An American Airlines subsidiary, American Eagle, was the most likely to bump passengers in the quarter ended March 31, followed by US Airways, Continental Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. JetBlue Airways, which does not operate in Philadelphia, was the least likely to bounce passengers without their permission.
The Transportation Department wants airlines to be more accountable for seats they oversell. Airlines are allowed to sell more tickets than they have seats for because they rely on passengers, particularly business travelers with refundable tickets, not to show up for flights.
Proposed Air Travel Rules
Increase compensation for involuntary bumping
from the current range of $400-$800 to $650-$1,300, depending on the delay.
Allow passengers to get a refund for canceling reservations within 24 hours.
Require full and prominently displayed disclosure of baggage fees as well as refunds and reimbursements when bags are not delivered on time.
Require full-fare prices in advertising (indicating ticket costs including all fees and taxes).
Prohibit price increases after a ticket is purchased.
Mandate timely notice of flight status changes.
Subject foreign airlines to tarmac-delay rules.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation
Passengers denied boarding, for selected airlines, per 10,000 passengers, in the first three months of 2010:
American Eagle 4.59
US Airways 2.96
Financially pressed airlines going further to fill all of their flights
This is the first penalty issued by the Department against an airline for failing to disclose fees or other restrictions on the use of oversales vouchers.
Most of the new regulations will take effect in four months.
DOT has fined Delta $750,000 for violating federal rules protecting passengers who are denied boarding against their will, or “bumped,” on oversold flights.