Southwest Plans to Discontinue Flight Overbookings
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
What do you think when you hear of an airline “overbooking” passengers? Chances are — especially given recent events like United’s #BumpGate — you picture passengers being forced off a plane just because an airline is greedy in wanting to make money with the possibility of sacrificing a seat guaranteed for everyone. Since the #BumpGate occurred and the aftermath unfolded (think of United CEO Oscar Munoz’s half-hearted apology), airlines have taken to reacting in their own way.
Today, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly shared the low-cost carrier’s plans to combat an overbooking scenario — by avoiding it altogether. “The company has made the decision that we’ll cease to overbook going forward,” Kelly said today on CNBC.
In the interview, Kelly said that each airline has to make the decision itself when it comes to overbooking. Even though the airline doesn’t charge change fees, Southwest currently overbooks “very, very modestly,” Kelly said, with the reasoning being to try and fill empty seats so it can keep its fares low. And even though it doesn’t overbook very often as of right now, Kelly said that it’ll be discontinuing the practice altogether very shortly.
Since the #BumpGate incident, Southwest’s Gary Kelly is the first CEO of a US airline to come out and say that it will discontinue overbooking its flights, though JetBlue already doesn’t overbook flights. Others, such as United and Delta, have said that they’ll increase the amount of compensation offered. This is a proactive solution from Southwest, and one that its flyers will surely be happy to hear.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.