Airlines have been deliberately overbooking flights for decades. Following the deregulation of the U.S. airline industry in 1978, airlines have become incentivized to increase the number of passengers on their flights.
They identified one big missed opportunity for more revenue - all those sold but empty seats. Airlines now use sophisticated AI driven revenue management systems to choose which seats to oversell.
Even with the use of artificial intelligence, last year planes were flying on average with almost 20% of its seats empty.
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