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Travel tip: Don’t do this if your flight is overbooked

August 5, 2015

You are excited about your vacation or travel plans. You have planned it all. You reach the gate to know that the flight is overbooked. You realize you may not make it to your destination. What do you do then?

If you’re asked to volunteer for not taking that flight, then do not. Even if the airline’s offer of cash or voucher sounds awesome. Let them bump you involuntarily, and denied boarding. This way you can receive much more in compensation.

AirHelp explains in the infographic below why overbooking happens and how to minimize your chances of getting bumped from a flight, along with the monetary benefits of being bumped. If you volunteer to be denied boarding, the airline might offer you $200-$400 back, but if you’re involuntarily denied, federal regulations require you to be compensated up to $1,300, depending on how much of a delay was involved. You should get twice or up to 4 times the ticket price plus a full refund of your original ticket.

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