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What are your rights in case of denied boarding?

Have you ever been in a situation when you at the airport, waiting at the boarding area- about to get on the flight; You see someone from the airlines coming to you to offer you a coupon to voluntarily give up your seat to take another flight?

Well, do you know what has happened there- The flight was overbooked. The airlines overbook themselves to compensate for the “no-shows”. This is not illegal. When more than expected passenger show up. The airline do not have enough seats to accommodate passengers and it therefore start looking for volunteers to give up their seats and they don’t find enough volunteers they start denying boarding to some passengers. This is what has also happened in the recent United airlines case when a doctor was denied boarding due to an overbooked flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMTpvzJp4ps (we have all seen this sad video)

What to do when you when you are denied boarding? 

 1 ) Think before you accept that Airline Voucher: Once you accept it, it becomes a case of “voluntarily” giving up your seat and the airline doesn’t owe you anything except alternate flight. But if you do take that coupon please be sure your next flight, and food and amenities from the airlines. Calculate your compensation and accept the voucher accordingly.

If the airline doesn’t let you fly with a valid ticket, it becomes a case of Involuntary bumping. Here are your rights: 

2) You have a right to know why the airlines is not letting to board and how they chose the passengers it did. 

3) You are entitled to get compensation for denied boarding- the amount depends on price of the ticket and length of the delay. This compensation is on top your original ticket which you can use for alternate flight. Also, if you want to make your own arrangement, you can get a refund of the ticket. Always remember your compensation is on top of the refund/alternate flight.

About compensation, if the airline offers you a substitute transport, that will make you reach your destination within an hour, unfortunately there is no compensation. 

In case of domestic travel if you reach your final destination one to two hours later than the original scheduled time you get 200% of the one way fare ( max of $675 and Rs. 10,000 in India) . For international you get this amount if your reach 1 to 4 hours late.  This amount becomes 400% od the one way fare (with a maximum of $1350 /Rs, ) if you arrive later than two hours in case of domestic and fours in case of international travel 

4) Keep your paper handy and arrive on time:

Never lose your boarding pass and receipt. You should have a valid ticket to avail these rights and also you should have arrived at the airport well in time (as required by airlines) for your checkin. You should therefore always try to reach on/before time. Also remember the passengers who come late are bumped first.

5) If dealing with airlines is becoming a nightmare get in touch with Instalocate (m.me/instalocate), your personal travel assistant. Just give your flight details, it will handle the rest. 

Next time you see that voucher, be aware of your rights.  And if you need help dealing with airlines Instalocate is always there to help you. 

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Co-Founder, Instalocate- An AI powered personal travel assistant that converts flight delays into money.