United Airlines are in the news for dragging a passenger, Dr David Dao, off a flight to allow their own staff to take his seat. There is an assumption by airlines that some passengers won’t turn up for their flights, so they often overbook. In this case the flight was fully booked and there were no spare seats. United Airlines had not managed to bribe passengers to fly the following day and resorted to brute force to remove a passenger.
My son’s graduation date is now one day earlier, so I needed to change our flights to Glasgow with flybe. A quick search online showed that if I registered the change for our outbound flights in June it would cost £80. On the other hand if I left my bookings as they were and booked new outbound flights, it would cost £64.
I phoned flybe’s Customer Service to point out the illogicality of paying more to change flights than to book new flights. Despite agreeing that there was no logic to their position, they stuck to their guns and would not reduce the cost of changing flights to the same price as booking new flights. That means that they are happy to continue a system where booked seats may or may not be occupied.