Overbooked flights happen with some regularity lately and many travellers are ignorant of their rights when they are involuntarily bumped. This time of year, the peak of summer and several holidaymakers are in search for flights. Not referring to the later flights –these are between you and the airline which mostly results in a voucher worth an agreed-upon amount. In this case, assure what your voucher’s restrictions are, before making your deal.
Travellers are denied from boarding because of overbooking, not because let’s say a smaller aeroplane must be substituted due to a mechanical issue, or an inbound plane is grounded in another city due to air traffic control. If this happens Airlines owe you money, not vouchers!
In case you are not accepted on board, it is similar to a cancellation of your flight due to weather; with a result that the airline is not expected to refund you.
The least affected
Elit members of frequent-flier programs are mostly the least likely to be involuntarily bumped. Airlines are reluctant to upset their loyal passengers. This means that it is compulsory for the rest of us to be aware of our rights and demand them.
How to React
You ought to fill-up a complaint with the Department of Transportation. The compensation (the check you expect to receive) if you react in time, could be 3 or 4 times the value of the original tickets –these are the new rules that were set by the DOT a couple of years back.
How to Avoid the Bump
It helps to be aware of how airlines decide which fliers to boot. The ones most likely to get bumped and the last to check in paid the lowest fare, and the ones not having an advance seat assignment.
When Offered Free tickets in return
Before you accept an airline’s offer of a free ticket in exchange for giving up your seat, be sure to inquire about any restrictions. Check if there are blackout dates. If the vouchers can be used only on a space-available basis. If it is transferable and if there is an expiring date stated.
Lastly, think to yourself…if a ticket you purchased doesn’t guarantee you a seat on the plane, what are the chances that a voucher will?
Worst Airlines – Oversale
The Worst Airlines List
Here’s the full list of the worst airlines and their rates, in terms of over-sale IDBs. And remember: just because you bought a ticket, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a seat!
- Southwest Airlines 0.99
- JetBlue Airlines 0.92
- American Airlines 0.64
- Frontier Airlines 0.58
- Spirit Airlines 0.58
- United Airlines 0.43
- Alaska Airlines 0.40
- Virgin America 0.12
- Delta Air Lines 0.10
- Hawaiian Airlines 0.05
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