Airlines Are Bumping Far Fewer People From Flights

Airplane cabin with passengers

According to a report released yesterday by the Department of Transportation, for the first six months of 2017, the 12 biggest USA airlines reported an involuntary denied boarding, or bumping, rate of 0.52 per 10,000 passengers.

The Transportation Department said Tuesday that just one in every 19,000 passengers was kicked off an overbooked flight in the first six months of this year.

United Airlines settled with Dao back in late April over his removal. A recent Guardian article reports that airlines could save $35 billion a year if they got rid of pilots and flew fully automated planes, according to a report released by the investment bank UBS. That passenger bump rate was down 29 percent compared to the same time a year ago. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines said that it will no longer overbook flights in an across the board policy change. The rate reflects 17,330 passengers involuntarily denied boarding out of 332,415,301. But surprisingly, the Dao incident - an egregious example of airline bumping - was already exceedingly rare and is becoming more so by the month. In April, a video showing a passenger being violently dragged off a United Airlines flight sparked outrage and highlighted the airline industry's controversial practice of overbooking flights. But if an airline miscalculates and ends up with more passengers than seats, carriers can bump travelers as long as the airlines rebook the travelers on another flight or offer fair compensation. "If the Department of Transportation won't hold the airlines to account for these practices, then Congress needs to step in and fix the problem".

The June rate of 2.65 mishandled bags was worse than 2.32 in May, but better than 2.82 for the same month a year earlier.

The transportation report also looked at things like on-time performance, cancellation and other incidents.

Above-Average Activity Predicted for 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
ENSO is now in a neutral phase, which means the Atlantic Basin is not being impacted in a way to prevent tropical development. Tropical Storm Franklin is the latest, forecast to make landfall in Mexico overnight Wednesday into Thursday as a hurricane.

The department has launched an airline passenger website to make it easy for travelers to understand their rights.

Cancellations: About 1 percent of scheduled domestic flights were canceled in June 2017, up from 1 percent in June 2016 and 0.8 percent in May.

The department is investigating six tarmac delays of at least three hours for domestic flights and two for delays of at least four hours for global flights, which can bring fines against an airline. The government counts a flight on time if it arrives within 14 minutes of schedule. Delta, Hawaiian and Frontier had the lowest cancellation rates.

Airlines reported the death of one animal and injuries to two others during June. From January to June 2017, complaints went up 7.8 percent from the number received during the first six months of 2016.

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