While I’m all for trying new airlines, one of the things I’ve always loved about being such a frequent United flyer is that I have their system down to a “T.” In particular, I feel like I know their inventory management as well as they do.
As I slowly switch some of my travel to American and prepare to take my first international flight on American this week, I’m totally confused by their inventory management. I pulled up the fare buckets on Expert Flyer for my flight, which were as follows:
So for those of you not familiar with fare “buckets,” the above means that they’re selling one more seat in first class, six seats in business class, and at least seven seats in coach (“7” is as high as their buckets go for American). What surprised me was the seatmap:
So as far as I can tell, every seat is taken in business class. There are two “blocked” seats, though I’m not sure if those are crew rests or assigned at the airport.
It’s not unusual for airlines to oversell business class when first class is wide open, because they can always operationally upgrade passengers. In other words, if business class is sold out and there are nine empty seats in first class, it’s not unusual for airlines to still sell nine business class seats, because they’d prefer the business class revenue and having to upgrade people over not getting the revenue at all.
But doing the math, in this case, they’re selling six seats, there are two unassigned seats in business class, and there’s one seat remaining in first class. In other words, they’re overselling a 37 seat cabin by at least three in business class (probably more, based on the above).
So I’m curious, American flyers, am I somehow reading this wrong, or does American consistently substantially oversell business class, even when first class is full?
Oh, the mysteries of this new airline will keep me up into the wee hours of the night. 😉