Have you ever been bumped from a flight? But here comes the question in our minds about what exactly is bumping. Don’t worry in this blog, I will discuss bumping what are the causes of bumping, what you should do if you see yourself in this situation and how can you avoid this situation in the future.
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What exactly is Bumping?
Airlines sell more tickets than the total capacity it is because many people cancel their tickets at the last moment due to which a lot of seats are left empty and this results in a loss for airline. That’s why more tickets are sold to overcome this problem, however sometimes all the passengers come and in this situation airline has to ask passengers to voluntarily leave but if the passengers do not agree they have to forcefully adjust some passengers seat in some other flight with some compensation. This is called bumping in an airline.
Bumping can be done voluntarily and involuntarily.
Voluntary bumping means you reach the airport and you get to know that your flight is overbooked and you are asked to give up your seat by your consent with some compensation. If the passenger agrees, he will be given some benefits and his seat will be adjusted at some other time.
If the passenger agrees on giving his seat, he should ask the airline when he will be given a seat next time and if he wants to use the ticket, some other time for e.g. during holidays or weekends can he use it on that day because most of the times that ticket is not applicable or allowed to be used on holidays so inquiry is a must. If you are given a voucher, ask for its expiry date.
Similarly, if you are offered a seat on a plane which is delayed, you should also ask about will you will get free meals, free hotel room for stay and travel facilities from the hotel to airport. These things are very important to ask because if you are not provided these facilities with a reduced ticket fare, then what is the benefit for you to give your set to anybody else voluntarily?
Sometimes in case of an overbooked flight no one will give his/her seat to the airline voluntarily, so in this case the airline has to involuntarily select some passengers and bump them. The criteria for removing passengers is based on passenger check-in time. If he had checked in before that time, he will not be bumped similarly. If a person is a regular customer of that airline, he will not be removed involuntarily. Passengers cannot be removed based on race.
If you have checked in before and your boarding pass is accepted, you cannot be removed from the flight unless there comes a safety and health issue or if your behaviour is not good.
If you are involuntarily bumped, then it is not necessary you will be given compensation. Below are some of the points at which you will not be given compensation:
- If an aircraft is changed due to safety reasons (a smaller plane is replaced by a larger plane with more capacity).
- if you are bumped due to weight restrictions.
- if the passenger is transferred to a lower class from a higher class, then he will only be given the money which is equal to the difference between upper and economy class.
The following are the situations where you will be given compensation if you are involuntarily bumped from a flight.
- you have a confirmed reservation
- you checked in for the flight on time.
- you arrive at the departure gate on time.
- if you arrive at your destination over one hour late.
How to Get Bumped
If you want yourself to be bumped from a flight, reach the airport early and ask the gate agent if you can be on the bumping list. If your flight is overbooked or if it is booked during a special holiday time like Christmas, Easter etc, you have more chances to get yourself bumped.
Another trick is to reach the airport very close to your departure time and continuously ask the gate agent after some time interval if you can get bumped from a flight. If you have booked your flight near a holiday or festival, you have a better chance of getting yourself bumped.
Make sure that if you want to bump your flight and enjoy the perks, you have to book your flight early so that you can reach your destination way in time. Sometimes the next flights are not scheduled in a few hours it make days also if it is an international flight, so keep this thing in your mind if you are looking to get bumped. More importantly, ask before getting yourself bumped whether you will be provided a hotel room food travel facility from hotel to airport.
Compensation received on getting bumped
Passengers who are bumped can get compensation, but the amount they receive depends on certain conditions.
- Price of ticket
- Was the ticket economy class or upper class
- How much time is your flight delayed
- Was it a domestic or international flight
If you are on a short flight and you experience a delay of more than 1hour, the airline will pay you double the amount of your ticket fare, but it will be limited to $775. Similarly, if the delay is more than two hours, you will get 4 times the amount of your ticket fare but it will be limited to $1550.
If you are on an international flight, in this case, if your flight is delayed by 1-4 hours, you $1550 receive 2 times the amount of your ticket up to $775. Moreover, if you experience a delay of over 4 hours, you will receive 4 times more than your airfare up to $1550.
Now the point comes when will you receive the compensation. The answer is pretty simple: the airline has to pay you the same day for your compensation; if your adjusted flight left before you receive compensation, then the airline has to pay you within 24 hours.
Misc Reasons which can get you removed from flight
There are a few reasons which can get you removed from the flight which are listed below:
- Rude or toxic behavior during with support staff or passengers.
- Possession of illegal drugs
- Smell bad or offensive if it is not because of illness.
- Interfere with the duties of crew members.