September 2017

Most of us will probably have experienced being bumped at some point during our travels, though few will have grabbed the headlines in the way that Dr David Dao did on a recent United flight from Chicago. The video footage of the passenger being violently removed from an aircraft by police for refusing to give up his seat, quickly went viral. The airline was publicly shamed for such behaviour and had to pay the roughed traveller an undefined sum of money in an out-of-court settlement.

However, a much more common issue for air travellers is being denied boarding as a consequence of overbooking, because the airline has sold more tickets than it has seats on the plane. For most airlines this is a typical practice, and the consequence is that staff will either ask for volunteers to take a later flight (“voluntary bumping”) or pick on someone of their choosing (“involuntary bumping”). In both cases the compensation for passenger (if any) is determined individually. For more details, I recommend you to check our cover article, entitled: “Know your rights”, which will certainly be an interesting read for business travellers.


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