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What to Ask For When You’re Bumped From a Flight

Lifehacker – Tis the season (Covid) for flight delays, involuntary bumping and cancellations en mass. Here are the facts:If you’re standing at a gate and an attendant offers compensation, it’s important you know how much cash you’re entitled to. Technically, under regulations by the Department of Transportation, there is no limit to the amount of cash an airline can offer a passenger who volunteers to be bumped; some airlines like Delta and United have allowed gate agents to give out up to $10,000 and $9,950 in travel credits, respectively. (To reiterate, however: It’s very unlikely.) As gate attendants intentionally low-ball offers to start, you should never take the initial offer. There’s no magic number to ask for, either, as it depends on your particular flight, airline, and the willingness of other passengers. While you won’t receive $10,000, it’s important you don’t immediately jump on a $200 offer. If you’re bumped involuntarily, however, the rules are fairly exact according to the Department of Transportation:

  • For a zero to one-hour arrival delay on domestic or international flights, no compensation.
  • For a one to two-hour arrival delay on domestic flights and one to four hours on international flights, 200% of one-way fare (but no more than $675).
  • For two hours or more on domestic flights and four hours or more on international flights, 400% of one-way fare (but no more than $1,350)…”

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