Acceptable Compensation: Voucher vs. Cash

Q. I was bumped from my flight last week, which caused me to arrive at my destination two days later and $500 lighter (meals and hotel), and all I was given was a measly $400 voucher. This can't be normal, can it?

A. Normal, yes. Acceptable, no. Airlines sometimes bump passengers who booked a lower discounted fare to accommodate walk-ups who willingly pay the big bucks for those last-minute fares. Also, you were entitled to cash, not a voucher good for future travel. Anyone who is bumped should insist on cash; needless to say, the airlines prefer handing out vouchers since it impacts their bottom line less.