On standby

Regarding "More Cash for Fliers as Airlines Do the Bump" [Travel Insider, May 4]: The airline purports to sell a ticket for a seat that it has already sold to someone else, without telling the customer. In any other business, they call that fraud.

By overbooking, the airline collects its full fare for more seats than it had to sell. Bounced passengers tenacious enough to run the compensation gantlet get token recompense.

The public is entitled to protections: Airlines should be required to tell customers when the plane is overbooked; those who reserve their seats after the plane is full should be regarded as stand-by passengers. That the Department of Transportation hasn't required this makes it clear the public interest is of no concern.

Arthur O. Armstrong

Manhattan Beach

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