A woman was asked to give up her seat on an airplane for $600. She took the deal (like she had a choice). Eight months later, she still had not been paid, even though she had even sued the airline and won, they still ignored her letters and emails. Finally, she did receive her check. It should never had gotten that far*.

Delta airlines alone bumps nearly 60,000 passengers a year from flights, because those flights were oversold. The majority of these are so-called “voluntary” bumps, but we have all seen the news where, once the cost to entice a volunteer gets too high, they simply have the police remove you with force.

The airlines claim that the practice is caused by no-shows, but tickets are non-refundable so the seat is paid for, whether someone is in it or not. They then claim that they have it buried in the conditions of the ticket, that they can bump you from the flight for any reason, and all they legally have to reimburse you for is the cost of the ticket. Never mind if missing that flight causes you a financial loss that is many times the amount of the fare.

What other industry can sell more of a product than they have? Can you imagine buying a car, and then being told that you can’t have it, because they already sold them all? How about groceries? That is called fraud.

Normally, I am against government interference, but in this case the government is already involved. If I refuse to “sell back” the ticket, the airline will use government officials (police) to forcibly remove me from the flight. It is my contention that the seat in that aircraft is my property, and if the airline wants it back, we can negotiate a fair price that is agreeable to both parties. It is time for the government to step in and make this practice illegal.

* As a side note, in Florida, the Sheriff will help you enforce a judgement by confiscating the loser’s property and holding an auction. The proceeds pay off the lawsuit, and then the remainder of the finds are returned to the loser. Imagine showing up at the airport and having the Sheriff confiscate a 737. I bet they find the money quickly.

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1 Comment

Brass · March 23, 2019 at 6:35 pm

We were offered this deal on an overbooked Frontier flight. They needed 4 people to take a later flight. They started at a $500 voucher and proceeded up. At $1000 three people took the voucher and I started raising my hand when the guy next to me, a stranger, said "You don't want to take that, it's not really a deal." I put my hand down and he explained.

1. The voucher is only good for 180 days
2. The voucher is only good for non-blackout days (no holidays)
3. The voucher is only good in the continental US
4. The voucher is only good for one flight (no $200 flight here and $300 flight there, etc.)

I went online when I got home and the most expensive flight I could find on Frontier was $538 and that was with all the bells and whistles.

Oh, and if I'd taken the deal, if they couldn't get me out that night, you only got a $15 food voucher and $50 hotel voucher.

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