Airline Bumping of Overbooked Passengers Reaches 22-Year Low


The bumping of overbooked passengers reached just one of every 19,000 passengers in the first half of 2017. Pictured in this November. 25, 2015 photo, passengers walk in Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

Skift Take: Some airlines had defended overbooking as a must-have tool in their revenue management arsenals but the social media backlash forced them to modify their ways.

— Dennis Schaal

Following widespread outrage over a passenger who was violently dragged off an overbooked plane, U.S. airlines are bumping customers at the lowest rate in at least two decades.

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.

That’s the lowest rate since the government started keeping track in 1995.

Airlines overbook flights in case some passengers don’t show up. In April, Chicago airport officers summoned by United dragged a 69-year-old man off an overcrowded plane. The video was seen by millions.

Since the public-relations disaster, United and other airlines have announced steps to reduce overbooking, including an increase in the maximum amount of money offered to people who give up their seats.

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This article was written by David Koenig from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to


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