Turn to Tara: Know your rights if you get bumped from a flight

What are your rights when this happens? What are you owed?

Tara Rosenblum

Dec 15, 2022, 1:03 PM

Updated 519 days ago

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You've paid for your ticket, arrived at the airport, and now it's time to board. But instead of buckling up, you're told there are no seats left on the plane.
After the Turn to Tara team helped a family get a $6,000 refund from Frontier Airlines, after they were bumped from a flight, the team heard from hundreds of viewers with questions, including:
What are your rights when this happens? What are you owed?
First, the bad news. Turns out, it's perfectly legal for airlines to bump you, and oversell their flights, banking on people to miss them.
But the good news is, in most non-weather related cases, you're eligible for considerable compensation. Here's what you need to know:
If you have a confirmed reservation and checked in on time for a domestic flight, and the airline can't get you to your destination within an hour of your original time, you're entitled to 200% of a one-way fare for a maximum payout of $775. If the wait is over two hours, you'll get 400% or $1,550 whichever is less. The airline has to give you cash - not vouchers.
Payouts for most international flights are slightly different. You'll get 200% of a one-way fare for a one to four-hour delay, and 400% for delays over four hours.
As for tips on how to avoid getting bumped in the first place?
- Make sure you have a seat assignment. And if one isn't available, when you book your ticket, call a few days before the flight and see what's opened up.
- Be sure to check in early - at least an hour before the flight - and get to the gate on time.
- Download your airline’s app to your phone.
Got a problem? You should Turn to Tara. HERE'S HOW.


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