Granted, TED is not the epitome of reliable information and research, but they have earned their respect in their chop-shop education niche.

In a recent study, they revealed that there’s a premeditated explanation for the frustrating experience of being bumped off a flight due to overbooking.

Clearly overbooked
Clearly overbooked

While we hope this never happens to a Fly Business For Less customer, understand that it is not a personal affront and this happens to thousands of people every week.

Businesses like airlines (and dentist offices) often overbook on purpose in order to save on resources, surprisingly enough. One might think they can’t be saving that much by overbooking to avoid blank slots where people fail to appear, but it seems that after extensive research into the subject, the larger the business, the more they can save with this practice.

Packed for daysss
Packed for days

For most airlines, the average number of people that don’t show up for their flight is 5% but can go up to 15%. So as not to lose out on those passengers, the airlines oversell and feel that bumping disgruntled passengers to new flights is the lesser of two evils. Last year alone, 46,000 people were involuntarily bumped off their flights.

The great thing is, at least for FBFL customers, business class tickets are less likely to be bumped. Despite being only 12% of the flight’s passengers, business class makes up 60% of an airline’s revenue so their placement is prioritized.

Pretty sure that's Angelina Jolie
Pretty sure that’s Angelina Jolie

You may be wondering why airlines bother with overbooking; if someone buys a ticket, even if they don’t fly, doesn’t the company still make the money? Not entirely. The airline loses money for every empty seat so they want to do everything in their power to ensure all the seats are filled. The passenger that didn’t show, they may still take a later flight and fill a different seat; their ticket doesn’t suddenly become invalid.


If you hadn’t headed home yet for the holidays, you may want to consider First Class over business even, to raise your odds of getting on the flight you want.