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U.S. airlines most likely to offer passengers benefits to miss their flight voluntarily

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Delta Air Lines is the major airline most likely to offer passengers benefits to miss their flight.

The Vacationer have just published a study analyzing United States airlines most likely to offer passengers benefits to miss their flight over the past 12 months for The Vacationer.

They analyzed publicly available Air Travel Consumer Reports from the U.S. Department of Transportation in order to determine which airlines most frequently offered benefits to passengers to miss their flights voluntarily. All data currently released over the last 12 months (Q3 2019 – Q2 2020) was examined on a per 100,000 passengers basis. Q2 2020’s data was then analyzed and compared to the cumulative data in Q3 2019 – Q2 2020 to see what effect, if any, COVID-19 had on which airlines offered passengers the most benefits to miss their flight.

These benefits normally include some variation of travel credits, hotel accommodations and food vouchers. Airlines are keen to entice passengers to voluntarily leave oversold flights with compensation packages. They do this in order to avoid potentially unwanted press and to avoid paying certain involuntarily bumped passengers cash guaranteed by U.S. Law.

U.S. Airlines Most Likely to Offer Passengers Benefits (voluntary bumpings) to Miss Their Flight Ranked (Q3 2019 – Q2 2020)

1. Endeavor Air
2. SkyWest Airlines
3. Republic Airways
4. ExpressJet Airlines
5. Envoy Air
6. Delta Air Lines
7. PSA Airlines
8. Spirit Airlines
9. American Airlines
10. Mesa Airlines
11. Alaska Airlines
12. United Airlines
13. Frontier Airlines
14. Southwest Airlines
15. Allegiant Air
16. JetBlue Airways
17. Hawaiian Airlines

A voluntary denied boarding (DB) occurs when a passenger chooses not to fly in exchange for some sort of airline benefits.

Key Stats:
Delta Air Lines is the major airline most likely to offer passengers benefits to miss their flight. Between Q3 2019 and Q2 2020, Delta Air Lines convinced 68,833 passengers to voluntarily give up their seats. This is 63.927 voluntary denied boardings per 100,000 passengers. The success of Delta’s competitive bidding for voluntary denied boardings is one of the reasons it has been able to almost completely eliminate involuntary denied boardings.

Spirit Airlines is the budget airline most likely to offer benefits to passengers to miss their flight. Spirit Airlines had 56.181 voluntary denied boardings between Q3 2019 – Q2 2020, which is 4x more than the next budget airliner Frontier

U.S. Airlines Most Likely to Offer Passengers Benefits (voluntary bumpings) to Miss Their Flight During COVID (Q2 2020)

1. Endeavor Air
2. Delta Air Lines
3. SkyWest Airlines
4. PSA Airlines
5. Frontier Airlines
6. Envoy Air
7. Mesa Airlines
8. Hawaiian Airlines
9. Southwest Airlines
10. Republic Airways
11. American Airlines
12. Spirit Airlines
13. JetBlue Airways
14. Alaska Airlines
15. ExpressJet Airlines
16. Allegiant Air
17. United Airlines

Comparing this COVID list to Q3 2019 – Q2 2020, you can see the rankings changed a bit.

Key Stats:
Delta Air Lines continued to offer benefits so passengers would voluntarily miss their flight at a much higher rate than all other major airlines. The only airline to offer benefits for voluntary denied boardings at a higher rate than Delta during Q2 2020 was Endeavor Air, which Delta owns.

During COVID in Q2 2020, Frontier Airlines became the budget airline most likely to offer compensation for a passenger to voluntarily miss their flight. The rate at which Frontier Airlines had voluntarily denied boardings increased from 14.017 passengers per 100,000 in Q3 2019 – Q2 2020 to 24.634 during Q2 2020.

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