Use the New Airline Bump Payout Rules to Negotiate a Better Deal
The increased payouts for being ‘bumped’ from a flight have gotten a lot of press lately, but there are a whole slew of new airline fees rules put in place recently that you should be aware of. First, the big bumping change (it’s pretty big news).
Airline Bump Payouts
It is common practice for airlines to overbook each flight (not everyone shows up and they have good data on how much to overbook). It boosts their profit margin. But, it at times can screw passengers over a bit. As a result, they have to pay whomever they ‘bump’ from a flight. Before the rule change, airlines would be required to pay you:
- The value of your one-way ticket, with a max of $400 if they could get you to your destination within an hour.
- Double the amount, with a max of $800 if they couldn’t get you there within 2 hours.
Now, airlines have to pay more if you get bumped:
- Double the value of the ticket up to $650 if within 2 hours.
- Quadruple the value of the ticket up to $1,300 if more than two hours!
My take? If you do volunteer to be moved, you now have more leverage to negotiate on your payout with these increased penalties. If no one else volunteers, they could lose out on up to $1,300! You can’t ‘volunteer to be bumped’ by an airline. Those who are bumped are chosen randomly (usually lowest price ticket). So it might pay off to volunteer.
Cancellation Without Penalty for 24 Hours
Another big change that isn’t getting as much press, but is still big is the new cancellation without penalty rule. Reservations can now be cancelled without penalty, for at least 24 hours after the reservation is made, if the reservation is made one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date. How many times have you booked a flight and then a few hours later wanted to change it? This helps with that.
Lost Bags Fees
If an airline charges you for your bag (an increasingly common practice), they must refund the fee if they lose the bag now, instead of just paying for your lost bag. I’m surprised they didn’t do this before!
Tarmac & Other Rules
There are a few other rules around tarmac and other delays that you should check out at the link provided earlier.
Airline Fees Discussion:
- Are there any other changes that you think would be fair that you’d like to see implemented?
- Do you like/dislike that these rules were put in place?