Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Planes #1: Oversold?

This weeks synchronized post, brought to you by Sandra , is "Planes." I have a few things I could say about planes, and will be doing so as the week progresses:

In some ways I am tempted to feel sorry for the major airlines due to the trials that have plagued them over the last few years. On the other hand, anyone who believes in karmic retribution could have told you something was coming around the bend—they have long seemed like greedy bastards.

For instance, how can an industry that brings in $3 billion a year OVERSELL a flight? Who hasn’t shown up for a flight on Thanksgiving eve to hear a voice over the intercom announcing that the flight has been OVERSOLD, and asking if anyone would like to volunteer to miss Turkey dinner with the parents for a $50 coupon toward their next flight? Ten minutes later, the same voice raises the bid. This repeats until an hour or so later enough people have jumped ship for $250 or less, that the plane can take off. Normally I would attribute such antics to a bad reality TV show which plans to show the average price at which most Americans will sell their family holiday down the river in favor of a Hawiian get-away in March; but from what I’ve read, this behavior on the part of the airlines really just works out better for them financially, and somehow, legally THEY CAN.

To a layperson like myself, such a thing seems grossly unjust. How can you sell tickets you know don’t exist? And why? There are 184 seats on the plane. Sell 184 tickets. Is this is difficult? I wonder if they should hire Ticketmaster. I don’t recall ever showing up an R.E.M. concert to be told that the stadium was oversold!


  1. hey b-- i really like your use of research in this one! :) it was seamlessly incorporated into your narrative!

  2. R.E.M. would never do that. They're automatic for the people.