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6/2/2010 15:06

I wholeheartedly support all of DOT’s efforts to make the bumping process more transparent and provide air travelers with the ability to make a more informed decision. I was under the impression, however, that part of the formula the airlines use to predict the amount of ticket oversales is inaccurate, as it goes by calendar date without regard to weekday (or possible holiday), and thus, doesn’t take into account variations such as travelers being more likely to miss an early Sunday morning flight out of Vegas than a Tuesday morning one. Is this true? If so, is there any way that the DOT can require airlines to improve the formula to help keep costs and ticket prices down while still helping to resolve the ticket oversale issue?

    6/3/2010 14:09

    The airline should compensate passengers who get bumped the full fare it would cost at that particular point of time for the customer to buy a ticket on that airplane.

    Otherwise, airlines will bump passengers who paid a lower fare.

    As a result, for example, if I paid $200 for a ticket and a different passenger paid $800 for a seat on the same airplane and class of service, the airline would have a clear incentive to bump me and not the other passenger – all else equal.

    In addition, the airline should compensate the bumped individual for the time they wasted because the airline bumped them. One imperfect way to set a fair amound could be to divide the individual’s salary by 40 h/wk and 50 work weeks per year.

    6/3/2010 19:26

    Thanks for the comment dhoic.

    Do you think that there should be a cap on the compensation amount as proposed by DOT? Or would you suggest that this should be uncapped.

    6/4/2010 04:58

    There should definitely be a cap and not this hideous amount between $800 and $1200. $400 is enough compensation and is probably a fair average of a one-way fare. I checked in a passenger on a $98.00 fare from east coast to Las Vegas the other day; I hardly think he should get $800 or up to $1200 to “compensate” him if he were bumped. Does this country allow airlines (businesses) to run as a business and not a bank ?

    6/5/2010 00:38

    I agree with Msolo and frequentflyer comments

    6/4/2010 12:08

    Regardless of the formula used by airlines to compensate bumped passengers or even if flights are delayed for over 3 hours that fact remains ailines are not forthcomiong with passengers about their rights. Example: Flight delay due to mechanical problem with an anticpated wait time of 3 hours. Technically the airline is required to compensate passengers with a meal voucher. It’s been my experience you’ll get the voucher but only if you ask. Many families & individuals traveling are on a budget – that 3 hour delay can kill a budget for unexpected meals. Airlines should be required to announce and post on the gate flight board that passengers can claim a meal voucher during the delay. Vouchers ahould be handy to the airliner’s customer service staff at the gate.

    It’s all about establishing systems that are clear and protocol is established. That means if a flight is delayed longer than 3 hours or a passenger is bumped as system is in place that is tranparent to airline personell and airline customers. No tiny font but rather written in a conspicuous place, in large font, and clear to all what the policy is, how it is applied and what process is used for a passenger to receive compensation – be it a meal voucher or for being bumped. Clear and understandable to all with no opportunity for any airline or passenger to work the system.

    6/4/2010 13:07

    Thank you for your comment – many people are concerned about the lack of clear and understandable rules on what passengers’ rights are. The proposed rule makes some changes in requiring what airlines tell passengers, at Section 250.9. Do these changes go far enough?

    6/27/2010 14:11

    I think the airlines should provide printed handouts that detail passengers’ rights in case of bumping … written in simple English (and perhaps other languages, available upon request?) and in a legible font size. This would ensure that the information is consistent and thorough and would allow already-burdened gate agents to concentrate on other aspects of their jobs.

6/2/2010 17:25

One way DOT could help inform passengers of bumping process and compensation for voluntary (and involuntary) bumping is through the use of gate television screens. For example, at United Airline’s hub locations, they have television screens which clearly show the standby list, your place on the standby list, and how many have checked in. Adding another screen to televisions like this that indicate bumping may be an easy and effective way of implementing DOT’s new rule.

6/2/2010 17:27

Does it really make sense to require harried gate agents to explain aloud all the conditions to the person being bumped? Often in these situations there is a long line of people in similar positions or who need different kinds of help. Requiring the gate agent to recite a litany of conditions will probably just delay flights more. People can read the fine print; if they don’t, that’s their problem and they should deal with the consequences.

6/2/2010 18:00

Why is the bumping rule constrained by number of passenger seats at all? Doesn’t a lower seat requirement, while better, still unfairly burden those passengers who fly in the smallest commercial planes?

6/2/2010 20:22

Oops. Some people used the Site FEEDBACK button for their comments. Sorry about the confusion.

Here’s a comment left there by an unidentified participant. (If you submitted this comment and want to have it posted under your user name, contact us.)

I think airlines know well in advance which flights are subject to being over sold and have repeated bumping. For repeated bumping on the same flight same day of the week three or more weeks in a row, the specified compensation should double. Airlines should also notify passengeres when a flight is being significantly oversold and offer the denied boarding compensation in advance of the departure date for say 50% of the denied boarding compensation rate payable at the gate to reduce bumping from overbooking.

    6/2/2010 20:40

    This idea about the airlines contacting you ahead of time if the flight is oversold is potentially an interesting solution.

    What do you think about it? How would you feel if you heard from an airline the day before your flight telling you that your flight was oversold and you would not be allowed to board?

    6/2/2010 22:18

    I would prefer to be notified in advance and offered alternatives if I were being bumped rather than being blindsided at the airport. when it may be too late to explore other options.

    Perhaps the airlines could ask at the time of making the reservation, if the passenger would be willing to be bumped should the flight be overbooked. The overbooking policy could be posted on line or explained if making the reservation in person. The airline could call in adnvance and give the passenger their options (chance it that someone will be a no show, change the reservation) in addition to any required compensation.

    I feel compensation should be made in kind to the ‘currency’ used to purchase the ticket. I do not think it is fair for an airline to give miles in lieu of monetary compensation.

    6/2/2010 23:02

    Advanced notification would help to possibly get another flight. In a perfect world they would sell the number of seats they have.

    7/15/2010 15:41

    The problem can’t be solved this way. Airlines know ahead of time that flights are oversold, but they don’t know whether all ticketed customers will show up on time or at all. For example, recently I got a free roundtrip flight with frequent flier miles, even though I only needed a one-way trip (only a roundtrip was available for the frequent flier miles). Of course, I never showed up for the return flight, because I never intended to return. If this flight had been oversold, the airline would know ahead of time, but they would not have known that I only got a roundtrip flight because it was my only option.

    Airlines could send out a notice to customers that the flight had been oversold, but they can’t know until the customers have checked in/begun boarding whether all the ticketed customers are present or not. Unfortunately, there’s no way to give advance notice.

6/2/2010 20:24

Oops. Some people used the Site FEEDBACK button for their comments. Sorry about the confusion.

Here’s a comment left there by an unidentified participant. (If you submitted this comment and want to have it posted under your user name, contact us.)

Airlines should NOT be able to overbook flights on Domestic, Regional or International flights!!! This alone would put a huge dent in the UNFAIR practice of bumping passengers who expect the airline to get them to their destination in time and on the right flight. It is very inconvenient to have to contact friends and family at your destination that you will be arriving late or not at all because you were bumped. Friends and family on many ocassions have taken time off to meet you.

    6/27/2010 13:56

    I wonder whether anyone (airlines, DOT, academics) has researched the difference between what airlines might lose due to unused seats (people not showing up at the last minute) versus what they pay out in compensation for people who have been bumped?

    My guess is, given the airlines’ current lack of candor and transparency about passengers’ recourse, they must be profiting by current practices … otherwise they’d figure something else out.

    On the other hand, if there’s no clear analysis of this, maybe the airlines are waging an unnecessary war.

6/2/2010 21:58

Yes, ALL these DOT proposals should be enacted.

    6/4/2010 21:42

    I am trying to comment, see if this works

    6/4/2010 22:13

    Billup, it looks like your comment worked. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say on this rule.

6/3/2010 00:04

Compensation must be in fiat currency. Frequent flier miles and certificates offered as compensation are valued at the discretion of the airlines.

    6/15/2010 14:58

    Travel vouchers are similarly valued at the airlines’ discretion, even when a dollar value is specified. I was recently voluntarily bumped from a US Airways flight, after being promised that the travel voucher was good for flights with any of their codeshare partners. Star Alliance is a big codeshare group, right? Well … contrary to what the gate agent told me, the voucher is only good on US Airways-coded flights; and as I live in the Southwest, there’s a very good chance this voucher will expire worthless. Good for the airlines, not so good for me.

    (Why didn’t I refuse the voucher under these conditions? Because the gate agent would not give me the voucher – and let me read the fine print – until the plane had pushed back from the gate.)

    6/15/2010 18:13

    Thank you for your comment and sharing your personal experience with voucher based compensation.

    Were airlines to offer monetary compensation, how do you think the compensation should be calculated or capped, given the caps that the department has in mind?

6/3/2010 00:57

I believe these caps should benefit the consumers who are taken advantage of by the airlines.

However, I agree with another poster. Getting the funds in airline “dollars” doesn’t help those who travel infrequently and who expected (via their ticket purchase) to be on a flight to get to their destination.

As far as zero-fare tickets, they should have a choice between a cash refund (maybe 1/3rd of the value of the ticket if purchased) or airline miles doubled. This way if it were the travelers “last flight” for years, or ever, they can still be compensated for their “contract” with the airline being broke.

6/3/2010 14:25

When an airline “bumps” a passenger it is, in essence, “buying” that ticket back from the passenger to sell it to someone else, and then “purchasing” a new ticket for the bumped passenger on the next available flight. It follows that the airline should pay the prevailing market rate to purchase back the seat in the full flight.

6/3/2010 18:57

Make the compensation exactly what it is intended to be…the cost (or double the cost) of the ticket, no cap since there is no cap on how much you may pay for that ticket.
Frequent flyer miles should simply be refunded or a double amount refunded in the same way as a cash ticket is handled. Keep this simple and it will work much better.
On smaller flights, use the same rules. Again, keep it simple.
Best way to give passengers information is to post it online, on a legible sign in the gate area, and in print large enough to read on tickets. If people won’t take the time to read at least one of those sources then they only have themselves to blame for not knowing about this.

    6/3/2010 20:35

    JJMurray mentions the idea that there should not be a cap on compensation because there is no cap on ticket prices, what do others think about this? Is this too harsh of a penalty for airlines?

    6/3/2010 21:43

    Before talking about something being too harsh for the airlines, we have to decide what to do about the fact the airlines were all against a passenger bill of right. If they didn’t want something that would help it’s customers, then customers should push for the harshest punishment possible.

    6/3/2010 21:46

    Thanks for the comment Defsmc. Do you think that the proposed compensation caps are harsh enough? Would you be in favor of no cap on compensation?

    What do others think about not putting a cap on compensation?

    8/29/2010 18:16

    Rather than set explicit dollar amounts for compensation, just make it equivalent to or twice the cost of the ticket in question. That way, the compensation automatically tracks changes in air fares over time.

    It’s also worth noting that when I buy bus, train, or ferry tickets I pay up front and own the ticket (i. e., have entered into a contract with the carrier). If I miss the train, I lose. Why are airline tickets different? Why are airlines allowed to oversell flights as a matter of course?

6/4/2010 00:02

The proposed compensation for bumping should be such, that ailine companies would be motivated to keep on average 1 to 2 seats on any flight unoccupied – for other bumped passengers or emergency personnel to use. The compensation should, however, at least cover all consequential expences of the traveller besides fare. This way, a passenger will have maximum compensation that would still allow airline not raise fares because of this rule.
2. The compensation should not depend on the plane size.
3. The compensation should be the same for all tickets, zero fare or not.
4. All compensation options, as well as compensation amounts, should be announced to passengers when asking for volunteers.

    6/4/2010 00:21

    Thanks for your insightful comments, Msolo. What does the rest of the room think about the idea of keeping 1-2 seats unoccupied prior to flight? Should this apply to all flights?

6/4/2010 11:45

Compensation should be kept with a dollar amount basis, as the amount of the fare may not be suitable to cover expenses, such as food or lodging.
Smaller aircraft do need compensation, however it should be based on what the alternative travel options are. Typically, a smaller connecting flight will be either close to home, or close to the destination, where the traveler may want to opt for a rental car or taxi instead.
Zero-fare tickets may not need monetary compensation, as they did not pay out of pocket for the flight, but in addition to being re-booked, the miles or points redeemed should be credited back to the account. It would not be fair for people using zero-fare tickets to walk out with cash-in-hand.

The biggest issue with overbooking is that people are not informed of their options. The full flight information is not disclosed when the “next flight” time is given. I would like to see a printed overbooking/bumping policy at the agent counter available, as well as the agents being up front with the customers when asking for volunteers, such as, “We are overbooked by 7 passengers. We are looking for volunteers, etc…”

My recent experience with an overbooking, they were looking for volunteers, and I hesitated because I saw a few people already list their names. I did not know if they needed more. Also, they only announced that the next flight was just over an hour later. They did not mention the fact that the flight was not nonstop like the one we were listed on, but with a 5 hour layover.

    6/4/2010 12:50

    This is an interesting point on the rights of volunteers to be bumped. The proposed rule has requirements for written explanations by airlines, in Section 250.9. Should this be explicitly extended to those who volunteer to be bumped? Or are these rights not enough?

6/4/2010 12:25

An interesting point has been raised: compensation for bumping a passenger may be well above the combined cost of the original ticket price and the cost of having to change travel plans. Is this an unfair boon for passengers? Should the compensation match what the passenger actually ends up spending?

    6/15/2010 14:59

    Bumping compensation should apply to all carriers because of the increasing use of regional carriers to serve smaller markets and their no lesser disruptiveness and potential expense to the traveler.

    Passengers may lack check cashing privileges away from their home airport, yet face unplanned and likely elevated expenses after being “bumped.” They should have a mandatory option of cash payment. An credit card credit, if immediate, would be more secure and as useful to more passengers than either a check or cash.

    The proposed compensation limits are too low to provide an incentive to the airlines to limit overbooking and may be arbitrarily unfair to certain travelers. The Wall Street Journal recently re-proposed a 1977 proposal by the late economist Julian Simon of an auction that would offer bumped passengers a gradually rising reward for giving up their seat. The arguments are rather compelling. See the WSJ, June 8, 2010, “Auctions for Overbooking” or

    6/15/2010 18:23

    Thank you for your insightful comment and alternative suggestion. With regard to your comment on the caps, what do you think would be a better amount, in your opinion to limit overbooking, or, if as you say the auction scheme is a better alternative, how do you think the DoT should go about implementing and enforcing such a system for the airlines?

    6/19/2010 00:56

    The airlines will overbook so as to optimize their financial results under any given set of caps, so some passengers will still be involuntarily denied boarding on overbooked flights.

    An auction will more accurately price the delay and the sellers (the delayed passenger(s)) will be left with no complaint that it was involuntary. An auction would also force the carriers to face the cost of overbooking in customer dissatisfaction and better inform their flight scheduling decisions.

    I recall hearing seats being auctioned by progressive increases in the promised compensation by gate agents, but that was long, long ago and under far greater seat availability and lower probabilities of cascading delays and subsequent denials of boarding for those who took the compensation. Those procedures were surely regulated by DOT, (perhaps when the industry was more heavily regulated,) so perhaps those earlier rules should be revisited.

    7/18/2010 13:30

    Let’s keep in mind that a bumped passenger may miss a cruise ship departure, miss a connecting flight, lose a day (or sometimes more) of a prepaid vacation, or miss a wedding or funeral because the airline was greedy and didn’t want even one empty seat on their flight. If being bumped from a flight caused additional problems for the bumped passenger(s) then the passenger(s) should be able to submit proof of loss and the airline should have to compensate WITHOUT LIMIT in addition to the proposed penalties.

    I also like the idea of pre notification of bumping. It can cost well over $100 to get to an airport (for example, central NJ to JFK is about $150 and for a long vacation this is cheaper than airport parking). When a passenger is bumped and the next available flight is the next day this can mean an additional $300+ in travel costs.

    7/19/2010 13:20

    Should there be any requirement on the part of the passenger to notify the airline of such a connection beforehand? Otherwise, aren’t we making the airline an insurer for someone’s business and/or leisure plans? It may be that we want to do that–but what might be the costs associated with unlimited reimbursements?

6/4/2010 16:33

Look folks, it is simple. Airlines can’t afford empty seats on expensive jets burning expensive fuel. If you increase their costs, they either have to reduce their overbooking or pay the extra fees. Either which way, they will lose more money than they already are losing. If they don’t overbook, there will be more empty seats costing them revenue. What will the result be? Higher fares, even higher change ticket fees (or stop allowing change tickets altogether and if you miss the flight, oh well), airlines going out of business (less competition & more unemployment). In the end, the airlines are NOT going to pay these fees. The customers pay these fees. EVERYTHING flows downhill. PERIOD! The low man on the pole always loses and make no mistake but the taxpayers and customers are the bottom of the pole.

The rules should be simple. If you kick me off my flight, I should get a refund for that flight (not round trip) and be put on the next one at no cost. I’ve personally never been on a flight where people didn’t just volunteer based on the airlines’ attempt to bride passengers.

    6/4/2010 18:15

    Thanks for your comment. Do you think the airline should have a different policy for those for whom the trip will no longer be worthwhile now that their first flight has been canceled?

6/5/2010 00:24

I agree with all the proposals. But with the smaller regional jets and small number of flights out of my hometown airport, bumping may not allow me to get to my destination the same day or even the next day. There are additional considerations here, loss of vacation time as well as paying for hotel rooms not used and rental car days. Any thought about how we might get away from these charges.

6/8/2010 18:39

I do not think there should be a compensation cap. If a passenger is bumped from a flight and misses an important business meeting, high school graduation or wedding, there is no price that can compensate for that. Certainly not $1300. In addition, even if the entire flight fare is refunded (easily over $1300 on some long overseas flights), there are other costs that the bumped passenger could face such as non-refundable/prepaid hotel reservations or other travel and travel related expenses. If a passenger can prove that he or she has additional expense above and beyond what the airline offers and the government requires he or she should be awarded more compensation.

As for zero-fare tickets, for the same reasons above, I do not think compensating them with just miles is adequate.

Volunteering: I am happy to volunteer if there is some sort of compensation and I am not in a huge rush or too inconvenienced. I was especially happy to do so when a group of 50+ school students needed to get onboard together to fly from London to Dallas but the airline messed up. Volunteer opportunities and compensation should be posted/announced when one checks in (online, at terminal, etc.) and continue to be posted and announced for all to see/hear until the last minute and the airline has to bump involuntarily.

    6/8/2010 19:14

    Thanks, Kiminno. Note that the proposed regulation states that for delays longer then 2hrs, a passenger can receive compensation amounting to double the price of their ticket or up to $1300.

    I understand that you think that the cap is too low, but does this doubling of the price of the ticket address your concern that non-refundable expenses should be paid for as well?

    Or would you propose something like double the ticket price and expenses on top of that?

    At what point, if any, do you think it becomes unfair for the airline to have to pay these expenses?

    6/8/2010 22:50

    Compensation should be reasonable, but at least equal to the travelers’ actual monitary losses plus more for inconvenience. That could still be If the airlines can’t determine what is obviously reasonable, let the courts decide. Most judges aren’t stupid.

6/9/2010 19:16

There should be no discrimination in how a passenger is bumped or compensated just because they may have paid less for a ticket or used frequent flyer miles. Airline tickets are not lottery tickets. One does not purchase a ticket hoping to reach a certain destination. Same as if one pays $4 for a cup of coffee or $1, the cup is supposed to have coffee in it. The price does not dictate that “maybe” you will get the product or service. Also, the airline decides what prices or miles are used to purchase a promise to get you from point A to point B. If they can not afford to give a ticket for that price, they should not sell it. When you reserve a ticket, the assumption is that you will be taken from point A to point B by the times given by the airline. A passenger does not purchase a ticket just to see if maybe they can get somewhere because they have nothing better to do. If compensation is not high enough, the airlines will not have an incentive to schedule properly. It is not fair to allow airlines to discriminate against lower fared passengers or “free” passengers since it is the airline, not the passenger or government, who gave that passenger a seat. Otherwise, airlines can advertise low fares or con you into using them to build up your “miles” and then always bump you for someone who paid more. In away,it is the same as being able to increase your ticket price anytime after purchase. When you are bumped, there are a lot of hidden extra costs (unplanned meal purchases at high priced airport restaurants, shuttle or taxi fees because you missed your ride at the other end, increases in parking costs, etc.). It irks me that airlines seem to be treating passengers more and more as if they have nothing better to do but wait around in airports and not get to where the airline promised to bring them. Again, the airline sets the agreed price or miles for a seat, no one else. The incentives to the airline should be to get all confirmed passengers (regardless of price paid) to the destination promised.

    6/17/2010 19:52

    DOT’s objective in setting this rule should be to ELIMINATE all bumping, not merely achieve some (unspecified) reduction. Regardless of how many caveats an airline might state in its contract terms, passengers neither want nor deserve a ticket for an oversold seat. Bumping is a purely economic device that treats passengers as economic units devoid of humanity, like so many other aspects of airline behavior.

    From that objective, it follows that there should be NO cap on compensation and that the financial penalty to the airline should be strong enough to prevent bumping, not just keep it at some arbitrarily “acceptable” level. The 100% of the total ticket price for expected arrival within 2 hours later is reasonable. Compensation for a longer delay should be the GREATER of 200% of the total ticket cost or the passenger’s demonstrable out-of-pocket costs resulting from the delay (a) including any higher priced air ticket from the same or another carrier at the same class, and lodging, meals and incidentals at average prevailing prices in that metro area, and (b) with the obligation on the passenger to minimize those costs by arranging, with good faith help from the airline, an alternate flight or other means to get him or her to the destination as soon as reasonably practical.

    6/20/2010 12:43

    I absolutely agree with citizen_s. Just an additional comment, flying either domestic or international has become the most frustrating part of a travel package. It is difficult to feel human on any carrier these days and for the carrier to feel that overbooking is a right in order to protect them from losing money is obscene. Recently, when I checked in for my next day flight, I was alerted that my flight had been overbooked. This was the first time I have ever been pre-notified of actual overbooking even though I am aware it is considered by the carrier as merely conducting “business as usual”. When did it become okay to sell in good faith something you do not have in inventory to sell? Perhaps they can protect any loses by unbundling the amount of oxygen a passenger consumes inflight.

6/17/2010 20:07

I strongly support cash compensation for bumping passengers with zero-price tickets, e.g., those from frequent-flier programs. But to assure adequate compensation and prevent airlines gaming such a requirement, compensation should be at the average (cash) ticket price for that service class on that flight. DOT’s proposed rule using the lowest fare ticket would encourage airlines to bump those with zero-price tickets first, since that cost would be lowest. As long as they continue to offer tickets for miles, airlines should not be encouraged to treat passengers using those tickets as second-class when it comes to bumping. The growing scarcity of actual seats for miles — something that cries out for regulatory intervention — is bad enough.

    6/18/2010 01:52

    These are interesting proposals citizen_s. What does everyone else think? Are there other alternative approaches airlines could take?

    6/20/2010 20:50

    Is there any formula that says how much airlines can overbook? Should it be proportional to number of seats available? Also, what about bumping according to when the ticket was purchased? I plan well ahead of time and resent being bumped since I may have paid less. Zero fare passengers should most certainly be compensated in some way.

    6/30/2010 11:21

    Perhaps i am missing something here – If airlines are selling the seats for full price and people don’t show up for the flight, doesn’t the airline still pocket that money? And with the hubbub about the extra weight of luggage, wouldn’t having a few empty seats DECREASE the cost of the flight by increasing fuel efficiency?

    Like I said, I may be missing a key detail, but it really does seem like the airlines are gambling that people won’t show up and they can get paid twice for the same seat.

    If the airlines are refunding people based on them missing flights, perhaps stopping THAT practice and disallowing overbooking would solve the problem?? If someone is really worried about missing their flight and being compensated, they can buy trip insurance. The rest of us won’t have to worry about getting bumped. Win/win? I think so :)

7/11/2010 14:51

Bumping should require double compensation to the bumped passenger. The inconvenience and effort needed to rebook in today’s world are huge! One should be compensated accordingly. However, airlines should first be allowed to seek voluntary bumps and negotiate compensation with them. Only forced bumps should be compensated at higher rates.

7/12/2010 12:34

Let them overbook, but make it painful if they deny boarding. The suggested penalties are not strong enough. The penalty should apply to all ticket holders except for company employees traveling on free tickets as part of their job.

First and foremost, whatever the penalty it must be paid in check or credit to a credit card immediately at the gate. No more vouchers, which tend to be be worthless because of the airlines travel rules and restrictions.

The starting point for the penalty should be the full fare cost of the ticket in whatever class the original ticket was issued. So full Y, B, or F fare; no discount. It should include all fees and taxes that would apply to the ticket if purchased by the consumer. (This gets DOT out of the business of determining the value and worrying about inflation adjusted costs; the airline has already done the computation of the value of the ticket.) The consumer should also be booked at the airlines expense on the next available flight in the same class as the original ticket.

For every subsequent denied boarding for the consumer, they should get the same amount as the original payment to thus encourage the airline to get the passenger to their destination.

Airlines should not be allowed to offer any reduction to this penalty but could offer more in order to get passengers to deplane. Vouchers do not count; only cash incentives should be allowed.

The penalty should apply to any size commercial flight whether it be five, ten, or 300 seats.

Only when the penalty for over booking is truly onerous will the airlines stop this despicable practice. I have no sympathy for the airline as 90% of the tickets they sell are non-refundable and non-cancelable; so they cannot be used and the airline gets its money.

As to the argument that costs will increase, etc., then let the airlines sell a standby ticket which is not subject to these rules and penalties and let the consumer decide if they want to take the risk. However, knowing how the airlines work, no more than 5% of all tickets sold nor more than 5% of total seat capacity of the flight (whichever is less) should be permitted to be sold in this special category (otherwise they would immediately sell all their seats like this to avoid the penalties.)

Good luck. I don’t envy you up against the lawyers the airlines have on their payroll to say nothing of the pressure the airlines will exert on congress to get this watered down.

    7/12/2010 15:05

    Thanks for your comment, jdanilson, and welcome to Regulation Room. We will keep them in mind while creating our discussion summary. In the mean time, please share your thoughts on other portions of the rule.

7/13/2010 15:43

The discussion fails to take in to account the question, “does the airline industry deserve to be guaranteed profits?” What industry other then approved monopolies have this privilege. As consumers we are not given full information of costs, we can be bumped at the airlines discretion, and they can sell non-existent seats without fear of refund. The DOT is failing us by allowing airlines to over sell and issue non-refundable tickets. The DOT should require all tickets to be fully refundable (without hoops) and allow the airlines to oversell.

    7/13/2010 16:44

    Thanks for your comment, Fairness. We will keep them in mind while creating our discussion summary. In the mean time, please share your thoughts on other portions of the rule.

7/13/2010 16:33

I believe that the airlines should be required to pay 5 times the full ticket price (incld. surcharges, and anything that was added by city, state or federal governments) This will act as a disincentive and return sanity and civility to the experience. Payment should be required to be released immediately at the gate in the form of “as good as cash” medium upon being advised of bumping. Additionally, passengers should be rebooked in the first available flight on the airline of the customer’s choosing.

The non-revenue tickets should be considered as those that are bought. It is already impossible to travel on earned “miles” . If the airlines would guarantee 30-35% of the aircraft seating as mile redeemable priority seating that would be another story. But as it stands currently unless you are considering flying to a war zone in the middle of the night on Sunday you never can find a revenue free seat. The bottom line is that you cannot trust the airlines to be customer friendly until their actual revenue stream is threatened by thei bad behavior.

Small aircraft should not be over-sold, period!

Finally, along with the ticket and in the same size font full disclosure of bumping regulation should be provided. That way the customer has the information in hand and is able to ensure that he/she is properly advised.

7/19/2010 16:15

If you purchase a ticket and the airline cannot confirm a specific seat (as has happened to us) because the flight is oversold, they should not charge your credit card because you are actually flying standby. And they should have to tell you that you are flying standby. We were caught on a return flight without confirmed seats, and the “best” the airline could do was put my husband on one flight and make me wait for a later (who-knows-when) flight–even though we had a single car at the home airport and a very long drive home. Thankfully, a fellow passenger offered her seat and took a voucher.
In no other type of purchase do you make a reservation and pay full price in advance (usually with all sorts of restrictions on the BUYER) without any guarantee that you will get what you have already paid for.

7/19/2010 19:21


Let’s look at this logically: The airline knows when they sell a ticket; they know when they have sold the full number. Those passengers should be guaranteed a seat; NO EXCUSES. Any subsequent tickets sold should be sold as STANDBY with a ranking 1-n, first come; first served! Problem solved. If anyone wants to volunteer; use the approach below.


1. First ask for volunteers to receive the next available comparable or better seat on the airline or any other airline, the airline agents to make the arrangements and pay for the seat directly, the passenger to be reimbursed in cash or credit card for their anticipated out of pocket costs due to the delay + their total out of pocket flight costs, tickets, baggage checks, any other fees. If points were used they would be reinstated with new expiration dates.

2. Do a lottery, no limits, with at least (bidding starting at) the results in 1., above, cash or credit cards only; NO VOUCHERS, they’re almost impossible to use.

3. If they still bump someone the sky should be the limit, the results to be appropriate booking plus at least double the payout in 2., above.

The written guarantee should be:

1. If you volunteer; we will buy you a comparable or better ticket any airline, we pay your costs, and reinstate any points with extended expiration dates.

2. If there is a lottery, you will get a written agreement immediately.

3. If you are bumped we will buy you a comparable or better ticket any airline, we will reimburse you DOUBLE your total out of pocket costs, and reinstate any points with extended expiration dates.

4. If no comparable flights are available you will additionally be reimbursed for double roundtrip expenses from home to the airport or double overnight expenses and accommodations as appropriate.

Of course airline lawyers would attempt to make it five pages of weasel words.

7/25/2010 14:10

I have been the victim of a scam by a major airline – in which they “cancel” an over-booked flight by changing its departure time by a few minutes, then involuntarily put me on a different (and less convenient) flight, with no notice and no compensation. Luckily, I showed up at the airport early and was able to make my “new” flight, which was a couple of hours earlier than my original.

They denied any compensation for my inconvenience, of course. And when I contacted DOT, they told me that I could submit a complaint, but that they did not enforce airline compliance to Federal Rules. Another time, I had booked a round trip to Europe and was notified by the airline that they had cancelled the return flight I had booked – “we’re not flying that route that day of the week anymore” – well, they were at the time I booked the flight! As far as I am concerned, they had entered into a bargain when I booked the flight, and should be held accountable for keeping the bargain or providing compensation – I called, and they refused any compensation whatsoever – even though the “new” return flight would require my staying an additional night in Amsterdam (at $125 +), and an additional stop with long layover to get home.

I have two comments – one is that airlines be required to keep their end of a bargain made when a ticket is purchased, or be required to pay compensation. Simple as that.

The other comment is that DOT actually enforce the rules they make for airline operation. As far as I’ve been told, in the situations I’ve described, the airlines comply with rules at their own discretion. Sure, you can complain, but it does no good. I would like to be able to file a complaint with DOT and have some enforcement take place rather than having to go to court.

7/25/2010 19:14

My main problem is with the form of compensation. The last thing I want is a voucher, with numerous restrictions and an expiration date, from an airline I may never want to fly with again. I have received several of these over the years and have never used any of them. The DOT should require that debit cards be issued on the spot for the compensatory amount or perhaps an unrestricted voucher that any airline must accept and let the airlines work out amongst themselves how they will compensate each other.

7/26/2010 22:48

We run a retail store. What would my customers say if I tell them sorry we sold too many of the product you wanted and now you are out of luck. Go Away!
You know what would happen..the customer would get their lawyer or go to the better business bureau or TV station and cry foul.
So, why do we put up with airlines telling us, Sorry we are oversold? As if they can not keep track on their computers. We all know it is a gamble on their part to hope we do not show up and they can sell the seat twice.
Stop the practice now. It does not have to continue. There is no reason except for greed of the airlines. We know it does not keep ticket prices low. That is not the reason for doing it. If I sell a customer something and they do not take the item – I am ahead,
I still have their money. The same with the seat issue.

    7/27/2010 12:59

    Thank you for your comment, Amish. The DOT understands your position about completely banning overselling. Is it possible that increasing financial compensation to bumped passengers will be enough of a financial disincentive for airlines to fix the problem?

7/30/2010 23:09

This is ridiculous. Airlines should not be allowed to oversell flights. I have seen over my many years of travel, the everyday person who travels maybe once or twice and has no status with the airlines….get bumped. They have no power and the airlines could give a damm. I once saw an airline say to a mother that you could fly but your child needs to get the next flight.

8/1/2010 12:33

I recently booked a flight from Norfolk to Hilo, HI to visit my son who I hadn’t seen in 3 years. I have flown out of Norfolk numerous times for my job and it has never taken more than 15 minutes between the time that I arrive at the airport and am at the gate ready for departure. Signs in the airport say to arrive 30 minutes before a domestic flight HI is domestic because they do NOT serve any meals even though it can take 15 hours to get there. I arrived 59 minutes early and was bumped. I could not get another flight for 4 days, eating into my 7 day vacation. There was no backup at the check in counter or the security line AND the flight from Norfolk to Chicago was not full. I believe that I was bumped because the airline (we all know whose hum is in Chicago) was overbook on the flight from Chicago to Honolulu. I now travel with carry on only, print my ticket at home, and go directly to the gate. I arrive 15-30 minutes before the flight and have never missed my plane. I also avoid using the infamous airline hubbed in Chicago.

8/1/2010 12:36

I have experienced numerous delays through Atlanta due to “weather.” I have a friend in Atlanta and have called her on 5 different occasions asking her the weather. It has been clear, light winds, and no bad weather predicted. On 2 of these “weather” delays, mechanics were working on the aircraft. Weather delays need to be confirmed if airlines use them as an excuse to avoid finding you alternate ways to get to your destination.

8/1/2010 12:39

Kudos to Hawaiian Airlines. I was on a trip to attend my mother’s funeral and was delayed in Honolulu because of mechanical problems. Hawaiian Air ADMITTED that there were mechanical problems. I had 2 other connections which I missed. Hawaiian Air went out of their way to ensure that I was able to arrive at my destination 30 minutes prior to the funeral for my mother. Thank you Hawaiian Air for being truthful and compassionate.

    8/1/2010 19:49

    Thank you for sharing your experiences brooke.browne. If an airline carrier is honest about the problem causing the delay and makes attempt to rectify the situation but nonetheless is unable to, what kind of compensation if any do you think would be in order. Or do you believe that a good faith effort on the part of the airline carrier is sufficient?

8/2/2010 20:28

I think the new caps are high enough and don’t need to be eliminated at this time. On smaller flights it is reasonable to prohibit overbooking. I like the idea of the airline giving miles for zero fare tickets, but if you make this onerous the airlines will probably reduce their frequent flier rewards. It should not be hard for a ticket agent to disclose all the risks and information about a potential bumping.

8/4/2010 10:17

Who besides business travelers reserve at the last minute? Doesn’t every hip traveler book online and prepay with expedia or orbitz or another online service, even months in advance? If I’ve paid for a ticket on a given flight, either put me on that flight or give me adequate compensation, like food, drink and a hotel room if needed, until you can get me where I paid you to take me. As for weather delays, that is part of the business.

    8/5/2010 13:09

    Thank you for your comment. Do you think additional fees should be leveraged if a passenger is bumped to a next flight that causes him or her to miss an important event/connection?

8/4/2010 22:45

I think there should be no caps on amount airlines have to pay.

8/4/2010 22:46

DOT should prohibit oversales on smaller aircraft unless they can compensate passengers for being bumped. Zero fare customers should be compensated.

    8/5/2010 13:11

    Thank you for your comment. You mentioned you do not think there should be a cap on the amount airlines should have to pay. Other than that are there any other guidelines for compensation that you would think is appropriate?

8/7/2010 21:09

airlines should give full disclosure on the amount they will pay rather than offering different prices to different people. Also, inform travelers cash is an option.

8/7/2010 21:11

If airlines have been bumping people off of small planes, they are not figuring accurately and should have a strict limit for overbooking or not be able to book overbook on small planes.

8/7/2010 21:13

Agree that there should be an automatic inflation adjuster that would adjust caps regularly

8/11/2010 10:56

What other industry can get away with making a contract of sale and then not honoring it? This has always been a policy that outraged me, both as a business and personal traveler. If the DOT can’t get this under control we need to find another federal agency that can.

    8/12/2010 01:37

    Thank you for your comment – do you think that the DOT’s proposed rules for compensation for bumping would be enough of a deterrent to airlines/remedy for passengers? Or do you think more should be done, and if so, what would you propose?

8/29/2010 09:22

Bumping should only be allowed for reimbursable tickets and when passengers are given time for cancellations without penalties.

8/29/2010 09:31

My previous submission has disappeared. I suggested that bumping be limited to reimbursable tickets only and only after passengers have been given time to cancel with penalty.

    8/29/2010 15:52

    Thanks for your comment! It looks like your previous submission has reappeared. I’ll let our site programmer know there might have been a problem.

    Given that most airline tickets today are not reimbursable, do you think the practice of bumping should be effectively eliminated? And how much time do you think the passenger should be given to decide whether or not to cancel?

8/29/2010 10:09

Caps should be eliminated and actual monetary cost should be reimbursed – or an equivalent voucher for future travel should be provided. If the traveler cannot be booked on a timely alternate flight, the compensation should be equal to the lost flight and some additional compensation – perhaps double the cost.

A flyer with concise and clearly stated rules and obligations of the passenger and the airline should be presented to any passenger in advance of a decision regarding compensation. Gate agents should be required to tell individuals that there are a range of options that are included when they make their announcements asking for volunteers.

Placing this information on the airline websites at booking – and on the e-boarding passes that most people print are other options to inform non-frequent flyers about their rights.

Frequent-flyer miles should be refunded double their miles – to be in line with the compensation provided regular flyers.

8/29/2010 10:14

I do believe the fee for bumped passengers should be increased to match the increase in ticket prices.

All flights should be included in this, with the exception of private charters. Just because it’s a small plane doesn’t mean it’s not inconvenient.

Zero fare tickets should be compensated for in the same way they were purchased. You used miles – you should be reimbursed in miles by the same schedule as people who paid in cash.

Airlines also need to re-work their formulas for booking levels to prevent bumping people.

8/29/2010 11:50

My only question really is, “why are there compensation caps at all”? Make the compensation based on the value of the flight and remove the caps. And, it should also include fare and fees, since, things seem to be going the way of fees being the larger part of the cost of flying.

8/29/2010 12:36

Government travel is at a required place and time. Mt last trip to Ft. Irwin. My ticket was to Corona Airport in Califonir but by the time the agent figured it out, the plane was full (note that this wa a pprepaid Goventment ticket). I then drow home to wait for my office to open and figure out what happened. Confirmation was made that I had a seat on the fight. By this time I missed my original fight and all flights to my original destinatin were totally full. I was then offered a booking to Las Vegas which I accepted after the base agree to send a car and driver to pick me up in Las Vegas. I confirmed with the airline (United) that my return trip to California and Corondo On my return, after being driven by base car and drive and requiring the extra expense of a overnight in a hotel, I arrive early the next day and was told that United had changed
my ticked to Las Vegas. This time there was room on a later fight for me. End of story is that it cost tax payers’ money for the airlines to not accommotate reserved government training. Solution is that USG travelers on businss should have guaranted seats. In addition, I missing my initial trainingg and had to pay for the extra overnight myself. Solution: airlines should pay for overnights asw the esult of their mistakes. Fortunately this is the worst example I can give..some third world ones are worse!.

8/29/2010 12:46

Eliminate the caps entirely.
Eliminate overselling on smaller aircraft.

8/29/2010 14:01

I do not believe airlines of any size should be allowed to oversell tickets. Let them quote a price to the traveler and offer the option to be on standby. If bumping must exist, there should be no caps on compensation and zero fare ticket passengers should be entitled to the same compensation of other passengers. Compensation at the cost of a full, last minute fare hardly seems extreme to me given the expensive consequences can have to a traveler.

8/29/2010 14:18

I think we are all looking in the wrong direction on this issue. Instead of agonizing over any set of compensation for bumping rules, the solution, with explanation later here, is: NO BUMPING! No bumping could only happen with another solution: NO OVERSELLING! Is that economically feasible for airlines? Yes, of course, given certain conditions that could be applied to ALL flights. Let me spin it:

An airplane flight is no different than any other event, let’s say like a concert. Once the concert promoter sells all his seat inventory, he’s done. He collects his money and moves on. Imagine what would happen if the concert promoter was allowed to sell 20% more tickets than he had seats?

Same can apply for any air flight. Let the airline sell all his inventory of seats and be done. Let them count their money and move on. The tradeoff for customers? Once they buy that ticket, they are also done. In fairness and to offset the airlines’ position, at this point the airline would not have to offer up unused ticket credits, they do not have to calculate outrageous ticket change fee’s (as there would be none), they do not have to determine a specific amount of monetary credit to any bumped passenger….there would be none!!!

Remember, if you buy that ticket to the concert and don’t make it, no concert company is going to give you your money back. But this concept could spawn another business, such as one that would insure you if you miss your flight for other than being bumped reasons. That company could take ALL of the costs involved into consideration (if you miss your flight and then lose your cruise costs or non refundable travel/hotel costs, etc.) before giving you a premium that would cover the risk. That calculation is available well before the time that any passenger would miss a flight, so there’s no last minute figuring that would have to take place.


8/29/2010 15:02

At what point does it become unfair to the airline should also consider “at what point is their greed unfair to the travelers?” The airlines sell mostly non refundable tickets these days, therefore they still get paid for no-shows. Why allow them to sell the seat twice? I suggest NOT allowing overbooking, but allowing travelers to go to the airport and take a chance on getting a no-show seat at a reduced fare. The airline is still coming out ahead.

8/29/2010 16:24

As a frequent traveler, I was not aware I could request compensation in cash/check rather than a travel voucher. While I don’t want a lengthy announcement of fine print, basic clarification under sections 5 and 6 here make sense to me.

8/29/2010 16:28

I like the idea of advance notice where flights are oversold – if, say, I check in online 24 hours ahead – it would be nice to be bumped then and rearrange my plans from home rather than the airport.

I think the adjusted limits make more sense than the current limits. I typically see that everyone bumped from a given flight gets the same compensation, even if the consequences are different – I’d like to see more clarity on this.

As someone who travels on FF miles with some regularity, my miles are spent for transportation and I expect to get where I booked. If I’m delayed or bumped, I should be compensated in the same way as passengers who paid with cash – perhaps with a tiered system based on the # of points required for the ticket. Most airlines seem to have low mileage, mid-mileage, and high-mileage awards – a three step system to match would make compensation straightforward.

8/29/2010 21:58

Caps should be eliminated. Proposed compensation caps should be equal to no more or less than the normal cost of the ticket plus $100.
Passengers bumped any size aircraft should be compensated.
There should be no such thing as a zero fare – the seat value should be placed at the normal fare or with the same number of frequent flyer miles as was used to book the ticket.
The best time for giving passengers information about volunteering should be 10-15 minutes prior to departure.

8/30/2010 11:56

I agree with DOT’s proposals on clarifying bumping rules and adequately compensating those involuntarily bumped. Passengers who are voluntarily or involutarily bumped should be advised by the gate agents on the cash/check/travel voucher option and the criteria for involuntary bumping prioritization.

On compensation, I think the actual ticket amount, plus a small premium to cover the unbundled aspects of the costs associated with the trip would suffice.

On overselling smaller aircraft: how many travelers on these flights are likely to be no shows, i.e., one assumes full fare/business travelers? Given that these smaller aircraft service less popular routes (and, thus, the alternative options are less frequent), oversales should be prohibited, but the airlines should allow a few passengers to be on “stand by” in the event of a no show.

Zero-fare tickets should be compensated by recrediting the passenger with the number of miles used for the journey, plus cash for minor overhead costs.

8/30/2010 16:53

For sure oversales/bumping compensation needs to be adjusted for inflation and zero-fare passengers compensated in miles plus cash for extra money paid. Smaller aircraft should also be held responsible.

9/2/2010 03:57

Luckily I have never been in this position yet, (knock on wood) For most of my flights are international. If the airline asks me to stay behind I will reject, there is a reason I set up my flights as I did so that I can make my international connections or visit friends at those places before I leave the same day. The airlines have no right to bump people, if they over book and everyone shows up they better add an extra seat to the wing or something!

Airline Passenger Rights "Ticket oversales/bumping"

Agency Proposal
By the Regulation Room team based on the NPRM
Agency Documents
1 50


For decades, federal law let airlines sell more tickets than they have seats. Most of the time, enough people cancelled, or were “no shows,” that everyone with a ticket could get on their flight. But now — with financially strapped carriers cutting back on flights — “bumping” of ticketed passengers is on the rise. DOT Department of Transportation is thinking about a lot of changes that could make oversales less painful for the traveling public. Open questions include whether DOT Department of Transportation should extend bumping compensation rules to more flights — and maybe even not allow oversales in some situations.

This post will tell you more about what the problems have been, and what solutions DOT Department of Transportation is considering – and alert you to questions DOT particularly wants people to comment on.

2 0 The Problems:

Overselling flights is supposed to be a win-win scenario for airlines and consumers. Airlines can reduce the number of empty seats caused by cancellations and “no shows,” and fuller flights help keep ticket prices down. Now, however, airlines are offering fewer flights — and the number of “bumpings” is on the rise. Fewer, fuller flights also mean that bumped passengers have more trouble getting rebooked. Several things about the current system add to the unpleasantness of being bumped:

  • Bumped passengers whose arrival is delayed more than 1 hour are supposed to get compensation equal to their one-way fare. Delays of more than 2 hours for domestic flights (4 hours for international flights) are supposed to double the compensation for being bumped. But there’s a cap on the total amount airlines have to pay: $400 for shorter delays; $800 for longer delays. Fare prices have risen a lot faster, and further, than increases in these caps, so many passengers don’t get the full amount they are supposedly entitled to.
  • The current bumping compensation rules apply only to flights on aircraft designed to hold 30 or more passengers. However, nowadays, many major airlines use regional carriers for at least a segment of the flight (e.g., between a small airport and a hub), and these carriers often use planes designed for fewer than 30 passengers. A passenger bumped from those flights has no compensation rights, even though this completely disrupts the rest of his/her trip.
  • Many passengers fly on “zero fare tickets” — that is, they got the ticket with frequent flyer miles or vouchers. Airlines currently don’t have to compensate “zero fare” passengers for being bumped. Yet, these passengers have usually earned or paid for those tickets in some way, and they suffer the same inconvenience and costs by being bumped.
  • Bumped passengers often don’t realize they have the right to be compensated in cash or by check. Current rules require that airlines give out a written notice that includes these options. But gate agents may verbally offer only a voucher for future travel — and passengers in the process of being bumped may not have the time to stop and read all the fine print.
  • When airlines deal with an oversold flight by asking for volunteers, travelers may not have enough information to make the best decision in the circumstances. For example, an individual might agree to accept the lower amount of compensation given to volunteers, even though he/she was in line to be bumped and so might have gotten the higher involuntary compensation amount by waiting. Or, a passenger might decide to pass up the voluntary compensation, in the hope of getting the higher involuntary compensation — only to discover that he/she actually gets no compensation when bumped because, for example, the delay from rebooking was under 1 hour.

3 16 The Proposed Solutions.
DOT is considering 6 changes that might improve the situation — by creating financial disincentives for airlines to significantly oversell flights, and/or by making the situation less painful for travelers when a flight is oversold:

First, DOT Department of Transportation is thinking about raising the compensation caps to $650 for shorter delays and $1300 for longer delays. These new figures are supposed to adjust for inflation, and were calculated using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

Second, to keep the caps from getting so out of line with ticket prices in the future, DOT Department of Transportation might implement an automatic inflation adjuster, using the CPI-U, that would raise the caps (without more rulemaking) every two years.

Third, DOT Department of Transportation might extend the bumping rules to include flights on smaller aircraft (more than 19 passenger seats, rather than the current 30-seat cut off.)

Fourth, DOT Department of Transportation might require that zero-fare passengers get the same rights as other passengers when bumped. The question about this is how to value such tickets for compensation purposes (see next section).

Fifth, to ensure that bumped passengers know they have a right to be compensated in cash, DOT Department of Transportation is considering requiring airlines to verbally offer the option of cash/check at the same time they offer travel vouchers. Gate agents would also have to explain any conditions or restrictions on use of the vouchers.

Sixth, DOT Department of Transportation might require giving passengers more information about the circumstances when the airlines ask for volunteers. Gate agents might have to tell passengers: (1) how the airline makes decisions about who’s in line to be bumped (e.g., based on time of check-in or fare); and (2) how long the delay from rebooking would be. This way, passengers could better assess the benefits and risks of volunteering vs. waiting to see if they are bumped. Exactly how this disclosure should happen is an open question. (see next section).

4 31 What DOT Department of Transportation wants to know from you:

On bumping compensation:

  • Are the proposed increases on compensation caps ($650/$1300) high enough?
  • Should caps be eliminated entirely, so that airlines pay the actual amount, or double the amount, of the ticket price?
  • Should the basic compensation formula be raised (for example, to twice the ticket price/four times the ticket price) to account for the fact that today’s “unbundled” fares often don’t include services like checked baggage and food that people now pay for on top of the ticket price?

When it comes to flights on smaller aircraft (19-29 seats), should DOT Department of Transportation completely prohibit oversales? Is a bumping situation more likely to occur with so few travelers? Are rebooking difficulties greater?

How should compensation for zero-fare tickets (e.g., frequent flyer tickets) be calculated? Should DOT Department of Transportation use the fare of the lowest priced ticket for a comparable class of ticket on the same flight? Or should airlines be allowed to pay compensation in the same “currency” as the ticket was “bought” with – so, for example, a frequent flyer ticketholder would get as many miles (or double the miles) as used for the ticket, plus cash for any taxes, fees, etc. paid? Do you have better ideas for fairly compensating these ticketholders?

What is the best time, and way, for giving passengers information to make good decisions about volunteering? Is there other information people need to decide on their best bumping strategy?

See what DOT Department of Transportation said on this issue: NPRM Section 6.

See the proposed rule text on this issue: Section 250.1.

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