7 On Your Side: Get paid back by knowing your bumped airline passenger rights

NEW YORK (WABC) -- If you get involuntarily bumped off an oversold flight, you can get paid.

On domestic flights according to the US Department of Transportation, if bumping causes you to get to your destination one to two hours after your originally scheduled arrival time, the airlines owe you 200% of your one-way fare, up to $675.

If you're bumped from an international flight and arrive one to four hours late, you're entitled to even more - 400% of the one-way ticket, up to $1,350.

How to file claim compensation:

If you get bounced off a flight the airline overbooked, first hang on to everything: boarding pass, e-ticket, booking confirmation, and luggage tag.

Also, keep all your receipts for additional expenses incurred because of the boarding denial -- including food, ground transportation, and hotel.

Next, get a written statement. Airlines are required to give all passengers who are bumped involuntarily a letter describing your rights and explaining how the carrier decides who get on and who doesn't.

Avoid being compensated with a flight voucher.

Don't let an airline issue you a voucher for a bumped flight or any other inconvenience. Vouchers expire, and there are strings attached.

Your best bet is to ask for cash or a check, not a credit.

Lost Luggage

If the airline loses your luggage, your standard compensation is $50.

But you can get up to $3,500 in liability compensation on domestic flights.

1. Take pictures of packed luggage.

2. Purchase excess valuation.

3. Submit a claim with receipts proving your luggage content value if possible. The sooner you do this the better.

Every airline has a different policy, so it's best to do it while you're still at the airport -- and make sure you get a copy.


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