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Airline Passenger Bill of Rights and Bumping – What You Should Know

January 14, 2011 | Posted in: Airline News,Delta,Travel Tips

airline passenger bill of rights

While Congressional action on “airline passenger bill of rights” legislation seems to have stalled, don’t worry – Ray LaHood, the activist Secretary of the Dept. of Transportation is looking out for you - tweaking the rules to make them more passenger-friendly.

A prime example: Last year’s “3-Hour” rule which penalizes airlines for waiting on the tarmac longer than three hours.

LaHood also wants to raise the compensation for “involuntary bumping”; you know about bumping right? I talked about it in my guide to airline passenger rights that I wrote a few months back.

Bumping was also the topic of my interview on WTXF News today - especially a new system Delta is trying which involves passengers bidding for the least amount of compensation they’d accept for getting bumped.

Delta’s bidding system has plusses and minuses for passengers, and mostly plusses for Delta, as far as I can see. 

  • Delta saves money – if passengers agree to accept less than the airline is willing to pay
  • Delta could improve its on-time record – if bidding proves quicker than the old system

Passengers could also benefit from more on-time departures; however, they may ultimately get less compensation.

Know Your Rights: Delta’s new bidding system involves people willing to be “voluntarily” bumped. If someone is booted from a flight who didn’t volunteer – and Delta can’t get that passenger on another flight within the hour – that passenger is entitled to receive as much as $800 in compensation; plus the passenger can request that compensation be in cash, not vouchers.

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