When Money is at Stake, Will the Airlines Continue to Overbook?
A new federal rule issued April 20, 2011 states that US airline passengers can collect up to $1,300 if they are forced to give up their seat on a flight that is overbooked. This is an increase of 63% over the old penalty of $800. However, to be eligible for the maximum penalty, a passenger must arrive at their destination more than 2 hours later than their originally scheduled time.
I recently took a trip to Atlanta and I think everybody in the United States was leaving from this airport! Security lines were long and people appeared to have brought far too many items for “carry-on”. I arrived at my gate approximately one hour before my flight and I can assure you if the rest of the carriers are operating like the one I was on, no one will be capitalizing from the new federal ruling. I reached my destination thirty minutes before the scheduled time. Talk about on-time performance, I was impressed!
I think the airlines are finally getting the message that if they overbook and bump a passenger, they may have to shell out. I am looking forward to seeing the second quarter report for on-time performance reports for airlines. Who knows, flying may once again become the way to go!
Cheryl Homer-Wilson, Executive Director