IT'S every holidaymaker's worst nightmare, turning up at the airport just to find that your flight has been overbooked.
Here, we explain why this happens and why you can't get a seat.
Why do airlines overbook flights?
Most airlines intentionally overbook flights, selling more tickets than available seats for a journey.
They do this in anticipation of people "no-showing" on the day of the journey, and the practice is not illegal.
Travel experts have warned that as many as 150 tickets are sold for every 100 seats available.
British Airways previously admitted that it has overbooked around 500,000 seats in a single year, and it "bumps" around 24,000 customers during that time from flights.
What happens if you are on an overbooked flight?
When airlines have to remove passengers they start by asking for volunteers who are offered compensation usually in the form of money, a hotel room, and a seat on the next available flight.
Some companies even offer free return tickets to a destination of the customer’s choosing.
But if no one volunteers, then the airline can be forced to remove paying customers "involuntarily".
MOST READ IN TRAVEL
The clothes you should always wear to fly, according to A-list actor
The Turkey hotspot with affordable all-inclusive hotels & private beaches
Inside the stunning Italian town that you can stay at for just £42pp a night
The cheap UK city break with £37pp a night hotels & best bars in the country
How will an airline decide who gets "bumped" from an overbooked flight?
Staff can select a passenger for removal based on the price of their ticket and the time of their booking.
The company can also select people at random using a computer program like United Airlines reportedly did.
Elderly passengers or frequent flyers are unlikely to be chosen first.
What are your rights if you are on an overbooked flight?
Passengers who are forcibly bumped are entitled to cash compensation based on when the alternate flight arranged for them arrives at their destination.
According to the US Department of Transport, this can be as much as 400 per cent of your one-way ticket or up to £1,050.
While United Airlines is now offering up to £7,700 if a passenger volunteers to give up their seat.
Of course, some passengers, who do not have a pressing appointment and want to make some extra cash, can volunteer to be removed from the flight.
In this situation, the negotiation is casual and there are no industry regulations determining how much the airline should give you.
Lawyer Erika Kullberg shared a video explaining how passengers are entitled to freebies from an airline if a flight is overbooked.
She explained that not only could you get thousands, but you can get hotel rooms, free meals, and free transfers.
One passenger was reportedly given a $10,000 (£7862.75) flight voucher by United after she was bumped.
But beware of being too greedy – if another passenger offers to leave the flight for less money, you might miss your chance.
Source: Read Full Article