Being overbooked on a plane: What to claim from United Airlines?

United Airlines sold more plane tickets than there are seats available on your flight? The airline refuses to let you board? Do not panic, you have the right to request another flight for the same destination, compensation or a refund.

Overbooking? This is a commercial practice of airlines which consists of selling more tickets than seats available on the flight.

Due to overbooking, United Airlines may refuse to board you. If you are in this situation, the airline must offer you an alternative flight.

You are not obliged to accept the substitute flight. In this case, United Airlines must then reimburse you in full.

All airlines including United Airlines are overselling flights. That’s how the aviation industry works, because there’s a percentage of travelers who don’t show up, reschedule, etc. The only point is that they have good passenger service and a good compensation system.

Something similar happens with schedule changes, rescheduling and the like. They will never refund the full cost incurred, but you can always negotiate a voucher, miles or even a refund if the flight change occurs 72 hours before departure and the passenger loses a connection or hotel vouchers.

A good airline is one that has a good passenger compensation system, good customer service and when there is an event of overbooking or overselling air tickets, or a postponement with little notice, a break of the contract of carriage, provide compensation according to the passenger.

If you are traveling with United Airlines, and you were overbooked, the airline must offer you up to 200% of the price of your plane ticket (or $775) when the delay recorded on your connection is between 1 hour and four hours.

In the event that the airline does not offer you an alternative transport solution (another flight to take you to your destination), it will in this case be obliged to offer you up to $1,550 in compensation (or well 400% of the price of your air ticket reservation).

How do you file a claim with United Airlines?

Reimbursement of your plane ticket and lump sum compensation are not automatic. Thus, you must file a claim with United Airlines.

Complaints can be made: on the phone; or on the United Airlines Website. Good to know: you will be asked for your flight number in order to access your customer file. You can find it on your plane ticket.

Compensation for an overbooked flight departing from Europe (EU)

For European flights, Regulation (EC) 261/2004 regulates the practice of overbooking. The flights concerned are those departing from or arriving in a State of the European Union.

In this case, even if United Airlines reroutes you to your final destination, you can claim compensation of up to €600 per passenger, and this depends on the length of the delay recorded on your arrival.

If the flight you have booked is overbooked, you have two choices. You are willing to withdraw. In this situation, United Airlines will probably offer you compensation.

However, you will not be able to claim the lump sum compensation provided for by European law.
You are not willing to withdraw but you are still the subject of a denied boarding. In this situation, you can file a claim with United Airlines to obtain lump sum compensation of up to €600.

United Airlines overbooking: how to get a refund?

If United Airlines refuses to board you on the flight you have booked, the company must offer you another flight to the same destination.

You do not have to accept the rerouting. In this situation, your flight will then be considered canceled by the airline. In the event of a canceled flight, you then have the right to a full refund of the plane ticket if you refuse the alternative flight.

United Airlines overbooking: how to get compensation?

If United Airlines refuses to board you, then the airline has an obligation to offer you compensation.
Regulation 261/2004 then provides for fixed compensation. These depend on the distance of the flight and not on the price at which you bought your ticket.

– €250 for flights of less than 1,500 km;
– €400 for those between 1,500 and 3,500 km;
– €400 for flights over 3,500 km (within the EU);
– €600 for flights over 3,500 km.

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