Bumping My Way to Happiness: Voluntary Bumping Performance 2009: Jan to Mar


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Spent a few hours today reviewing the DOT’s website reading about the performance of the major U.S. carriers. Focusing on voluntary bumping I was able to procure these nuggets of information for you. The data in this posts represents the first quarter of 2009.

________________ Flights Enplaned Passengers Voluntary Vol/Flight
US ______________ 35,594 ________ 12,580,587 __ 22,938 ____ 0.644
UNITED __________ 31,798 ________ 11,953,422 __ 19,330 ____ 0.608
AIRTRAN _________ 21,264 _________ 5,344,683 __ 10,270 ____ 0.483
NORTHWEST _______ 25,086 _________ 8,365,018 __ 12,089 ____ 0.482
CONTINENTAL _____ 21,950 _________ 8,626,868 ___ 9,797 ____ 0.446
DELTA ___________ 35,230 ________ 14,426,780 __ 13,981 ____ 0.397
ATLANTIC SE _____ 25,124 _________ 2,898,511 ___ 8,974 ____ 0.357
PINNACLE ________ 22,023 _________ 2,355,938 ___ 6,526 ____ 0.296
AMERICAN ________ 46,622 ________ 18,099,010 __ 12,910 ____ 0.277
MESA ____________ 20,714 _________ 2,494,444 ___ 5,720 ____ 0.276
SOUTHWEST _______ 97,696 ________ 23,366,897 __ 22,760 ____ 0.233
COMAIR __________ 14,495 _________ 1,377,802 ___ 3,365 ____ 0.232
SKYWEST _________ 44,689 _________ 4,592,875 ___ 9,654 ____ 0.216
EXPRESSJET ______ 25,292 _________ 2,569,898 ___ 5,191 ____ 0.205
ALASKA __________ 11,796 _________ 3,258,996 ___ 2,326 ____ 0.197
AMERICAN EAGLE __ 37,408 _________ 3,373,399 ___ 3,846 ____ 0.103
FRONTIER _________ 7,711 _________ 2,094,048 _____ 632 ____ 0.082
HAWAIIAN _________ 6,122 _________ 1,995,333 ______ 82 ____ 0.013
JETBLUE _________ 16,218 _________ 5,108,284 _______ 1 ____ 0.000

These numbers represent the number of flights, number of passengers on those flights, passengers who volunteered to be bumped, and the number of passengers who volunteered to be bumped per flight flown.

A lot can be derived from this information.

  • Forget about volunteer opportunities at JetBlue, Hawaiian and Frontier. The opportunities will be few and far between for these airlines.
  • The best chance for being bumped is with U.S. and United based on their number of voluntary bumps per flight.
  • No major carrier has an average of voluntary bumps greater than 1. This further supports my case for getting to the gate as early as possible to ensure your name is first on the list. If there is going to be bump there is a very good chance it will be just for one person.

______________Enplaned Passengers __Voluntary __ Vol/10000
ATLANTIC SE ___________ 2,898,511 _____ 8,974 _____ 30.960
PINNACLE ______________ 2,355,938 _____ 6,526 _____ 27.700
COMAIR ________________ 1,377,802 _____ 3,365 _____ 24.422
MESA __________________ 2,494,444 _____ 5,720 _____ 22.930
SKYWEST _______________ 4,592,875 _____ 9,654 _____ 21.019
EXPRESSJET ____________ 2,569,898 _____ 5,191 _____ 20.199
AIRTRAN _______________ 5,344,683 ____ 10,270 _____ 19.215
US ___________________ 12,580,587 ____ 22,938 _____ 18.232
UNITED _______________ 11,953,422 ____ 19,330 _____ 16.171
NORTHWEST _____________ 8,365,018 ____ 12,089 _____ 14.451
AMERICAN EAGLE ________ 3,373,399 _____ 3,846 _____ 11.400
CONTINENTAL ___________ 8,626,868 _____ 9,797 _____ 11.356
SOUTHWEST ____________ 23,366,897 ____ 22,760 ______ 9.740
DELTA ________________ 14,426,780 ____ 13,981 ______ 9.691
ALASKA ________________ 3,258,996 _____ 2,326 ______ 7.137
AMERICAN _____________ 18,099,010 ____ 12,910 ______ 7.132
FRONTIER ______________ 2,094,048 _______ 632 ______ 3.018
HAWAIIAN ______________ 1,995,333 ________ 82 ______ 0.410
JETBLUE _______________ 5,108,284 _________ 1 ______ 0.001

These numbers represent the number passengers on flights, passengers who volunteered to be bumped, and the number of passengers per 10,000 who volunteered to be bumped.

These numbers show us the volume of voluntary bumping taking place and the rate that voluntary bumping takes place per airline. As you can see by the numbers, Atlantic Southeast, Pinnacle, Comair, and Mesa lead all carriers in the number of voluntary bumps per passengers flown. The largest carriers, despite having some of the highest number of voluntary bumps, are not among the top when considering the total number of passengers flown.

I hope you found this information useful as it illustrates the limited number of bumping opportunities available. More information will be forthcoming.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This post was accurate at the time of posting, offer may be unavailable on this site at a later time. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

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