Overbooking, a standard industry practice, allows airlines to sell more tickets than there are seats to make up the cost of no-show fliers. Federal aviation regulations require airlines to ask for volunteers before choosing someone to boot. Airlines often offer monetary compensation, though the amount is up to them, but they are mandated to pay passengers who do not arrive at their final destination within two hours of their original arrival time.
Since the incident with United some airlines are changing policy. Southwest Airlines last week vowed to put an end to the customer-unfriendly policy of overbooking flights before the month is out.. It joins JetBlue, whose CEO some time ago began phasing out the traditional airline habit of overbooking flights and bumping passengers, and United, which announced it will reduce overbooking in the wake of Flight 3411, although won’t stop it outright..
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have said they do not plan to change their policies regarding overbooking.