Monday, April 26, 2010

Compensation for Overbooked Airline Flights

Compensation for Overbooked Flights

One of the reasons that I am a life long learner and that I continue to take classes is that my colleagues and fellow students are so SMART! I learn so much from them. Here is a response to a Blackboard discussion question that Kelly Sims wrote. Verizon is currently the beneficiary of the services of this bright lady. This is information that I did not know and that I think we could all benefit from.

“Interesting that you brought up overbooking flights. Airlines are starting to do this more and more since they are trying to cut costs. They want to make sure they have 100% occupancy. I remember when I used to fly prior to 9-11 and I almost always had an empty seat in my row. Now, you hardly ever see an empty seat. According to an article by Knight-Ridder, an average of 50,000 passengers are bumped by the nation's ten largest airlines every year.

Legally, airlines are allowed to overbook and bump passengers. The Department of Transportation has rules governing airlines regarding overselling flights.

The airline must give you a written statement of your rights which explains who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn't. If you get bumped, what do you get in return. The following guidelines are used. If the airline provides substitute transportation:

• within an hour of your original flight - you do not get compensated

• one to two hours late on domestic flights or one to four on international - the airline must pay at least the equivalent of your one-way fare to your final destination, $400 max.

• more than two hours late domestically or more than four internationally, or if the airline doesn't make substitute arrangements, the compensation doubles, with an $800 ceiling.

Thanks, Kelly! Knowing this should keep the airlines on their toes!

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