Airline overbooking on the rise
May 30,2007 00:00 by UPI

PHOENIX - U.S. airlines are predicting the number of travelers who get bumped from flights because of overbooking will reach a 10-year high this summer.

Most airlines are running closer to capacity than ever, with an expected 85 percent full this summer, which means all the seats on popular routes will be taken, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Last year, out of 555 million airline passengers, 676,408 were bumped by airlines. The companies use statistics to determine the likelihood of no-shows and overbook those flights in order to fill as many seats as possible.

Douglas Parker, the chief executive at US Airways, told the Times overbooking was a necessary evil of doing business.

"Why do we do so much of it? We will overbook as long as we allow people to no-show for flights; 7 to 8 percent of our customers are no-shows," Parker said.

US Airways had revenue of $11.56 billion last year and would have lost at least $1 billion of that had it not overbooked, the report said.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.