The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

July 19, 2010
American Eagle leads airlines in involuntary passenger bumps

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics collects information on "passengers denied confirmed space". This includes airline-level data on the number of travelers bumped voluntarily and involuntarily. Recently, BTS released 2009 Q4 figures for 19 airlines. In absolute terms Southwest for and away lead the industry in involuntary bumps: a total of 13,113 in 2009. US Airways and Delta Air Lines followed with 7,297 and 6,774, respectively. But considered in terms of total boardings, American Eagle was number one in passenger bumps per 100,000 boardings.

Carrier Boadings Involuntary Bumps Bumps per 100,000 boardings
American Eagle 15,485,727 5,828 37.6
Comair 6,131,756 1,610 26.3
Atlantic Southeast 12,952,513 2,937 22.7
Alaska Airlines 14,692,489 2,980 20.3
ExpressJet 12,394,332 2,386 19.3
Frontier Airlines 9,419,052 1,769 18.8
Continental Airlines 37,524,185 5,893 15.7
Mesa Airlines 10,984,365 1,618 14.7
US Airways 51,741,773 7,297 14.1
United Air Lines 50,971,409 6,645 13.0
Southwest Airlines 101,770,164 13,113 12.9
Pinnacle Airlines 10,509,282 1,223 11.6
Delta Air Lines 60,431,943 6,774 11.2
SkyWest Airlines 20,721,633 2,134 10.3
Northwest Airlines 35,599,219 2,123 6.0
American Airlines 76,245,981 4,304 5.6
AirTran Airways 23,997,810 569 2.4
Hawaiian Airlines 8,344,628 22 0.3
JetBlue Airways 22,267,349 9 0.0

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