Ever since the public backlash against United Airlines for forcibly removing a ticketed passenger from a flight last April, the company has been revamping its policies in an effort to make it up to customers. Next up: Letting passengers on overbooked flights bid on how much they can receive for giving up their seats.
United is creating an automated system that will allow passengers who are willing to change their plans to bid, auction-style, for how much money they should receive to give up their seats. It’s wort noting that although Dr. David Dao was not pulled from his seat on an oversold flight, the incident was prompted in part by United’s failure to find someone willing to give up their seat.
“As part of our commitment to further improve our customers’ travel experience with us, we plan to test an automated system that will offer customers an opportunity to voluntarily bid for a desired compensation amount in exchange for potentially changing travel plans if faced with an overbooked flight,” a United spokesperson told Consumerist, adding that the airline has already seen “a 90% year-over-year reduction in involuntary denied boardings.”
The airline will roll out the program next month, a person familiar with the matter told Consumerist. United declined to offer more details about how the bidding system will work or which flights will offer it.
The news was first aired on Twitter last week by Skift reporter Brian Sumers, who says United wants to start testing the system by Oct. 3.
Business Insider confirmed the news shortly after.