Airline hit with $750K fine for bumping passengers on oversold flights

“Airline passengers deserve to be treated fairly, especially if they are forced to miss a flight because an airline oversold seats,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “Consumers have rights, and we will continue to take enforcement action when airlines violate our rules to protect the traveling public.”

When airlines oversell flights, they are required to ask for volunteers willing to give up their seats. Only then can they bump passengers involuntarily – and in those cases the would-be fliers are entitled to a written explanation of the policies and compensation for the inconvenience, which can total up to $1,300.

The agency’s Aviation Enforcement Office concluded that Delta bumped passengers without asking for volunteers and failed to provide them with notices explaining their rights and entitlement to compensation.

Further, the airline misreported the number of people that were involuntarily bumped and falsely claimed that some agreed to give up their seats, the agency found.

The fine is Delta’s second in four years related to a pumping violation. Similar violations cost the firm $375,000 in 2009.