Good news for travelers who fear missing a connecting flight or being the next David Dao, the United Airlines passenger that suffered a concussion and broken nose while being forcibly removed from an overbooked flight in April.
Bumping passengers off flights has hit a 22-year low.
According to an Air Travel Consumer report, “fewer than one passenger out of 1000” was involuntarily bumped off a flight during the first six months of the year.
The Dao incident occurred halfway through the period used for the analysis. It’s possible the numbers of bumped passengers were already at a decline before Dao and airlines were more careful post-Dao.
The Air Travel Consumer report had more good news for airborne travelers with 76 percent of flights landing on time. The top airlines were Hawaiian, Alaskan (soon to absorb Virgin America) and Delta.
Earlier this year, airlines faced a lot of bad publicity, particularly United. Three teenage girls were barred from boarding a flight because the gate agent deemed their leggings inappropriate. A 10-month-old giant rabbit, who was on his way to being the world’s largest rabbit, died on a United flight from Britain.
In July, ABC News reported that a family’s 5-year-old King Charles Spaniel Lulu died in the cargo hold of a United flight. Like the rabbit, Lulu had been given a clean bill of health from her vet prior to the flight.
“We are so sorry to learn of Lulu’s passing and have reached out to our customer to offer our condolences and assistance,” United said in a statement. “We are conducting a thorough review of this incident.”
U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that United had nine of the 26 deaths of animals reported last year during air transport, more than any other airline.
Reuters contributed to this report.