With all of the negative press major airlines have been receiving lately for their treatment of paying customers, it’s not hard to imagine what you would do if something similar happened to you while traveling. From flight cancellations to lost luggage, what exactly are you entitled to as a passenger of an airplane? And what rights do you automatically terminate when you purchase your ticket or board the aircraft? To help clarify these issues, we’ve detailed 4 common scenarios and what your rights are for each situation.
1. If you get involuntarily bumped from your flight
Airlines frequently over-sell seats on their planes to make up for inevitable “no-show” passengers. This, in of itself, is not an illegal practice. When an airline overbooks a flight and there aren’t enough seats for all of the passengers, the Department of Transportation requires that the airline ask passengers individually if anyone would be willing to voluntarily give up their seat in exchange for compensation. If enough people volunteer, you’re in the clear. But even if you don’t volunteer (and no one else does,) it is possible that you could STILL find yourself bumped off of your flight, even if you are in desperate circumstances.