Airlines with the best and worst records when it comes to bumping passengers from overbooked flights

Posted at 11:47 AM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 13:28:07-04

In case you didn't know this before, the video of a passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight makes it perfectly clear: A carrier can and will remove you from the plane involuntarily. 

WATCH: Passenger dragged off overbooked United flight

What most air travelers are used to is a gate announcement that goes something like this: Our flight is overbooked, we need volunteers to take a later flight, and we will compensate you for your trouble. 

RELATED: What are your rights? Can you be kicked off of an overbooked flight?

Most passengers don't have the flexibility to take up such an offer, or perhaps the offer doesn't seem worth the annoyance of getting to your destination later than planned. 

And, according to "Not all airlines treat oversold flights equally, and some are significantly more likely to take up volunteers than others." looked at 2016 Department of Transportation (DOT) data to rank major airlines "based on how often they pay volunteers to bump off an oversold flight." The site also looked at involuntary bumps. When it comes to involuntary cases, regional feeders do the most bumping, according to the DOT data. 

TOP 5 for involuntary bumps (out of every 10,000 passengers)

  1. Regional feeders (1.2)
  2. Southwest (1.0)
  3. JetBlue (0.9)
  4. American (0.6)
  5. Frontier (0.6)

"On average across all airlines that report to the DOT, 6.6 out of every 10,000 passengers in 2016 became volunteers who earned compensation for taking another flight, or not flying altogether." MORE from

TOP 5 for voluntary bumps (out of every 10,000 passengers)

  1. Delta (10)
  2. United (7.2)
  3. Southwest (5.9)
  4. Spirit (5.4) 
  5. American (4.1)