Getting bumped from a flight may have a little more sugar coating in the future. Federal officials are expected to announce a raise in the maximum amount allowed to be paid to travelers who have their tickets taken away on oversold flights. Currently, the rates are set at $400 and $800 respectively depending on the length of delay for the traveler.
Bumping by airline companies has increased in three of the last four years with a shocking ten percent increase in 2009 raising the total to 762,422. That means that one in 763 passengers was removed from a flight due to overbooking. In response to this problem, the Transportation Department has planned to increase the rates to $800 and $1200. A passenger would be paid $800 if the airline gets the passenger to his destination between one and two hours late and $1200 if later than two hours.
There are two notable exceptions. First, planes with less that 30 seats are excluded. Second, any late arrival can be stripped of his ticket.
Currently, American Eagle, American Airlines’ regional company, is the most likely to bump passengers. It is followed by US Airways, Continental ExpressJet, and Southwest. The airline least likely to bump passengers for several years is JetBlue.