Overbooking is an important strategy for airlines to maximize load factors and reduce spoilage. However, when the "show" rate for the flight is higher than expected, airlines must deal with costly and frustrating denied boarding situations. Traditionally, airlines have used the “gate auction” process to resolve this challenge - offering escalating amounts of compensation to find volunteers to give up their seats. This process is antiquated and manual. It frustrates passengers, and stresses already busy front-line gate staff. Most importantly it is very expensive when it does not work, as airlines have to pay out involuntary denied boarding compensation to passengers.
Innovation to date has largely focused on automating volunteer solicitation but little else (see table below).
Volantio’s denied boarding module (launched with our first partner in November, with our second partner coming online in Q1) provides a modern, automated solution, significantly reducing airline resources required to manage denied boarding, while improving the passenger experience. Our platform can be deployed entirely via mobile - from volunteer solicitation through to issuance of compensation. Communication can be handled via text, email, the airline’s app, or other channels as specified. Airlines set the rules around when to contact passengers, acceptable ranges of compensation, acceptable rebook options, etc., leading to a highly scalable and robust solution.
Overselling will continue to be an important tool for global carriers to generate incremental revenue. Volantio’s new denied boarding management module will allow airlines to oversell in a “smarter” way, with a modern, passenger-friendly process to handle voluntary denied boardings, while eliminating costly involuntary denied boardings.
We look forward to sharing our progress in the coming months.