DoT Report Reveals Which Airlines Bump Passengers the Most

Photo by Philip Myrtorp on Unsplash

( – A June report from the Department of Transportation showed that between January and March, Denver-based Frontier Airlines was the carrier to most often “bump” passengers or deny them boarding.

Within the first quarter of 2023, around 2,400 travelers who booked tickets with the airline were forced to “bump” their flights. This means that the airline’s involuntary bumping rate was 3.73 per 10,000 passengers for that time period. Meanwhile, Endeavor Air was the company with the highest ratio of voluntary bumps, at 9.7 of 10,000 people.

On Monday, July 31, FOX 35 Orlando provided examples of cases where passengers had been bumped from their scheduled flights. In 2022, the bumping rate of the company was even higher at 4.82 per 10,000 passengers, and since then the rate has slightly decreased.

On their website, the Department of Transportation points out that bumping is not against the law, and that oftentimes it will occur when airlines end up selling more tickets than what is available to them. This allows airlines to avoid having open seats in cases where some of the passengers don’t end up showing up.

The second-highest bumping rate was 0.45 per 10,000 passengers by Spirit Airlines and Envoy Air.

Usually, travelers who are involuntarily bumped are allowed to receive compensation, with the amount that they receive being dependent on the delay that they will face on their originally scheduled flight. There are occasions where the passengers are not eligible to receive compensation. Those include cases where the alternative flight will arrive at the passenger’s destination in under one hour from the original schedule, or cases where bumping was caused by the plane being switched to a smaller plane or being caused by “safety-related weight restrictions.”

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