Southwest Airlines is ending the practice of overbooking its flights. CEO Gary Kelly says the company has decided to cease overbooking, something it has been planning over the past few years.
Kelly didn't specify exactly when the new policy will be in effect, only that it will be "very shortly." Overbooking has been a hot topic in the airline industry since United Airlines forcibly dragged a passenger off a flight to accommodate crew members.
"Southwest is changing our policy and will no longer book flights over capacity as part of the selling process," King said in a statement. "As we have dramatically improved our forecasting tools and techniques, and as we approach the upcoming implementation of our new reservations system on May 9, we no longer have a need to overbook as part of the revenue management inventory process. The improved reliability allows us now to change Southwest's overbooking policy and enhance our customer-friendly hospitality, the over-arching philosophy at the heart of 45-plus years of success at Southwest." JetBlue has also committed to not overbook.