Reservation overbooking

Other Names:
Involuntary boarding denial
Airline bumping

Airlines overbook passengers by 15 to 30%. As a consequence, it has been estimated that the number of airline passengers bumped annually in North America and Europe varies from 5 to 10 per 10,000, rising to 15 for some carriers. In the case of London Heathrow, on average there are 50 to 80 passengers bumped daily by the 70 airlines operating there.


Bumping is practised by airlines in order to favour high-yield, long-haul connecting passengers, regular customers and groups.

Counter Claim:

In any specific year, 21 European airlines lost one million seats through no-shows, representing a loss of revenue of $200 million, namely 1.5% of passenger volume. Overbooking compensates for this loss and means that airlines are able to offer more seats on each flight.

Air traffic delays
Making a reservation
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 13: Climate Action
Date of last update
24.04.2019 – 15:16 CEST