Get PAID for Airline FUs at Holiday Season

In 2013, nearly 467,000 passengers were bumped from overbooked U.S. flights, according to U.S. Department of Transportation records.  These folks are eligible for penalty payment BUT eligibility for a cash payment may be lost if you accept a voucher.  Most people take the voucher when offered – only about 57,000 U.S. domestic travelers last year were involuntarily bumped. Airlines are supposed to hand those consumers the rules that govern being bumped from a flight, and payment is supposed to be immediate.

RULES FOR PAYMENT (from Vos iz Neias)

Passengers whose flights from Europe are delayed by at least three hours or canceled are eligible for up to about $825, depending on the length of delay and distance of the flight. The average payout is around $600, according to Michaelsen. Flights to Europe and within Europe on an European Union-based carrier are also subject to European Union law.

Domestic U.S. travelers may be eligible for even more money, but under much narrower circumstances. An airline that denies a booked passenger a seat (somebody who is bumped on an oversold flight because there are not enough volunteers to give up seats) and can’t get to their destination within an hour of the scheduled time can collect 200 percent of the one-way ticket price, capped at $650.

A delay of two or more hours is worth 400 percent of the price of the one-way ticket, up to $1,300. The average payout is $643.

Delta Air Lines last year was fined $750,000 by the Department of Transportation for not following the rules. The airline has since invested in additional training and electronic signature pads to document that passengers were properly notified and compensated, spokesman Morgan Durrant says.

AirHelp offers to do the work for passengers, taking a 25% commission. Another firm, has a two-tier fee, starting at 15 percent commission plus tax for those who return a signed power of attorney form within 28 days, and 25 percent plus tax for those who turn it in later.


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