# How do commercial flights get overbooked? [closed]

The other week my flight was overbooked and so the airline looked for volunteers to take another flight the following morning. I can't stop thinking about this since the number of seats available and sold should've been known to the airline for quite some time.

Someone claimed that airlines expect a number of passengers to rebook or not show up and thus with purpose overbook sometimes. Can this really be true? Or is it a data consistency thing where availability for ticket booking is prioritized? Or was it perhaps due to an unplanned change of aircraft model? I'm certain there might be other answers and that reasons may vary from occasion to occasion and different airlines, but please enlighten me here!

## closed as off-topic by Him, Federico♦, Dan Hulme, Simon, Ralph JAug 2 '15 at 22:14

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

• "This question does not appear to be about aviation, within the scope defined in the help center." – Federico, Dan Hulme, Simon, Ralph J
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

• Someone claimed that airlines expect a number of passengers to rebook or not show up and thus with purpose overbook sometimes. Can this really be true? - yes. That's exactly why they do it. – Simon Aug 2 '15 at 20:17
• If this is closed as off-topic, it should probably be migrated to Travel. – David Richerby Aug 2 '15 at 21:21
• Purposely overbook sometimes? That last word is the only part that's wrong. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 2 '15 at 21:32
• with all due respect, this was a question regarding airline operations and I can't disagree more with your moderation here. Because this airline operation topic concerns passengers you feel this should be moved to travel? Then make that clear in the tag description. I was interested in the operational cause. I won't accept any answer with the question being flagged OT – user Aug 7 '15 at 15:23
• I agree. The tag was Airline Operations, and the question was clearly about how airlines operate. How is this off-topic? Maybe it would help us users understand if there was a better explanation given. Or up/down vote buttons for moderator actions? – Michael Hall Jan 3 at 1:19