breaking news


When can an airline force a ticketed passenger off a plane?

Published: Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 6:10 PM

Why Passengers Get Bumped and What They Can Get For it

News of a man being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight on Sunday after not voluntarily giving up his seat is making the rounds, raising questions about what authority airlines have to remove ticketed passengers in situations of overbooking.

>> Read more trending news

According to accounts from passengers on the flight, which was leaving from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and bound for Louisville, the airline wanted the seats for employees who needed to travel to be at work the next day. Cellphone video from the aircraft shows a man who said he was a doctor being forced from his seat and dragged down the aisle of the plane as onlookers screamed, “Oh, my God!” 

Related: Man forcibly removed from flight after not voluntarily giving up seat on overbooked flight

It hasn’t been a great few months for United Airlines. In March, the airline received widespread criticism for barring two teens from their flight because they were wearing leggings.

So in what situations do the airlines have the right to force ticketed passengers from a plane? And what is the protocol for doing so?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, overbooking is legal, with most airlines overbooking their scheduled flights to a certain extent in order to compensate for no-shows. When overselling occurs, the DOT requires airlines to ask people to give up their seats voluntarily in exchange for compensation. If no one volunteers, the airline may then bump passengers involuntarily, although they too are entitled to compensation.

According to United’s Contract of Carriage, “If a flight is oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his/her will until UA or other carrier personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservations willingly in exchange for compensation as determined by UA. If there are not enough volunteers, other passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UA’s boarding priority.”

The contract states that passengers with disabilities, unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 and minors ages 5-15 who use the unaccompanied minor service will be the last to be involuntarily denied boarding. It adds that “the priority of all other confirmed passengers may be determined based on a passenger’s fare class, itinerary, status of frequent flyer program membership, and the time in which the passenger presents him/herself for check-in without advanced seat assignment.”

According to the DOT’s Consumer Guide to Air Travel, airlines must give all passengers who are bumped involuntarily “a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn’t. Those travelers who don’t get to fly are frequently entitled to denied boarding compensation in the form of a check or cash. The amount depends on the price of their ticket and the length of the delay.”

DOT statistics show that, on average, only about one of every 10,000 airline passengers is bumped involuntarily, although that number can increase over the holidays and during other busy travel seasons.

United has said little about the incident but did release this response to WHAS: “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.”

United CEO Oscar Munoz later issued a statement on Twitter Monday, saying,  “Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 8:57 AM

Florida Beach Named the Best in the Nation

A Florida beach has been named the nation's best in TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice awards.

>> See the full rankings here

The travel website announced Tuesday that Clearwater Beach was the best in the U.S. in 2018, climbing from No. 4 in 2017. The beach also topped the national list in 2016. 

>> Read more trending news 

Meanwhile, Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, took the award for the best beach worldwide.

>> Click here or scroll down to see which other beaches made the lists

Get Paid $10,000 Per Month To ‘Experience’ Cancun

Trending - Most Read Stories

Disney raises ticket prices again in Florida, California

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 9:21 AM

The History of Disney

If you have plans to go to the Happiest Place on Earth, be prepared to pay more for the privilege. 

Disney officials have announced that both American parks have increased ticket prices. The increase went into effect Sunday at the theme parks at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, The Associated Press reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Take a look at the breakdown in pricing.

Walt Disney World:

Magic Kingdom

Value - one-day tickets: $109 (adults), $103 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $119 (adults), $113 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $129 (adults) $123 (children)

EPCOT 

Value - one-day tickets: $102 (adults), $96 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $114 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $122 (adults) $116 (children)

Hollywood Studios

Value - one-day tickets: $102 (adults), $96 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: one day $114 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $122 (adults) $116 (children)

Animal Kingdom

Value - one-day tickets: $102 (adults), $96 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $114 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $122 (adults) $116 (children)

Annual passes have also increased, as well as Florida resident and Disney Vacation Club ticket pricing has changed. Discounts are available depending on how the tickets are purchases and for how long. 

Disneyland:

Prices are the same for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.

Value - one-day tickets: $ 97 (adults), $ (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $117 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $135 (adults) $116 (children)

Trending - Most Read Stories

U.S. issues ‘do not travel’ advisory for 5 states in Mexico

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 12:32 PM

‘Do Not Travel Advisory’ To Five Mexico States Issued By U.S.

The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory urging citizens to use increased caution when traveling to five states in Mexico.

USA Today reported that the new warning from the government has increased the Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas states to a level 4, the highest level of potential danger. 

The warning for the states, issued Thursday, was raised due to crime.

>> Read more trending news 

The State Department already recommends that travelers use “increased caution” when in Mexico because of widespread crime, such as kidnapping, homicide, carjacking and robbery, USA Today reported.

The department recommends that those who decide to travel to Mexico to use toll roads, avoid night driving, be extra vigilant when visiting banks and ATMs, use caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs and casinos, and to avoid displaying signs of wealth. Travelers are also urged to enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to make locating easier in an emergency and to have an emergency contingency plan. Travelers should also review crime and safety reports for Mexico.

More information on the travel advisory can be found at travel.state.gov.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Woman sues hotel after she claims she was charged $350 after negative review

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 4:48 AM

Woman Files Lawsuit After Hotel Charges Her For Bad Review

An Indiana woman is taking a hotel to court saying that she was charged $350 for a negative online review and the hotel claims it has a right to charge customers who give them bad reviews.

Katrina Arthur and her husband stayed at Abbey Inn & Suites in March 2016.

Arthur alleges that when they arrived, the room was not cleaned. She said she found hair and dirt in the sheets. The air conditioner didn’t work and the room smelled like sewage. She also said there was little water pressure, WRTV reported.

>> Read more trending news 

“We didn’t see anybody we could talk with, so I decided to call the number that goes to the front desk and it automatically went to a lawyer’s or something weird like that,” Arthur told WRTV.

She told the television station that she cleaned the room herself.

After the stay, she said she received an email asking for an online review. 

“I was honest. I wanted people to know not to waste their money because I know people save their money for special occasions,” Arthur told WRTV.

That’s when Arthur said she was charged $350 and received a letter from the hotel’s lawyer that threatened legal action.

She ended up deleting her review.

But then she did some checking and found out that she may not have been alone and filed a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General to get her $350 back.

The Attorney General filed a lawsuit this month against Abbey Management, the hotel’s owners at the time of Arthur’s stay, WRTV reported.

The lawsuit alleges that for more than a year, Abbey Inn had rules that allowed them to charge customers if they left a negative review. The policy was posted on the hotel’s website, but customers were not given a hard copy of the rule, and it was not posted in hotel common areas or rooms, according to the Attorney General.

The email that solicited reviews also made no mention of the fine, WRTV reported.

The lawsuit also alleges that there were no employees at the hotel to handle issues, but rather a sign instructed lodgers to call an overnight phone number. If there was no emergency and the number was called, the hotel would charge the guest $100.

The current owner did not answer WRTV’S attempts to get a response about the pending lawsuit, but a woman who, along with her husband, have been trying to buy the Abbey Inn since January told WRTV that she was unaware of any litigation against the owners. She told WRTV that they are attempting to improve the hotel.

Trending - Most Read Stories