Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

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bmc
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by bmc » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:42 am

With Westjet doing more code shares, the overbooking issues will be prevalent. AA has no shows and this will appear in the free sell arrangement, I assume, Westjet has in place. Free sale arrangements have inventory mapping, so that when an AA passenger asks for a seat that the fare is booked in Q class, for example, Q may be mapled to Westjet's L class. Free sale is the easiest code share arrangement to maintain. But, no shows will be no shows, and to ensure that they optimze revenue, they will over sell a flight if it historically goes out with empty seats. he over boking profile is dependant on the istory that particular flight, the booking trends, the seasonality, etc. I would by stunned if hey didn't oversell.

Overselling levels are not set to leave passengers behind. It's part rocket science and artistry that gets it right. There are lots of providers of revenue management systems that control this to acceptable levels, such that passengers rarely see it.

Overbooking a 250 seat airplane by 50 seats means nothing, other than the known expectation that the flight will go out full and ot leave anyone behind. It's really a non issue and nothng t be shocked by. That said, if you get it wrong, you piss people off.

Any of you with airlines will have experienced flying standby on holidays, knowing the flight is oversold. More times than not, you get on.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by xsbank » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:30 pm

7 years ago! Geez... Cat had hardly hit puberty when this started. There should be a statute of limitations.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by goldeneagle » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:14 am

bmc wrote:I've been in airline management for 30 years with a number of airlines
I've done some software for analysis of booking ratios over the years. There is a lot that goes into it. But digging up old threads, that's a new online marketing twist.

It is a marketing tactic we have started suggesting to some of our clients, something that was irrelavent a few years ago. If you want to stir up negativity regarding the competition, hire some young kid with excellent google skills, and task them with perusing forums all over the internet, digging up age old threads and get them back into the top of forum lists. Works well with phpbb style systems, where the most recent post goes to the top of the list. the strategy is pretty simple overall.

1) using deep search methods, dig up old posts, and get them back to the 'top of the list' by adding to the thread.
2) using carefully crafted top level searches, hit the search engines from hundreds of directions, using a query crafted to pull the recently promoted threads to the top of the search list. Ranking relavence goes up due to the number of queries that have been hit, and voila, soon you get lots of things 'popping up' all over the place, that have all the appearance of unhappy customers all over the place, all directing negative comments at your competition.

it's almost a 'free money' marketing strategy, takes almost nothing in terms of resources, and can create significant sways in opinion.

The real jackpot comes, when you dig up an old video of somebody trashing customer service at a competitor, then it gets picked up by some celebrity twitter feed and goes viral. It's a free money marketing bonanza.
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Post by Beefitarian » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:21 am

Can I apply online?

I don't want to work for air Canada though. I googled them and their customer service is nasty.
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Re:

Post by CFR » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:32 am

Beefitarian wrote:Can I apply online?

I don't want to work for air Canada though. I googled them and their customer service is nasty.
I wonder what a Westjet cabin briefing a la Beef would be like?
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by Egres » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:44 pm

Dont be fooled by WJ they also over book there flight !! I was flying with them last week edmonton to moncton via hamilton and in hamilton the FA was saying that there was 8 people waiting to go to moncton.... I dont know if its regular pratice or not ....
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Post by Beefitarian » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:47 pm

CFR wrote: I wonder what a Westjet cabin briefing a la Beef would be like?
Probably too long and off topic.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Captain apologizing for the delay in departure. We'll be getting some fuel then promptly get this flight underway.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by CFR » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:18 pm

Egres wrote:Dont be fooled by WJ they also over book there flight !! I was flying with them last week edmonton to moncton via hamilton and in hamilton the FA was saying that there was 8 people waiting to go to moncton.... I dont know if its regular pratice or not ....
Westjet books standby, it could have been them.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by aerodude » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Why is AC allowed to get away? Pure and simple: people keep buying tickets at AC even though they complain. Why should a company stop doing it if it aint broke. A little bad marketing might come along but the increased substantial revenue with this tactic outweighs it.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by EA757 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:48 pm

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Re:

Post by Expat » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:02 pm

fingersmac wrote:This isn't just a phenomenon associated with the aviation industry. It is common practice in the hotel industry to overbook rooms. The hotel would rather walk guests to another hotel than have empty rooms. Like C-HRIS said, they want to maximize their revenue.
It is a common practice in industries with a public measurement of performance. Airlines, trains, and hotels use this method, named passenger load factor(PLF) A higher PLF will boast the shares of a publicly traded company, and that is why the CEO is paid. Bumped passengers are a non event in the financial world, but PLF is very important. The only way to improve the PLF, is to overbook flights to the point where you achieve close to 100%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_load_factor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yield_management

Business 101.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by Mad Catz » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:11 pm

To everyone complaining about the overselling of seats, you need to wake up. It's 2013, not 1965. Deregulation of the industry has caused fares to drop significantly over the last 30 years, and as a result so has the level of service. You don't like it? Your welcome to take the bus, train, or boat. I'm pretty sure they do not oversell.

Jeez, I remember just a few years ago when you could check in 2 bags, and carry on 2 more for free! I don't even know what you pay for that "luxury" today.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by oldtimer » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:14 pm

When we say flights are being overbooked, do we mean passengers and/or travel agents book passengers on flights and those passengers do not show up to purchase the tickets or are they passengers with confirmed reservations and purchased tickets showing up at the airport only to be told there are no seats available.
I remember a few years ago a business person I knew who would book 3 or 4 different flights to accomodate his uncertain schedule and then purchase the ticket for the flight he wanted. Selfish, but who cares, it is me first. If there were any monetary penalties, he used a company credit card so it was no skin off his ass.
The last time I flew WJ out of YVR, I was amazed at the number of people who checked in, got a boarding pass, checked luggage, cleared through security and then did not show up when the flight was called. One group were quite upset when the CSR threatened to have their luggage removed and finally, one group of 4 actually showed up after the flight was closed.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by bmc » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:47 pm

An oversold flight is one where, for example, the aircraft has 100 seats and it regularly departs with 80 seats filled. The airline receives bookings for 100 passengers, but flight departs with 80 filled seats. So, the airline opens up the available capacity to 120 seats in hopes that it will depart with all 100 chairs filled. Each sector and each flight has its own profile adjusted, reflecting demand and no-shows.

This is not an AC only activity. I have stood by for flights on LH that were oversold by 60 in economy on a long haul flight, and got on the flight. Most times it works just fine. Some times it doesn't. When it doesn't, the airline makes arrangements to either put you on a later flight or FIM you over to another airline.
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Re:

Post by bobcaygeon » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:06 am

LH wrote:xsbank -----I've travelled once a month from Winnipeg to Ft. St John, BC. WJ charges approximately $167(with all the add-ons) on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurday into Edmonton. In Edmonton, I book with CMA which costs $270-$315 into Ft St John. I can take AC direct Winnipeg-FSJ for slightly over $900. Guess which airline I've been using to make those once-a-month trips with for the last two years? If you can find a better deal with AC for 12 months a year, then I please ask you to contact me. I'll also take the seating room on a 737-700 over the "sardine-like" seating of an AC CRJ making the same trip.

When I make that trip, I'll also get into destination many hours before the same AC flight arrives.
Ummmmm, they wouldn't charge that fare if the market didn't support it. Would you sell a stock at below market value?? It's a new system call free market. The growth on segment is unlikely to increase substantially due to lower pricing.

Reasons to go direct or same airline? If mechanical then there are options supplied. If you miss your CMA/WJ connection your hooped due mechanical, wx, etc. With AC you can fly from anywhere in the AC route structure and be supported ie SYD, ZRH, YYT, Wabush, etc.

If you think WJ is low cost maybe you should quickly review how much airfares on BOTH AC/WJ have gone up since 2010. In 2010 the average fares for both companies were up almost 50% with WJ being higher % increase. Jets go was long dead by then. From a consumer point of view you can almost start to argue that price fixing/collusion is in play. Airlines worldwide have recently been tagged for this, particluarily the freight market.

PS Winnipegers are notoriusly cheap so do as you please. Several major retail chains do price testing in YWG including Walmart.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by altiplano » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:16 am

Article I remember from earlier this year...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-in ... d/follows/

Airlines have it all down to a science from data they collect and process. The focus of the article is capacity/yield/pricing but obviously overbooking works into that...
“The airlines have got very, very sophisticated yield management tools. They’re good at this,” Mr. Erickson said. “And they have a very, very good indication of what the last-minute demand is going to be.

“There is nothing more perishable than an airline seat. Once the plane goes up, and there’s no bum on that seat, [the airline gets] absolutely no revenue [for that seat],” he said.

As a result, analysts have become fixated on capacity management – that is, how well the airlines are adjusting the number of flights they offer to match demand. Air Canada’s president and chief executive officer Calin Rovenescu regularly talks of capacity management in his public statements to emphasize that it is a focus for the airline.

WestJet’s president and chief executive officer Gregg Saretsky noted the strength of future bookings and said that “our positive momentum culminated in 2012 with a new single-day record of flying more than 57,000 guests on December 21st.”

In managing capacity, airlines look at the regular demand for last-minute, full-priced bookings for specific flights and then work backward from that – offering seats at various prices while leaving enough room for the costlier last-minute fliers.

This formula is also affected by factors such as the extra price travellers are willing to pay for comfort (important for frequent business travellers), flexibility in terms of whether the booking can be changed, and for convenience in getting the flight on a day or time customers want. These all add to the mix of how seats are priced in advance of takeoff. “They’re really, really good at that. Air Canada has 70 years of data. WestJet has 16 going on 17 years of data. So they have their pencils sharpened,” Mr. Erickson said.
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Re: Why is AC allowed to get away with overselling flights?

Post by Cessna driver » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:05 pm

Alaska/horizon over books by 25% as well. The CSR told us one day when we were coming back from hawaii, there was 4 of us and 5 seats left. There was about 30 people from our flight in line behind us. All going back home (same dest)
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