United Airlines Fiasco: Should Overbooking Flights Be Illegal?

Because of the whole United Airlines-screaming man being pulled off his flight, opportunistic do-something kneejerk politicians are now discussing ways to get involved in preserving the rights of passengers.

The cloud of being bumped from a flight due to the practice of “overbooking” hangs over every traveler’s head and the ethics of such a practice comes with the excuses.

On a typical flight, according to Britain’s biggest budget airline easyJet, five per cent of the passengers don’t turn up. Passengers with a desperate need to travel are able to book on flights which are technically full. Planes fly with more passengers, which is better for the environment. Everyone who volunteers to be offloaded is happy because they have probably earned more cash than the ticket cost. And the airlines say that by selling more tickets than there are seats, they can keep fares lower for everyone.
The Independent (UK), 4/11/17

Sorry, but when a person books a flight and doesn’t “turn up”, the airline keeps that money. Passengers are not given preference according to their level of desperation and it could be argued that planes that have more passengers carry more weight, have to use more fuel to carry them, more emissions are released, thus is not so great for the environment.

Sure, the option to volunteer to be offloaded for cash is an unexpected, optional bonus but taking the airlines’ word that overbooking flights keeps fares lower invokes a bit of skepticism at best.

But there is something morally wrong about selling something that technically doesn’t exist. That doesn’t happen for concerts or sporting events or movies. It shouldn’t happen when people are at their most vulnerable.

What do YOU think?

Should Overbooking Flights Be Illegal?

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