It sucks when you planned your itinery only for the airline to tell you that your flight is overbooked / canceled.
In my trip to Budapest 2014/15, I’ve had the experience of both: cancelled and overbooked.
If you have a very important / emergency flight and it got canceled/overbooked, this topic isn’t really for you. I can not help you with that and I am sorry for your inconvenience. This blog instead tries to discuss the brighter side (most of the time) of interrupted flights.
I was supposed to do YYZ – MUC – BUD. But then it became YYZ – MUC – VIE – BUD. The last three segment is shit because they are adjacent countries and it definitely feels like a waste of time and going circles when you can do it directly. My flight was canceled due to intense snow in Munich. There’s really not much you, the passenger, can do since airlines are not liable for weather conditions/natural calamities. I’m sure though this condition can change if the situation is worse. My experience, no. They simply did their best to put me to the next, fastest flight route.
The better experience:
I am now waiting for my flight home but they’ve already notified me that this flight is overbooked. I was “flagged” in a sense that I did not receive my last boarding pass (Munich to Toronto). I had to claim it at the gate itself. I came 3 hrs ahead and they said “ah yes, I recall your name”…*wonders*
There is a list. I saw it and I am in it. You don’t want to be in this list if you’re in a hurry. Luckily, I wasn’t.
They have a list: possible passengers they will first bump out if the flight actually turns out to be overbooked.
I thenasked: “how are passengers selected?”
I got a simple reply: “final destination”
If your final destination is the destination of the (overbooked) flight, then you’re the first ones to go. I get it and I see why: you wouldn’t want to screw someone who is on a connecting flight. That’ll become a logistical, liability nightmare…for everyone.
Here are the good parts, you’ve probably heard it, when you’re bumped out due to overbooking they offer you compensation for it.
3 hours before my flight, I and the staff talked. There are two options for me if the flight is indeed fully booked:
Option A: they reroute me via Heathrow. Times and schedule are later but it’s same day.
The catch: that Heathrow flight is also ALMOST fully booked so I may get the same situation…again, but in London…which isn’t any more charming/marvelous/astounding/ magnificent
Option B: they reroute me via Geneva (Switzerland). I leave this afternoon then I fly to Toronto tomorrow morninnoon-ish. All expense paid.
In both options, Aircanada sweetens the deal by offering a 600EUR cash voucher (again, EUR, not CAD)
So……guess what I will pick 🙂
I already picked B. I’m queued to do option B, it’s not final. It’s because they will wait until boarding, thinking that maybe someone will flop etc, and they wouldn’t have to do this with me and stick to original plan.
So…brb…about to board.
Got it! Heading to Geneva tonight! Free flight + hotel + possibly food? + 600EUR cash voucher!
Couple of things I noticed:
So if you have flexible return flights, book it on a Sunday or something. When busy, more chances for overbooking.
You gotta be really early to avail of the opportunity. As in you have to be really early at the gate. For example if they’re overbooked by only 5 couple, then they’ll only offer it to the first 5 people in the list.
You cannot choose locations or itinerary.