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Published on Friday, November 17, 2017

Airlines bumping passengers at lowest ever rate



US airlines are getting the message and bumping fewer passengers off oversold flights.


US Department of Transportation data shows airlines denied boarding to 2,745 passengers between July and September which equates to one in every 67,000 flyers.


This is the lowest rate since the DOT begin keeping records more than 20 years ago.


The rate has steadily fallen ever since the infamous April incident when Chicago airport officers violently dragged David Dao off a United Airlines flight.


That sparked much industry soul searching and improved compensation policies for bumped passengers.


However the number of passengers opting to take cash in exchange for giving up their seat is also falling.


Data revealed only 74,358 voluntarily gave up seats in July- September compared to 114,119 a year earlier.


Budget carrier Spirit Airlines was the most likely to bump a passenger, while Delta, Virgin America, JetBlue and United denied boarding to only one in every 250,000 passengers on average.


Meanwhile Democrat Rep. Rick Nolan introduced plans for an airline passenger 'bill of rights' on Thursday aimed at making an airline contract of carriage more transparent.


"As we saw with the horrific United Airlines incident where a passenger was forcibly removed after he was seated on an aircraft, there is an urgent need for airlines to be transparent and inform consumers of their rights," Nolan said.


The bill of rights would detail full airline policies for involuntary bumping, lost or damaged baggage, flight delay and cancellation policy and procedures for handling disabled or infirm passengers.


 

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