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I'm not surprised airlines do this. I don't think it is just Air Canada. In a way it makes sense but it does make me think they are a bit greedy.

If someone buys a ticket and does not show up for a flight then usually they don't get a refund/credit (or a crappy one: I'm looking at you United).

But now the airline has an empty seat. The best thing to do is fill it. But you can't fill it the last moment so you need to overbook. But if you overbook too much then you need to start bumping people off. So the airline gets to keep all the revenue from the overbooking as well as the fees for the refund which can be substantial. It's a bit like double dipping.

> But you can't fill it the last moment

I remember as a kid flying "standby". You got a cheap ticket but had to sit around until a seat opened up. What killed standby tickets? Post-9/11 security hell?

They still exist

If airplanes routinely fly with empty seats, that means they need more airplanes flying to move the passengers. This isn't very environmentally friendly.

People should support airplanes flying full.

Full-ish, yes. But optimising for efficiency always comes at a cost to resilience, and bumping passengers at the last minute has real environmental and wellbeing costs, too.

> wellbeing

Ok, so environmentalism doesn't matter if it's inconvenient.

The US airlines make on avg $17.75 per passenger with a profit margin of about 9%.


That's pretty far from greedy.

The very next sentence after that quote is:

> This per-passenger profit is roughly double what airlines around the world make per passenger, according to the International Air Transport Association

I was thinking 9% is a pretty decent return!

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