Chances of flight boarding pass denials are up. Although having had the lowest bumping rates for a while, the first 3 months of 2019 saw travelers being denied boarding at their peak rate from 2017, as per the Transport’s Department’s data. This was mostly caused due to the ban on Boeing’s 737 Max airplanes fleet. These airplanes are numbered around 70 in active service.
Two crashes in Indonesia & Ethiopia within a span of 5 months, which were both 737 Max’s, saw the FAA and other travel authorities ban the jets. 346 passengers were deceased in total.
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, which had around 58 of these jets, posted above-average rates of bumping, caused by the ban hurting their results. This was informed to federal officials, as per the Transportation Department’s report. As per AA spokesperson Feinstein, bad weather was also a major factor.
United Airlines took stringent measures to prevent bumping after the David Dao fiasco in 2017. The incident had sparked massive outrage on social media and was a PR disaster. Oversold flight passengers were alerted early for rebooking and compensation was enhanced for bumped passengers.
United, Southwest and American Airlines had to cancel numerous flights with no signal from the FAA as to when the ban would be lifted. Airlines are preparing for a busy travel season.
Bumping rates are still low, at around 0.32 for 10000 passengers. This is high, compared to the previous year where it was 0.15 for 10,000 passengers.Q1 saw 6175 passengers get denied boarding involuntarily. This is three times the number when compared to last year, but still low, considering 195.7M passengers travelled these 3 months. This rate is about those people whose flights are involuntarily bumped by airlines and not about those who reschedule their flights when it’s overbooked.