Home News 22 Things You Should Do When You’re on an Overbooked Flight

22 Things You Should Do When You’re on an Overbooked Flight

With delays and overbooking flights, we all have a love-hate relationship with our favorite airlines. When a flight gets overbooked, the airline accepts more reservations than the plane can actually accommodate. Not everybody knows about overbooking. So just knowing about it gives you an advantage over your fellow travelers.

But one of the biggest secrets airlines don’t want you to know? What you should do when you encounter overbooking in real life. Here’s what you need to know the next time you really need to get on an overbooked flight. Read on to learn how you can maximize your chances of boarding the plane.

1. Don’t panic — just about every flight is overbooked

Stressed woman in an airport waiting for an overbooked flight

Stressed woman in an airport waiting for an overbooked flight Don’t stress about overbooking. The practice has become extremely common. | iStock.com/kieferpix

Sure, it might not sound that helpful. But you should know just about every flight you take gets overbooked. Airlines need their planes at least 85% full to start making a profit. (And the industry’s profit margins have gotten notoriously slim.) So airlines resort to overbooking. That way, they can make up for all of the passengers who miss a connection, plus those who oversleep or just decide not to show. If you realize the flight is overbooked, don’t panic. Stay cool. You’ll need to act strategically to get on that plane.

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