Were Brian Maslar and his wife bumped from their Delta Air Lines flight from Cleveland to Aruba? If so, does the airline owe them anything?
Q: I was wondering if I could get your opinion on this issue my wife and I had with Delta Air Lines. We recently flew from Cleveland to Aruba via Atlanta. But we were removed from our connecting flight and had to spend the night in Atlanta. Delta covered our meals and hotel expenses.
I believe my wife and I were involuntarily denied boarding. Isn’t there a rule that Delta should compensate us for being bumped? I noticed that on our return flight, they were offering $600 vouchers for people to give up their seats and take a later flight. Is Delta being cheap and trying to get out of offering flight vouchers, or aren’t we eligible?
— Brian Maslar, North Royalton, Ohio
A: It sure looks as if Delta forgot to compensate you for removing you from a flight. And it never hurts to ask if an airline is being “cheap.” It usually is.
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But is Delta being cheap? Let’s have a look at the rules. If you have a seat on an oversold flight and an airline denies you boarding, also known as a “bump,” then you’re entitled to compensation under federal regulations. Those are spelled out on the DOT website: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights.
For example, if you’re bumped and the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to get you to your final destination, including a later connection, within one hour of your original scheduled arrival time, there is no compensation. But if you’re delayed between one and two hours after your original arrival time on a domestic flight, the airline must pay you an amount equal to 200 percent of your one-way fare to your final destination that day, with a $675 maximum.
But if your flight is just delayed, then federal rules don’t apply. So, for example, if…