Voluntary Denied Boardings Leaders
The Vacationer has analyzed Air Travel Consumer Reports from the U.S. Department of Transportation to find out how domestic airlines rank in terms of voluntary denied boardings or bumps in which passengers receive benefits such as travel credits, hotel accommodations and food vouchers to miss overbooked flights. The travel site examined data for 17 airlines over a 12-month span (Q3 2019 – Q2 2020) on a per 100,000 passenger basis to determine which are most likely to reward travelers who agree to be bumped.
17. Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines, which recorded just one involuntary bump between Q3 2019 and Q2 2020, saw 290 voluntary denied boardings over the same period. The airline’s rate of 3.687 voluntary denied boardings per 100,000 passengers is the lowest of any airline analyzed.
JetBlue reported 1,701 voluntary bumps over the 12-month period that The Vacationer analyzed but carried 27,151,803 total passengers for a rate of only 6.265 per 100,000 passengers.
15. Allegiant Air
Only Hawaiian Airlines saw fewer voluntary bumps than Allegiant Air, which denied boarding to 769 of 11,943,253 customers for a rate of just 6.439 per 100,000 travelers.
14. Southwest Airlines
Budget-friendly Southwest Airlines enplaned more passengers (118,214,511) than any other U.S. airline over the one-year period that was examined and reported just 12,608 voluntary denied boardings for a rate of only 10.665 per 100,000 passengers.
13. Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines’ bumping trend was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ultra-low-cost carrier had 6.521 bumps per 100,000 passengers during Q2 2020 versus 3.675 bumps per 100,000 passengers from Q3 2019-Q2 2020.
12. United Airlines
United Airlines voluntarily bumped 17,628 passengers compared to just 27 involuntary denied boardings over the same time period. The airline’s rate of 24.534 per 100,000 passengers is relatively low compared to competitors American and Delta.
11. Alaska Airlines
Just as it does when it comes to involuntary bumps, Alaska Airlines ranks toward the middle of the pack in terms of voluntary denied boardings with 7,435 bumps among the 25,447,908 passengers carried over the 12-month span The Vacationer looked at.
10. Mesa Airlines
Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines, which operates flights as American Eagle and United Express as part of agreements with American and United, respectively, voluntarily denied boarding to just 4,346 of the 10,345,895 passengers it transported between Q3 2019 and Q2 2020. The 42.007 per 100,000 passenger rate is higher than most major airlines but still well off of the leader’s pace.
9. American Airlines
American ranks second among the Big Four U.S. carriers with a voluntary denied boarding rate of 45.937 per 100,000 passengers. The airline was one of the worst for involuntary bumping during the same period, denying boarding to 3,511 of 104,511,670 enplaned passengers.
8. Spirit Airlines
When it comes to budget carriers, Spirit Airlines is the one most likely to offer benefits to passengers who agree to sit out an overbooked flight. Spirit’s voluntary denied boarding rate of 56.181 per 100,000 passengers is four times that of 13th-ranked Frontier.
7. PSA Airlines
Regional carrier PSA Airlines carried fewer than half as many passengers as Spirit but bumped 7,227 people voluntarily for a rate of 62.744, which ranks seventh-highest nationwide.
6. Delta Air Lines
Delta is the major airline most likely to offer passengers benefits to miss their flight, The Vacationer found. The carrier convinced 68,833 passengers to voluntarily give up their seats between the third quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020. During that same period, Delta recorded just three involuntary denied boardings.
5. Envoy Air
American Airlines Group subsidiary Envoy Air saw 7,798 voluntary bumps between Q3 2019 and Q2 2020. Nonetheless, the carrier’s rate of 69.158 per 100,000 passengers was still less than half that of the number one ranked airline.
4. ExpressJet Airways
ExpressJet Airlines, which ceased operations on September 30, recorded just one involuntary bump between Q3 2019 and Q2 2020 compared to 3,022 voluntary denied boardings during that same span of time.
3. Republic Airways
Republic Airways checked in with 10,092 voluntary denied boardings while carrying close to 12 million passengers for a rate of 85.458 per 100,000, which is more than three times that of United Airlines.
2. SkyWest Airlines
Regional carrier SkyWest Airlines’ 38,773 voluntary denied boardings are third-most among the 17 airlines examined, trailing only Delta and American. However, SkyWest carried fewer than one-third as many passengers as those airlines (30,555,796) for a rate of 126.892 per 100,000.
1. Endeavor Air
Delta subsidiary Endeavor Air is the domestic carrier most likely to offer customers benefits to miss their flight. While the regional airline’s 17,275 voluntary denied boardings aren’t nearly the most, it flew just under 11 million passengers over that period of time for a scorching rate of 157.051 per 100,000.
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