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United overbooking - new tricks?

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We booked a UAL flight 6 months in advance. We had a connection in Denver to another airlines. Now 3 months before the trip, United says the flight is "rescheduled" to an earlier time unacceptable to us. We know our flight has been fully booked for a while because a friend tried to make a reservation on the same flight and she had to book the earlier flight.

United penalizes travelers who change their flights - but United overbook and move people around without giving them compensation.

They sent us a "rescheduling" note with a request to: "Acknowledge & Accept the changes" - when we know it is not a rescheduling but a BUMPING without compensation. They are probably making more money from people who have to switch flights and are paying dearly to get on our flight.

Is this intimidation? What if we do not "accept" to be bumped? anyone with that type of experience or is it the beginning of a new low in Airlines/United treatment of passengers?

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