Southwest Airlines to stop overbooking seats
Southwest Airlines is ditching its overbooking policy, CEO Gary Kelly said.
It will stop overselling ‘very shortly’ he told CNBC but declined to give an exact timeline.
The company has made the decision that we’ll cease to overbook going forward. We overbook very, very modestly today. The reason we overbook is to try to fill empty seats. To the extent we’re able to do that, we’re able to keep the rest of our fares lower,” Kelly said.
“We’ve been taking steps over the last several years to prepare ourselves for this anyway. We never like to have a situation where we we’re oversold. We’re in the customer service business. The last thing that we want do is deny a customer their flight, so we’re going to work very hard to eliminate as many pain points to travel as possible.”
This week JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes reiterated its stance not to oversell any flights.
Since the backlash against the United Airlines incident, the policy of bumping passengers off flights at the last minute has been under intense scrutiny from the media and lawmakers.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have announced up to $10,000 per bumped passenger in some cases, with the later introducing a series of other new rules to help fix what United CEO Oscar Munoz calls a failed system.