What to know if an airline wants to bump you from a flight

It’s a story that has become more common at airports: After you show up, get through security and walk to your assigned gate, you hear an announcement that the airline is looking for volunteers to give up their seats. If you’re unlucky, you find out you’re getting “bumped” from the flight because the airline overbooked.

Airlines beset by labor shortages have struggled to keep up with summer travel demand, leading to an unusually high number of cancellations, delays and disappearing luggage. More people are also getting bumped: According to a consumer report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the rate of passengers who were involuntarily denied boarding in the first quarter of 2022 was 0.44 per 10,000 passengers, which is more than five times greater than the 2021 figure (0.08) and bigger than the pre-pandemic rate of 0.32 in the same period of 2019.

Flexible travelers can use these situations

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