The United Airlines brouhaha is sparking positive ripples in the airlines industry. The CEO of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines says no more overbooking for them.
“I’ve made the decision and the company’s made the decision that we’ll cease to overbook going forward,” said CEO Gary Kelly. “The last thing that we want to do is deny a customer their flight. We’re going to work very hard to eliminate as many pain points for travel…as possible.”
Would the cost of empty seats be passed-on to consumers? Apparently not. A Southwest spokesperson emailed a statement to the Dallas Morning News:
“As we have dramatically improved our forecasting tools and techniques, and as we approach the upcoming implementation of our new reservations system on May 9th, we no longer have a need to overbook as part of the revenue management inventory process.”
The statement clarified that some flights could be “over capacity as we approach departure time. Occasionally, operational challenges will have our airport-based Employees asking for volunteers but that will happen much less frequently because overbooking to Customers in advance will be off the table as a consideration.”