"if you sell one seat to two different people, and only one of them shows up, you get extra money," explains an article in Popular Mechanics shared by schwit1. Citing a recent TED-Ed video, they argue that the airlines' strategy for booking flights "makes perfect sense, just not for you." The most frustrating part? This math could be tuned to ensure the maximum number of tickets sold with a near zero percent chance too many people show up. Instead, the most profitable solutions often involve a decent chance a few passengers getting screwed, because the extra ticket sales outweigh having to put someone up in a hotel now and then.