Definition of overbook in US English:



[with object]
  • Accept more reservations for (a flight or hotel) than there is room for.

    ‘airlines deliberately overbook some scheduled flights’
    • ‘He added that Ryanair has a policy of not overbooking their flights.’
    • ‘If your hotel is overbooked - either in advance or when you attempt to check in - ask the hotel to find you a room at a nearby property.’
    • ‘An estimated 250,000 passengers a year are left behind at airports, because airlines regularly overbook their flights, while hundreds of thousands more miss connecting flights, or have to delay the start of their holiday.’
    • ‘The Economist learned that most flights between now and January next year are already fully booked and that some flights are overbooked by as much as 100%.’
    • ‘Consumers will be familiar with the uncertainties of airlines overbooking flights and reservation systems that indicate a flight is available when this is not the case.’
    • ‘Airlines traditionally overbook each flight in anticipation that several people will not turn up.’
    • ‘During that time, most hotels are hopelessly overbooked, traffic jams are the order of the day, and prices are up while the level of service is way down.’
    • ‘They just overbook rooms, banking on the fact that people sometimes don't show up (so the hotel gets to keep their deposit).’
    • ‘One way around that, of course, would be for the airlines to stop overbooking.’
    • ‘But most flights are already overbooked because of the Thai New Year.’
    • ‘Going against the standard thinking of other airlines, JetBlue doesn't overbook its flights, USA TODAY reports.’
    • ‘SAA had overbooked that flight, with 51 passengers on economy class and between seven and eight on business class.’
    • ‘If the hotel is overbooked, stay put by the front desk and politely but firmly ask a supervisor for a room.’
    • ‘Booked and pre-seated in the business class section of the flight from Johannesburg two Fridays ago, Cotterell found himself bumped off the flight as the airline had overbooked that section by 12 seats.’
    • ‘The final straw came when the holidaymakers were told their hotel had been overbooked and they would have to stay in another hotel at additional cost.’
    • ‘They deliberately overbook flights on the assumption that some passengers will not arrive, offering compensation to passengers who are turned away.’
    • ‘Hotels are overbooked and we have not encountered this sort of problem in decades.’
    • ‘Airlines from time to time overbook an aircraft because of the flexible nature of airline tickets.’
    • ‘But we do have airlines that overbook aircraft.’
    • ‘To minimize downtime, Field uses an airline tactic: he overbooks.’