It’s a rare case in traveling, but sometimes an airline needs to modify the number of people on a flight. Technically, the pilot has legal authority over the plane and those on it. However, some are confused as what to do when they’re bumped from a flight. Here’s what to do if you need to get bumped from your flight.


Photo by Harry Knight on Unsplash


What Is a Bump

Airlines are exceptionally efficient at booking seats on a flight. Every now and again, a flight becomes overbooked and that means people need to be bumped or taken off. Research finds that 90% of bumps are successful, meaning that those singled-out comply with the airline’s new assignment.


How Does the DOT Figure-In

Some believe that it’s the Department of Transportation’s fault or they it is somehow involved, but the department is only indirectly involved. It urges airlines to compensate fliers who are inconvenienced. It does not, however, guarantee that you will complete your trip as previously scheduled. Each airline’s fine lines within their passenger agreement differ. But, basically, an airline is not violating your rights by bumping you.


What’s It Like

The doctor who was dragged out of his seat and through the aisle made national attention. While the airline was working within the law to do so, they erred in not asking for volunteers first. Yes, you could be the one singled-out, but it usually doesn’t happen when someone is already on the plane. Mostly, such things are negotiated before passengers board.


What Can You Do

As stated, seldom is a person singled-out, doesn’t want to be bumped, and has no other options. While the DOT does not guarantee you compensation, airlines will often offer money, upgraded future flights, and hotel accommodations in exchange for you to willingly give-up your seat. It’s rare for a passenger and an airline not to come to agreed terms.


Don’t Argue

As stated, the airline reserves the right to bump passengers, and depending on terms of your ticket purchase, they may not need to give you a “good” reason. At this point, you should focus on negotiating rather than arguing with them. You won’t win a rights argument but if you stay level-headed you may get more cash or incentives. If you get bumped with pre-established reservations, contact your Marriott North Scottsdale for customer service.


What You’re Owed

There are some limitations to what you’re owed. For example, if an airline can get you to your intended destination within one hour of the original time, you’re not owed additional compensation. As mentioned, you could always negotiate. The time allowance is different for international flights. You could also get twice the price for your original ticket.


Know the Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the normal rules. For example, rules vary for aircrafts that hold less than 30 people. Also, regulations are different for international flights. Also, if the bump is a result of an airline using a smaller aircraft to meet safety standards, then there will be abnormal circumstances related to the bump.