American Airlines Is Changing the Way It Deals With Overbooked Flights
American Airlines is testing a service that will let you know if your flight is overbooked before you get to the airport.
Despite the fact that fewer passengers were involuntarily bumped last year than ever before, airlines are still looking to minimize the impact of overbooking.
According to View From the Wing, American Airlines has launched a new program that will alert passengers if their flight is overbooked and allow them to reschedule themselves on a different flight for compensation.
Passengers who are included in the pilot test will be alerted via email or text to call a phone number. The dedicated phone line will help passengers pick a new flight and their compensation. In the future, American Airlines hopes to roll out the program to more passengers and will allow them to rebook flights on their own.
While the text and email alerts are a new feature, American Airlines said it currently already reached out to passengers on overbooked flights.
“If we have an equipment swap that may have less seats on the aircraft, and the flight is leaving greater than 24-hours out, we proactively contact customers to see if they would be willing to take an alternate flight, which may include a more desirable routing along with possible compensation,” a spokesperson for the airline told Travel + Leisure.
Last year, United Airlines triggered a flurry of airlines revamping overbooking procedures after passenger David Dao was dragged, bloodied, off his flight. Several airlines increased the amount of compensation they would provide passenger to get on a later flight. Delta Air Lines increased the maximum amount of compensation from $1,350 to $9,950.
The Department of Transportation now estimates that a passenger’s likelihood of being involuntarily bumped is only one in 67,000.