Mystery writers need to market and promote their novels themselves. Often they schedule book signings and other promotional activities in out-of-town venues. Often they have to travel long distances that require them to fly in order to meet tight schedules. Here’s the problem: Most airlines overbook flights to compensate for last-minute cancellations. This frequently necessitates bumping ticketed passengers. If an author is involuntarily bumped the result may be missing an important book signing/promotion opportunity and loss of a market for his/her novel. There are some precautions we can take to avoid becoming a “bumpee.”
- Do a bit of research and choose airlines that historically have had the fewest number of bumps such as JetBlue Airways and Southwest.
- Purchase tickets and Reserve seat assignments as far in advance as possible.
- Consider booking flights scheduled early in the day when planes are less crowded rather than in the late afternoon when airlines are trying to find seat for passengers who didn’t get on earlier flights.
- Reconfirm your reservations at least 30 days before flight and log on at home 24 hours prior to departure and print out your boarding pass.
- Arrive early and get to the gate well in advance of check in.
For an author, book promotion is far too important to allow airline inefficiencies to threaten or destroy limited opportunities.