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Frontier and the other 4 airlines most likely to bump you from your seat

Shawn M. Carter

The sky’s not always the limit for people who fly Frontier Airlines.

The No. 1 U.S. airline most likely to boot you is Frontier. The low-cost carrier, which had a high number of involuntary denied boardings and a lower number of overall passengers, bumped more than six passengers per 100,000 people.

That’s according to research from travel website Upgraded Points, which used data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to find the 2018-19 change in involuntary denied boardings from the top U.S. airlines due to overbooked flights.

Here are the top five airlines most likely to deny you a seat:

1. Frontier

Involuntary denied boardings: 1,219

Enplaned passengers: 19 million

Bumps per 100,000 passengers: 6.28

2. Spirit Airlines

Involuntary denied boardings: 1,529

Enplaned passengers: 27 million

Bumps per 100,000 passengers: 5.57

3. Alaska Airlines

Involuntary denied boardings: 743

Enplaned passengers: 32 million

Bumps per 100,000 passengers: 2.3

4. PSA Airlines

Involuntary denied boardings: 309

Enplaned passengers: 13 million

Bumps per 100,000 passengers: 2.29

5. American Airlines

Involuntary denied boardings: 2,614

Enplaned passengers: 133 million

Bumps per 100,000 passengers: 1.95

Frontier and Spirit ranked most likely to rescind a reservation, twice as likely as the next three carriers in the top five. But “there are significant differences in your chances depending on which airline you book your trip on,” the researcher notes.

American and Southwest Airlines, for example, had high numbers of bumped passengers but low percentages of bumps due to the volume of enplaned passengers.

POSTAL SERVICE LOSSES DOUBLE FROM LAST YEAR

The data show that the overall number of bumps is declining, dropping from 4.38 passengers per 100,000 in 2016 to just 2.09 passengers per 100,000 in 2017.

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If you are bumped, though, it could pay off. The U.S. Department of Transportation said you can be compensated equal to double the one-way price of your flight, up to $675. For longer flights or delays, you could get four times as much, or up to $1,350.

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