When Finnair downgraded me I spent some of the flight writing a post about it. When I landed I posted a tweet linking to the article. This had several interesting consequences.
Firstly, someone from Finnair read the tweet and responded.
Secondly they opened a case for me, informed me that they had done so, and then unilaterally offered me a gift voucher to, in their words, “to alleviate your discontentment regarding this incident”. I confess I had not expected this and my discontent did indeed feel alleviated.
I replied, thanking them. I asked if they could ensure that the same did not happen on our return flight. The reply said that “Unfortunately, we are unable to affect on overbooking situation procedures”.
We then learned of someone who had been bumped from their flight entirely last week due to overbooking and had, as a result, missed the conference where they had a paper to present.
I feel happy that Finnair responded as they did. I feel far from happy that tickets currently seem less like contracts and more like vague promises.
Why has overbooking become an accepted practice?