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Thank you for visiting my blog. I am a Cofounder & Technical Advisor here at the BeyeNETWORK. Having covered the business intelligence and data warehousing industry for more than 15 years, I'm looking forward to a more interactive form of communication with all of you. Please share your comments and thoughts!



Truly great moments in business come around very seldom. If your present when one occurs its something you remember. I was there when my business partner Ron Powell returned from a trip after meeting Bill Inmon and it changed the course of our magazine's coverage leading us down a very successful path. I can't help but wonder if the same is true of the bad ideas do we really take notice? Or do they happen so often that they have become common place?

Can you imagine being in the meeting when someone suggested the following:

I have a new way to increase profitability lets lie to our customers and tell them we'll deliver our service (insert hotel room or seat on a plane here) lets reinforce the lie by issuing a confirmation number that we know in the end has no real meaning. But in the background we'll actually sell more of the rooms or seats than we actually have. We can call it "over booking" this way it will have an official sounding term and the customers will just except it as policy. We can insure our plane/hotel is full and we'll increase profitability. Now I realize we'll probably screw up client business trips and family vacations but heck we'll all get rich so who cares!

At some point this conversation took place at companies like Frontier Airlines (who minutes ago informed me that my flight was over booked and Hilton hotels who simply didn't have a room for my family this past weekend after booking well in advance and calling to confirm from the road the same day as the reservation. The conversation wasn't as satirical as my version but bottom line these polices exist so why didn't some MBA educated professional jump up during this meeting and scream ARE YOU KIDDING ME THIS IS THE DUMBEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD! Because some companies are driven by greed not service.

I take a simple stance on how I run my business. I try to deliver what we promise, we don't lie to our clients and we do most of our business based on relationships. We've been successful and by most accounts we are respected by our peers so it makes me wonder how policies like the one above even make it into a meeting let alone are actually acted upon.

Overbooked....its a good thing.....if your a hotel chain or an airline.

Posted June 29, 2009 1:32 PM
Permalink | 2 Comments |


I'm right there with ya on this...the problem is that they all do it, so it's not like you can boycott one of them when they do it to you.

...except for WestJet, I hear. They advertise that they do not overbook.

I absolutely hate standing there at a desk, listening to a bored check in clerk, tell me that there is nothing she can do...they are overbooked and they don't care that I have no place to sleep or no way to get to where they promised they would get me.

I did enjoy the Platinum Marriott member-level guarantee that if they didn't have a room for me, they had to find me a room AND give me $150 cash, on the spot. I loved playing that trump card of "ok, give me my alternate reservation and that cash". Somehow, rooms magically appeared.

It's not just greed: it's the fact that the idiots making these business rules never have to live by them. Then they wonder why so many of us are opting not to travel as much.

As one frazzled and stupid check in agent told me once: "Being an elite traveller (very frequent traveller) doesn't mean much to United any more."

That statement rings in my ears every time I book a flight.

In defense of the Airlines .. They have a product to sell .. A seat from Point A to Point B. After careful analytic work the Airline has determined that on AVERAGE x% of the confirmed passengers DO NOT show at the gate for departure.

Now once that aircraft door is closed the Potential revenue of the seat is LOST. (ie spoiled unsell-able produce)

So based on the analytics that says x% of passengers for that particular flight never show .. They will book x% -y added passengers for that flight ... If involuntarily denied boarding takes place you have certain rights as to compensation ...

I hold two top 1% FF flyer program elite statuses, flew over 250 flights in the past 18 months and have ONLY had troubles with two dominate ORD airlines ...

In all it comes to better Analytics and better algorithms that need work .... Remember, as a Walmart addage .. you can sell from empty shevles and it's all about PROFIT!

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