EasyJet reveals people it prioritises when booting people off overfull flights

You don’t have to have dealt with the fallout of an overbooked flight first-hand to know it’s no picnic.

While that kind of flight disruption isn’t hugely commonplace, it turns out lots of airlines actually do intentionally sell more tickets than there are seats on the plane for popular destinations.

According to The Independent, EasyJet’s typical rate of passengers who don’t show up for departure is an average of 5%, or around nine would-be travellers per full flight.

So it makes sense for them to play those numbers, but sometimes it can backfire if everybody defies the odds by showing up on fly day. There’s also always a chance that, for one technical reason or another, the size of the aircraft has had to change on the day of departure.

And when that happens, not everyone can travel the way they planned.

First, per European air passengers’ rights rules, the airline has to ask for people to volunteer to be bumped onto another flight in exchange for monetary compensation.

After that, if no one or not enough people put themselves forward, EasyJet gets to choose who gets bumped.

And part of their company policy is to, as much as possible, protect the original plans and journeys of those who have booked full EasyJet Holidays.

An EasyJet Holidays spokesperson told The Independent: ‘Our ground staff are given guidance on which groups of customers to try and avoid selecting not to travel in the event where not enough volunteers come forward when an aircraft is downgraded, which includes a number of groups like those requiring special assistance and, where possible, easyJet Holidays customers.’

So there you have it – you’re more likely to be asked to be moved off an overfull flight if you’ve just booked your flights with EasyJet, as opposed to your whole holiday.

‘We always seek volunteers to not travel if we have to operate a smaller aircraft in exchange for alternative travel options and denied boarding compensation, which can range up to £500 for volunteers,’ the spokesperson added.

‘While we always endeavour to not split bookings, our agents will on occasion offer rebookings on separate flights in order to get customers to their destination as quickly as possible – particularly if there is limited availability for seats to their destination.’

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