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Getting Bumped

Getting bumped happens. The airlines reassigned more than 235,000 passengers between January and March 04, an increase of nearly 27% over the same period last year. The best way not to be denied boarding is to arrive at the check-in counter early.

Whether forced or volunteering, here’s what you are entitled to:

  • Nothing, if the rescheduled flight gets you to your destination within one hour of your original arrival time.
  • Two hundred dollars if you touch down one to two hours later than originally intended and $400 if the delay is longer.

-- You are entitled to cash even though the carrier is likely to offer these amounts in the form of free tickets. Cash beats vouchers because with dollars, unlike with vouchers, you can purchase a ticket that accrues frequent flyer miles. For more information: Check the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Page.

**Candyce H. Stapen, author of 28 travel books, has written the National Geographic Guide to Caribbean Family Vacations.