- The U.S. carrier received bad press when David Dao was bumped from a flight
- Its new auction program will allow passengers to sell their seats for a certain fee
- According to insiders, the bidding portal will officially launch by October 3rd
United Airlines is set to launch a program allowing passengers to auction their seats on overbooked flights.
A new interface will allow customers to enter how much compensation they expect in return for the inconvenience.
News of the auction concept follows an incident in April which saw passenger David Dao forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight to make room for employees.
New initiative: United Airlines is set to launch a program allowing passengers to auction off seats on overbooked flights
The incident drew global attention to the controversial practice of ‘bumping’, whereby airlines prevent passengers from boarding flights after deliberately overbooking them to ensure all seats are filled in case some passengers fail to show up.
Despite the furore, United said it had an almost 90 per cent reduction of so-called involuntary denied boardings year-over-year since May 1.
However, now the Chicago-based carrier is making further amendments to revive its public image.
Travel expert Brian Sumers tweeted that the new auction concept will launch by October 3rd in certain markets.
He also shared an image showing what the landing page will look like.
Insight: Travel expert Brian Sumers tweeted that the new auction concept will launch by October 3rd in certain markets
United isn’t the first to launch such a program – Delta Air Lines revealed a similar auction system several years ago.
The airline takes bids via text message and selects the lowest amounts until all passengers have been accommodated.
The airline industry over the past year has been aggressively offering passengers compensation to give up their seats on overbooked planes in order to avoid public relations nightmares.
Most recently mother-of-three, Tracy Jarvis Smith, was compensated $4,000 to give up her seat on an overbooked Delta flight from Atlanta to South Bend, Indiana.
She was able to fly out and land just eight hours later than expected.
MailOnline Travel is yet to receive a comment from United.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online