Minor Change to How American Airlines Handles Voluntary Denied Boardings

Dr. David Dao’s dragging thrust airline overbooking policies into the national spotlight in April.

Airlines quickly revised their policies. Within days of the David Dao incident American Airlines updated its contract of carriage to say that they “will not involuntarily remove a revenue passenger who has already boarded in order to give a seat to another passenger.”

American Airlines has quietly made one more change to their procedure to handling overbooking situations.

Up until now, customers without seat assignments (who are the ones most likely to be involuntarily denied boarding if there aren’t enough volunteers to take a later flight for compensation) could not be listed for a voluntary bump. Passengers had to have a seat assignment in order to be able to volunteer for voucher compensation.

Effective July 1 customers on oversold flights without a seat assignment (on the “OS” list) can now volunteer to give up their seat.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. I guess that’s progress. But how do you volunteer to give up a seat you never had.

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