I am not sure if that is the correct and current terminology nowadays, but when I worked in the airline world twenty-five years ago, to be bumped meant to be denied boarding because the flight was overbooked. Of course this concept has come to the fore recently in light of an American doctor being forcibly ‘bumped’ in every sense of the word!
However , I was flying recently when the gate staff announced that the flight was overbooked a few minutes prior to boarding. They requested for volunteers to be bumped, on the promise of a later flight departing in four hours, with payment of €250 in compensation, and a meal voucher.
This got me thinking. I don’t mind waiting four hours in the Senator lounge for that kind of compensation. I would not arrive at my destination until midnight, but a small price for such a reward. But then I remembered that I am on a business trip, so who should get the compensation? My employer paid the airfare, but I would be choosing to be inconvenienced. I am also traveling, yet again, out of working hours having started work at 7am.
If a flight is delayed then the company go through the process of claiming compensation according to the various rules in place for all European airlines, but this current choice would be voluntary – between me and the airline.
So, what is the protocol, and what decision would you take?
- Take the delay and pocket the money
- Take the delay and hand over the compensation
- Just get on the flight for which you already have a boarding card