What You’re Owed If an Airline Bumps You From Your Flight

It’s a situation that’s becoming increasingly common: You’re waiting for your flight to start boarding, when the gate agent announces the plane is overbooked and some passengers will need to be bumped to a later flight. How does an oversold flight happen, and what can travelers do about it?

Planes make money only when they are flying full of paying passengers, so airlines sell a small percentage of seats more than the aircraft allows, assuming that people will not show up because they missed their connecting flight, got stuck in traffic, or simply changed their plans.


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