Hi, I’m Joel. In this class we’re going to talk about the term “overbook” or “overbooked.”

Recently there was an incident that was reported worldwide on the news; with American…

I’m sorry, United Airlines dragging someone off of the plane.

Forcing someone to leave the plane because the plane was overbooked, overbooked.

What this means is that, they sold more tickets for the flight, than seats they have available.
So, let’s say that the plane has a hundred seats, but they sell a hundred and five seats,

that means they overbooked the flight by five tickets, or five seats.

So in that case, they have to try to incentivize people to give up their seats and fly at a later time.

Or in this case, they didn’t get enough people to leave the plane voluntarily,

so they forced someone to leave the plane; they physically removed him.

So that’s the term “overbook” or “overbooked.”

Now, it’s not only about planes and flying, you can overbook a hotel, or a restaurant.

So, let’s say the restaurant only has 50 tables and they take reservations

and they booked 52 reservations at the same time, they overbooked.

So that means some people will have to wait for their table,

even though they called in and reserved a table early.

Now companies do this normally because they know some people will cancel

or some people will have a problem and they will not go.

So, it’s a way for companies to ensure that they utilize all of their seats,

or all of their tables, or all of their available capacity and so that they don’t lose money.

But unfortunately, as in the case with United Airlines,

they had a problem with their overbooking and not enough people cancelled.

So, there you go, there’s the term “overbooking.”

I hope you learned something new, and that this has helped you improve your English.


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