Southwest Airlines will stop overbooking flights
Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it would no longer overbook flights, a practice that led to a PR nightmare for United Airlines after the airline violently ejected Dr. David Dao from a flight earlier in April.
According to the Associated Press, 15,000 Southwest passengers were bumped in 2016 — more so than any other airline. According to the AP, carriers sometimes oversell flights in anticipation of a few no-shows.
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly indicated that the airline had been mulling over whether or not to drop the practice for some time, but United's controversy sealed the deal on the decision. A spokeswoman told the AP that a new reservation system combined with fewer no-show customers led to the decision, as well.
According to the AP, JetBlue is currently the only major U.S. airline that bans overbooking. Southwest did not indicate when their airline's ban would go into effect.
In the wake of the United incident, several airlines made positive changes in the name of customer service. United offered cheap "apology fares" to Europe to customers because of the incident. They also will also pay up to $10,000 in compensation for passengers forced to give up their seats, similar to a policy Delta instituted earlier this month.