Involuntary Bumps on the Rise, Partially Due to 737 MAX Groundings
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.
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines each blamed the Federal Aviation Administration’s grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX for an increase in involuntarily “bumped” passengers during the first quarter of 2019, according to a monthly report by the US Department of Transportation.
Bumping —”involuntary denied boardings,” in the DOT’s vernacular — previously had been on the decline.
During the last quarter of 2018, the rate of involuntary denied boardings from oversold flights had dropped to a third of what it had been during the previous quarter. Overall, the rate of involuntary bumping had dropped for five consecutive quarters, bottoming out at 0.1 per 10,000 passengers in the second quarter of 2018.
However, this month’s Air Travel Consumer Report from by the DOT showed a nearly 50% increase in the bump rate (0.32 per 10,000 passengers) in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the last quarter of 2018.
Significant jumps were reported by American and Southwest, something that was attributed to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on March 13.
“American Airlines and Southwest Airlines separately informed the Department that the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft has negatively impacted their
involuntary denied boarding statistics during this reporting period,” the government said in its report.
American and Southwest reported rates of .77 and .43 bumps per 10,000 passengers, respectively.
Still, neither airline was on the bottom of the DOT’s list. Travelers particularly averse to bumps should note that Allegiant Air, with their fleet of Airbus A320s scored the lowest with a bump rate of 1.47,. That was more than four times the national average for the January-to-March period.
Featured image: Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
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 after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- 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.
- 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