What Do I Do If I Was Bumped Off of My United Airlines Flight?

United Airlines, considered the third-largest airline in the world, is a major international airline that operates routes across the globe. For this reason, GetHuman helps you to easily navigate your way towards customer care services if you get bumped off of your United Airlines flight. You may also gain solutions and further information regarding common questions asked by other customers.

Bumping occurs when there are more passengers scheduled to fly on a specific airplane than the available seats. It could arise due to an attempt by most commercial airplane flight operators to avoid empty seats and make up for no-show passengers or missed connections.

United Airlines is not exceptional to overbooking, which is not illegal based on the Department of Transportation (DOT). However, the airline negotiates with passengers who aren't in a hurry to give up their seats in exchange for compensation voluntarily.

If you find yourself in such a scenario, do not worry. There are a few ways United Airlines could help you reach your destination if you bumped off on one of their airplane flights.

  • Firstly, the airline asks for passengers who are willing to volunteer their chance of making a flight in the airplane. If there aren't any or enough volunteers willing to give up their seats, the airline may have to make involuntary changes to customers' flights and deny boarding.
  • United Airlines follows the DOT's compensation rules to get affected customers on the next possible flight. You may opt to volunteer your confirmed seat on the plane in which the airline's will compensate you with travel credit in an agreed-upon amount that's considered fair.

Sometimes, there may not be enough volunteers, and you find yourself bumped off of your United Airlines flight. It's essential to note that the airline's selection of customers for involuntary boarding is solely at its discretion, with boarding preference to those who:

  • Have special assistance needs
  • Have AAdvantage elite status
  • Are traveling as unaccompanied minors
  • Checked in earliest and
  • Paid for the premium economy class.

The airline will not subject you to involuntary boarding if :

  • It's able to get you to your next stopover or final destination within one hour of your original arrival time.
  • It switches to a smaller plane for safety or operational reasons.
  • You fail to comply with American's ticketing, check-in, and reconfirmation requirements, or you're not acceptable for transportation under American's usual rules and practices.
  • The plane has 60 or fewer seats, and there are balance or safety-related weight restrictions.
  • You're offered a seat in a section of the plane that's different from your original ticket. If you are seated in a part where a lower fare is charged, you'll receive an appropriate refund.
  • Your flight is canceled.

Not to worry, though. DOT rules determine how much you're compensated, depending on how late you'll be to your stopover or destination. United Airlines' goal is to get you to your next scheduled destination promptly. Therefore, it may offer flights on other airlines and non-air travel such as by train.

If your flight is oversold and you're not allowed to board, it'll give you a check or travel credit the same day at the airport or mail it within 24 hours. The airline makes compensation depending on your nature of travel as follows:

Travel within the U.S.

  • Up to 1-hour arrival delay – not compensated
  • 1-2-hour arrival delay – 200% of one-way fare
  • 2+ hour arrival delay – 400% of one-way fare


  • Up to 1-hour arrival delay – not compensated
  • 1 - 4-hour arrival delay – 200% of one-way fare
  • 4+ hour arrival delay – 400% of one-way fare

Travel from European Union countries (EU)

  • A travel voucher that can be used for one ticket
  • A check for arrival delays under or more than 4 hours.

Alternative method

You might contact the United Airlines customer service team to assist you if you were bumped off of your United Airlines flight.

What Do I Do If I Was Bumped Off of My United Airlines Flight?

Why Did GetHuman Write "What Do I Do If I Was Bumped Off of My United Airlines Flight?"?

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 What Do I Do If I Was 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.

Why does GetHuman Write How-to Guides for United Airlines Problems?

GetHuman has been working for over 10 years on sourcing information about big organizations like United Airlines in order to help customers resolve customer service issues faster. We started with contact information and fastest ways to reach a human at big companies. Particularly ones with slow or complicated IVR or phone menu systems. Or companies that have self-serve help forums instead of a customer service department. From there, we realized that consumers still needed more detailed help solving the most common problems, so we expanded to this set of guides, which grows every day. And if you spot any issues with our What Do I Do If I Was Bumped Off of My United Airlines Flight? guide, please let us know by sending us feedback. We want to be as helpful as possible. If you appreciated this guide, please share it with your favorite people. Our free information and tools is powered by you, the customer. The more people that use it, the better it gets.

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