Just a few short months ago, a passenger was famously bumped off a United flight, sparking an international outrage which highlighted the practice which can occasionally happen when airlines overbook flights.
Unfortunately, it is all too common that passengers are bumped off flights due to overbooking, generally when airlines expect a set percentage of passengers not to bother turning up for their journey. More often than not it happens on budget airlines, especially when tickets have been sold at a very low price, however as we’ve recently seen, it’s something which can, in reality, happen when travelling with any airline and it’s important that passengers are aware of their rights as well as understanding ways in which they can prevent it happening to themselves and their families.
Thankfully, SilverDoor Apartments recently launched a fantastic infographic which looks at showcasing how to ensure it isn’t you who doesn’t get a seat, with a few simple to follow tips and areas of common sense, and we’re pleased to share it here:
It’s all well and good knowing how not to get bumped off, however what if the worst happens and you end up being the one who it happens to? What are your rights? Are the airline allowed to do it? Do they have to compensate you?
The bottom line is that, yes, airlines do generally have the right to deny passengers entry onto a flight, however they must have good reason. Although, passengers do have right which they can exercise if they find themselves in such a situation.
Overbooking isn’t as common as many would make out but it does happen and it could happen on a flight which any one of us is booked onto. In the event that it happens, the airline must first ask for volunteers to remove themselves, often giving generous compensation. If no one will volunteer, however, the airline must state your rights AND rebook you onto another flight as well as paying out compensation if the bumping causes a delay.
Of course, no one wants it to happen to them but always ensure you’re fully prepared should the worst happen, know your rights and how an airline can act and we’re confident you’ll be one of the lucky ones next time you travel.