View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked Bumped and improperly compensated AA1015

Feb 26, 2011, 5:14 PM
We booked travel for a family vacation months prior to our Feb 20th flight from JFK direct to Providenciales on AA. At the time of purchase and up until two days prior to the flight we were unasble to select seats for the flight. We arrived for the flight at JFK at 8:25am for a 10:15 am flight - plenty of time and well within the airline's recommendations. After being instructed by an AA representative at the check-in counter that we should just "handle it at the gate", we proceeded through security and went to the gate. Upon arriving at the gate and speaking with the gate agent we were told that they had overbooked the flight by eight seats and were trying to find volunteers to take another flight. Since this is a vacation destination and most travelers had small children, it was not surprise that they couldn't find volunteers even after offering $650. They put us on another flight via LGA and MIA and we arrived at our destination more than 4 hours after our scheduled arrival time. The compensation they offered (effectively udner duress since if I did not accept it immediately I would not have been able to make it to the other airport and catch the alternative flight) was less than half that offered to the volunteers!! Also according to the legal details they provided me, they are required to provide compensation of 200% of the cost fo the ticket up to $800 max. I can guarantee you that the compensation was nowhere near 200% of the cost of the ticket.

What is my recourse here? Is this a DOT issue?

Feb 27, 2011, 9:50 PM
It depends. Given that you accepted the compensation, you likely do not have much recourse.

Did you sign something? Most of the time when offering compensation, the airlines have you sign something when offering the compensation after volunteering or involuntarily being bumped from a flight. If you signed this, you agreed to the compensation offered and thus would not, again, likely have any recourse.

If you are involuntarily bumped from a flight, I believe that you have the right to request up 200% of the cost of the ticket, up to $800 and can actually request that in cash as well, as you stated.

As you said, it was a bit of a rush and given it was for your vacation you just accepted what they offered, but in hind sight, you should have argued for more and not accepted what they offered.

Feb 28, 2011, 12:41 AM
I would go to the DOT with this. It costs nothing and you have been shabbily treated. It is clear this was an involuntary bump and therefore you are entitled to the full compensation. Wa possible reason could you have for accepting less, other than AA placed you in the iniquitous position that you would not make the re-routing unless ou accepted the offer.