The Essentials

Know Your Rights If You’re Bumped From a Flight

What are your real rights if you’re bumped from a flight?

After the infamous incident when a dentist was literally dragged off a United flight from Chicago to Louisville, the real rules of denied boarding were brought into focus, and some were actually changed.

The good news is that now, once you’ve actually boarded a flight, you can’t be pulled off a plane if the flight is oversold. Your seat is your seat, at least on that flight.

But what if you want to volunteer to get bumped and want to give up that seat?

Then, it becomes a fluid negotiation, and under the new rules you can receive up to $10,000. One important caution is that as you might suspect, few passengers ever hit the $10,000 jackpot.

And before you give up that seat, no matter what the airline is offering, find out the next flight where you can get a confirmed seat. Isn’t that why you boarded the plane in the first place?