Airlines’ Involuntary Bump Rates Are Dropping
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.
Getting bumped from a flight can be very lucrative for a passenger when it’s voluntary. Delta shelled out $4,000 to one passenger willing to catch a flight only nine hours later, while United now asks travelers to name their price.
Sounds pretty sweet. But lately, the need for bumping has declined — both voluntary and involuntary.
According to Reuters, a report released on Thursday from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) reveals that airlines in the United States are not having to bump as many passengers on overbooked flights as they were during the same time period last year. The numbers show the rate of involuntary passenger bumping among the 12 largest U.S. carriers “fell to 0.15 per 10,000 passengers in the three months ended Sept. 30 — the lowest quarterly rate dating back to 1995.”
As for those who are willing to give up a seat to score some extra cash? Reuters reports voluntary bumping is on the decline, too. The total number of passengers bumped fell from 114,119 to 74,358 compared to the same three-month period this time last year.
These recent findings most likely stem from the United incident involving Dr. David Dao, the passenger who was dragged down the aisle of a plane in Chicago after refusing to give up his seat on an overbooked flight back in April.
United later began offering as much as $10,000 for passengers to voluntarily give up their seats while cutting down the “involuntarily bumping rate by more than 90 percent.”
Other airlines have followed suit including Delta, who not only offers a staggering maximum incentive of $9,950, but according to the DOT report had the lowest bump rate of its competitors, from 306 passengers (from this period last year) down to just 29 in the three months ending September 30.
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