Saturday, November 3, 2007

Overbooking Not Just an Airline Tactic

Many seasoned cruisers know that it is smart to book their flights to port a day in advance when at all possible. The major reason for this is simply airlines like to overbook and anything could happen. Having that extra time could mean the difference between making ones cruise on time or not. But what about the cruise line itself? Cruise lines follow a similar business practice when it comes to the number of bookings hearing of someone being bumped from a cruise is unheard of but could happen. Just like airlines, when an overbooking is going to happen, the cruise line has ways of dealing with problem. They offer perks to get people to cancel such as a huge discount on a future cruise which if you can swing a change in itinerary on such short notice can work out greatly for the passengers involved. There are people that live for being bumped when it comes to flying. But just how often does this happen within the cruise industry? Its hard to tell because they know days or weeks in advance and have to make phone calls rather than an all call request over the intercom system like at the airport. However, one incident did happen in 2006 with Oceania Cruise Line that made news. With less than a week before sailing, passengers were notified that they were bumped due to overbooking. The problem was handled poorly which is why it made the news. The good news is that the cruise line made amends and went above and beyond in fixing the situation to the passengers satisfaction. So when you book that cruise and hear that the ship is sailing full, it just may be a little more than full, but it does not mean you have to worry.

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