CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Too Many Airline Passengers and Too Few Seats? Let’s Start the Bidding!

After That Infamous Video, Carriers Should Start Auctioning Spaces on Overbooked Flights

Last month, consumers around the world were disturbed by video showing a passenger being dragged off United Flight 3411 by at least three security guards.

I don’t need to add my opinion to the millions that have been expressed about the incident. But as a professor of operations management, I am interested in the fundamental economic problem that led to the confrontation caught on video: What is the best way for a business to handle overbooking?

Overbooking is a necessity for airlines to manage their seat capacity. That’s because of …

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