What are your rights as an airline passenger?
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The fallout continues over how United Airlines handled a passenger, causing him to be bloodied and bruised.
The airline called in airport police to remove the passenger after the plane had been overbooked and the airline needed more space for crewmembers.
Newschannel 3’s I-Team has been taking a look at what your rights are as a passenger.
If you read the fine print when buying airline tickets, you will see that airlines do warn about overbooking, which is perfectly legal. Nonetheless, the video is generating a lot of discussion over why airport police were called and why so much force was used.
Aside from the use of force, United and other airlines are now facing criticism for overbooking flights to begin with, but some might be surprised to learn that it’s legal for airlines and has been for years.
You’re not powerless in the matter however. According to the Department of Transportation, if an airline bumps you from a flight due to overbooking you have a right to ask for and see a statement from the Department of Transportation describing your rights, you also have the right to try and negotiate for compensation in some cases even after the airline puts you on another flight later.
And of course, if you feel you were unjustly bumped from a flight for any number of reasons, you can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation.
According to the DoT, airlines will compensate people up to $1,300 for involuntary bumping, but that does depend on the circumstances.
As for the specific United case, the airline announced on Wednesday that it will no longer call police to remove people from overbooked flights.
You can learn more about your rights as a passenger here; https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights