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Travel Tip: United Creates New Plan to Handle Overbooked Flights

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Image Credit: Alessandra Taryn

We all know the perils of overbooking and the controversy about giving up our seats, thanks to the United incident in Chicago.

Now United is rolling out something called flex schedule.

Passengers register online, and then United will reach out to them as far as five days before their trip to see if they want to give up their seat on full flights, in return for a voucher up to $250.

The airline promises to get them on a later flight the same day, and then the airline can resell that discounted ticket to a much higher fare-paying passenger who needs that seat at the last minute.

It’s a way for the airline to better manage its seat inventory, but most important, to maximize additional revenue for every available seat.

As for overbooking, United hopes to ease the pain at the gate by getting folks to volunteer before they even get to the airport, for vouchers worth a whole lot less.

Other airlines like Alaska Airlines and Qantas are expected to announce similar programs soon.

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