July 19, 2017 | Kendall Creighton You booked your ticket. Business Insider You ponied up extra to have that extra millimeter of legroom. You think you may even enjoy the journey. But something gives you an unpleasant feeling. The plane could be overbooked, and you might get ‘reaccommodated’. Uh-oh, and you’re flying United! Then, five days before your flight, the airline emails you. Its gleeful message says: “Howdy, we’ll give you $250 if you give us your seat.” Well, shucks, not quite… a voucher for $250. This is the new ploy that, Bloomberg reports United is quietly slipping into its lineup of customer capers. Called the Flex-Schedule Program, it’s United’s new way to “avoid” bumping passengers at the airport in case the flight becomes oversold or “overcrowded.” (What, pray tell, is “overcrowded?”) The idea is, if the airline thinks a flight will be overbooked, it contacts those who have already indicated that their schedule is flexible. Thus far, it’s limited to those who book on United’s website and those who signed up to get the airline’s emails and promotional pitches. United insists it won’t mess up your itinerary, too much, and it’ll carry over your seat preference. How does this benefit you? Well, it doesn’t really. Sorry United, but twice nothing is still nothing. What they are trying to do is get people to take vouchers that cost them nothing and resell seats at inflated prices. So, what we’ll see is that the airlines will make ever more money because the flight will always be oversold – because they will have suckers willing to be inconvenienced for a $250 voucher. Cheap as always, United bribes passengers to sell their seat with cheap vouchers versus real cash or upgrade for the next flight. How does this benefit the airline? Infinitely. Just imagine how much it can resell your ticket for – the sky’s the limit. United CEO Scott Kirby said it in a conference call that the airline has been selling out the cheap seats far too early to people who plan ahead, and it wants to sell last-minute fares at much higher prices to business people. Like sporting event or concert tickets, the nearer the date, the more the tickets can change hands and jump up in price. So basically, United is going into the scalping business. It’s funny what people do for something free. Just remember, this is not to help the traveling public, it’s made to help United make even more profits. How about we cut out the middleman and let passengers sell their tickets to the end consumer for a profit!