Involuntary Denied Boarding compensation explained

On August 23, 2011, new passenger protections were introduced, one of which increased the amount of involuntary denied boarding (IDB) compensation. A question was posed during last weekend’s Chicago Frequent Flyer Seminars as to the exact calculation, so I thought I’d go through two examples.

First, the new rules are as follows:

Domestic flights within the United States: No compensation is due if your airline finds alternate transportation that will get you to your next stopover point or final destination within one hour after the scheduled arrival time of your original flight. For flights getting you to your next point or destination more than one hour but less than two hours, cash compensation equivalent to 200% of the one-way fare on the flight you were bumped off to a maximum of $650. Flights getting you to your next point or destination more than two hours from the original time will net you cash compensation of 400% of the one-way fare to a maximum of $1,300.

U.S. originating flights to foreign points: No compensation is due if your airline finds alternate transportation that will get you to your next stopover point or final destination within one hour after the scheduled arrival time of your original flight. For flights getting you to your next point or destination more than one hour but less than four hours, cash compensation equivalent to 200% of the one-way fare on the flight you were bumped off to a maximum of $650. Flights getting you to your next point or destination more than four hours from the original time will net you cash compensation of 400% of the one-way fare to a maximum of $1,300.

It’s all pretty clear except how the airline actually calculates the value of that one-way fare. I’ll go through two examples to hopefully shed some light on this. First, though, it’s important to note that the airline will use the base fare plus transportation taxes, but will leave off other taxes levied including the September 11th Security Fee, Passenger Facility Charges and Flight Segment Taxes. The examples below should make that clear.

Example 1: Simple coach roundtrip from Los Angeles to Chicago with a nonstop flight in each direction. I’ll use my ticket from last weekend as the example. I paid a total of $259.40 all-in, which can be broken down as follows:

a close-up of a tax formSince the calculation for IDB compensation will only take into consideration the base fare and US Transportation tax, those two amounts total $238 for the roundtrip, or $119 one-way. Here, then is how much IDB compensation I’d be entitled to based on the rules above:

a number of numbers on a white backgroundSo, you can see I’d get $238 if my new flight arrived between one and two hours from my originally scheduled flight and $476 if I was delayed more than two hours. Not too bad in my book.

Before I get to the next example, I need to explain another caveat as to how an airline calculates one-way fare values if you have a trip with connections. Here’s the actual text and if it makes you cross-eyed, just skip it and move on to Example 2 where I break it down.

a blue text on a white backgroundExample 2: Coach roundtrip from Los Angeles to Boston with a connection in Chicago both ways. Assume I am bumped in Chicago off my Boston flight. Here’s a breakdown of such a fare:

a close-up of a tax formSince there’s a connection involved, the airline will need to follow the rule as quoted above and I’ve reproduced it in a more appealing format using this example below. I used ExpertFlyer to find out the full Y fare one-way from Chicago to Boston is $1,517, and Los Angeles to Chicago is $1,776.

a number and equal signThe airline will then use 46% of my one-way fare paid from Los Angeles to Boston as the figure in the compensation calculation. From the above fare breakdown, the base fare plus US Transportation Tax is $318 roundtrip, or $159 one-way. 46% of $159 is $73.14. This would then result in cash compensation of:

a close-up of a price listIt’s not as significant as my first example due to the full Y fares in the respective markets used in this calculation and sort of makes sense since the Chicago to Boston leg is the shorter of the two.

If I were in either situation outlined above and flying United Airlines, I’m sure I would have jumped on the voluntary denied boarding bandwagon as they currently provide $400 in travel credits. Those are more valuable to me given my frequency of travel and I doubt I’ll ever figure out what IDB comp is for every one of my flights ahead of time – though I could certainly add a column or two to my existing mileage tracking spreadsheet.

I’m happy they doubled the compensation levels from those previously in place as if you fly on inexpensive fares like me, halving the amounts above would be insulting if I were yanked off a flight involuntarily.

Fuel surcharges found on international flights are included in the computation since they are airline-added fees. Questions? Comments?



  1. Darren,
    Nice write up and breakdown. My question is: what happens if you are flying on an award ticket? will they comp you those points? or are you SOL?

    • Thanks and very good question. I have yet to find actual text related to award travel in the rules. The only thing I see is, “The passenger will not be eligible for compensation if the ticket was issued at a free or reduced fare available to employees within the transportation industry.” Award travel is different, though, and I know United adds an SSR (Special Service Request) to award bookings of “NODBC,” which means no denied boarding compensation. So… if they apply the formula, you’d indeed be SOL on an award ticket.

      Has any reader experienced this first-hand?

  2. Darren,

    What about for flights that originate in a foreign country and are bound for the US? Last week I was denied boarding on a Copa flight from Cartagena, Colombia to Los Angeles via Panama City Panama. Copa has been giving me the run around. No info on dated of denied boarding and was told I would have to send an email to customer service. Thanks.

    • @Richard: I believe compensation would be based on a combo of local government rules and the airline’s policies. Copa’s website is vague, but they mention a “written policy.” On your next call to them (don’t give up!) demand to receive it! They should have technically given it to you at the time of being denied to board. Keep sending emails to customer service and don’t give up!

  3. I was IDBed on an award ticket once from LGA, I think I was going to BUR. USAir tried to tell me that the only thing I was entitled to was a free ticket, which was clearly not the case. However, I dropped it after they agreed to make the ticket non-capacity controlled.

    (FWIW, it was a weight-balance thing on a CRJ, and I was IDBed because I was last in line to board – I usually wait until the end unless I have a carry-on to stow – and they didn’t ask for volunteers, they just told the last three of us in line that we weren’t boarding. I don’t know just what happened, maybe the weather deteriorated while we were boarding and they wanted to get the plane out while they could instead of waiting to fill up with more gas.)

    • @Hank: For weight and balance issues, airlines have a little more flexibility on the IDB rules. I believe they can treat those as VDBs and offer free tix and such.

  4. My daughter printed her boarding pass at on-line from my home for her return to Las Vegas from Hawaii. She arrived at HNL early, checked in her baggage, passed through TSA security and attempted to board when her zone was called. BTW, she bought a perferred seat ($29.00) and everything seem to be okay.

    When the gate agent scanned her boarding pass they told her that the ticket did not have any value so she could not board. She was sent back to the ticket counter to resolve the problem. The ticket agent determined that the ticket was proper, however, by this time the flight had already left HNL for LAX.

    The ticket agent tried to find another flight out of Hawaii but couldn’t find another flight. Finally, my daughter agreed to fly out the next day on the same flight. She was given a meal voucher and a $50.00 credit voucher for the 24 hour delay.

    How do we make a claim for the proper compensation from Delta airlines for this denied boarding?

    • @Ben: Sorry to hear of your daughter’s troubles. Technically this wasn’t an involuntary denied boarding due to an oversold flight, which is the focus of this post. That said, though, a meal voucher and $50.00 seems pretty paltry to me. I doubt you’ll get anything else from Delta for her issue as she “accepted” the reaccommodation the next day, as well as the meal voucher and travel credit. Once you leave the podium/ticket agent, the deal is pretty much done. You can try to contact Delta to ask for more, but I’d say there’s a 99.9% chance you won’t get anything additional for the reasons I stated. Sorry I couldn’t bring better news.

  5. Myself and Ms. Miller were involuntarily bumped from our Seats. We were not give a comp. denied boarding info, that you were to give us. You sent our baggage to LAS. I was told there was a plane change, but there was not. Ms Miller and I were actually on the plane and removed. She starting crying. We felt like criminals. The people at the desk were not able to help us. We had to take another flight with Delta, that they did not see in their system. The next flight we were told we could get on was the next day.

    Per the Compensation for denied boarding we are entitled to $1300 for each ticket. I also want 290,000 miles that we had to pay to get on the only Delta flight. I want a refund for 40,000 miles we paid for the Vegas flight.

    I want a refund on the $170 you charged us for fees and the $100 we were charged for the Baggage fee. This was a terrible experience.

    Please let me know your outcome. I will being contacting the FAA and DOT, if we can not come to a fair agreement. I have already been offered $400 in vouchers which will not work.

    They will not pay us. What should I do ??

  6. Hi!
    I was traveling from USA to Barcelona and they took me off the plane and put me on another flight because the flight was overbooked. The flight arrived 12 hours later than it was supposed to. I was given a sheet of paper saying that I am owed 1300$, but there was not enough time to redeem it in Newark. Now I am in Barcelona, what do I do to get the money? there is of course no clear information on the website?
    thank you so much for your help!!

    • @John: I doubt anyone can help you in Barcelona and it’s a shame they didn’t give you instructions or a person to contact for your compensation. If you’re not traveling back to the USA soon, I’d use the fill-in form with your detailed information.

  7. Please help… On Friday I was IDB from Shreveport, LA, to Philadelphia, PA by delta airlines, I chose not to volunteer at my kiosk but was told to await a seating assignment. Upon trying to board, there was a general announcement made to wait off to the side and I waited and waited until they actually closed the gate and the flight took off without me. No one had actually called my name or even checked the passenger manifest to make sure that all checked in passengers were accounted for. What’s worse, I believe my seat was give away to a stand-by from a previously cancelled flight. When I finally got to speak to the woman working the gate, she was ambivalent at best, didn’t even know where my luggage was, she rerouted me for something that would qualify me for 200%, a minute later I got an automated call that it was very late and now it would be 400%. The woman told me to wait and that I would receive my compensation and baggage information in a few minutes. I waited for an hour, and another gentleman came to work the gate and she left for the day without completing any of what she had promised or telling the new gentleman. The new one was unaware I was IDB because the previous incompetent employee hadn’t put it on my file, and he told me they would compensate me at my connecting airport, but at the connecting airport they said i should have taken care of it at the airport i left from (which i tried doing but they did not do their jobs). Long story short, they have repeatedly been offering me 400 Delta Credits which I have kept refusing [if it wasn’t for your article that I read while waiting I wouldn’t have known any better so thank you!!!]. I truly find this insulting as that is what they give to passengers who voluntarily give up their seats. But almost every single delta employee has claimed NO KNOWLEDGE of these passenger protections laws and they continue to claim that they are trying to compensate me but I am the one refusing. The one-ways from SHV 2 PHL being about $500 I believe myself entitled to the max $1300. Customer Service somewhat acknowledged that they do make non-credit compensation but I need to contact a special corporate office to “make my case”. Now, in my favor, they are now recognizing that I was IDB but I have been getting the run-around on even them admitting that I am entitled to cash compensation. Could you give me any advice for when I call the corporate office tomorrow?

    Also, is this a big deal? I just started flying twice a week for work and with all the grief I have experienced through these people I want to contact the BBB, and the managers for the Shreveport airport because this woman deserves to be fired, demoted, or retrained for having balked on her responsibilities in such an aggregious way, or do you think I am overreacting?

    • Hi Jonathan, Wow, what a horrible experience. As you were told to wait off to the side for a seat assignment and they subsequently shut the doors and left without you, you were indeed an IDB. Terrible the first female agent didn’t process you properly. You definitely need to bring the fact up that she walked away from the gate without processing you when you call tomorrow. You ARE entitled to cash compensation, but know it’s not going to be $1,300. It’ll be a calculated based on the fare structure for your IDB segment, as outlined in this post. Depending on the fares, it might even be less than the $400 in credits they offered previously. You can definitely file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. I’m not sure the BBB would do any good, quite honestly. And yes, this is a big deal. You’re not overreacting. This was TERRIBLE customer service and I wish you the best in getting proper resolution.

  8. We were booked on a $700 flight Denver-Bangor flight that Delta canceled a portion of due to weather. They could/would not find an alternate timely route to our destination. When our connecting flight arrived in NYC, the pilot commented on what a great night it was to fly. The rain had stopped 9 hours earlier but Delta refused to compensate us or even provide a hotel because the segment cancellation was weather related. The next morning we checked in for our rebooked flight, and were assigned seats. The flight was delayed an hour to crew not being available. Thirty minutes after the flight should have left the agent announced the flight was “overbooked “ and asked for volunteers. We did not volunteer. We were called to the podium and told the flight was oversold and we were not going to be able to board. They were going to book us on a flight into a city two hours away from our destination then make us take a bus. They then told us to sit down, that flight was full, they were rebooking us and we were not allowed to board our flight. They didn’t rebook us for two hours. We’d go up to the agent every 40 minutes and be told “we are working on it –sit down’. The only assistance we got was when l we went to customer service. When we demanded cash compensation and a copy of the FAA boarding policy the story changed from the flight being overbooked. Now that the flight had landed the supervisor said it was a weight issue even though the plane that usually flies the Bangor NYC segment had over 65 seats and this should not exempt the airline per the FAA policy. We were sent to a city 4 hours from our destination then bused to a location over a mile from the airport. No meal money was given, and they refused to provide cash compensation. When we protested in writing they responded a week later by stating we volunteered. We arrived 24 ours after our initial reservation and 12 hours after the rebooked flight. Delta is still refusing compensation. Note they have claimed we were not due compensation due to weather (rain ended 9 hours prior), overbooked flight became weight issue (they refuse to provide us with plane size) and now almost two weeks later they claim we “volunteered”. Is there any option other than small claims court?

    • @Patricia: Wow, quite a story and a frustrating one at that. Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Regarding the weather issue, airlines can post weather delays long after the rain has passed in part because of air traffic control restrictions resulting from the earlier weather and/or if the aircraft you were to fly on was stuck somewhere due to weather. Horrible the reasons kept changing for your Bangor flight, too. I doubt you’ll get anywhere with Delta as whoever plugged in the reason codes would be the only one to know (besides yourself) the truth of the matter and the corporate office is simply looking at their computer screen showing it as volunteered and/or overweight. You could try the small claims court route, but I honestly don’t think you’ll be successful. It’s unfortunate, but I think that’s the reality. I’m sorry I couldn’t give better news.

  9. Darren

    Thanks for the reply. This is not a new issue with Delta bumped passengers. The last time we tried Bangor to Denver we had a two day delay too. We had to pay for hotels and meal and were only given flight vouchers which we didn’t use. At that time we let our bad experience drop. We were not the only ones. Delta was fined and a consent order given in 2009 for their refusal to follow FAA regulations on denied boarding:

    I’m posting this story as a warning to other passengers to refuse to budge from ticket seats until written agreement is given to them. Delta like other airlines is required to give travelers a notice of their rights at the time of bumping. Delta employees had not heard of this until the supervisor was called. They then claimed weight after the plane 65 seats landed. Regulations only allow weight limits for flights less than 60 seats. The supervisor said they needed extra fuel because they expected to have to circle Bangor for an extended period. There are less than 20 flights a day into Bangor. Many are military transport and refueling flights.

    JetBlue flies round trip Boston to Denver for $260. A Boston Bangor bus ticket is $44, or a total round trip of $348. The Delta Bangor-Denver flight sells for $780. On the bus we met other Delta bumped passengers. It appears to be a profitable routine for Delta to overbook these flights, and cancel flights that are not full hours and days ahead of time due to “weather”. They then deny boarding and refuse compensation. At least three Delta employees commented/ complained about having to deal with so many Boston-Bangor bus transfer passengers.

    I encourage other passengers to report their Delta bumped passenger problems to the FAA.

  10. We weren’t bumped due to overbooking but we missed our connection in Philadelphia since our first leg was late arriving and consequently leaving by 2 hours (provider was U.S. Airways). Upon our arrival in Philly there were no flights available to our final destination or even any cities relatively close where we could have potentially caught another flight to get home. They had already gone ahead and booked us for the first flight out the next day, requiring us to stay overnight so far in excess of a 4 hour delay. All they offered us at the airport was a night stay at a close-by hotel and a VERY insultingly low meal allowance of $30 for 3 people which was supposed to cover dinner and breakfast the following morning. I complained pretty ardently to the customer service rep. but was told that it was just a “transit counter” and they couldn’t offer anything else, that I would have to contact customer relations via website as they have no phone number to contact them. I specifically asked about cash compensation. To add insult to injury, we ended up meeting another couple in the exact same situation from the same flight also going to our final destination, who were given double the meal allowance by a different CS rep — still a paltry amount. They sent us to a Marriott (good) but meal costs were very high (not so good), so the mere $30 didn’t even cover half the bill for dinner alone (we’re talking moderate meals here too e.g. bacon cheeseburger). It was late so it’s not like we were about to go further afield looking for alternates, it just wasn’t reasonable, especially when travelling with a child. Any advice on whether or not we will qualify for IDB compensation? If so, what is our best approach and possible expectation of an offer from the airline?

    • @Susan: Sorry to hear of your flight experience. You definitely were not IDB’d. What was the reason for your delay into Philadelphia? Since you “mis-connected,” with no other flights available until the next morning, it sounds like the airline did handle it appropriately and put you up for the night. That leads me to believe it was a mechanical delay vs. weather, for which in the latter case, they would not have put you up for the night. While the $30 in vouchers definitely doesn’t cover a full meal for multiple people, they aren’t even obliged to offer anything per their contract of carriage. The agents do have a bit of discretion, so I’m sorry the agent you dealt with wasn’t as giving in meal voucher amounts as the other couple you mention. I honestly don’t think you’ll get anything additional from US Airways based on what you describe.

  11. The reason for the delay according to the in-flight staff and the reps at Philadelphia was due to “maintenance issues” aka mechanical problems. So are you saying that IDB ONLY covers over-booking? I have read the U.S. Airways brochure the agent supplied and that doesn’t seem completely consistent with what it says. In comparison to what other airlines have provided under similar circumstances in the past, this pales by comparison.

    • @Susan: Yes, IDB compensation is only for overbookings. You might try to appeal US Airways for the inconvenience of having to overnight away from home due to their maintenance issue, causing additional expense (in dollars and time). They might send you dollars-off certificate for a future flight, but I absolutely wouldn’t expect any cash compensation.

  12. Thanks Darren, appreciated. It was a huge inconvenience for reasons which would not be appropriate to detail in this format. Contrary to many of the bad reviews that U.S. Airways receives by others, up to this point I have been pretty impressed with their service, sadly this really put a blight on their record for us. Pity for them, they had the opportunity to do better but didn’t rise to it. We’ll see what transpires when I file a written complaint with them.

  13. My son and I both got the maximum $1300 for a flight from Chicago, IL to Portland, OR that was delayed longer than four hours.

    They wrote a check on the spot. We were booked on a flight 12 hours later. Since we live in Chicago, we returned home for the day and returned to ORD that evening.

    The literature United Airlines gave us with the check makes it look like its their idea (Fat Chance).

    I imagine the airlines have cranked this additional cost into their price structure.

    Am I going to get a 1099 for this and have to pay taxes on it?

    • @Phillip: No, you are definitely NOT going to get a 1099. So if I understand correctly, they gave you $1,300 each via a check? They didn’t calculate it based on the ticket you purchased? Or were your tickets of high value to begin with?

  14. I was denied boarding since they couldnt find my name. Once the plane left the airport they could find the name!!. Then they accepted that it is their problem and gave me a ticket for the next day. It is about 24 hours delay. I complained once my trip was over and still waiting for the compensation. It is about 6 months. Does it take somuch time?. They agreed to pay for compensation, the messagge I got from AAA (my travel agency).

    • @subramanian: So sorry to hear of your experience and delay. It’s terrible they were able to find your name after the plane left. Did the airline or AAA agree to pay compensation? The longer your claim lingers on, the less likely you’ll receive a response. Unfortunately, your wife and daughter would be considered either “voluntary” denied boarding or simply a change of ticket due to your situation and not due cash compensation. That said, you may still be able to get a travel voucher. Best of success with your claim.

  15. Another question- When they denied boarding because they couldnt find my name, they could find my wife and daughters name. They cannot travel alone since it is a family trip. How do they handle such cases? When they hold the head of the family member they are holding everyone back. They need to compensate every one. We complained that too, we havent heard till now. We are agressively proceeding with our cases.

  16. Thanks for your reply Mr. Darren.
    I won’t agree that my wife and daughter will not get compensation. Being a minor at age of 11 my daughter is not allowed to travel alone.

  17. Darren,
    I complained to the DOT and found the airlines have a HUGE loophole they use. In our case the flights on the route are usually 65 seat Canadian Jets. They denied boarding to 5 passengers ( originally 7 were selected but then there were two no-shows). Delta airline claimed that the flight was scheduled and flew with a 50 seat plane. They then called it a weights and balance issue since there were 3 Empty seats. Note they had sold at least 52 seats. The DOT verified that regardless of the number of excess seats sold airlines do not have to pay any passenger Involuntarily Denied Boarding if the airline states it flew a 50 seat plane with one empty seat!

    Lesson- verify the size of the plane, take pictures, find it on the flight status within days, get all passengers names and file group complaints. With Delta this probably still won’t get you IDB because they work this loophole and others ( weather)- no one can challenge their “safety decisions”.

  18. Hello,

    I am in distress right now. I arrived at the airport and was told that I won’t be allowed to board the flight to EWR since it was connecting to an international flight in EWR and that currently only “residents” were being allowed to fly to EWR (this was at the counters before security, so even a boarding pass was not issued). I had a confirmed booking all the way through from the airlines directly.

    Both, the domestic and international fights were on time and left per schedule except me and my kids, who were rescheduled for another flight, 10 days later, since nothing else was apparently available in the system.

    No compensation was offered and I was under such distress that time that I didn’t even think about that stuff. Now my vacation is ruined, I have to re-schedule my work, the kids are upset and I am stuck here because the agent didn’t allow me to get my boarding pass. I came across your site and wanted to get some opinion regarding this.

    Please help as I don’t quite know what to do anymore. I feel cheated and harassed by the airline staff and this absurd action stopping me from catching my flight.

    Thank you for your time!

    • @Sue: I am so sorry to hear about your experience. “Superstorm” Sandy has certainly fouled things up, but I’m very surprised they pulled you off a flight with confirmed reservations. Did this occur today? This is unacceptable if you had confirmed reservations and showed up for check-in on-time (that time may vary – which airport were you supposed to depart from and how far in advance did you check in?). Here’s the link to United’s check-in requirements. As you’ll see, if you had bags to check, 60 minutes is required at most airports. Did you get the agent’s name? Please reply as I’d love to learn more.

  19. Hello Darren,

    Yes, I was there in good time, about 90+ minutes (also not my first rodeo with flying international, so was well aware of the logistics to checkin). My first stretch of the flight was domestic to EWR and from there we were supposed to catch our next flight.

    And I didn’t have any irregular number of luggage pieces either, which included a couple of suitcases and kids stroller/car seat. I was just another customer along with many others there, wasn’t late or anything. I did foresee the Sandy delays and that is the reason I had called in to change the tickets (United employees had confirmed my reservation and I received a copy via email as well)

    I did get the agent’s name. In fact another one had briefly tried to help who made the same comment and then this agent basically drove the entire conversation after that. She flat out said no one with connections is being allowed to head out on the flight.

    Sadly enough I watched in horror as the flights went off on time (I was tracking it online).

    This was all so surreal, I still can’t believe this happened.

    • @Sue: Thank you for the additional information. I sent you an email. I’d be very interested in pursuing action on this for you. Also, this is a very compelling story for my CNBC readers (my other airline/travel-related blog).

  20. My son flew Denver to RDU with a stop in Philadelphia. The ticket was US Air, but the Denver to Philadelphia travel was on United. When he got to Philly, he was told there was no seat assignment for him on his scheduled flight. Then, 20 minutes before the flight was to leave, they gave him a seat assignment, then took it away to give to a standby. This was an expensive full fair ticket for $536 on the Sunday after Thanskgiving. US Air gate attendent said he was IDB and deserved compensation, then told my son she was off duty and go to the next flight gate to RDU, 2 1/2 hours later. They told him to deal with it when he got to Raleigh at midnight, but there were no US Air people there. Now Customer Relations is stating certain things, but then changing their story when the information does not support the inital story. My son was 2 1/2 hours late from his initial arrival and we are trying to get compensation for the past ten days. Who do we bump the case up to showing the fact that they are not giving the correct information (emails and recorded phone messages) each time we state that there facts are incorrect? They first said my son was late to the flight, when he had a three hour layover and was at the boarding gate for two hours. Then they said he did not check in, but the phone text message states otherwise. Then they say because there was not a seat assignment they do not have to pay, but he was given a seat assignment and it was taken away. I understand they do not want to pay, but they keep not stating factual information crrectly which only shows they do not know what truly happened.

    • @Paul: Ugh, so sorry to hear about your son’s flight problems and your subsequent issues in getting the IDB compensation matter resolved. IDB compensation should ALWAYS be provided on the spot at the station where the passenger is IDB’d. It sounds like the agent who went “off duty” blew your son off. You’re certainly getting a run around. I’d be persistent with US Airways and at the same time file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. Here’s a link to the DOT. And if this were to happen in the future, remember not to leave the gate or agent who IDBs you before getting compensation. It’s due on the spot.

  21. My wife, daughter and I were involuntarily bumped off the second leg of a YYZ-DEN-PSP trip a few days ago while flying on an Aeroplan award ticket. We had checked in online and had boarding passes for the DEN-PSP leg. When we went to board, the agent could not find our tix in the system (we were one of the last to board). A minute later, two very rude women showed up to board with boarding passes for our seats and quite literally sneered at us as they entered the jetway.

    The flight left without us. A few minutes later a supervisor showed up and was able to locate our tix in the system. The only explanation we received was that the United computer had “lost us”. We were re-routed through SFO, and the SFO-PSP flight was 2 hours late. We arrived in PSP after 1 am, 7 hours after scheduled arrival time.

    Two days later a courier arrived with 3 checks from United for $1300 each. I assume from this that the calculation of the value of an award ticket is the Y fares since that is the only way you could get to a value of $1300/4, or $325, for this short leg. Anyway, getting those checks made a bad trip much more pleasant!

  22. I was IDB’d on a United flight from AUS-EWR, which was connecting from EWR-IAD. I had been ticketed late, so no seats were available. The gate attendant boarded the plane and closed the door, without asking for volunteers. I asked for compensation, and was told by the gate agent that my ticket was issued too late to be eligible (which makes no sense whatsoever to me, but maybe I’m missing something.)

    I was rebooked on a connecting flight through Chicago arriving in Washington, DC exactly 2 hours after my original flight.

    I went to the United Club, where their screen showed me as INVOL, but they said they couldn’t handle the compensation and that it would have to be done at the gate or to contact United Customer Service. I went back to the gate, who was still unwilling to help – they said I’d have to talk to whoever issued the ticket (which was the United Club.)

    I was able to standby later on a direct flight that got me to IAD before my original flight, but this was after being reticketed on the flight two hours later.

    So, three questions:
    1) Is there any “when the ticket was issued provision” as the gate was claiming?
    2) What does an exactly two hour delay mean? It is 200% up to $650 for “more than one hour but less than two hours” or 400% up to $1300 for more than two hours?
    3) Does the fact that I was able to go standby after being reticketed for later change my compensation under DOT rules? My understanding is the compensation should have already been issued at the gate, and this direct flight was not available when I was rebooked.

    • @David: Each airline does have a statement requiring you to “meet all requirements” and present yourself at the gate in a certain amount of time. Not sure if when tickets are issued is part of the “meet all requirements” or not. And yes, it’ usually either the gate or CS who issues the IDB. But the UC attendant likely could have, too. A two hour (exactly) delay would definitely be the 400%/$1300 level. Had you received compensation at the gate (which is really when it’s supposed to happen), you’d still get to keep it even though you ended up arriving before your IDB’d flight. They base the comp on what they can confirm/rebook you on, not standby.

  23. We were scheduled on a United flight from Knoxville to Houston, connecting with a United flight from Houston to Phoenix. After all passengers had been issued boarding passes and about 5 minutes before boarding was to begin, the flight was canceled because the aircraft was needed to accommodate a charter flight — a women’s basketball team that had played in Tennessee that day. The aircraft for the charter flight had mechanical problems, we were told. There were no later flights so we were given two meal vouchers and a room at the airport Hilton.

    What rights do passengers have, if any, if their flight is canceled at the last moment so that the aircraft can be used to replace another one with mechanical problems?

    • @Bob: Sorry to hear your aircraft was taken from you! And you have a great question that I don’t know the answer to. It definitely doesn’t fall under IDB and I’d be curious to know the “reason code” in their system (probably just “operations.”) I’d have to dig deeper into the contract of carriage for the answer and will get back to you if I find one. If I were you, though, I’d contact customer relations and ask for compensation. They might come back with a travel credit of some sort.

  24. I had booked, on one ticket through Emirates, a flight from BUF -> JFK -> DXB -> MNL and a return through the same path. The flights from BUF to JFK and the return from JFK to BUF were with Jet Blue and the rest were with Emirates. My flight from BUF to JFK left late because of a ground halt at JFK. No planes were allowed to land. Thus, I missed my Emirates connection from JFK to DXB. I proceeded to an Emirates desk, where the gentleman there was extremely helpful in getting me to Manila, from JFK -> LHR -> BAH -> MNL, albeit on different airlines (JFK to LHR was on Delta and the other 2 were on Gulf Air). I asked him whether or not this would effect my return flight, and he reassured me that it wouldn’t (of course some foreshadowing).

    I enjoyed my stay in the Philippines, and when I returned to MNL to begin my journey home, I was informed by the Emirates representative that the rest of my flight was cancelled because I missed the Emirates flight from JFK-DXB. I explained my situation (seemingly 100 frustrating times), and agreed to get me through to DXB on stand-by, but I was informed that no guarantees could be made about a flight from DXB-JFK, but I decided to take my chances being 8,000 miles from home and having no clue what to do. I get to DXB, where I am informed that the flight from DXB-JFK is overbooked (I also asked them, both in DXB and MNL if they could get me through on another airline like the gentleman did at JFK, and I was repeatedly denied).

    I am put on stand-by for the DXB-JFK flight, don’t get it, and am subsequently told that flights from DXB-JFK are booked solid for the next few days (probably due to the Holiday season). After speaking with many more representatives I simply ask them to get me back to the United States. They get me on a flight from DXB-DFW that leaves 18 hours after this point in time. I asked about food vouchers/a hotel room, and was immediately denied. In total, I was stranded in Dubai for 22 hours, and also had to book an extra flight from DFW-PIT where I had a friend pick me up.

    Do I qualify for IDC because my return itinerary was incorrectly canceled?

    • @Richard: Wow, I’m so sorry to read this! It can be tricky when dealing with multi-airline itineraries and rebookings. That’s terrible the Emirates agent (maybe a contract agent not employed by Emirates itself) did something to cancel out your return. Unfortunately you don’t qualify for IDB compensation. But I would certainly contact their customer relations department and ask for compensation, detailing your experience as you have here.

  25. I recently (1st January 2013)was booked to travel from Philadelphia to Manchester UK on US Airlines. Briefly, we boarded on time but had to return to the gate due to a valve not opening. 6 hours later we were deplaned into the airport terminal (early hours of the morning). Paltry $10 food voucher – but only shop in Terminal C open – which was too far for me (I had had assistance from Terminal B to A), soft drink and a biscuit! Eventually new boarding passes printed and re-boarded about 6 hours later. Again, had to return to the gate as a ‘technical’ problem (turned out only in-flight entertainment not working!!!) – passengers got very angry demanding their bags and to leave the plane. Sat a further 4 hours at the gate before take-off. Eventually arrived at my home 24 hours later than I should have. US have offered $150 off next flight which I have refused to accept as I wouldn’t wish to fly with them again. I have asked for a refund – any chance of getting it do you think?

    • @Linda: Sorry to hear of your bad experience. Unfortunately, a refund is unlikely as US Airways did end up getting you to your destination, albeit considerably late after repeated delays within their control. I’m afraid the $150 is about all you’ll get. If they do honor your refund request, I’d love to hear about it.

  26. I received a 1300 check for denied boarding as well. My question though is this taxable? I did not receive a 1099, but I’m struggling to find information regarding if this should be included in misc. income.

  27. I don’t think I will get a 1099 either, but I’ve not really found any info/precedent regarding whether I need to independently declare it as income on my tax return.

  28. Hi,
    My wife and I were IDB’d last week on a Spirit Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Fort Myers. Compensation was denied, so we bought a pair of one-way tickets from Sun Country to Tampa (3 1/2 hr drive from Fort Myers) for over $1000 so our (rare) vacation wouldn’t be ruined.

    Here’s what happened.

    We arrived at the counter at 10:30AM for a 11:10AM flight. They printed our boarding passes and we asked to cut into the front of the line at security so we wouldn’t cut it too close. We got through right away and arrived at the gate with about half the passengers still in line boarding. It was 10:50AM. We told the gate agent we were there (just to be safe) and she acknowledged that and asked us to wait. They were overbooked and had already asked for five volunteers. They only got four.

    We waited in line and when it was our turn to board the agent said I had my wife’s boarding pass. I looked at it and sure enough, they had printed two boarding passes with her name on each of them. I also noticed there was no seat assignment on them. I asked why there was no seat assignment, figuring they could correct the more important mistake with the duplicate boarding passes. Then the two agents started talking about the number of passengers that had boarded and one ran down the jet way to count. She came back. The plane was full. We asked what was going to happen now. They said to go down to the ticket counter and they would get us on another flight. We returned to the counter where we were told that we were no-shows. It was truly unreal. There’s more to the story, a lot of it do do with the attitude and professionalism of the Spirit counter/gate agents. Any advice? I still have the boarding pass showing the time it was printed (10:38) but how do I prove I was at the gate 20 minutes before departure time? Thanks, Don

    • @Don: Ouch. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. First, yes, checking in at 10:30 for an 11:10 flight is cutting it waaaay too close. You mention you were there 90-minutes prior, though, and that there were other issues. My advice would be to contact Spirit customer relations, provide the details you gave me and ask to find out the exact reason you were denied boarding. Their answer will determine your next course of action, which could be to file a complaint with the DOT. As far as proving you were at the gate T-20 minutes… well… that’ll be a toughie.

  29. BTW – in re-reading my email above, it gives the impression I was cutting it close to begin with (10:30AM check-in). In fact, we were at the counter 90 minutes before scheduled departure time trying to check in and ran into a different set of issues that delayed check-in until 10:30. Those other issues are a whole other conversation and also very frustrating.

  30. Hi,

    I received on the spot IDB compensation check will traveling from Los Angeles to Miami.

    The problem here is i do not reside in the US, can anyone tell me if i can ask the airline to direct tranfer to my account in Dubai, U.A.E as the local bank in Dubai do accept the check.

    What is my next step ? i am stuck with this check and has validity of 60days issued on 9th March 2013.


    • @Stephen: Great question and sadly I don’t know the answer. I’d call American Airlines directly to ask. If you’re still in the U.S., perhaps consider cashing it at a check-cashing store (WalMart, etc.). You’ll get dinged a small fee to do it that way, though.

  31. Hi,
    Yesterday my family of 4 was confirmed on a flight home from Nassau to Mpls with a layover in Atl. We arrived at airport 2 hrs and 10 min before departure. We checked in the night before. We arrived at the gate 1 hour and 45 min before departure. My daughter and my boarding pass did not indicate a seat assignment even though the night before we had seat assignments. We get to the gate and once a gate agent arrived I was the first to the podium. They said they changed the aircraft and it only went up to 22 rows (I was in row 23 and daughter was in 34). I was given a seat on the flight but she said my daughter (who just turned 18 and never flew internationally) did not have a seat and was on the bottom of the pile. When I asked why she was on the bottom, she wouldn’t respond. I waited with my daughter as boarding took place. They asked for volunteers and no one responded. Gate agent said since no one volunteered, I had to get to my seat and they would put my daughter on a flight 9 1/2 hours later, but would be on stand by for earlier flights that were also overbooked. I said I was not going to leave my daughter who never traveled alone in another country. They then said, are you volunteering to stay. I said no, we both want on the plane. They said one of us had to stay. I remained in Nassau, with no phone calling ability (my husband had calling plan on his phone). Compensation was $600 voucher and $10 food voucher. I asked for more compensation and they said I need to go to I ended up getting on the next flight to Atlanta 4hours and 20 min later and finally to my final destination (Msp) 3hours and 15 min after my originally scheduled arrival time.
    My question is, shouldn’t I have gotten 400% of my one way fare? Also, they are saying it wasn’t involuntary denied boarding cause I agreed to stay instead of my daughter. She would have been involuntary denied boarding. My daughters ticket was paid with cash and miles (30k miles and $540) and my ticket was paid using 75k miles. Any advice would be appreciated. BTW, there is more to the story with very poor customer service in Nassau, but I won’t get into that….

  32. Also, do you know how they prioritize the order of filling the seats when a flight is overbooked? We booked 4 months in advance, arrived at the airport following the guidelines of Nassau’s check in requirements, and checked in the night before.

    Thanks again!

    • @Karen: I’m very sorry to hear about your ordeal. First, it sounds like they conveniently made you a “volunteer,” when you were indeed involuntarily removed – you certainly said you wanted to be on the flight! It’s almost as if they tricked you into being a volunteer (in a sense using your daughter as bait). Since they classified you as voluntary, you wouldn’t qualify for the 400%. And as they say, you’d have to take it up with Delta’s HQ, though if you accepted the $600, you may be out of luck. Every airline has a method to determine who gets cut (based on check-in time-which is irrelevant in your case-fare, fare class or bucket, elite status, etc.) Whether the agents follow it exactly is up to them. If I were you, I’d definitely contact Delta’s customer relations to explain your situation – they should know, even if they’re not willing to compensation you differently (or more). Again, I’m sorry to hear your experience – it seems to happen far too often!

  33. Hi,
    my husband, sister-in-law and me (Germans) were involuntarily bumped off a BCN-MIA trip by American Airlines. We had our boarding passes and were about to board at the gate, when security personnel that were enforcing short interviews with randomly chosen waiting passengers picked us out. We were asked the usual questions as “did you pack your baggage yourself” etc. My sister-in-law can´t speak English, so I wanted to translate. This was rejected, immediately the supervisor was called, who explained, that it was not allowed for us to take this flight to Miami, as my sister-in-law hadn´t been able to understand the questions and answer in English.
    We couldn´t believe what was happening and above all couldn´t believe the supervisor´s explanation, our protests and reasonable requests for a detailed explanation were ignored. She went on saying that due to the fact my sister-in-law couldn´t speak English, we had to undergo a security check again but local police at the airport was denying this check, so she wasn´t able to let us take the flight. She was trying to find another flight for us from another European destination to Miami, my question what difference this would make as my sister-in-law still wouldn´t be able to answer in English anyway was answered with “it´s a problem with local authorities, it won´t happen somewhere else”. Meanwhile boarding was already completed, when the purser came to the gate, in disbelief about what was going on. He was said the same things as we, he couldn´t believe his ears and apologized in the name of American Airlines and repeated “It´s not the airline, it´s the authorities” and deeply recommended complaining and asking for compensation. We ended up finally with a hotel and food voucher for a night in BCN and were booked on a national flight to Madrid the next day and connecting flight to Miami.
    We lost one day of our holidays, our hotel reservation for one night in Miami for 140 $ was cancelled due to our arrival after 24 hours. I wonder what compensation we should claim for this denied boarding. What is reasonable in this case? (I got a photo of the name tag of this supervisor lady by the way.)

    • @Sencan: I’m so sorry to hear of your very unfortunate situation. It sounds like it was an issue with both the local non-airline security personnel and then the American supervisor. As involuntary denied boarding in this post is more related to overbookings and aircraft downgauges, compensation as outlined in this post doesn’t apply. Your best bet is to contact American customer relations and explain your situation as you have here. I really don’t know if they’ll do anything, but you should bring this to their attention. Again, I’m very sorry to hear of your experience.

  34. To avoid misunderstandings: The supervisor who denied our boarding was an American Airlines employee.
    Thanks for your time.

  35. I was involuntarily downgraded from United Business First to coach on an award ticket. We paid 450,000 miles, years of savings. It has now been six weeks and they haven’t even refunded the miles paid for the upgrade. They just keep stalling and trying to grind us into submission. They haven’t said they won’t return what we paid for the services denied and they haven’t said they will.

  36. On the 30 of May I was traveling from BKK to NRT to SEA with the final being YEG. The first 2 legs with the original airline Delta while the 3rd was with a code share, Alaska which turned me over to Horizon. At check in I was given 3 boarding passes and my luggage was tagged to YEG. When I arrived in SEA at the boarding gate I was told that I did not have a seat. After a 2 hour journey from Delta’s to Alaska’s and finally Horizon’s help desks, I was given the reason. It turned out that a Horizon computer at 5:46 am, had cancelled my flight because of a “duplicate space”. This was approx 18 hours after the start of my return home. Delta has offered my 25 dollar gift certificate. What are my options, both legal and monetary. Thanks in advance. Ben J.

    • @Ben: Ouch. A $25 gift cert from Delta? That’s rather insulting. As you received all three boarding passes at the beginning of your trip, you should have been all set for the SEA-YEG flight… I’m sorry to hear Horizon canceled your confirmed seat. It’s clearly one airline’s fault for the duplicate segment which caused the cancellation. If you accepted the $25 cert from Delta, I’m afraid there’s little else to do in your case, as it’s not an IDB situation, but rather an error on the airline’s part for which they decided $25 was enough (sadly). You can always try to reach out to Delta and ask for more, but I doubt you’ll get very far. And legally, I don’t think there’s much you can do.

  37. Luckily, I have not excepted anything so far. The ticket was purchased through Delta and because of a code share flight I was given to Alaska who then gave me to Horizon. The flight I was given was 5 hours and 15 minutes after the original departure. The flight was approx 2 hours long to YEG. If I may, what am I entitled to under the law?

  38. On May 20, 2013, I arrived @ Miami Interntnl Airport on flight AA2290 @ 05.35pm. The connecting flight was to be boarded as per normal airline procedure, before 7.45pm. This flight was boarded at approx. 09.45pm from Gate D41 (after changing from D39), due to First Officer, Bruce [removed], obviously deciding not to fly the plane at the last minute. He simply walked away.

    At approx. 10.05pm passengers were asked to disembark, (if they so desired) walk around & stretch their legs. Some did, some did not. At 11.50pm ALL passengers were asked to finally alight the plane after sitting there 2hrs & 5mins. The replacement First Officer for Bruce [removed], Gregory [removed] was quite okay not to fly also. He was relaxing having a drink of water and talking to a purser by the name of Patrick.

    Passengers were further informed, the ramp was closed and would remain closed until the heavy rain & lightening over the airport cleared. The severe weather condition commenced around 10.30pm. This was the final excuse used, after waiting from 5.35pm!! The storm obviously did not begin until 5hrs. 5mins later!! There were clear blue skies before 10.30pm. Passengers felt the crew was just waiting for the bad weather to develop in those 5 hours in order to place the blame there. They initially blamed the delay on fuel having to come from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

    Once already “highly annoyed” passengers disembarked, verbal complaints immediately followed to Mohammed, the Ground Manager in charge of the overall flight situation. I personally informed him that one of the ground Pursers announced flight 1043 was ready for boarding at the correct time. The plane was cleaned, the flight attendants were ready to go, however, First Officer, Bruce [removed] was not ready. Mohammed explained Mr. [removed] had already neared his 14 hours DS15 quota. If he flew to Kingston it would have meant flying for 18 hours. It was observed that Bruce [removed], however, boarded another plane to fly it. Mohammed’s response was that plane’s destination was probably a shorter route than Kingston and would therefore conclude the 14 hours quota for Mr. [removed]. I asked was it not a prerequisite for all pilots to know their 14 hours route in advance? Was there not an Employee Rota system in place? I did not get an adequate response. Instead passengers could not retrieve their luggage and were told at approx. 2am in the early hours of the morning that all American Airlines could offer passengers was a complimentary night stay ON THE FLOOR OF MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT!!! Not a close-by hotel or a meal voucher, but to sleep in the airport until the next 10.15am -11.15am morning flight, Tue May 21, 2013. This meant arriving in Kinston, Jamaica a whole day later!!! The Host awaiting my arrival in Kingston Manley gave a totally different account to the one given in Miami. Below is the complaint I received from my host. This is what was occurring in Kingston Norman Manley airport from 8.30pm that evening.

    No one spoke with the few persons that were there. We only saw the constant delay on the flight schedule screen. I was there from 8:30pm to minutes to 11.00pm and still nothing!!! It was then I decided to go to American Airlines, where I couldn’t find anyone to give me any info!!! Please keep in mind that I had to be paying for parking at $150.00 per hour. Eventually a lady with Guardsman walked by & overheard my conversation; She called me and said she would check on the status for me. All this time not even an intercom announcement, nothing!!! While there AA kept posting delays until I had to tell her the meaning of what she saw. Minutes after 11.00pm it was declared “cancelled” and even then, no announcement from AA or never was an agent seen. One agent eventually came to the arrival area and informed the persons there that the flight was cancelled and when it was re-scheduled to arrive. All that time “no agent, no official announcement.” Shabby! Poor Customer Service!!! In the meantime no compensation for my parking charges!!!
    I arrived at Miami International in good time, about 120+ minutes before. I was just another customer along with many others. No one was late. There was way in excess of a 5 hour delay. All passengers complained passionately to the customer service reps and Mohammed, the Ground Manager in charge of the overall flight situation. He said if we did not be quiet he would call security. Can u believe that?? As passengers we were well within our rights to protest. Mohammed, nonetheless, called security and more than 10 officers showed up at around 2am. To add insult to injury, passengers were unable to obtain their luggage in order to refresh themselves. Mohammed informed us it would remain on the plane until take off @ approx. 10.15am later that day. The flight actually took off at 10.30am. The treatment from the staff was appalling!!
    I was forced to send a copy of my complaint to Aviation Protection Consumer Division before American Airlines decided to review my complaint. As a gesture of goodwill and to encourage my continued business, AA made arrangements for a $150.00 voucher to be mailed toward the purchase of a ticket to travel with them. I have informed AA Customer Relations and APCD this is unacceptable under the current IDB Law where there is an excess delay of over 5 hours! Can you advise what I am entitled to under the current IDB Regulations? Would you be able to pursue action regarding this on my behalf? I am prepared to go to the media, both in the USA and UK, if necessary. Advance thanks for your help.


    • @Riyyah: I’m so sorry to hear about your experience… it certainly sounds horrendous. It wasn’t an “involuntary denied boarding” situation (resulting from overselling the cabin), which is the compensation this post outlines. I’m afraid that I can’t offer additional assistance, and I’m not sure if you’ll get anything more than the $150 voucher American is said to be mailing to you. Again, I offer my sincerest apologies for your experience, but I think you’re “stuck” with the compensation American is currently providing.

  39. Hello Darren, great resource!

    My wife, 4year old, and infant were flying from nashville back to rejoin me in Nairobi, Kenya (we are Americans, but work in Tanzania). Upon checking in for her flight nashville to Chicago, on American Eagle, she was informed that she had been moved to a later flight. One that was scheduled to arrive 15 minutes AFTER their connection to London.

    They gave no explanation for this change. They did not notify our travel agent.

    They worked to find another option, and found that by rebooking them on a later flight, they could arrive in heathrow 45 minutes before the onward connection to Nairobi (once daily flight). This connection would require changing terminals, which is not possible. Especially with two small children.

    My wife chose instead to accept to fly the following day, leaving nashville in the morning. I’m not sure if the remaining flights are confirmed, or standby.

    This seems like a creative way for an airline to deny boarding without compensating. And this is a costly change, as my wife had to make an extra trip to the airport (from a rural area 150 miles away), and it is adding costs to the transit once arriving in Kenya.

    This was a ticket purchased through a British airways agent, code sharing with American.

    Please advise how to receive any compensation from the airline.

    Thank you,

  40. united refuse to issue me a boarding pass when i arrived at the connecting counter in beijing China…i booked a flight through award mileage from taiwan to cleveland with 70 min connecting time in beijing.. our plane arrive on time at 4:15pm and when i went to connecting counter united says their system shuts down one hour prior to departing and no boarding passes can be printed…i arrived at the counter at around 4:30 and our flight to chicago leaves at 5:25pm…we were forced to stay overnight at our own expense and catch the next 1:40pm flight the next day…united only compensated 10000 bonus miles…they should pay for the overnight hotel stay….

    • @Cathy: I’m so sorry to hear about your travel experience. Unfortunately, IDB compensation only applies to flights within or leaving from the U.S. That said, it would have been a nice gesture on United’s part to cover your hotel in Beijing. Were you not able to get your boarding pass for United when you checked in in Taiwan? Or did you have two different reservations, so checking in for both flights wouldn’t have been possible?


  42. How concerned should I be then about the IRS or Social Security or some other gov agency tracking me down over a damage reimbursement check? Considering there is the possibility that I may never replace the items in question? Thanks again

  43. @Curious: I’d be shocked if anyone tracks you down over a reimbursement check. Our government just doesn’t have the resources to investigate every little thing.

  44. Hey Darren,

    My friend recently took the Lufthansa from India to the US. He had a lay over at Frankfurt. And then one at Washington DC again. At the DC Airport, he was to board a flight to Atlanta at 4:50 PM, but the staff claimed that his flight was canceled and he was put on a wait-list for the next flight that night. He didn’t make it to that either and he was offered a stay in a resort and a meal voucher.
    He was told the next flight was the next day at 9:50 PM , but that got canceled again and he was sent back to the hotel. He finally boarded a flight the next morning at 6:50 AM.
    It turned out to be a real hassle and he almost ended up missing some deadlines and got really stressed with all this.
    Is he eligible for any compensation ?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

  45. I bought a ticket online with American Airlines from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USVI) to Norway. (transfer via New York and London)
    Entered San Juan by sailboat and had applied for ESTA visa ealier.
    Immigration/customs in the harbour in San Juan told me ESTA application was denied, with the result of getting escorted back to the boat.
    Sailed thereafter to Tortola (British Virgin Islands) and bought new tickets with other airliner, not involving american territory.

    Am I entitled for compensation/refund or other?

    Thanks for info.

  46. When recently flying from LAX-EWR (connection thru BOS)we were involuntarily bumped from the first leg of the flight when the second leg was cancelled due to weather. We live in CT and knew there were issues with the weather in EWR, but made the choice to go to LAX to get as far as BOS, so we could then make the choice to fly another airline or drive home. The only notification we got was by email saying that our flight had been updated. Trying to reach the airlines by phone was impossible so that’s why we figured to go to the airport anyway and get as far as Boston…but then found we were involuntarily bumped to a midnight flight…from a 7am flight. After standing in a long line, we were told “somebody screwed up” and they got us on a 2pm flight to BOS, which was delayed and we didn’t arrive in BOS until 9:30pm…no food vouchers or hotel accommodations, even though we had been at the airport since 5am. The weather worsened and EWR was closed and we drove home from Boston, after staying overnight. We can understand weather delays but why were they allowed to bump us from a confirmed flight that went out on time to BOS?

  47. We are in the middle of what I believe is an IDB situation with United. Our original flight was last night with Alaska Air – flight was cancelled due to mechanical issues. They rebooked us on a United flight this morning, at the time they booked us there were three seats left.

    When we checked in this morning (3 hours before flight time) our boarding passes didn’t have seat numbers on them. As soon as we got through customs and to the gate we talked to the gate agent who said we would likely be bumped because it was now overbooked and we were a re-booking. We were bumped and are now waiting another six hours for a new flight.

    Do these IDB policies apply to us? This is a YEG-SFO flight, so originating from Canada, but still with United. They’ve offered nothing as compensation at this point.

  48. I rescheduled my flight with United (operated by Austrian) leaving from Cyprus back to the US. United gave me the confirmation (I kept the copy) but when I showed up for check-in, the Austrian airline told me I was on a wait-list. Obviously, I didn’t make that flight. They re-booked me to leave 2 days later. Would that qualify as denied boarding? The flight was clearly overbook. The United agent gave me a confirmation of the booking.

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