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Lots of y’all probably dread having to deal with an overbooked flight, while some of us deal chasers (myself included 😉 ) welcome the opportunity to be compensated handsomely for the inconvenience.
According to the Department of Transportation, US airlines bumped passengers at an average rate of 0.34 per 10,000 passengers in 2017. It’s the lowest bump rate since they began tracking it in 1995. That’s encouraging, but American Airlines has decided to take it a step further by testing a new process of informing passengers (before they get to the airport!) regarding overbooked flights.
The Denied Boarding Automation pilot test began a few days ago on August 20, 2018. Passengers are being alerted via email or text that their flight is overbooked. There is a dedicated phone line available to help these passengers pick a new flight and receive compensation. If successful, American Airlines plans to roll the program out to more passengers so they can rebook their flights on their own.
The idea is to try and ease the frustration that comes with having to deal with an overbooked flight after arriving at the gate. Essentially, the agents on this dedicated phone line will be doing exactly what the gate agents are normally tasked with doing: Searching and rebooking passengers and negotiating appropriate compensation.
This seems like a good idea, in theory. But I worry the airline will try to pay less for bumping passengers, claiming they can pay less because they’ve lessened the inconvenience.
What do you think? Would you prefer to be notified of an overbooked flight before arriving at the airport? Or would you rather take your chances knowing there’s the possibility of scoring a sizeable bump voucher to use on a future flight?
Hat tip: Travel & Leisure