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jca's avatar

How are airlines going to determine who gets the offer of up to 10k to give up their seat?

Asked by jca (36043points) April 28th, 2017

United is going to offer up to 10k from now on, when they overbook and need people to give up their seat.

Can you imagine people fighting over who gets the offer to give up their seat? How are airlines going to deal with that? Many people on the plane, I’m sure, would gladly volunteer their seat in exchange for a huge monetary sum.

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13 Answers

chyna's avatar

United has also came out and said they are stopping their practice of overbooking. So apparently it will be a rare occurrence. But that is a good question. I certainly would take the money, but not if it was only United Airlines bucks.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Easy solution: have the willing passengers put their names in a hat. Draw a name at random from the hat. Lucky winner(s) gets the bucks and is shown the door.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It will be an auction.
You understand the the term “up to”, they will start out at a lower amount offered.
Like today you sit at the gate and you’ll hear the offers go from $350 to $500 (in vouchers) if you press them for cash they will tell you they need a supervisor to approve OR there will be no cash offered.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

It’s basic game theory, just like @Tropical_Willie described. By starting low, you give people two choices: accept a guaranteed lower payout, or hold out for the possibility of a larger payout with the risk of someone jumping in and accepting an offer before you do. Every once in a while, you’ll get lucky and find someone who accepts the introductory offer. But even though most people will wait for something a little better, the collective knowledge that everyone is competing with everyone else will nearly always motivate someone to jump on a relatively low offer in order to minimize their own risk of someone else beating them to the punch.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I should think the auction would start high, and like construction, the lowest bidder would be chosen.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The airline is trying to SELL something for the lowest price; lowest bidder work for bidding to complete a work/services or for materials.

CWOTUS's avatar

They could do it as @Patty_Melt suggests. This might also a great way to get cheap dates. One sidles up to a likely-looking lass at the bar and asks, “Would you sleep with me tonight for $10,000?”

Presuming she soberly agrees, one next asks, “Would you sleep with me for $10?”

After she rejoins huffily with, “What kind of girl do you think I am, anyway?” the answer should be pretty obvious: “We’ve already established what kind of girl you are; now we’re just negotiating on price.”

Brian1946's avatar

I like @Tropical_Willie‘s idea.

I’d stay seated until they offered $100 over the price of my ticket.

janbb's avatar

I’ve been thinking that it’s hard to imagine that running a plane with a few empty seats is more expensive than having to potentially pay up to $10,000 to bump someone. (Although I think the $10,000 is a marketing ploy and they know they will not have to ever go that high.) United has said they will stop overbooking and I think that is more likely to be what happens. Besides which, if some people don’t show up for a flight, don’t they lose the price of their ticket or at least, have to pay a rebooking fee?

I doubt there will be many people getting $10,000.

ucme's avatar

Wait until after take off then reveal parachute payments…aye thangyoo

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I read somewhere that they are also going to have an app that allows people to signal in advance that they are open to giving up their seat if the need arises. They’ll still get compensation, but instead of randomly identifying people, the airline will have a list of people who can be deplaned if compensated.

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Pachy's avatar

I’m not holding my breath to see see what any airlines makes good on such an offer.

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