Travel expert explains what to do if you’re ‘bumped’ from flight

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Cody Candee, CEO and founder of Bounce, explained what tourists should do if they are bumped from a flight. This usually happens if an airline has sold too many tickets for the flight.

Cody said: “You may not think flight bumping would happen often, but it is sadly more common than one would perhaps think.

“Airlines will often strategically overbook plane seats to compensate for losses caused by passengers who may cancel at the last minute, miss check-in or simply not turn up.

“However, while passengers are typically none the wiser, there are times when such plans fail and airlines are consequently faced with a surplus of passengers, in comparison to available seats.

“The duty then falls upon the airline to determine who is bumped from the plane.”

Although it might seem hard to believe, airlines often overbook flights to ensure the plane is full if some people cancel.

This means that in the rare cases where everyone does turn up, some passengers will need to be kicked off the flight.

Cody said: “Seat bumping announcements typically take place at check-in, or at your flight gate.

“Primarily, passengers will be asked to voluntarily give up their seats, this is often in return for compensation.

“You should always check what the offered compensation consists of to avoid disputes. If there are not enough volunteers, the airline must then decide which passengers to bump.

“Commonly, passengers that are bumped first are those that checked in the latest or did not pre-pay for an assigned seat. If you are seat bumped involuntarily the airline must also compensate you.”

Passengers will usually be offered money to switch to a later flight and may also be offered a hotel room if they need to stay an extra night.

Occasionally passengers may need to transfer to another city and catch another flight to reach home which they will be compensated for.

Despite the offer of compensation, there may be times when none of the passengers want to give up their seat.

If that happens, the airline will be forced to bump some of the passengers and these will usually be people who checked in last.

Cody added: “Compensation can include rescheduled flights, upgraded tickets, airline vouchers and full refunds.

“It is also important to note that most travel insurance packages do not cover seat bumping, whereby it falls upon the airline to help bumped passengers source alternative arrangements”.

Tourists should check the compensation offer before offering to change their flight to make sure it’s a good deal for them.

The quietest times of day to fly are usually early in the morning or late at night and passengers are less likely to be bumped from those flights.

Flights in the middle of the week are also quieter than those on Fridays or at the weekend.

If an airline does bump a passenger, the person could try to get back on the flight if they have a very good reason for travelling at that time.

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