November 13, 2010

November 13, 2010
Don't Get Bumped From Your Flight

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and I hope you are having a safe and great start to your weekend. It is going to be another busy one for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

I am busy as all get out as I try to finish up errands and pack for my trip to Pensacola, Florida. Hopefully, I will find some time to get to the gym today and get a workout done before I have to leave for the airport.

Speaking of flying, I would like to write the blog for today about how to keep from getting bumped from your flight. With my travel schedule, it is always imperative I get to my location when I need to be there because of speaking at events, fund raisers or conferences.

So how do you avoid getting bumped from a flight? How can I reduce my chance of being bumped from a flight?

No matter which airline you fly, you will have a better chance of boarding an overbooked flight if you:

* Secure a seat assignment when making your reservation. Being told you can't get a seat number until check-in is a good indication the flight may be overbooked.

* Check in online as far in advance as possible if you didn't get a seat assignment when making the reservation. Airlines generally open online check-in 24 hours before scheduled departure.

* Arrive at the gate at least one hour before the scheduled departure, since late arrivals are usually the first chosen for involuntary bumping.

* In general, you will make out better if you're a member of the airline's frequent flier program.

You can check recent airline bumping rates and ranks by airline by scrolling to the "Oversales" section of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report, which is posted monthly.

Last year, 764,926 passengers were bumped. Most of those were voluntary, with the passengers agreeing to relinquish their seats in exchange for free tickets on future flights and other perks. That was the highest rate since 2001 the recession has resulted in fewer planes taking off and more overbookings.

The Department of Transportation has announced proposals that, if adopted next year as expected, will require airlines to pay more money to passengers who are involuntarily bumped.

I know a lot of you are flying during the holiday season to see family and friends. Hopefully, this information will help you get there on time.

I hope all of you have a safe and great weekend. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab