The Essentials

Your Rights If Bumped From Flight

Do you really know your rights if you are bumped from a flight?

First, the amount of compensation you can receive can be as much as $10,000, especially if you are denied boarding involuntarily.

But if you volunteer to be bumped off a flight when the airline asks if anyone wants to give up their seat, it becomes a bargaining situation. It happens when an airline overbooks a flight.

In the past, airlines would give vouchers or future flight credit in the dollar amount agreed. But current regulations require the airline to give you cash if you request it. And some airlines are doing just that — in the form of visa gift cards that can be used for any purchase.

One caution is if you use the card for an amount less than the value of the card, you may not get to keep the difference, so always make your purchase for more than the card value, then pay the difference.