Your Rights When Bumped By Airlines

FLIEver gotten bumped off a flight?

Chances are pretty high that you have, as overbooking has become standard practice thanks to airlines scrambling to post revenue, and no-shows being a common occurrence.

Luckily, the US Department of Transportation has been tightening requirements on what airlines need to do when overbooking a flight, increasing compensation and requiring airlines to suss out volunteers first.

This means that getting bumped involuntarily is becoming rarer, but it’s always possible.?

Here’s what you’re entitled to if you get bumped off a flight involuntarily:

A written statement outlining your rights

The US Department Of Transportation requires airlines to give involuntarily bumped passengers a written statement regarding their rights, which also explains how the airline decides who gets bumped and who doesn?t. Some airlines bump those who paid the lowest fares (effectively punishing successful bargain hunters), others those who checked in last. Make sure to ask for yours before leaving the gate so that you have a paper trail.

Cold, hard cash

Bumped travelers should receive either ?denied boarding compensation,? in the form of cash or a check, or free tickets and dollar-amount vouchers for future flights. The dollar amount varies, and depends on how much you spent on your ticket and how long your delay is. However, savvy travelers should insist on checks rather than travel vouchers, as the latter is often riddled with stipulations and blackout dates. ?

However, if the airline re-books you on another flight and your delay is less than an hour, you’re not entitled to any compensation whatsoever. This counts for both domestic and international flights.

If your delay is less than two hours, you’re entitled to double the price of your one-way fare

If the airline re-books you on another flight and you arrive at your domestic destination within two hours (or between one and four hours for international destinations) of your originally scheduled arrival, then you are entitled to 200% of the one-way fare you paid to get to your final destination. That said, there?s a $650 cap.