IndiGo flight overbooked? Here is how IndiGo is handling it

IndiGo now has a 208 aircraft strong fleet, which includes 154 180-seat A320ceo, 39 186-seat A320neo and 1 222-seat A321neo apart from 14 74-seat ATR 72-600 aircraft. The ATRs operate on a completely different route network. The A320 family aircraft are IndiGo’s backbone, but weather and many other things impact aircraft allocation schedules, so it becomes tough to manage swaps, especially between 180-seat and 186-seat A320 ceo/neo.

On one hand, as an airline, you don’t want to lose the opportunity to fill up those extra seats and on the other, you don’t want to piss off people who are going to be offloaded at the airport because the plane is short six seats due to a swap. While IndiGo was not about overbooking, recently, they have started to be more watchful about managing the issue rather than have an issue with angry passengers at the airport.

IndiGo has tied up with a tech start-up, Volantio, as per Business Standard. The start-up uses a platform powered by AI which identifies passengers and offers buyouts to passengers who are flexible. Many passengers now receive text messages from IndiGo to volunteer for a flight change in return for compensation in the form of a credit voucher and a confirmed ticket on a different flight. IndiGo provides three options to passengers and they can choose any one of them if they want to or they can just ignore it.

IndiGo started offering compensation late last year. A reader shared this with us back in November last year.

IndiGo flight overbooked

IndiGo requesting for volunteers to shift from 6E-2606 to another flight

As you can see the reader had a ticket booked on an overbooked 6E 2606 departing from Chennai at 07:20 and was offered an option to exchange it for an INR 4000 credit voucher and a ticket on 6E 2859 departing an hour later at 08:30. This is actually a good deal if you are a bit flexible. Since the flight was departing in a few hours, the compensation was lucrative.

Another reader also shared his overbooking notification for a Mumbai to Delhi flight,

IndiGo flight overbooked

A reader received an SMS from IndiGo asking for a volunteer for a later flight

In another case, the check-in had already begun. So IndiGo offered a higher compensation to the tune of INR 8,500 plus a ticket on a flight departing 4 hours later as an option. There were two other options to choose from also. Both the flights (actual flight and option 1) were red-eyes.

All these cases are of a flight departing in a few hours. It is not necessarily the case always. IndiGo also proactively informs customers and ask for volunteers a few days in advance. Here is a screenshot of someone who is booked on a flight on January 24 from Chennai to Mumbai and he got a message to volunteer for a later flight.

IndiGo flight overbooked

A reader received an SMS asking for volunteers 2 days in advance

As you can see from all the above cases, IndiGo provides a range of options and credit vouchers which depend on a number of factors. Some of these factors are the flight duration, how far out is the information is conveyed, when is the next flight departing and so-on.

Some of the offers can be tempting but not everyone is flexible. It actually depends on the passenger’s situation at that time. In some cases, one wouldn’t mind taking the credit voucher and boarding the next flight but in time bound travel, it will be no-go.


IndiGo is taking a grip of the overbooking situation which can be a huge problem when an airline scales up. In the end, it all depends on passengers whether the compensation offered is tempting and are they actually flexible or not. The next time you get that message, you know your IndiGo flight overbooked, and perhaps you might stand to gain taking a later flight.

Have you received a message asking you to volunteer for a later flight? Have you actually volunteered and taken the credit voucher?


  1. i got a nonsense offer for a DEL-BLR flight booked at 8:45 pm in the evening they offer 9:30 Am flight on the same day. That too when it is a return leg of a BLR-DEL flight on the previous day. They expect us to have no work in DEL just to sleep over ?? the AI needs to be a bit more intelligent

  2. This just happened to me, and around five of us (separate passengers) were off-loaded at check-in. They offered a compensation of 4k, assured us of this and noted down our PNR numbers. Due to the confusion at their time, none of us had the good sense to ask how the compensation worked. So I want to know how the refund worked and came across this article when I googled it. Is the refund in the form of travel vouchers? Can someone help me with this?

  3. So here’s the real deal. Whatever vouchers you get are valid for one airplane ride only and covers only the base airfare charges. Vouchers cannot be used for a round-trip or group bookings. So at the end of the day most people will get a discount of around 3000 or the voucher amount whichever is less since that is the maximum base fare for most of your domestic travel destinations unless you’re a corporate flyer in which case you wouldn’t ideally be using vouchers. Vouchers of more values are useless since you can’t use the balance amount.

  4. There is absolutely no down side here. Expectations are ,managed, no nasty surprises at the airport, and those who are flexible with their schedule get something out of the ordeal.

  5. Surprised to see negative reaction to the same.
    I actually feel it’s a very good move, as often could end up making the travel free for some passenger – and let’s be honest, unless
    A. It’s a Corporate employee
    B. Someone who needs to be reach somewhere on urgency
    C. Someone from top 1-2%,

    Most others would grab this opportunity. Infact, many a times such offer even at nominal sum might be worthwhile as often has happened with me that some meeting is running late or want to stay lil longer but can’t due to the flight.

    This also ensures the consumers end up walking away with a more pleasant experience.

    And in case no one still volunteers, well, that’s what is often happening anyway, right?

    Better than chaos and loud voices at terminal in my opinion.

    P.S- if I was Indigo executive, I would also throw in some complimentary lounges access where the passenger can wait for those additional 2-3 hours or such.

  6. So what if nobody volunteers. Means what compensation would Indigo(or any other airlines) be liable for(?) in case of non- voluntary offloading when over booking happens.
    Do they actually pay that compensation?

    • @Rajat, for those who have a flexible schedule, they will get away with a cheaper amount. But if you look at the amount offered within 2 hours to departure, it is fantastic.

  7. They have also written Limited vouchers and T&C.
    What if a passengers opts for change of flight and no vouchers available.
    Personally i would definitely be flexible and opt for vouchers.

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