Frontier Airlines had the most involuntary flight 'bumping' from January to March

Over 2,400 travelers with Frontier Airlines experienced involuntary 'bumping' in the quarter

Frontier Airlines ranked as the carrier that most frequently denied passengers boardings between January and March, according to a Department of Transportation (DOT) report.

The Denver-based budget airline subjected over 2,400 travelers in the first quarter of 2023 to involuntary "bumping," according to the DOT’s air travel consumer report published in June. That equated to an involuntary bumping rate of 3.73 per 10,000 passengers.

FOX 35 Orlando reported Monday on Frontier’s bumping, giving examples of several travelers who said they had been bumped from scheduled flights.

Frontier Airlines plane lands in Las Vegas

A Frontier Airlines plane lands at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas Feb. 27, 2020. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Compared to the same period in 2022, the number of fliers that Frontier involuntarily bumped has gone down slightly, the DOT report said. Its rate of involuntary denied boardings dropped from 4.82 per 10,000 passengers. 

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FOX Business reached out to Frontier for comment.

A Frontier Airlines flight

A Frontier Airlines flight prepares to land at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colo., June 29, 2022. (Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The DOT noted on its website that the law does not prohibit bumping, something airlines do when they sell more tickets than seats. To help avoid having seats left open by people who don’t show up, airlines often oversell. 

The second-highest rate of involuntary bumpings from January through March was 0.45 per 10,000 passengers by Envoy Air and Spirit Airlines, according to the air travel consumer report. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ULCC FRONTIER GROUP HOLDINGS 7.09 +0.14 +1.94%

Frontier Group Holdings Inc

When a traveler is involuntarily bumped, he is often entitled to some sort of compensation. The minimum amount of money an eligible passenger must receive from an airline for a bumping partly depends on how much later than originally scheduled it can arrange alternative transportation, according to the DOT’s website. 

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Exceptions to a passenger getting compensation include instances when a new flight is expected to land under one hour from the originally scheduled flight, when an original flight gets swapped for a smaller plane and when the bumping is due to "safety-related weight restrictions" on planes with under 60 seats, the DOT report said. 

If a passenger "fails to comply with ticketing, check-in or reconfirmation procedures," airlines also don’t have to compensate travelers.

Frontier Airlines

A Frontier Airlines A321 taking off at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., May 28, 2016. (iStock / iStock)

The DOT has said carriers must provide involuntarily bumped travelers with a "written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn’t."

In total, over 5,300 passengers with confirmed reservations on 15 U.S. airlines experienced involuntary bumping over the three-month span from January to March, the report found. It marked a 24% decrease year over year. 

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The DOT air travel consumer report also indicated Delta Air Lines, Allegiant Air, Endeavor Air and Hawaiian Airlines did not register any involuntary denied boardings in the first quarter.