Candace Owens Has A Conspiracy Theory About American Airlines Flight Delays

After David Dao was dragged off of a United Express flight and bloodied five years ago, there was such an international uproar that airlines started offering large amounts of future travel dollars to people who would agree to be voluntarily ‘bumped’ off of flights, in order to avoid involuntarily denying anyone board. Once woman took to twitter, for instance, to announce her $10,020 haul from United Airlines:

This got expensive. American Airlines gave out $250,000 in travel credit on a single flight. Carriers took steps to rein in their costs. By the time 2020 rolled around I declared that the post-David Dao era of generous compensation was ending. Early in the pandemic United cut its denied boarding compensation maximum by 75%.

Now American Airlines and Southwest – which had promised to stop overbooking – account for 70% of all involuntary denied boardings in the U.S. Candace Owens, though, thinks she knows how they’re keeping those numbers down.

According to the commentator, American sees that they’re overbooked on the day of travel, delays that flight for a long period so passengers make other plans, and then they no longer have to involuntarily deny anyone boarding.

Let’s be 100% clear: American Airlines is perfectly capable of long flight delays without resorting to faking them.

Most passengers believe airlines regularly cancel flights that only have a few seats sold. In fact the airline is paying for the plane, paying for the crew, and usually needs the aircraft in the downline city to operate the next flight. Cancelling costs more than they’d save in fuel.

Still, conspiracy theories are tempting, and they aren’t always wrong! American, unlike United and several other airlines, willingly provided refunds for flights they cancelled during the pandemic. Other airlines played games. United even redefined the word cancel so that any flight on a route they still served wasn’t cancelled (if they cut down from 6 flights a day to 1, they hadn’t cancelled any flights). Nonetheless at the time I wondered whether their penchant for last minute cancellations was a way to avoid refunding customers.

Candace Owens, though, has lots of theories about American Airlines. She believes they want all of your AAdvantage miles to expire. Yet she still buys premium cabin tickets on the airline and once bought first class DC to Dallas, leaving me on the upgrade list.

(HT: @crucker)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. She has a point. I have found, with all of my years of experience with American Airlines, that they will tell any lie they need to, so they can squirm out of a bad situation.
    That being said, I have also found them to be very helpful at times.

  2. 1. If true, this conspiracy would mean AA has mastered an uncanny degree of coordination between their operations teams while at the same time holding thousands upon thousands of staff to confidentiality. If AA had the ability to execute on such a coordinated level, they would not be stooping so low as to fake delays.

    2. All flights are overbooked, that is the goal. That does maximize revenue. Some flights become oversold, the goal is to minimize those.

    3. Candace Owens is an anti-Black racist. Her personal life makes clear that she is out to seek approval from whites, not to advance Black causes. Please do not elevate or amplify the voice of Candace Owens.

  3. My experience working in several governments is that the people in them aren’t any brighter or more coordinated than other group that is thrown together. Vast conspiracies are fun to imagine, and a few (like the cover ups by the oil companies of climate change and the effects of leaded gasoline on the brain) may be true. But most are as close to reality as, say, a James Bond movie or the nonsense about the Bermuda Triangle. Anyway, when a conspiracy is tried these things usually come out in time. Taking big ones seriously is an easy way to explain a random world where one doesn’t feel in control. But they aren’t very helpful for navigating life.

  4. @anenus
    Too bad you didn’t stop after two comments. The first two have some merit, the last one shows your liberal democratic racist soul.

  5. Why label it as a “conspiracy theory” when it is a theory that is well grounded in reason given the history of airline management?

  6. I’m sure she just wants the airline to do better, since she keeps flying it…..

  7. Ms. Owens is a psychopath who is just out to seek attention and as my grandma would say “ain’t wrapped too tight…” Let’s move on to some intelligent conversation.

  8. Do the liberal white elites on here realize how dumb they sound when they call a black person anti-black? Of course, it’s not about that, it’s about Black people not being allowed to think for themselves. They must fall in line with the white liberal elites, like ayenus.

  9. Given that I often see the aircraft assigned to my flight often changing, even up to a few minutes before boarding, it’s not impossible to imagine certain low selling flights getting cancelled, despite the aircraft needing to be somewhere. The thing is, airlines are obviously quite capable of dynamically scheduling aircraft, based on where they’re currently located, where they’re needed, crew availability, and I’m quite sure, profitability. If they don’t have to run a flight in order the meet the first criteria, I’m sure they don’t. If they need it somewhere, they’ll run it. But I’ve seen too many times where there are four flights in a day between a city pair, light loading, and one of the middle two flights gets cancelled, with the passengers offloaded to the other flights. Rattling the cage to get an overbooked flight less loaded would be more difficult to pull off, but it’s not impossible to see how it could potentially be done.

  10. @Denis Bekaert +1
    So you don’t like Candance Owens’ views bcoz she calls out people of her own race. Sounds like you’re the racist bud. ‘Her personal life makes clear…’, how so? And finally, ‘Please’ (cancel her), the Left’s fallback position when they don’t agree. ‘Please’ change ur screen name to ‘anus,’ Fits perfectly. fits!

  11. @dennis Berkeley & @ anus – a dud like Candance Owens is just that, a big dud! She can mouth off all she wants, till she turns “white”. She is still a brown nosing neocon who makes a lot of noise!

  12. White liberal (and racist) elitists unite!!! Lol.

    Makes sense you’re scared of Candace since she’s 50x smarter and more successful than all of you combined, and threaten your status quo.

  13. @flyguy, @ anus and the rest of the crazy left.

    A BLACK WOMAN who can think for herself is being called a racist neocon? Its the other way around, dumb@ss. If you can not accept a different opinion especially from a person of color, then you are the racist. I reallly love seeing these leftist elitist lose their mind when a minority disagrees with them. #Meltdown

  14. Her theory is perfectly plausible. Gary’s pissed because he didn’t get his little upgrade.

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