Here’s some unwelcome news to start the summer travel season: Your chances of getting bumped off your flight is on the rise. Airlines are now bracing for the busiest summer travel season on record. Southwest, American and United have canceled thousands of flights through August because the 737 Max is grounded.
After boasting record low bumping rates, U.S. airlines in the first three months of this year denied boarding to travelers at the highest rate since 2017, according to Department of Transportation data released Wednesday. The increase was partially driven by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, which took more than 70 of the high-capacity planes out of service.
After the violent dragging of passenger David Dao off a plane in April 2017 sparked a public-relations disaster for United Airlines, carriers have taken measures to avoid involuntary bumping. Measures include alerting passengers of oversold flights before they get to the airport so they can opt to rebook online and increasing compensation for passengers who are okay with getting bumped.
We’ve seen several stories of passengers being bumped, and receiving some nice Perks! Just remember it only refers to travelers whom airlines bump, not those who voluntarily take a different flight when theirs is oversold. So if you do get bumped, don’t be too mad there may be a silver lining!