7 Airlines Most Likely to Offer Rewards for Bumping You From Flights

Photo by NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

Your likelihood of getting bumped off a flight — voluntarily or not — is largely dependent on which airline you’re flying, says MileCards.com in its new 2017 airline bump study.

MileCards.com says these seven airlines were the most likely to provide passengers compensation due to overfilled flights in the past year:

  1. Delta Air Lines: 10 out of every 10,000 passengers were bumped with compensation from oversold flights
  2. United Airlines: 7.2
  3. Southwest Airlines: 5.9
  4. Spirit Airlines: 5.4
  5. American Airlines: 4.1
  6. Virgin America: 3
  7. Alaska Air: 2.9

MileCards.com notes that some airlines are “significantly more likely” than others to look for volunteers who will give up their seats — in exchange for rewards.

According to a U.S. Department of Transportation report, airlines provided some form of compensation to an average of 6.6 passengers out of every 10,000 for bumping them off oversold flights in 2016.

According to MileCards.com:

Delta has one of the more active volunteer recruitment programs, which sometimes includes offering gift cards for things besides flights, and soliciting reverse auction bids during check-in.

The airline-bump study also revealed that involuntary bumps — in which confirmed passengers who want to travel are refused boarding — are 40 percent less likely today than in 2010.

The silver lining to an involuntary flight bump is that passengers’ compensation “can get big, fast, and it’s mandated by the federal government, up to $1,350 for a one-way trip,” explains MileCards.com

As a passenger, it’s important to know your rights, especially if you’re being involuntarily bumped. MilesCards.com warns:

Beware that the airline might try to offer you flight vouchers (for example $300 for a four-hour delay). If you accept those you lose your right to the cash compensation, so make sure you ask the agent specifically what your one-way fare is, and do the math yourself to make sure you’re getting a better deal.

Have you been involuntarily bumped from a flight before? Share your story below or on Facebook.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier — and happier.

6 Tech Gadgets That Make Your Daily Life Easier
6 Tech Gadgets That Make Your Daily Life Easier

These products on Amazon will ease your worries and simplify your routine.

7 Things You Should Do Before Claiming Social Security
7 Things You Should Do Before Claiming Social Security

To get the most out of your Social Security retirement benefits, you have to think ahead.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started


Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.