Overbooked flights: What do you do?

Overbooked flight plane interior (NBC News photo)
Overbooked flight plane interior (NBC News photo)

AUSTIN (NBC News) If you’re flying to your vacation destination in the coming months, brace for a packed plane.

“Each flight that you’re on as a consumer, as a passenger, is more than likely overbooked,” warns aviation attorney Joseph Lorusso.

That’s because airlines expect a certain number of passengers to miss each flight, but sometimes, more people show up than anticipated, forcing airlines to seek volunteers to be bumped, .Or, if that doesn’t work, to choose ticket-holders to bump.

A reservation made well in advance is no guarantee.

“Most commonly we see it go from the back to the front, meaning an economy passenger is more susceptible to being bumped than say a first class passenger,” Lorusso explains.

Frequent fliers and airline credit card holders also get priority against bumping.

There are other protections for fliers.

“It’s a little known fact people are afforded rights under the Airline Passengers Bill of Rights,” Lorusso says.

Included are guidelines about the compensation you are entitled to if you get bumped.

Even if you think your passenger rights are being violated, make sure you always follow crew instructions.

Experts suggest not volunteering if a flight is overbooked. Airlines can offer vouchers with limitations or less money that if you were involuntarily bumped.

If you do volunteer, dont be afraid to negotiate.

Read more: http://nbcnews.to/2px2knc

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