Have you ever booked a flight that was already fully booked?

In this article, you will learn why airlines overbook flights and what you can do if you are affected by overbooking.

Why are flights overbooked?

It is a common practice and not uncommon for airlines to overbook flights. In some cases, passengers have to be rebooked on another flight and are therefore unable to travel as planned. Sometimes, affected passengers are offered an upgrade or a voucher as an incentive to fly later. In case this is not an option, passengers always have the option to request a refund of the ticket price .

Flight overbooked

The overbooking of flights has a simple background:
Not every passenger actually shows up for the flight. In order to ensure that the capacity of the aircraft is always fully utilized , flights are overbooked. Every available seat should be occupied as much as possible. Business travelers in particular often change their plans at short notice, for example due to appointments. In addition, it happens that passengers simply miss their flight. In these cases, overbooking flights allows for optimal utilization of the aircraft.

Does overbooking also have advantages?

For the airlines, yes!

Overbooking is a common practice to generate higher revenue. If a flight is occupied several times, it can also be sold several times. In addition, overbooking allows the aircraft to always be fully utilized, which reduces costs. If there are cancellations or personal fault on the part of the passengers, the airlines often keep the money. In this case, it may be worth requesting a refund.

Of course, overbooking also has environmentally friendly aspects. If the aircraft is used to the maximum, fewer aircraft will ultimately be needed, which will protect the environment.

My flight has been overbooked – what should I do?

Exactly, in such cases, passengers are entitled to care services such as food, drinks, telephone calls and, if necessary, an overnight stay in a hotel in accordance with the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation. These services must be provided free of charge by the airline if the waiting time is longer than two hours. It is important to note that the delay or cancellation of the flight was caused by the airline and is not due to force majeure.

If the passenger has to wait – then the airline will have to pay. You can also find out more about this in our article on air passenger rights.


If you have to wait at the airport due to overbooking or delays, you can make the waiting time more enjoyable by staying at a café or restaurant. In many cases, you can submit the receipts for your meals or drinks to the airline and get a refund if the waiting time was due to the airline’s fault. So it’s worth keeping the receipts and later submitting them to the airline for possible refunds.

Can’t wait for your next flight?

We would like to give you some helpful advice to avoid having to wait for the next flight due to overbooking: Just get to the airport early. Once you’ve taken your seat on the plane, it’s unlikely you’ll be asked to get out again.

Would you like to know how online check-in works at your airline? To do this, simply visit Flug-Check-In.de.

Categories: Travel


Nathan Behrendt arbeitet seit Jahren leidenschaftlich als Bankfachmann. Eine seiner privaten Hobbys sind Flugreisen, weshalb er seine besten Tipps und Tricks auf https://flug-check-in.de/ zum besten gibt.