Local Business

Three things to know about overbooked flights

SPONSORED

When it comes to travel, overbooked flights can be an unfortunate reality.

For jet setters, that can mean extra time sitting at the gate waiting for the next available flight.

Here’s what to know if it happens to you:

1. Overbooking is common

While inconvenient, the business practice of bumping is not illegal, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In order to compensate for "no-shows," airlines overbook their scheduled flights to a certain extent, allowing them to keep the flights as close to full capacity as possible.

2. There’s a silver lining

Airlines are required by the DOT to seek out customers who are willing to volunteer to take another flight when there are more passengers ready to fly than there are seats available. Often, they will sweeten the deal by offering compensation or a transportation voucher in exchange for volunteering. For those who aren’t in a rush, a voucher could make the extra time sitting at your gate worth it. Before taking it, however, travelers should inquire about restrictions that may apply.

3. Bumping can happen

When not enough volunteers come forward who are willing to switch flights, airlines can deny boarding — or “bump” passengers against their will. There are parameters in place, however. For instance, the DOT requires each airline to give passengers who are involuntarily bumped a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn't. Travelers who do not get to fly are frequently entitled to denied boarding compensation in the form of a check or cash. The amount depends on the price of their ticket and the length of the delay. Of note: while bumping can happen at any time, airlines are more likely to oversell flights during busy travel periods such as spring break and the summer season.

Crystal Lake Travel : 13 Crystal Lake Plaza, Crystal Lake IL 60014 : 815.459.2500 :

http://www.cltravelagency.com/.

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.