Involuntary Denied Boardings Plummet After United Changes Policy
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.
This morning United released its operational performance for May. While this report is typically a snooze-fest for travelers, two stats jumped out: Involuntary denied boardings have plummeted 79% and United’s passenger count continues to grow.
First, about the drop in involuntary bookings, the president of United (Scott Kirby) notes:
We’re seeing initial progress following our customer-focused policy changes, with involuntary denied boardings down 79 percent year-over-year in May. We will continue to build on this momentum as we head into the busy summer travel season.
United isn’t releasing stats on the number of passengers still being denied boarding for either month. However, we know that United denied 3,765 passengers in all of 2016. A 79% overall drop would mean an average of just two passengers denied boarding per day, down from an average of about 10 a day in 2016.
And, by the “customer-focused policy changes,” he’s referencing the changes United made to its policies in late-April in the wake of the high-profile United 3411 incident. This includes increasing the amount of compensation offered to avoid involuntary denied boarding and committing to never remove passengers who have boarded an aircraft in an overbooking situation.
It seems — despite BumpGate, LeggingsGate, ScorpionGate, SundaeGate, TobaccoGate, RantGate and all of the promises on social media from those that say they’ll never fly United again — United is still getting plenty of passengers to “Fly the Friendly Skies.”
12.6 million passengers took to the skies on United in May — the first full month since the Dr. Dao incident. This compares with 12.1 million in April and 12.2 million in May 2016.
With that said, United’s planes have been a bit emptier. Only 81.6% of seats were filled with passengers in May 2017 vs. 82.5% in May 2016. So, how is United flying more passengers? Growth. United increased its number of seat-miles available by almost 4%, driven more by domestic growth (4.7%) than international growth (2.4%).
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
Have you sworn off United after the controversies?
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees