A Slap on their Wrist, A Blow to your Wallet

Tracy Stewart, July 25, 2007
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I was bumped from my flight last week, which caused me to arrive at my destination two days later and $500 lighter, and all I was given was a measly $200 voucher. This can't be normal, can it?

    A: Normal, yes. Acceptable, no. According to Scott McCartney of the Wall Street Journal, this is becoming increasingly more common. Airlines routinely bump passengers who booked the lower discounted fare for walk-ups who willingly pay the big bucks for those last-minute fares. There is a penalty that airlines must pay for doing this, but it isn't much. In fact, the penalty fees are set so low that airlines may actually profit when bumping the little guy. What can you do about it? Complain and make a fuss. Write your Congressperson and demand higher penalty fees.