ConsumerWatch: Know Your Rights If Your Flight Is Bumped

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – The recent East Coast blizzard has left many stranded at the airport this holiday season – a reminder to passengers that they need to know what they are entitled to during delays.

According to travel attorney Al Anolik, there are several traveling rights consumers should know when an airline overbooks, delays or cancels a flight. For instance, if the airline overbooks a flight and involuntary bumps a passenger’s under two hours, according to The Department of Transportation, that passenger may be entitled up to $400.

If a passenger’s flight is moved two hours after its original departure time, the passenger is owed up to $800.

But if a flight is cancelled or delayed, domestic airlines are not obligated to pay consumers.

Anolik adds that airlines simply have to accommodate passengers with the next available flight and similar seats. That can be costly said Anolik, who notes that airlines often offer more expensive tickets in place of the discounted ones purchased in advance.

Having a flight bumped may be a better option since it results in pay said Anolik. He suggests consumers should ask for a check if the flight is bumped.

While getting stranded at the airport may be frustrating, consumers who booked a flight with a foreign carrier will be taken care of said Anolik.

“They get you a hotel room when you cannot make the flight until the next day,” he said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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