A Short List On How To avoid Getting Bumped From A flight
Travel Blogger from Norway
Travel Blogger from Norway
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A Short List On How To Avoid Getting Bumped From A Flight

11 Apr A Short List On How To Avoid Getting Bumped From A Flight


The video of the man getting dragged out of the overbooked United airline flight is haunting and disturbing. No one wants to experience getting treated this way. Here are the best tips to avoid getting bumped from a flight:


1.Check in early as possible

Many airlines bump the ones who checked in last. To avoid this check in online the day before or at least two hours before boarding.


2.Assign a seat online when you check in

It is harder to bump a person that already got an assigned seat. If you don’t have the possibility to assign a seat when checking in, know that this will give you higher chances of getting bumped.

3.Have luggage checked in

Understandingly, it is more work for the airline if they need to look for your luggage if they decide to bump you and you have already checked in the luggage.


4. Board early

Be at the gate when they tell you to and board when your group is called. The last person to board is typically the one to get bumped.


5.Don’t take the last flight of the day

If the airlines have already bumped people earlier during the day they will most likely take a later flight, which means that this one can get overbooked too. And it is not cool to wait until the next morning to arrive at your destination.


6.Be a member of their frequent flying program

Airlines prior loyalty. They don’t want to piss off their loyal customer and potentially losing them.


7.Avoid airlines that are known for overbooking

Unfortunately, it is common among airlines all over the world to profit from overbooking. The ones on top in the United States are United, Delta, Southwest, Skywest and ExpressJet. Where JetBlue are the best airline where they have a policy not to overbook. Even though many airlines do it. I recommend watching out for those who got the most complaints and lowest compensations. See the full list here.


8. If you can – fly business or first class

Airlines barely bump business class or first class passengers. The more you pay for your ticket, the less likely to get bumped. 


9. Avoid connected flights

It is more likely to get bumped if you take more flights on your journey. This one is scary. If you get bumped and you won’t make it to your next flight. Here it is important to ask the airline and know your rights and get a travel insurance that covers this kind of issues. 


10. Avoid peak times

I would avoid flying the day before Christmas or any other busy seasons. Everyone wants to get home at the same time and therefore it is more likely for flights to get overbooked.

11. Know your rights

In the US, the airlines are required to give you a written statement and the reason who gets bumped or not. You should also receive some compensation, either if it is a voucher, free flight or hard cash. If they force you out when already boarded and you don’t want to leave, know that you can sue the airline. Read more here

And in the EU you can claim compensation for your overbooked flight


Have you been bumped off a flight before? Tell me about it in the comments below.



Sources: Business Insider, Transportation, The economist

  • Hallieadmin
    Posted at 21:45h, 11 April Reply

    Getting bumped is one thing. Getting forcibly removed from a flight is a very different thing. We end up getting to our flights super early now because we have a two year old, but that doesn’t stop airlines from taking off late, due to their own issues, and bumping us from flights later because we were then late. Honestly, I’ve never had so many issues with one airline as I have with United. For the past 8 years I’ve only flown Delta, except when we went to Hawaii, and it has been amazing and without the hassle. Everyone has their flight horror story and unfortunately many of them are about United. I hope they learn from this… and I hope people also learn more about their flight rights.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 21:59h, 11 April Reply

      So true. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story. I have personally not gotten bumped before. I don’t think it is as common in Europe and South America as it is in the US. I also really hope they learn from this.

  • Danik
    Posted at 10:56h, 12 April Reply

    I am not going to talk about United and the passenger as the whole world as a view on this right now but great that you wrote this post just after this which I hope other passengers will look at this and think right, do I take these tips or do I get a United treatment if I got asked to be bumped off. LOL. But I have to admit, if I took in all that advice, I would just drive across the States otherwise I be flying somewhere between 10.00-10.10 in the morning and have to be a millionaire to fly in first class etc. (I am only joking). But seriously, get post, great tips and I hope that another passenger doesn’t get ‘bumped’ like the United passenger did.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 11:00h, 12 April Reply

      Thank you for stopping by. No one deserves to get treated that way. Hopefully people will find out how to not get bumped if they don’t want to. Again, thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  • Tamara
    Posted at 12:12h, 12 April Reply

    I’ve been bumped off a New Year’s Day flight once. But I volunteered along with three other members of my family. They flew us home on a flight three hours later, and we each got a free voucher for another flight. It was totally a win-win (and that was with United). It is definitely a good idea to never book the last flight of the day to your destination. If you miss a connection on that flight, you’ll be staying overnight. I dont want to start a controversy, but if I was chosen to be bumped off a flight, I would rather stand up and walk out on my own and then negotiate a compensation than be dragged down the aisle — how humiliating!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 12:22h, 12 April Reply

      It is totally cool to get bumped if you have the time to take a later flight 🙂 Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  • Cori
    Posted at 16:21h, 12 April Reply

    I make sure to check in online as early as possible for things like this — although my main motivation is to pick the best seats. I fly pretty often and have never been bumped, luckily. You hear all these stories about people getting tons of vouchers, I’d probably take it if I had flexible plans.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 16:26h, 12 April Reply

      I totally agree. I would volunteer to get bumped if I was very flexible. but it hasn’t happened to me ever. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  • Ashvin Nankoo
    Posted at 17:08h, 12 April Reply

    These are some awesome tips. I live in the UK and that event is everywhere. From what I have heard from the news is that the passengers with the cheaper tickets are the one’s who are chosen, but checking in early might reduce that chance though!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 17:14h, 12 April Reply

      Exactly, totally agree. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  • Sarah @ www.thecrochetingmom.com
    Posted at 17:18h, 12 April Reply

    Such a perfectly times post! Some really good points on here and hopefully there won’t be another incident like “that” again!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 20:18h, 12 April Reply

      Yes, I hope it never happens. And that people also learn how to avoid getting bumped, unless they want to 😀 Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  • Lizzie
    Posted at 18:01h, 12 April Reply

    These are such good tips, thanks for sharing!

  • Jade
    Posted at 20:35h, 12 April Reply

    These are good tips and with my upcoming trip, I’m definitely going to remember.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 21:26h, 12 April Reply

      That is awesome 😀 Thank you so much for stopping by 😀

  • Marlene Wetch
    Posted at 20:53h, 12 April Reply

    I just flew with Spirit in January and it was amazing. Up until recently, I had no idea they could or would even need to bump someone? I mean, why over book in the first place? These are great tips and I am sharing them with all of my friends who do much more flying than I do! Thanks for the info!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 21:26h, 12 April Reply

      Yeah, I think it is so weird that they oversell. It has never happened to me or any plane I have been on. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with your friends. Really appreciate it <3

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    Posted at 22:12h, 12 April Reply

    The visuals of a man being dragged out of a United Airlines flight are indeed disturbing. Your tips are sensible and sure to ensure that such a situation does not arise. We try to ensure that we are well in time for flights, even though it may mean, killing more time at the airport.

  • Cat
    Posted at 23:07h, 12 April Reply

    This post comes right in time for that sad news about the man being dragged out of the UA flight. I’ve never gotten bumped from a flight, and I wish it will never happen. That said, we need to take precautions since overbooking is quite a common practice in the aviation industry. Great tips on avoiding flying at peak times/seasons and avoid those airlines that have a bad reputation on overbooking 🙂

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 13:08h, 13 April Reply

      so true. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😀

  • Delphine
    Posted at 00:33h, 13 April Reply

    Wow, that’s a lot of things to keep in mind! I was offered to stay off a flight once because it was overbooked. I declined as I needed to go to a wedding. They were very gracious about it and i was offered accommodation overnight. They obviously did it properly!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 13:07h, 13 April Reply

      yeah it really is. It is good that you got a good deal, that is how it should be.

  • Iuliana Marchian
    Posted at 02:36h, 13 April Reply

    I had a very short layover in Doha last summer but despite the fact that the airport is very big, I followed the signs and I caught my flight in time. But before taking off I was asking the employees of Qatar the same thing: “are you sure I’m gonna catch my next flight? I have just 1h layover?” :)) Everything went well, though.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 13:06h, 13 April Reply

      That is great. I really love Qatar, their service is so good.

  • Jeff
    Posted at 03:40h, 13 April Reply

    In my opinion, United has been the worst airline (for treatment of customers) for years (at least 1980’s). I avoid them if at all possible. Their rules are insensitive and, on a number of occasions that I have noticed, violate common sense safety practices. I have had more problems with United flight attendants (uncaring, surly and downright rude) than any of the other 20+ airlines I have flown on. As this is a long term issue, I personally would not be bothered if they were absorbed by another organisation that overhauled their management (yes, this is a top down management issue) or they went out of business.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 13:06h, 13 April Reply

      Thank you for telling me this. I have never flown with them and never will, they seem so rude all in all.

  • Reshma
    Posted at 03:48h, 13 April Reply

    You wrote this post bang on time when the entire world is talking about this guy who got bumped. I’m sure many people wouldn’t have known what getting bumped might look like before this. Your tips should be read by all flyers to avoid being a target the next time!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 13:05h, 13 April Reply

      Totally. I didn’t know it before last year that these kinds of things still happened. I thought that stopped when the internet came. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😀

  • Svet
    Posted at 07:28h, 13 April Reply

    Hey, Vibeke, thanks very much for these tips!

    I really don’t understand why companies would do that in the first place and had it happened to me, I would have been furious, I think.

    The tip about first and business class is a good one :))) Let’s luxury bump the others!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 13:04h, 13 April Reply

      Hey, Yeah totally agree. It is so bad to do this in the first place. Thank you for stopping by 😀

  • Riely
    Posted at 00:14h, 14 April Reply

    Such sad, awful new of the man being taken off the flight by force. Such horrible measures were taken when the airline should be more accountable to their own mistakes. There should be some stricter restrictions on how many people airlines can overbook. There’s no need for this kind of violence.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 11:07h, 14 April Reply

      Exactly I completely agree with you 😀 Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😀

  • Cait Weingartner
    Posted at 01:51h, 14 April Reply

    In light of the recent news headlines, this is a very helpful and timely post. I always get my seat assignment ahead of time, but I never knew that this habit will decrease my chances of getting bumped.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 11:07h, 14 April Reply

      Truly. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😀

  • Jollies and Jaunts
    Posted at 11:49h, 14 April Reply

    Good advice – I always try and check in as early as possible (especially as I mainly fly Easyjet).

  • Kyntra Strickland
    Posted at 16:25h, 14 April Reply

    Thankfully I’ve never been bumped, but am fearful that it will happens now that I know how often airlines overbook. Definitely getting flight insurance for our international trips. Thanks for sharing this great information!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 16:33h, 14 April Reply

      Me neither. I wouldn’t like that, especially if I need to go somewhere internationally. Thank you so much for stopping by 😀

  • Catherine Toth
    Posted at 11:25h, 22 April Reply

    I too have never been bumped, but almost every flight I take now with any airline, they are overbooked and asking for volunteers. I think the airlines need to take a little less profit and not overbook so much to avoid this problem. Also, I live in Chgo, United’s hub, and have had my worst experiences with delays and other problems with them…at their hub!. I always try to avoid taking United.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 12:39h, 22 April Reply

      Thank you for stopping by and telling your story 😀

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