Is it just me or is there an increase in the number of passenger being bumped off flights these days? There are two recent stories in the past week involving Air Canada.
Dad and Two Kids Ordered Off the Plane
The first story is a combo American Airlines and Air Canada issue. A family was stranded at the Miami International Airport (MIA). On their way back to Canada, the family was set to fly on an American Airlines flight. However, the flight was, you guessed it, overbooked, so they were rebooked on an Air Canada flight instead. It doesn’t help that they are not alliance partners, so I think this contributed to the problem.
Once at the Air Canada gate, the mom was not allowed to be board of an issue with her ticket, so the dad and two kids boarded on their own. However, shortly after boarding, they were ordered to leave the plane and went back with their stranded mother at the gate anyway.
Of course the Air Canada flight was also overbooked, so they were bumped, only to return back to American Airlines who finally flew them home.
After six weeks, Air Canada responded to the family with an official apology and a $100 travel voucher for each family member.
After their story was published on the news, American Airlines also apologized and offered the family $100 each in travel vouchers.
Woman Bumped from Air Canada Flight Misses $10,000 Cruise
The second story also involves Air Canada and a woman who missed her cruise because she was bumped off an overbooked flight. After missing her flight, she was redirected to Air Canada’s customer service, but by the time she learned that here was another flight available, it was too late. She missed the last Air Canada flight available to catch her cruise. To make matters worse, by the time she received her checked luggage back, it was too late to book a flight on another airline.
Air Canada confirmed that the flight was oversold and that their staff made every effort to rebook her flight so that she would not miss her cruise. But obviously they were not successful. After filing a complaint with Air Canada, she received a cheque for $800 compensation.
Luckily, the cruise company was a little more generous and offered to rebook her cruise at no cost, except that she would still need to pay for her flight.
News Agencies Having a Field Day
Does it feel like there are more of these stories being reported every day?
I think that the United Airlines incident has really put the spotlight on overbookings and made this a very sensitive topic. Furthermore, there are probably more people are willing to share their experience with news reporters than ever before.
Overbookings is obviously a big issue for passengers with time sensitive schedules. I think that airlines are doing what they can to offer compensation packages to willing volunteers. The challenge comes when there are human errors and lack of volunteers willing to be bumped to another flight.
One thing I hope comes from all these stories is that it sheds more light on the issue and airlines will step up to make changes. Already, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines increased their compensation packages, which I think will instantly increase the number of willing volunteers. The other thing that airlines can do is decrease the amount of overbooking, which they might?
Either way, if this continues to be an issue, I can see that governments are going to step in. The Canadian Government already wants to introduce laws addressing overbooked flights.
How do you feel about this issue? Do you think that governments should intervene?