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Navigating Flight Bumping: What Every Passenger Should Know

Tandem Staff

Ever been bumped from a flight? More formally known as involuntary denied boarding, this is when you're not able to board the flight you're scheduled to take due to the airlines overbooking the flight. And if the airline isn't able to get you to your destination within one hour of the original arrival time, you may be entitled to compensation. Under US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations all major airlines like Delta, American, United, Southwest, and JetBlue must compensate passengers for involuntary denied boarding. 

Getting bumped can really throw a wrench in your travel plans. Before your next flight, know how to navigate the ins and outs of flight bumping so you can handle the situation like a pro... and get paid when you should.

Understanding Flight Bumping

Ever wondered why airlines sometimes sell more tickets than they have seats? It's all about maximizing profits. This practice, known as overbooking, helps airlines ensure that they fill every available seat on a flight. However, it can lead to situations where passengers are bumped from their original flight and placed on a later one.

Know Your Rights

If you find yourself bumped from a flight, you're not entirely out of luck. The US Department of Transportation has regulations in place to protect passengers in these situations. According to these rules, if the airline can't get you to your destination within one hour of your original arrival time, you may be entitled to compensation.

Determining Your Compensation

The amount of compensation you're entitled to depends on various factors, such as the length of the delay and whether your flight is domestic or international. For example, if you're stuck waiting for three hours or more, you could receive up to four times the cost of your one-way ticket. This compensation can come in the form of a travel voucher or even cash, depending on the circumstances.

Limits on Compensation

It's essential to be aware that there are limits on the amount of compensation airlines are required to provide. In most cases, the maximum compensation amount is capped at $1,550. Keep this in mind when discussing compensation with airline staff.

Taking Action If You're Bumped

If you find yourself bumped from a flight, don't panic. Stay calm and approach airline staff to understand your options and ensure you receive the compensation you're entitled to. Be sure to document the details of the incident, including the length of the delay and any conversations with airline personnel, as this information may be useful when claiming compensation.

Understanding your rights as a passenger is essential when it comes to flight bumping. By familiarizing yourself with the regulations and knowing what you're entitled to, you can navigate such situations with confidence and ensure fair treatment from airlines. So, the next time you're bumped from a flight, remember to advocate for yourself and claim the compensation you deserve.

Safe travels!


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