DALLAS (AP) – Southwest Airlines says it plans to stop overbooking flights — an industry practice implicated in an ugly incident on a United Airlines flight that has damaged United’s reputation with the flying public.
Last year Southwest bumped 15,000 passengers off flights, more than any other U.S. airline. Carriers say they sometimes sell more tickets than there are seats because often a few passengers don’t show up.
Beth Harbin, a Southwest spokeswoman, said Thursday that with better forecasting tools and a new reservations system coming online next month the airline will no longer have a need to overbook flights.
The practice has come under intense scrutiny since April 9, when a passenger was dragged off an overbooked United Express plane after refusing to give up his seat for a crew member.
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