Southwest airlines have announced that they will no longer overbook flights. The company’s CEO Gary Kelly spoke about the policy change in a recent interview.
“We’ll cease to overbook going forward. The last thing that we want to do is deny a customer their flight. We’re going to work very, very hard to eliminate as many pain points for travel [as] possible.”
This announcement comes shortly after the incident where a passenger was forcibly removed from a United flight. However, in that situation it was not exactly overbooking that caused the lack of seats, that was due to cabin crew needing them.
United has also announced some policy changes following the event, including offering up to $10,000 to passengers when they need to free up seats. Other companies like JetBlue never overbook, to begin with. The reason that they ever do is that it helps to keep flight prices low. Overbooking ensures that the planes will be full or close to it which is more cost efficient than having more flights.