Southwest says it will no longer overbook its flights

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See… was that so hard? Good deal, Southwest!


Profit’s better when they slightly overbook. I predict this new policy will be quietly forgotten inside of a month.


Phew! The market does work! It only took finding absolute rock bottom after routinely inconveniencing countless already-stressed travelers with a one-dimensional strategy of price spiraling. Thank the great invisible hand that this strategy finally ended in an sufficiently press-friendly, heinous breach of human decency that forced a slow, small, creaking, probably temporary shift in strategy for a single market actor! Let’s see your precious regulations do that!


Yeah… I don’t buy it either, for the same reason, over-booking makes sense for the airline. If it didn’t they wouldn’t do it.

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I notice that it’s not United making this statement, but one of their decent competitors, who will continue to get my business whenever possible.


United had Dao, American beat that lady with her own baby carriage, and American Airlines kicked off that guy for peeing. I was totally expecting Southwest to throw a person from a moving airplane. Nope, I guess they used their heads for this one.

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It won’t last. Once shareholders see less revenue as a result of this policy, Southwest will gradually start overbooking again in small increments. It’s a brilliant PR move though considering what’s happening with their competitors. Hats off to them for capitalizing on it.

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FTFY. Oops.

I love the look of unpainted aluminum airplanes.


Hey! I’m flying Southwest May 8th!

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Let us know if they are good or if they treat you like crap!

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I understand being skeptical about this.

But when skepticism gives way to deep cynicism, it almost seems like we don’t even want things to get better.

Wouldn’t it be great if an airline voluntarily made the changes we’d like to see?

Do you think this problem (more generally, passenger treatment) can ONLY be solved by legislation?


Well stated!

FTFY. And in general, yes.

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I feel like a broken record AND I know it’s a good ting but I hate bait and switches of any kind…

The trigger, being dragged of the United Airlines flight WAS NOT DUE TO OVERBOOKING. There I yelled it. They decided to put crew on at last minute, so this change by Southwest would have made no difference at all.

ok, I’m putting my crayon down now…


but what is the legacy

One could make this all go away if the law applied a fairly common principle: You can’t sell the same thing to two different people at the same time.

Since there are almost no seats you can book on an airplane that do not require payment in advance these days and few other than the very wealthy and business travelers use refundable fares, those seats are earning revenue even if the person doesn’t show up.

But beyond that, the logic airlines use would not "fly’ If say you went to move into an apartment and found someone else was there as they had rented to more than one person in case there were “cancellations” and the other party showed up first.

Overbooking really started back when you could just make a reservation and pay for it when you checked in. Then, an airline really could not predict how many people might fly on a given flight… But then it was a lot easier to be re-accommodated on another airline or a later flight than it is these days when the sardine cans with wings routinely fly so full the flight attendants have to sit on the Captain’s lap.

The other, simple but never going to happen. change in the law would be to simply state that “If someone has checked in and has a seat assignment, then they must be accommodated.on that flight.” with no exceptions short of that seat no longer existing because it blew up or fell out a hole in the fuselage…


Correction noted. Lesson Learned! Do not pee on Delta!

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