Airline Math (Spoiler Alert-It’s not like ours!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport, England, United Kingdom
As part of my daily routine, I awoke this morning to check the airline for any earlier flights.  Lo and behold, there were 4 seats available on the early morning fight tomorrow.  Okay...same day as our flight, but it gets us in a full 11 hours earlier.  Gives us back almost a full day.  We’re gonna get screwed again by our shuttle provider who wouldn’t change our last booking, so we had to apply to the airline for a refund and rebook.  But hey...seems we have other options and a small price to pay if our own travel insurance won’t come good for it.
By the time we research shuttle options and hum and haw about the change, there are only 3 seats left.  Well, with only 2 of us, we’re still good.  Off we go to the customer service desk.  We could find our way with our eyes shut cause we’ve made that trek across the terminal many times in the last 4 days.  
So I’m gonna present this to you in the form of a logic puzzle...
You’ve got an airplane with 235 seats.  You’ve sold 238 seats for the 6:30 am flight to Faro.  Only 214 people have checked in online in advance of departure.  As an airline, what do you do?  
As a human who’s taken many years of math in school, your answer to this problem would likely be to cross your fingers, toes and everything else in hopes that some of those passengers are no shows.   If you’re an airline, your answer is very different.  
If you’re an airline you put 3 more seats up for sale on your website for that very same flight that is currently oversold.  Apparently they have an algorithm of some sort that predicts how many of those passengers, particularly the ones that haven’t already checked in online, will be no shows.  Seems they are banking on AT LEAST 6.  Purchaser #236 - #238 and the 3 additional seats currently offered up online.
Bottom line is this...customer service cannot change us onto the early morning departure because it’s oversold.  And frankly, with my luck as it’s been, I wouldn’t really want to make that move anyway.  With my luck we’d get bumped off the early flight, our seats would be no longer available on the later flight, and we’d find ourselves stuck for yet another night.  Sometimes it’s just best to cut your loses.
We didn’t get far today on our ‘Small Towns in England Tour’ because we were busy putting out fires.  What possibly could have happened, you ask?  Well, we went down at 1pm to pick up our daily lunch voucher only to learn that the hotel expected us to check out.  Yet we had a booking made by the airline showing us here till tomorrow.  It got ugly...it got straightened out.  The long and short of it...I won’t be sad to see the back of the airline OR the hotel.  
Tomorrow at 5:25 pm can’t come soon enough...
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2020-11-25