Despite those viral videos, airlines are turning passenger bumping into a data-driven art

Los Angeles Times 

The last time transportation expert Seth Kaplan was bumped from a flight, he walked away with $800 and a good excuse for missing the first session of a San Diego business conference. Such compensation may start sounding like chump change. In the wake of last month's United Airlines passenger-dragging scandal, the Chicago-based carrier and several other U.S airlines have promised to overbook fewer flights and offer better incentives -- up to $10,000 in cash or travel vouchers at United and Delta Air Lines -- if fliers are asked to give up their seats. Those policy changes could combine to make passenger bumping even more rare and lucrative. "People who are bumped are going to be happy," said Kaplan, managing partner of the trade publication Airline Weekly.

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