Reporting oversales: value of travel vouchers - April 21, 2006
Please forward this message to the individuals in your organization that deal with DOT's quarterly "Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space" (BTS Form 251). On June 30, 2004, DOT's Bureau of Transportation Statistics issued a Reporting Directive transmitting revised instructions for BTS Form 251, "Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space." This report is the source of the oversales data in the Aviation Consumer Protection Division's Air Travel Consumer Report. On July 2, 2004, Norman Stickman, the Director of the A.C.P.D., e-mailed this Reporting Directive and the revised instructions to the air carriers that are listed individually in the Oversales section of the Air Travel Consumer Report. A copy of that message appears below, and a copy of the Reporting Directive and revised instructions is attached. The Reporting Directive and the revised instructions (paragraph F) noted that Line 8 of the form, compensation paid, should include only cash or check payments to the persons described on that line; it should not include the actual or estimated value of any transportation vouchers provided to those passengers. We have recently completed an analysis of the Form 251 submissions for the 4th quarter of 2005 by the 19 carriers that are listed in the Oversales section of the Air Travel Consumer Report, and certain findings cause us to question whether some carriers may be including the value of transportation vouchers in the figure that appears on Line 8 of Form 251.