Travel

How To Prevent Me Being Bumped Off A Flight?

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  • Jan 17th, 2018 4:39 pm
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How To Prevent Me Being Bumped Off A Flight?




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Okay we have all heard the stories of people being kicked out of airplanes for a seat they have already paid for and confirmed and everything. What prevents me from falling into this nightmare scenario? Book early? Pay cash? Ask for seats at the from or the back of the airplane? I heard that if you sit at the very back of the plane you don't get bumped out. What if I arrive 4 hours early at the airport?




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Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
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MusicBox wrote: Okay we have all heard the stories of people being kicked out of airplanes for a seat they have already paid for and confirmed and everything. What prevents me from falling into this nightmare scenario? Book early? Pay cash? Ask for seats at the from or the back of the airplane? I heard that if you sit at the very back of the plane you don't get bumped out. What if I arrive 4 hours early at the airport?
I wouldn't say "all of the above" but close. Biggie is, check in early. Most airlines that means 24 hours before departure, so log into the airline's website right at that 24 hour mark, check in and print out your boarding pass. So that way you have a seat locked in and your chances of getting bumped have gone down to almost zero. If the flight's overbooked and you're the last person to check in... it's like musical chairs. The music stopped and everybody else is sitting down but you.

Next step is board early. When your group is called, you better be boarding. Again, think musical chairs -- if it's 10 minutes to departure and you aren't sitting in your seat, guess what, somebody waiting at the gate on standby is taking your seat and you're getting bumped.

As for the "arrive 4 hours early" idea -- if you did the first part (checked in at the 24 hour mark), you shouldn't have to, unless you're flying to the USA out of a preclearance airport in Canada (see next); if you don't get through security fast enough, you might bump yourself off the plane as above.

They've supposedly tightened security so you could take longer to get through it all, When I flew earlier this year, those new rules had just kicked in. My flight was 8:30AM on a Sunday, I had my car parked at 5:45 and my checked bag was on its way down the conveyor belts by 6:15. I had originally planned to park the car at 6:30 but with that travel advisory, better safe than sorry... pushed everything 45 min earlier than originally planned.

[if you fly often, definitely consider NEXUS which also allows you to get through security faster by using the shorter, reserved lanes both for aviation security and border control.]
Last edited by EastGTARedFlagger on Jan 1st, 2018 5:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Check-in as early as you can on-line. Have checked bags (makes it harder to involuntary bump you, as they have to find and offload your bags which is a PITA on a flight for which there are on-time pressures!). Travel on a higher fare ticket (increases the compensation due!). Be at the gate when you're supposed to.

Its not really a nightmare scenario unless you're an overly entitled douche and disobey instructions given to you by the airline's crew like that dude in Chicago. Involuntary bumps are rare. In my hundreds of flights, I've yet to see one.
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
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burnt69 wrote: Check-in as early as you can on-line. Have checked bags (makes it harder to involuntary bump you!). Travel on a higher fare ticket (increases the compensation due!). Be at the gate when you're supposed to.

Its not really a nightmare scenario unless you're an overly entitled douche and disobey instructions given to you by the airline's crew like that dude in Chicago. Involuntary bumps are rare. In my hundreds of flights, I've yet to see one.
I love that line, "overly entitled douche". And I love it when they get what's coming to them. Airports are the LAST place to act that way. (well, maybe the second last -- don't do that with border security guards either!)
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EastGTARedFlagger wrote: I love that line, "overly entitled douche". And I love it when they get what's coming to them. Airports are the LAST place to act that way. (well, maybe the second last -- don't do that with border security guards either!)
The guy in Chicago bought a ultra deep discount ticket, the sort of ticket that grandma and grandpa with no time pressures should be buying, and then expected to be treated like an executive (or in his case, a 'doctor') when it came to deciding who was going to be thrown off. Furthermore, he disobeyed the airline's indication that they would be denying him boarding, something they were entitled to do per the legal contract he entered into with them in exchange for a quantum of liquidated damages. And he refused a lawful instruction of the crew. His behavior was exactly that, overly entitled, and that of a complete douchebag.
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Jan 11, 2004
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MusicBox wrote:


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Okay we have all heard the stories of people being kicked out of airplanes for a seat they have already paid for and confirmed and everything. What prevents me from falling into this nightmare scenario? Book early? Pay cash? Ask for seats at the from or the back of the airplane? I heard that if you sit at the very back of the plane you don't get bumped out. What if I arrive 4 hours early at the airport?
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This video is not even an involuntary bump. They tried poaching a seat they didn't pay for.
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dealguy2 wrote: This video is not even an involuntary bump. They tried poaching a seat they didn't pay for.
Poaching? They sent their older teen son on another earlier flight, do you think the airline let him board for free? The guy paid for his teen son's seat on the other flight. So a seat was left vacant... so the father rightfully used that seat to sit his toddler son. Imagine you pay for 3 seats but then your wife doesn't go. You can use your wife's seat to sit the child you planned on carrying on your lap.
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Feb 7, 2017
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MusicBox wrote: Poaching? They sent their older teen son on another earlier flight, do you think the airline let him board for free? The guy paid for his teen son's seat on the other flight. So a seat was left vacant... so the father rightfully used that seat to sit his toddler son. Imagine you pay for 3 seats but then your wife doesn't go. You can use your wife's seat to sit the child you planned on carrying on your lap.
FALSE
MusicBox wrote:

Okay we have all heard the stories of people being kicked out of airplanes for a seat they have already paid for and confirmed and everything. What prevents me from falling into this nightmare scenario? Book early? Pay cash? Ask for seats at the from or the back of the airplane? I heard that if you sit at the very back of the plane you don't get bumped out. What if I arrive 4 hours early at the airport?

This family DID NOT GET BUMPED.

This family was asked to leave the plane because the Father did not adhere to an order by a member of the flight crew (that is against TSA Regulations)

In this particular case the father was wrong, and the airlines were right.

Yes, they had bought an additional seat, for an older son who did not show up (took a different flight)
The father therefore “thought” (incorrectly) that because he paid for the additional seat, and that seat was not refunded... that he “owned” that seat for the flight.

This is an INCORRECT assumption / POV

As the airline is perfectly within its right to then resell or otherwise fill those seats as their “original ticket holders” FORFEITED THEM (essentially abandoned them) to the airline when they do not show up

The airline therefore has returned OWNERSHIP of that seat on the flight and dictate its use

Also, beyond this fact...

Even if a seat was empty the entire flight... they can decide WHO IF ANYONE GETS TO USE IT
Including telling others to return to their designated seats
(Ie say there is an empty seat in First Class... it’s not a case of anyone in Economy getting to sit there JUST BECAUSE ITS VACANT)

On flights that are not full...
Pax often spread out in the name of comfort
And airlines overlook that for the most part... as long as one sits a seat within the same class, and no one around “your newly chosen seat” complains
So if this flight had taken off not full, and was up in the air, I doubt the flight crew would have cared very little if the family had taken over the vacant seat (the one they originally bought for their oldest son)

But in this case, the plane was full...
And the airline had plans to resell / otherwise fill that ABANDONED Seat that Dad bought for the eldest son

So Dad was wrong
And Dad was doubly wrong in arguing with the Crew Member (which is WHY he got the boot)

To be fair...
The flight attendant was wrong in telling him his kids would go into foster care if he & his wife were in jail overnight (Although the TSA does have such powers)

And I do believe that this Pax caught video does have some important info missing (as more than likely the fellow Pax started taping long after the incident began).

Because the airline had just reason to remove the Dad (supported by the video)... but maybe none to remove Mom*, unless she had been argumentative to the Flight Crew as well (before the video began)

* OR... it was a case of one infant per adult lap (I do seem to recall this as a rule). In which case, Dad’s leaving would have Mom with more kids than lap. Personally, I think Mom was arguing too (lol maybe with Dad)... the video just didn’t catch it
Last edited by PointsHubby on Jan 1st, 2018 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hawaii to California isn't that long a flight...it would have made sense to just suck it up and have the kid on your lap. Beats having to sleep at the airport and try to get flights the next day. I guess it could have been averted if they had called and asked if they could this in the first place. I have family who work in the airline industry and they get exposed to some pretty obstinate and entitled people.
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The reality is that involuntary denied boarding (a "bump" that you didn't ask for, due to airline overbooking) happens very rarely. About 10 instances per 100,000 passengers on average for U.S. airlines.

There are three situations that *increase* your chances of being bumped:
  1. Not having a seat assigned, and getting a "GTE" (seat to be assigned at gate) seat assignment at check-in. That means there are more passengers than seats, and you don't have a seat yet, so you'll get a seat and therefore fly only if enough seats are empty that you get one assigned at the gate, in your priority order.
  2. In the even rarer case someone gets involuntarily denied boarding *with a seat assignment*, airlines will generally bump the lowest-fare paying, non frequent-flyer status passengers first.
  3. The airlines have various rules how you have to be at the gate x minutes before departure, and how (if you are connecting) your incoming flight can't be that late that you are not expected to be able to catch the next one. These rules are enforced more stringently when there is an oversold situation (and an army of folks with GTE seat assignments are waiting for a seat!). So you increase your chances for an involuntary bump if you're rushing late to the gate, or your connecting flight is late.
Therefore, to *decrease* your chance of a bump, above all make sure you have a seat assignment. So (as others have said), check in online early, since then you'll have a boarding pass with a seat on it. If you're on a fare that allows you to, preselect a seat when you buy your ticket (or before you travel). Don't fly rock-bottom fare, and if you do (e.g. Air Canada Tango), pay extra for assigned seating ahead of time. Be in time to the airport and to the gate; no bonus points for being super-early, but don't be late. Finally, if you're connecting and get delayed, and run and make it to your next gate close to departure time and it still isn't boarding, talk to the gate agent to make sure he/she isn't about to offload you under the convenient assumption that you "probably" didn't make it in time.

Stuff like paying cash, or being at the airport or gate super early (having already checked in online) makes no difference.
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PointsHubby wrote: FALSE



This family DID NOT GET BUMPED.

As the airline is perfectly within its right to then resell or otherwise fill those seats as their “original ticket holders” FORFEITED THEM (essentially abandoned them) to the airline when they do not show up
Buddy, the family never forfeited the seat, they had their toddler in it, they never asked for a refund. I would love to see a hotel pull off the stunts the airliners pull.... suppose I rent and pre-pay for 3 rooms and my brother doesn't show up so I give it to my cousion but the hotel kicks my cousin out of the room and double sells it to another stranger, yeah that's rich.
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Going back to the OP.

I would suggest, at the very least, to pay for advanced seat selection (on top of checking in 24 hours prior). Yes, I know it goes against most RFDer to pay for extras.
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MusicBox wrote: Buddy, the family never forfeited the seat, they had their toddler in it, they never asked for a refund. I would love to see a hotel pull off the stunts the airliners pull.... suppose I rent and pre-pay for 3 rooms and my brother doesn't show up so I give it to my cousion but the hotel kicks my cousin out of the room and double sells it to another stranger, yeah that's rich.
The son didn't show up for the flight. The ticket was for the son not for the toddler. That's how it works and it's the same for a lot of transportation arrangements.
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MusicBox wrote: Buddy, the family never forfeited the seat, they had their toddler in it, they never asked for a refund. I would love to see a hotel pull off the stunts the airliners pull.... suppose I rent and pre-pay for 3 rooms and my brother doesn't show up so I give it to my cousion but the hotel kicks my cousin out of the room and double sells it to another stranger, yeah that's rich.
FALSE

Airlines do not work as you are stating.

The seat is ONLY RESERVED for person who’s name is on the tkt, period.

If the ticketed person never shows up, the seat is forfeited back to the airline ... AUTOMATICALLY... no one has to ask for a refund. Then the airline CAN DO AS THEY PLEASE WITH IT... including resell it*

If these parents were wishing to put their toddlers / lap passengers in a ticketed seat, they would have had to do that BEFORE they ever got on the plane (bought a seat for the toddler with HIS NAME on it)

RE - HOTELS

Say you bought 3 Rooms, with Guaranteed Arrival of 6 PM*

But did not show up on time ... then ya guess what the Hotel has EVERY RIGHT TO RESELL YOUR ROOMS to someone else... and if you show up at 9:00 PM with your Brother, Cousin or anyone else, expecting a room, and the Hotel is now full.. they have absolutely NO OBLIGATION to find you or anyone else in your party a room.

You did not meet YOUR TERMS OF THE CONTRACT (Arriving by 6 PM) ... then you FORFEIT THE ROOM BACK TO THE HOTEL (plus lose the payment)

PS... and if you made a big scene in the Hotel Lobby... the Hotel would call Security / the Police to have you removed from the premises as well.
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* Travellers need to BOTH READ & UNDERSTAND their Travel Docs / CONTRACTS (its all there for the reading). It amazes me continually how few people do... especially considering how much travel costs.
Last edited by PointsHubby on Jan 2nd, 2018 1:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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*COMIC INTERRUPTION* (newsbreaking)

Right now Im at Pearson Airport and just heard an announcement through the loud speakers;

"Attention passengers. Flight Rouge 1776 from Air Canada with destination to Puerto Vallarta will not be able to take carry-on baggages aboard the cabin. Please come to gate to make alternate arrangements".

What? What the hell does that mean?
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MusicBox wrote: *COMIC INTERRUPTION* (newsbreaking)

Right now Im at Pearson Airport and just heard an announcement through the loud speakers;

"Attention passengers. Flight Rouge 1776 from Air Canada with destination to Puerto Vallarta will not be able to take carry-on baggages aboard the cabin. Please come to gate to make alternate arrangements".

What? What the hell does that mean?
Unusual Announcement for sure.

But it probably means all the Carry On Space is FULL for some reason

My guess is that Flight AC 1776 is a Direct Flight to Puerto Vallarta that made a connection in TO to pick up more Pax ... and that all the CARRY ON GREEDY Pax from the originating city took up all the in cabin storage space.

* Going now to check AC 1776 flight plan
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/ROU1776

No not the case. It’s direct TO to PV, and flew in this AM to TO from PV.

Strange Announcement for sure... gotta be something else going on with that flight.
Last edited by PointsHubby on Jan 2nd, 2018 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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MusicBox wrote: Buddy, the family never forfeited the seat, they had their toddler in it, they never asked for a refund. I would love to see a hotel pull off the stunts the airliners pull.... suppose I rent and pre-pay for 3 rooms and my brother doesn't show up so I give it to my cousion but the hotel kicks my cousin out of the room and double sells it to another stranger, yeah that's rich.
You need to get educated about how airline seats work.

As others have explained, when a ticket is bought in the name of XXX and XXX doesn't show up, the ticket/seat is forfeited. Seats on commercial airplanes have lots of regulations than getting a room in a hotel.
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Nov 30, 2003
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MusicBox wrote: Buddy, the family never forfeited the seat, they had their toddler in it, they never asked for a refund. I would love to see a hotel pull off the stunts the airliners pull.... suppose I rent and pre-pay for 3 rooms and my brother doesn't show up so I give it to my cousion but the hotel kicks my cousin out of the room and double sells it to another stranger, yeah that's rich.
You do know that seats are assigned by name right? Teen wasn't there, seat cannot be reassigned by family to someone else.. they do not 'own' the seat

Your comparison is not valid as it's not apples to apples

Teen does not show up, seat is forfeited and airline now has control over who uses it <--- this is how airlines work and has nothing to do with any other industry, especially a hotel
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boy that situation sucks. I feel for the passengers, even though yea the airline was within all its rights.

In any case, doesn't anyone see how absolutely terribly the staff handled this problem?
threatening to put the parents in jail and the kids into custody????!??!
And saying things like "you're on your own now" (instead of something more civil like "I'm sorry but you'll need to make re-arrangements")

you're supposed to DE-ESCALATE the situation and control the surprise, not add to it, you stupid stupid flight attendant!!

If they just had the sense to NOT THREATEN, just kept apologizing, stating the facts politely, and kept delaying the flight, then the customers would probably have given up and gotten off voluntarily without such a scene.

I think this is more of a customer service mishandling issue, rather than a "who's got the right to what" argument. Going by the book, its very clear who and who doesn't have the right.
but come on...... what kind of employee training have these people gone thru??
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SomeOtherDude wrote: boy that situation sucks. I feel for the passengers, even though yea the airline was within all its rights.

In any case, doesn't anyone see how absolutely terribly the staff handled this problem?
threatening to put the parents in jail and the kids into custody????!??!
And saying things like "you're on your own now" (instead of something more civil like "I'm sorry but you'll need to make re-arrangements")

you're supposed to DE-ESCALATE the situation and control the surprise, not add to it, you stupid stupid flight attendant!!

If they just had the sense to NOT THREATEN, just kept apologizing, stating the facts politely, and kept delaying the flight, then the customers would probably have given up and gotten off voluntarily without such a scene.

I think this is more of a customer service mishandling issue, rather than a "who's got the right to what" argument. Going by the book, its very clear who and who doesn't have the right.
but come on...... what kind of employee training have these people gone thru??
I 100% agree with your statement... that the wording used by the Flight Crew could have been better
(Especially the bit about taking the parents being arrested... and taking the kids into Foster Care)

BUT... to be fair, we only are seeing PART OF WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS FLIGHT
From the time whomever began recording

I am betting there are minutes / several minutes missing

Clearly the Dad was putting up quite a stink about the Flight Crew wanting that extra seat for another Pax

I am guessing...

That the convo escalated
Camera guy thought... oh wow, I gotta get this

And what we are seeing is more middle / end of the encounter

By that time, the Flight Crew were tired / peeved with this Dad
And were on the verge of calling the Authorities to get him physically removed, if he was not going on his own steam
Hence the curt replies of
“You’re on your own now”

What they said may not have been by the book polite
But it was accurate
Plus we have no idea what he said to them beforehand
(He clearly sees the camera... and know he’s now being filmed)

I think the Flight Crew were painting it as it is
Get off now on you’re own...
Or we are all getting off here (deplaning)
So the Authorities can step in
And we will ALL be going no where (and that could have resulted in the Dad being Charged & SUED by the Airline for costs)
Don’t get off... and you’ll be arrested... and if that happens... you definitely won’t be going anywhere... except to jail
And you won’t be taking your kids to the cell with you

That came off as a threat. But it was accurate info. And clearly the thing that got them off the plane without the airport police escort / further action required.

Dad was wrong (and still is wrong)
I think the Flight Crew was more than reasonable given the situation
They could have escalated this at any time... they clearly were considering it
In the end this incident did get settled with the best outcome for ALL PARTIES... including this family

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