After the recent footage of a man being physically forced off of a United flight, we were curious as to why airlines overbook their flights in general.
Turns out their is an actual science to this and guess what... it's all to make more money! *sarcastic gasp 😱
According to research there is actually a method to determining a 'no show rate' for certain flights. Even though empty seats are paid for already, it is still a missed money opportunity for the airline. The special calculations that go into what determines a flight to have a higher risk of no-shows is simple.
First off, because this United flight was leaving from Chicago's airport, it had a higher rate of people not showing up for the flight. Chicago is a 'hub' airport, which means the airport is used by 'one or more airliners to concentrate passenger traffic and flight operations at a given airport. They serve as transfer (or stop-over) points to get passengers to their final destination.'
In addition to that this flight from United also left on a Sunday night. Sunday night's are also at a higher risk for no-shows because people are 'weary' to get back to work on Monday. This is why airlines have policies that give themselves leverage to kick people off the flight.
The computer system that randomly selects passengers is less likely to kick off someone who flies often aka people who have frequent flyers accounts and people who check in and pick a seat on-time!
So if you aren't someone who flies a lot make sure you check in online as soon as it's available!