Whew, actually got a bump….

Whew, I think it’s time I add some more people to my Christmas gift list. The folks at United inventory and revenue management are definitely getting a big basket of goodies this year for their liberal (and predictable) overbooking policies (if folks are interested I’d be happy to discuss in more details which fligths are always oversold).

Since I only had a 45 minute connection at ORD due to a delay on the inbound flight, I headed straight to the outbound flight’s gate. I asked if they might need volunteers, and it seemed clear they hadn’t even considered it. This was a 757 with five people on the “confirmed awaiting seats” list, so it wasn’t all that promising. 

Nonetheless the gate agent keeps my boarding pass, and after a few minutes she asks for more volunteers. Sweet! Then, about half way through the boarding process she pages me. Sitting there for me is a free ticket and a seat on the evening flight from ORD to SFO, which is a three cabin 767 — in first class!

I was so excited about the prospect of trying the new first class product that I didn’t even ask about travel credits. Now that flight is all zeroes, though, so I’m trying to decide whether I’d (theoretically) take a bump on that flight, given that I’d be back in domestic first class, or whether I’d give up a bump to try the new first class.

Comments

  1. Stick with the first class. Just don’t even ask about volunteers (and if they page over the loudspeaker, plug your ears)…

  2. Gah, it’s oversold by 12, which is a crapshoot. If international arrivals are on-time today (which they appear to be), that’ll probably mean several volunteers….

  3. Is this UA155? If so, keep in mind it is snack service. Wouldn’t it be better to sample it in its full glory? Hot nuts and all?

  4. I’m talking about UA907, which has a dinner service. Not that domestic dinner is really anything special….

    If I got bumped it would be onto the 7PMish, which should also have a dinner service.

  5. I’d like to hear that “always overbooked list”. I’m pretty sure i’m the luckiest person ever when it comes to bumps, maybe that list will help me a little.

    Just how unlucky am i? I was first on the list on a SFO-ORD flight that was overbooked by more than 20. on a day where most other flights zeroed out as well, giving me a $600 bump. The agent told me they would almost definately need me, then comes an annoucement that the flight was delayed due to technical problems, and instead of displaying one big delay, annoucements were make every 15 minutes for the flight to be delayed for another 15 mintues. This apparently didn’t go well with some passengers, and many rebooked themselves on other airlines. When the plane was ready to depart, they didn’t need any volunteers, and the delay wasn’t long enough for any real compensations.

  6. +1 on that flight list.

    Given my earlier comment citing my abysmal record in the bump department, I definiately could use the help!

  7. I’m stuck at LAX right now trying to get to SFO. I just got VDB on the 2:44 flight and scored $400 in travel credits (thanks to your guide on getting travel credits instead of free r/t ticket.)

    There were 62 people on standby for that flight who did NOT get on it! Ugh.

    The 4:15 flight is all zeroed out, and the 5:58 flight is CANCELLED! I’m on the next (7:40) flight in F and hoping to get bumped again.

    Take the F on the 3-class 767! You get bumped all the time, but how often do you get to try out a new product due to unexpected upgrade on a 3-class aircraft?

  8. Hopefully you flew the new intl’l F and didn’t take a bump. Why? Because at some point you’ll otherwise find yourself spending valuable miles to get into UA int’l F just to try it. Are the travel credits worth more than the F award you’ll inevitably redeem?

  9. Please list the typically overbooked UA flights. Readers of your blog would be grateful to take advantage of your knowledge.

  10. As an update, I ended up taking the flight. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to. I volunteered and they asked me to stick around the gate area. Right before the door closed, though, they said I could go ahead and board. I have to say I was REALLY impressed by the new first class product. VERY nice hard product. I’ll be posting a full review shortly.

    @ HunterSFO — Congrats on the bump! Impressive.

    @ MatthewLAX — It seems we think alike in that regard, heh.

    @ Gary — Good point, but I’d likely try United F going to a destination I’d actually want to visit in place of another product. For example, on my award going to Asia via Europe, I would have tried them from the US to Europe instead of Swiss on one leg. I agree with you, though, and I’m happy I ended up trying it.

    I’ll get working on the “most commonly oversold flights” list. 🙂

  11. I guess my luck is good — they thought they needed one VDB on AUS-DEN, but turns out at the last minute they didn’t. But the GA gave me the DBC FREE anyway, since she had already given away my seat. Can’t argue with that.

    And still waiting for your list Lucky.

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