Getting bumped from your flight is a very rare occurrence, but it does happen. If you were bumped from a United Airlines flight, read on to learn what compensation you could have coming and what steps you should take to get it.
If You Have Been Bumped from a United Airlines Flight
The first thing to do is to go to a United Airlines desk and talk to the staff there. They will try to find a different flight that can still get you to your destination, even searching with different airlines to do it. They will probably be able to get you where you were headed on time. However, if you do experience a delay, federal regulations say that you could be owed compensation.
US Department of Transportation Rules
According to the Department of Transportation, if you were 4 or more hours late to your destination because you were bumped then you are owed 400% of the fare, up to a maximum amount of $1,350. If you are between 1 and 4 hours then you are owed 200% of the fares, up to a maximum of $675. If you were delayed less than an hour then United does not owe you any compensation.
If you were on a flight bought with frequent flyer miles or your ticket does not have a fare for some other reason, you are owed compensation equal to the lowest price for a similar ticket.
The compensation awarded under this rule is considered to be given for the inconvenience caused by being bumped from your flight. It is not a refund of your ticket cost. You still may be able to use the ticket if United can find an alternate way to get you to your destination. If the delay has rendered your trip impossible, you can request a refund for your ticket as well.
The compensation guidelines described above apply only to flights holding 30 or more passengers. If you were on a small flight with fewer than 30 passengers, or a charter flight, you are not owed compensation. The same is true if your flight was an inbound international flight or if you got bumped because of a safety issue. Missing your check in and failing to confirm your reservation also disqualify you for compensation.
How to Make the Refund Request from United Airlines
If you have problems following this procedure, you can get help from United Airlines' customer service. They have phone support, email support, Twitter support, Facebook support, and an online help desk.
After thousands of United Airlines customers came to GetHuman in search of an answer to this problem (and many others), we decided it was time to publish instructions. So we put together How Do I Get Compensated for Getting Bumped Off of My United Airlines Flight? to try to help. It takes time to get through these steps according to other users, including time spent working through each step and contacting United Airlines if necessary. Best of luck and please let us know if you successfully resolve your issue with guidance from this page.
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