n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - Overselling and overbooking in terms of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 : a comparison with Australian law : analyses

Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-0099
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2185



In layman's language, overselling and overbooking is the sale of goods or services in excess of their actual capacity. Unfortunately, this is a common practice in many industries locally and internationally. Many jurisdictions have adopted regulations protecting consumers against overbooking and overselling of flight tickets (see, for example, European Council Regulation 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of being denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights (available at , accessed on 1 July 2013). In practice, overselling and overbooking usually occurs intentionally as a strategy where suppliers expect that some consumers will not consume all the goods or services they are entitled to, or that some consumers will cancel their bookings. This ensures that all available goods and services will be used, resulting in the maximum return on investment. Often, though, consumers do not receive what they are entitled to.

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