Being bumped off a flight?

Jan 3rd, 2008, 09:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Being bumped off a flight?

My daughter just called and said that when she checked into her flight online they advertised that they are in an oversold situation and are looking for volunteers. I know nothing about this as I have worked for an airline for many years and have never really paid attention to what the agents offer.

I know that it used to be something like $400 and the next flight or something to that effect?Could someone enlighten me on what the "deal" is for being taking a bump. Thanks! She is excited but I am thinking that she really isn't going to use the ticket in the future and also her company paid for it-so does the money go to them?
dutyfree is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 09:52 AM
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First step will be to ask for volunteeers to take a later flight.
If they can fill their needs through that route, so much the better.
Usually, the compensation is a couple of hundred dollars worth of vouchers or a free ticket.

NO, the fact that her company ultimately paid for the ticket makes NO difference whatsoever. If she is the pax who is bumped, she gets the comp.

If the airline is unable to attract sufficient volunteers then they have to do an IDB, which means involuntarily denied boarding. This would be done on a basis individual to each airline, but the compensation would be set by the US government via things like the FAA.

Best, Dave
Dave is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 09:57 AM
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Often it is not CASH you get but voucher for future flight - make sure she knows what she is getting.

That said, getting voluntarily bumped is often a great way to get future flights for cheap or free - some people, when flight appears to be full, will quietly let gate agent know they are willing to be bumped. I have a friend who managed 3 consecutive free flights to/from Florida in the winter by volunteering.
gail is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for the help!
dutyfree is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 10:30 AM
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There's often a little gamesmenship to this. As noted, they often start off with a voucher, then offer more, such as money + voucher, if there are no volunteers I've seen it go quite high before there are any takers, but so far haven't seen an airline use the IDB, although they obviously will if necessary. Sometimes it's somewhat of a gamble when to volunteer, especially if you think they may raise the stakes but someone ends up volunteering before you. She should do what she's comfortable with.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:00 AM
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Vol bumps will get vouchers or free tickets. If it's a voucher then tell her to do it, if it's a free ticket then advize her to be careful. Most free tickets come with date embargoes, restrictions, etc. Vouchers can be used on any ticket.

Inv bump will get cash but in most cases it will be less then a voucher. Here is a nice explanation from DOT:

Involuntary bumping

DOT 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. Those travelers who don't get to fly are frequently entitled to an on-the-spot payment of denied boarding compensation. The amount depends on the price of their ticket and the length of the delay:

* If you are bumped involuntarily and the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to get you to your final destination (including later connections) within one hour of your original scheduled arrival time, there is no compensation.

If the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to arrive at your destination between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours on international flights), the airline must pay you an amount equal to your one-way fare to your final destination, with a $200 maximum.

* If the substitute transportation is scheduled to get you to your destination more than two hours later (four hours internationally), or if the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, the compensation doubles (200% of your fare, $400 maximum).

* You always get to keep your original ticket and use it on another flight. If you choose to make your own arrangements, you can request an "involuntary refund" for the ticket for the flight you were bumped from. The denied boarding compensation is essentially a payment for your inconvenience.

read more here:

That's the main reason the vol bump voucher is usually worth more than inv bump cash payment, at least to the bumpee. The airlines don't lose very much when they give out vouchers and even less when they give out free tickets.

Personaly I would never accept a free ticket. I would play the voucher game very carefully and don't push it too far and I would not give an airline a chance to inv bump me if I knew I was the lowest on the totem pole. Inv bumps go according to fare paid, time of check in, having a seat assigned, etc.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:09 AM
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btw, I have been a witness to a $600 voucher offer and they just needed 1 person. ORD-HNL. Nobody volunteered. It went up to $800 and still nothing so the airline inv bumped a pax and gave her $200 in cash and a flight that got her to HNL ~2 hours later. It wasn't pretty at the gate desk. The pax screamed, yelled, cursed.

She should have grabbed the $800 voucher.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:23 AM
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It's also a good idea to look up for the latest bumps offered on many airlines.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2008, 03:33 PM
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I voluntarily accepted an offer when I was flying BOS to LHR. I actually got on the plane & then decided to take the deal. I think the voucher was $700.00 (in that area anyway) plus hotel for the night & 2 meal vouchers and taxi to the hotel.

It was an evening flight & I left the next AM and really didn't miss much of my vacation since I didn't have jetlag with a daytime trans-Atlantic flight. I was on a mileage upgrade & still got the upgrade the next day. I always wonder if I could have parlayed it into a first class flight but decided not to push it.
Carrybean is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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While I have always had much better offers when at the airport and the airline was more desperate, they may not offer that much to someone in advance. Their point in bringing it up early (at online check-in) is to try to save money.

I once had an email from Northwest that my upcoming flight was overbooked and they were looking for volunteers. But they were only offering $50.

Keith is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Id wait to get to the airport.

In regards to it being on business, she needs to check with her company. If I am on business, I cannot volunteer to get bumped. It is against Corporate Policy. Its due to the fact, you may not get to your destination on time or extra charges will occur.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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After a relativeís (employed at Hawaiian Air) fpís (friends/family pass coupons) decreased, fine by me because I hated flying stdby. Iíve since look for voluntary bumps on any HNL bound flight. Which is another reason I board last (used to stdby) and donít announce Iíll take voluntary bump.

I donít take first and second offers and even when they call my name to board, Iíll negotiate. If they say no, then Iíll board my flight.

The best I got was $800 voucher, $200 cash, a night at a nearby hotel (lax raddison), first class seat on the next flight and car ride home, this was in 2000. Another one was $600, vip lounge, lunch and dinner coupons and first class seat on the last flight home.

Others have been $400 vouchers and a coach seat on the next flight.
kauai_aka is offline  

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