Are You Involuntarily Bumped From Your Flight? You Might Be Entitled for a Compensation

Are You Involuntarily Bumped From Your Flight? You Might Be Entitled for a Compensation
Are you involuntarily bumped from your flight? A TikTok video revealed that passengers who have been involuntarily denied boarding in a flight will receive compensation from the airline. Photo : YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Are you involuntarily bumped from your flight? A TikTok video revealed that passengers who have been involuntarily denied boarding in a flight will receive compensation from the airline.

However, it is worth noting that there are several criteria that a passenger should meet to be eligible for the payment.

Involuntary Denied Boarding Compensation for Passengers

In the video posted by well-known social media influencer and lawyer Erika Kullberg, she shared in a form of a short scenario on how passengers can get paid after they are involuntarily denied boarding.

The video started when Kullberg asked the airline staff about her situation after noticing that she was involuntarily bumped from the flight that she was supposed to be on. Afterward, the staff replied that the airline have overbooked the said flight.

Moreover, the airline staff said that they basically sold more tickets than the offered seat on the airplane. However, they did not anticipate that everyone who booked the flight will show up.

After Kullberg was told about this, she then asked the staff what would be the solution for this matter. The airline staff informed her that she will be booked on the next flight, adding that there is nothing else she can do.

Since the lawyer read the law about onboarding, Erika replied to the staff that this issue is called "Involuntary Denied Boarding" and she argued that compensation must be done.

With that being stated, she was asked if how much money she wants to have for the compensation. Before giving the right price, Erika asked what time her next flight would be.

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Surprisingly, the next flight leaves in three hours.

Based on the US Department of Transportation's terms, Erika insisted that she is entitled to four times the cost of her one-way fare since it is more than a two-hour delay. To put it into context, her one-way fare costs $250, which means she will get $1,000 plus the said booked flight.

   @erikakullberg What airlines don’t want you to know about getting “bumped” ##lawyer ##travel ##money  ♬ original sound - Money Lawyer Erika     

As of writing, the posted video has more than 27 million views and above 4 million reactions.

What Is Involuntary Denied Boarding?

When an airline requests volunteers to give up their seats and travel on another flight, there are frequently insufficient volunteers, per the US Department of Transportation.

However, the airline will pick people to give up their seats if no one has volunteered. This is known as "bumping," or "involuntary denied boarding."

While it is legal for airlines to evict passengers from an overbooked flight if there are not enough volunteers, it is the airline's duty to select its fair seating priorities.

In addition to this, an airline may also deny customers a place on an aircraft based on criteria established by the company, such as the passenger's check-in time, fare paid or frequent flyer status.

However, the criteria cannot cause an unfair or unjustified bias or disadvantage to a traveler.

For instance, a passenger's race or ethnicity could not be used as a criterion by an airline.

With regards to the compensation that Erika has received, the US Department of Transportation clarified that an airline is obligated to reimburse passengers after involuntarily bumping them off an oversold aircraft. There are, however, several instances in which passengers are not entitled to compensation.

Some of these are aircraft change, weight and balance, downgrading, charter flight, small aircraft, and flights departing a foreign location.

Who Are The Passengers Eligible To Involuntary Denied Boarding Compensation?

For those who have given up their seats on an oversold flight, the Department of Transportation listed the following criteria to be considered for compensation:

  • A reservation that has been confirmed.
  • Flight was on schedule, and the passenger checked in.
  • Passenger was on time for the flight.
  • The airline will not be able to get the passenger to their destination within one hour of the scheduled arrival time.

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