Crash Course: Airplane Rights [Overbooking]

As I'm sure most of you have seen, a man was dragged out of a plane forcibly on United last week. This had me thinking what actual rights do people have on Airplanes.

According to U.S. Department of Transportation:

"[Department of Transportation] requires each airline to give all passengers who are bumped involuntarily a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn't."

When the gentleman who filmed the passenger being dragged out of the plane spoke to CNN, he did not mention that United gave the passenger said paper describing his rights. As of today, United did not include in their statements that they gave the passenger their rights in writing.

If a passenger is asked to give up their seat due to overbooking, they are also entitled to money.

Now, what is this money I am talking about?

Didn't United offer the person/people who volunteered (well, more like inni mini minney mo it's you) would get $800?

Well, it's actually supposed to be a lot more than that.

So, why is that $800 United was offering an actual slap in the face to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines?

If the airline gets you on a plane that gets you to your destination within an hour of the original time you would have landed at your location - there is no actual concrete compensation guaranteed.

If the airline ends up getting you a flight that gets you to your destination 1-2 hours later than the time you would have arrived at your location - they have to pay you an amount equal to 200% of your one way ticket price (if you're sitting there wondering when anything ever went over 100% we're on the same boat). The maximum amount they give for 1-2 hour delay is $675.

If the airline ends up getting you a flight that gets you to your destination more than 2 hours later (4 hours later for international flights) than the time you would have arrived at your location - the compensation doubles to 400% of your one way ticket price. The maximum amount given is $1350.

As you can see, this is a lot more than the $800 United was offering.

The doctor would have went on a flight at 2:30PM the next day, so that would mean he is due to get a price nearing $1350 because he would have been at his location more than 2 hours later than his original time.

Now, why do airlines play this game of I'm going to pay you less than the guidelines say?
They basically hope & pray no one knows their rights and will take whatever small amount is offered.

An additional point - if you want to find your own way to said location rather than allowing the airline to reschedule you onto a flight after being kicked from the flight - you are entitled to a full refund of your ticket.

If you'd like to have the actual fine print and fold it into your phone case in case this ever happens to you it can be viewed here: Fly Rights | Department of Transportation

Know your rights so that they cannot be infringed upon due to lack of knowledge about said rights.

Also to note - Delta will actually compensate passengers up to $10,000 to give up your seat on overbooked flights.


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