Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you have probably noticed recent scrutiny over airline’s overbooking policies. In the wake of an event on a United Airlines flight, these processes and its protocol have heavily been in the media. In response, most major airlines are updating overbooking policies.
What is overbooking?
Overbooking is the process of airlines overselling seats on most flights. Using advanced algorithms airlines estimate the number of no-shows or canceled tickets. This allows them to fill flights to capacity, while saving on fuel costs and keeping ticket prices low. Read our recent blog for everything you need to know about overbooking.
Updates made to overbooking policies
United: Their new policy says passengers will not be removed from the plane once they have boarded. Also, local police will no longer be used to forcibly remove passengers. And crew members will not be allowed to bump passengers from planes. They will require one-hour advanced notice of the plane boarding, or wait for a later flight.
Delta: Though still allowing displacement of passengers once they have boarded the plane, they raised their compensation rate. Originally capping at $1,350, it is now $10,000. Compensation has also been increased at the gate, from $800 to $2,000.
Southwest: This airline has said they will end overbooking policies completely. Gary Kelley, CEO of Southwest said to USAToday, “We’ve been taking steps over the last several years to prepare ourselves for this anyway… As we have dramatically improved our forecasting tools and techniques, and as we approach the upcoming implementation of our new reservations system on May 9, we no longer have a need to overbook as part of the revenue management inventory process.”
American: They have updated their Conditions of Carriage policy to no longer allow passengers to be removed from the plane once it has boarded. They also stated their compensation has never been capped, and it will remain that way.