How to deal with being bumped from your flight

The airline industry continues to struggle to keep customers happy with their travel plans, and being bumped from a flight is a major problem. These steps will help you avoid and deal with the situation if it comes up.
Crisis over staff shortages, overcrowding continues at Belgian airports
Crisis over staff shortages, overcrowding continues at Belgian airports / Anadolu/GettyImages

The holiday season continues as does the endless need to travel around the country and the world. Several concerns come with flying, and the lack of control that passengers must deal with each time. Getting bumped from your flight can be a huge issue, but passengers should recognize that there are things they can do to make the most of the situation. Here are the steps to take.

Getting bumped off a flight occurs when the airline oversells the tickets. It’s a ridiculous practice when airlines bet on some people missing the flight and when that doesn’t occur, someone must be bumped. Some happen voluntarily and some happen involuntarily. There are options you can take in the face of both.

We’ve all heard the airline staff looking for volunteers to get bumped from a flight. If you have flexibility in your travel plans, this is an opportunity for you to spring into action. Many airlines offer passengers compensation that can come in meals, accommodations, future flights, or even money. There are several regulations around exactly what amounts you will receive when it comes to voluntary bumping off a flight. Before you agree to any terms and conditions, be sure to get clear information from the flight attendant.

Then there’s the fear of involuntary bumping. This is when an airline must remove individuals from a flight because there aren’t enough volunteers. There are set standards of criteria based on such aspects as the price of tickets, boarding time, and frequent flyer status. In the situation that you are booked involuntarily, airlines are required to give you documentation that outlines the criteria of why you were bumped. The longer your arrival is delayed, the more you are entitled to be compensated.

The best way to avoid being bumped is to check in to your flight early and print your boarding passes at home. Also, make sure you have an assigned seat. That isn’t a 100 percent guarantee, but it is a step that you can take to make sure you’re in a better position to stay on the flight.

The holidays are already stressful enough. Preparing ahead and a lot of luck goes a long way in making sure you avoid as much as you can when getting on an airplane. If you find yourself in a situation where bumping occurs, take these steps to get the most out of the situation.

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