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Home > Information Inquiry > Travel Preparation > Pre-departure Notices > Overbooking of Flights
Overbooking of Flights

Notice to Passengers:

In order to meet passengers’ travel needs, Air China may occasionally overbook certain flights that are likely to have empty seats at the time of departure resulting from passengers who fail to board after making a reservation. Air China strives to limit the number of empty seats on each flight and to allow more passengers to take the flights of their choice. We will limit the number of oversold tickets and therefore, passengers with confirmed reservations rarely will be denied boarding. In the event that passengers are asked to give up their seats on an oversold flight:

I. We will first seek volunteers who are willing to take flights at a later time or those who are willing to cancel their travel plans.

II. If a sufficient number of volunteers are not obtained, we will board passengers according to the following boarding priority rules:

1. Passengers with an urgent need to deal with public affairs;

2. Special needs passengers who have been pre-approved by Air China and who have made arrangements prior to the flight, such as the elderly, sick, disabled, expectant mothers and unaccompanied children;

3. Passengers holding First Class or Business Class tickets;

4. Air China Platinum Members, Gold Members and other Star Alliance Gold Members;

5. Passengers who have confirmed seats on connecting flights and have a short connecting time before their next flight;

6. Air China Silver Members and other Star Alliance Silver Members;

7. Passengers with documented special reasons who must travel urgently (e.g. visa is about to expire).

III. We will provide customer services for passengers who are denied boarding on oversold flights including:

1. We will try to arrange a seat on the next available flights for those passengers;

2. Refund tickets on an involuntary basis with no refund penalty;

3. Re-route passengers on an involuntary basis (for alternate flights, overpayment will be refunded and supplemental payment for any deficiency will not be charged);

4. Provide free accommodations to passengers whose alternate flights are on the following day.

IV. In addition to the services stated above, Air China will also offer compensation under certain circumstances according to passengers' ticket prices, flight miles and waiting time for alternate flights.

A. Compensation Conditions Volunteers and other passengers, who are denied boarding on oversold flights and can satisfy all the following conditions, are eligible to receive compensation:

1. Passengers should have confirmed seats (including those holding mileage-to-award tickets). This does not include passengers holding tickets from various awards programs or airline employees holding free or discounted tickets from staff travel programs;

2. Passengers should check-in for their flights at the designated check-in counter and within the specified time frame;

3. This does not apply to passengers refused carriage by Air China according to Air China Limited General Conditions of Carriage for Passenger and Baggage on International Flights and Air China Limited General Conditions of Carriage for Passenger and Baggage on Domestic Flights.

B. Forms of Compensation

1. Air China will make compensation in one of three forms: transportation credit voucher, mileage and cash.

2.Air China will offer compensation in the form of mileage to volunteers and other passengers who hold mileage-to-award tickets and are denied boarding or are downgraded to a lower class of service.

C. Currency in Compensation

Air China will use the following forms of compensation: currency of the country or the region where we pay cash or issue transportation credit vouchers.

We will release information regarding oversold flights by posting a notice or by making an announcement over the airport public announcement system. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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