Do it thru regulatory means. Regulations are easy to change and are NOT law, law is not easy to change unless its sun-setted.
What RET said is correct is you need to overbook in order to optimize the paying customers. That said the real question is what do you base your overbook on? Looking at what I see is just overbook to the max.
We have the power to capture and refine this data for ever flight at every airport at every timeframe. We look at the historical data on how many people fly on that date and time under those circumstances be it a holiday or a Mon vs Friday.
I have not flown much since 9/11, but before that I spent more time on planes than the crews did. In fact I racked up about 2 million air miles over my career.
I have been the ONLY passenger on an airplane, IIRC it was from a hub on the E coast to Dallas, it was Christmas Day and I asked them about it. The answer was: We are moving the plane to DFW due to the heavy outbound traffic beginning the day after Christmas. Point being behind the scenes airlines move a lot of planes around in order to meet expected traffic loads and to balance out the traffic.
In the OLD days <9/11. In my days of flying frequent fliers like myself soon learned the ropes and tricks of beating the game. Often when my flight was overbooked I would either go to the counter and request a flight on the next plane hot and smoking to any HUB. So instead of waiting on a flight from SEATAC to DFW, I would take my ticket and go to AA airlines and take the next thing going to any HUB, such as SFO, DEN or CHI etc for final destination DFW. But you need to know what their HUBs are.
In those days your airline ticket was the same as cash and that United ticked was good at any other carriers desk. So a delay or overbook you could go around the system by knowing who HUBed where and just head out to one of their ticket counters, made no diff which one, anyone open will do, otherwise you can spend the next few hrs standing in line instead of being on a plane flying to your next destination.
Today, on occasion I have had to fly CONUS/OCONUS and have found the experience to be miserable at best and at its worst just plane madding.
Anyone catch the news this am on Ft Lauderdale and the riots over a flight being canceled. I noted in the news footage there were a lot of blacks involved. I am sensing a trend that if blacks are not happy, they just riot. I have sat in many airports fo many hrs over canceled and overbooked flights, never saw a riot before!