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Article about "bumping"

 
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  #1  
Old Jul 31, 2009, 6:05 AM
justme justme is offline
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I have mixed feelings about a recent article put on Yahoo! about airlines and their responsibilities when they "bump" passengers. While the article does say the airlines have no legal responsibility to compensate passengers in certain cases, most people won't pay attention to that part. They'll just read that the airlines will pay you if you're bumped and they will start demanding things they aren't legally entitled to. I DO NOT IN ANY WAY MEAN TO SAY THAT NO ONE SHOULD EVER BE COMPENSATED, I only mean to say that in cases that compensation is not due, passengers who only read the pieces of the article that are beneficial to them, will be demanding something they are not entitled to. I DO WHOLE-HEARTEDLY think that passengers should be compensated in cases where the airline could have controlled or avoided the situation. I liken this article to when Oprah Winfrey said on her show that if the airline doesn't reconnect you with your bags in an IROP situation, just tell them you have life-saving medication in the bag and they have to get it for you. While this is true, it is information that is then misused to obligate the airlines to do something for you. (I searched for a link to be able to cite her saying it but couldn't find one.) I do remember hearing about it none-the-less. Back to the original idea though, I just think more attention should be payed to carefully explaining when compensation is due instead of just saying, "If you are bumped from a domestic flight, the airline must pay you the price of a one-way ticket up to $400 cash if you are rescheduled to reach your destination between one and two hours of the original arrival time. The maximum doubles to $800 if it takes longer." There are plenty of situations we can all think of that this statement is not true, weather being the most glaringly obvious. Thoughts anyone?
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  #2  
Old Jul 31, 2009, 6:36 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Justme: You seem to be mixing these two terms in your explanation. A basic characteristic of "bumping" is that the plane ALWAYS takes-off. Otherwise, you may be talking about "Denied Boarding."

An air tight case for compensation, in a "bumping" situation, would involve the following criteria:

* You arrived at the departure gate within the time frame specified in the airline's Contract of Carriage.

* You were in a seat on the aircraft, and were ordered against your will, to leave the aircraft because of an over-booking situation. Or, you were not allowed to board BUT had met the condition noted above regarding timely arrival at the boarding gate.

* You are NOT travelling on a "free" ticket such as frequent flier miles, free flight voucher, employee buddy pass, etc.

* The plane took-off and did NOT stay at the gate because of air traffic control or "weather conditions" (real and made-up.)

* You did NOT "volunteer" to be "bumped." If you did you're at the mercy of the airline as to the matter of compensation. Hopefully your airline doesn't like to lie--promise one thing, then, when the plane has gone, give you something else. Protest? We'll call the cops!
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Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; Jul 31, 2009 at 6:38 AM.
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Old Jul 31, 2009, 6:48 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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* If you never got on board the aircraft, the ONLY reason given for your not being allowed to board is over-booking. There was NOT a problem with your passport or visa; you are wearing a politically incorrect t-shirt, or, the gate agent had run out of Midol and was taking it out on you.
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Old Jul 31, 2009, 8:01 AM
justme justme is offline
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I agree there is a misinterpretation of the term "bumped." The author of the Yahoo! article exacerbates this misinterpretation, IMO, by assuming the inexperienced traveling public knows the difference between volunteering and being involuntarily denied. The problem basically is the term "bumped" from a flight has a different meaning to the general public than it does to experienced travelers and airline employees and non-revs. To the general public, if they bought a ticket on a flight and then did not get on (assuming they met all the requirements such as being at the gate on time, etc) they call it "getting bumped." While in reality they either volunteered or were involuntarily denied boarding. The difference between volunteering and involuntarily denied boarding is what determines whether compensation is legally required. You and I know the difference as we are experienced travelers as do many other experienced travelers on this forum. The problem is going to be with the passengers who are not experienced and only travel a few times a year are going to expect something in a situation that they are not entitled to it because they don't know the difference. I got my info on this from the DOT's own website where I searched the CFRs.

Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here
A basic characteristic of "bumping" is that the plane ALWAYS takes-off. Otherwise, you may be talking about "Denied Boarding."
Whether the airplane you had a reservation on takes off or not has nothing to do with being bumped or denied boarding. The only time this would matter is if the flight was cancelled, in which case the airline is not legally obligated to give compensation other than rebooking or a full refund.

Just to tack on to the end... you can be denied boarding for many reasons and not be legally entitled to any compensation, ie: being intoxicated, being barefoot, having a communicable disease, etc. These requirements will all be in the airlines C.O.C.
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I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here.
- Mitch Hedberg

Last edited by justme; Jul 31, 2009 at 8:04 AM.
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Old Aug 1, 2009, 3:16 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Think there are only, very specific, reasons for being denied boarding? Think again! Say anything, even remotely, cross to a gate agent, or to a crew member, then consider the following arsenal at the disposal of “the dark side”:

These are passages from what I believe to be a representative Contract of Carriage. In this case the Contract is that of American Air.

Your physical or mental condition is such that in American's sole opinion, you are rendered or likely to be rendered incapable of comprehending or complying with safety instructions without the assistance of an attendant.

Now we know where all the comments, from the airline people on here, about being mentally ill come from. As you’ll note, American Air has licensed its gate agents, and flight crew, to be practicing psychiatrists!

Your conduct is disorderly, abusive or violent,

Think you can say something nasty about my nail polish?? That’ll teach you! You were disorderly and abusive!! I shall assume the “good ole boy” flight attendants punish same sex holding of hands under this clause. “Those people” are, by nature, “disorderly,” aren’t they??

Engage in any action, voluntary or involuntary, that might jeopardize the safety of the aircraft or any of its occupants.

Untoward farts can be severely punished!! Don’t laugh too long at that dirty joke your colleague just told you. You might get kicked-off the plane!

The passages can be found in section 8, “Acceptance of Passengers,” at:

http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?...OfCarriage.jsp

The airlines that write stuff like this want you, very much, to forget that, under the law, they are “common carriers.” As such their ability to deny boarding has limitations, not the “blank check,” as shown above, which they have written for those of their employees who have problems relating appropriately to others. Hopefully, someday, one of the major US-based airlines will be looking at a high six figure judgment because some gate agent, or flight attendant, with a problem, decided laws do not apply to him.
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Old Aug 1, 2009, 3:31 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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http://www.airlinecomplaints.org/sho...0273#post10273

By the way, I only came across this post AFTER I had completed the above.
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Old Aug 1, 2009, 4:35 AM
Eagleguy Eagleguy is offline
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I hate how corporate expects us to start out at $50 and then increase by increments...I just always offer the max from the beginning.
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