booking flights at super-discounted rates: in fact, companies tend to favor those who bought the ticket at the normal price;
  2. carry out the check-in;
  3. rely on the professionalism of large companies tourist agencies, consider a guarantee of reliability from companies such as Alitalia, Ryanair e EasyJet.

Audio Video Overbooking: what to do, how to avoid it and how to protect yourself
add a comment of Overbooking: what to do, how to avoid it and how to protect yourself
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.