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IDB / Involuntarily Denied Boarding on AA & Compensation (master thread)

IDB / Involuntarily Denied Boarding on AA & Compensation (master thread)

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IDB / Involuntarily Denied Boarding on AA & Compensation


NOTE: See AA Bump Rates; compensation for VDB / Voluntary Denied Boarding (consolidated) for VOLUNTARY denied boarding.

Passengers involuntarily denied boarding on AA are denied usually after calls for volunteers to accept vouchers (and occasionally variable other benefits), usually beginning at $200 or $300 but possibly going significantly higher, depending on passenger response. See more below, from AA Conditions of Carriage.

Link to AA Conditions of Carriage, "Oversales"

"DBC" (involuntarily) denied boarding compensation is governed in the USA by "14 CFR 250.5 - Amount of denied boarding compensation for passengers denied boarding involuntarily".

Link to CFR §250.5

CFR §250.2b Carriers to request volunteers for denied boarding.

(a) In the event of an oversold flight, every carrier shall request volunteers for denied boarding before using any other boarding priority. A “volunteer” is a person who responds to the carrier's request for volunteers and who willingly accepts the carriers' offer of compensation, in any amount, in exchange for relinquishing the confirmed reserved space. Any other passenger denied boarding is considered for purposes of this part to have been denied boarding involuntarily, even if that passenger accepts the denied boarding compensation.

(b) Every carrier shall advise each passenger solicited to volunteer for denied boarding, no later than the time the carrier solicits that passenger to volunteer, whether he or she is in danger of being involuntarily denied boarding and, if so, the compensation the carrier is obligated to pay if the passenger is involuntarily denied boarding. If an insufficient number of volunteers come forward, the carrier may deny boarding to other passengers in accordance with its boarding priority rules.

14 CFR §250.9 Written explanation of denied boarding compensation and boarding priorities, and verbal notification of denied boarding compensation.

(a) Every carrier shall furnish passengers who are denied boarding involuntarily from flights on which they hold confirmed reserved space immediately after the denied boarding occurs, a written statement explaining the terms, conditions, and limitations of denied boarding compensation, and describing the carriers' boarding priority rules and criteria. The carrier shall also furnish the statement to any person upon request at all airport ticket selling positions which are in the charge of a person employed exclusively by the carrier, or by it jointly with another person or persons, and at all boarding locations being used by the carrier.
Link to US Dept. of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection Division's "Fly-Rights - A Consumer Guide to Air Travel" section on Overbooking

In the European Union, EC261/2004 governs denied boarding compensation.

Link to EC261 / EC 261/2004 complaints and AA (master thread)

On American Airlines, you are sometimes ineligible for IDB as allowed by the USDOT:

Code:
If a flight is oversold (more passengers hold confirmed reservations than 
 there are seats available), no one may be denied boarding against his or her will 
 until airline personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservation 
 willingly, in exchange for compensation of the airline’s choosing. If there are not 
 enough volunteers, other passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in 
 accordance with the following boarding priority of American. In such events, 
 American will usually deny boarding based upon check-in time, but we may also 
 consider factors such as severe hardships, fare paid, and status within the 
 AAdvantage® program.
 
 If you are denied boarding involuntarily, you are entitled to a payment of 
 ‘‘denied boarding compensation’’ from the airline unless:
 
 - You have not fully complied with the airline’s ticketing, check-in and 
 reconfirmation requirements, or you are not acceptable for transportation 
 under the airline’s usual rules and practices; or
 
 - You are denied boarding because the flight is canceled; or
 
 You are denied boarding because a smaller capacity aircraft was substituted 
 for safety or operational reasons; or
 
 - On a flight operated with an aircraft having 60 or fewer seats, you are denied 
 boarding due to safety-related weight/balance restrictions that limit payload; or
 
 - You are offered accommodations in a section of the aircraft other than
 specified in your ticket, at no extra charge (a passenger seated in a section 
 for which a lower fare is charged must be given an appropriate refund); or
 
 - The airline is able to place you on another flight or flights that are planned 
 to reach your next stopover or final destination within one hour of the 
 planned arrival time of your original flight.
The previous thread is http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html

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Old Oct 13, 14, 8:46 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
I blame UA for OP's quest for compensation
He might end up spending a ton of money if he's looking for a pot of gold on the AA side. I remember getting 8 bumps one year on UA (around $3,000 in vouchers), mostly on the return flights on cheap mileage runs to Florida. After my move to AA in 2002, I learned pretty quickly there's no pot of gold here (more like a box of rocks if you're looking to VDB). I average about one a year, the most recent being two weeks ago from Sacramento.

In my 14 years with AA, I've only seen one IDB on any of my flights, and that was a Friday morning Presidents Weekend on SFO-DFW two years ago. A lot of that flight had cruise connections. Needed two volunteers and got one( me, continuing to DCA). The IDB passenger did not have a seat assignment and received a check for something around $600 (that might have been before the new compensation rules kicked in). He was rebooked on the next flight out. Come to think of it, I got bumped off that one, too, so scored twice that day.
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Old Oct 14, 14, 8:01 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
OP is serious. Based some recent posts, OP wants to maximize compensation
Damn, my secret plan is out. I (like a lot of people on this board) fly 100K miles a year, spend 10+ weeks on the road, spend upwards of $20K on travel just so we can get a few thousand extra miles. You know I'm a whole lot more happier now that I have 210K miles as opposed to just 200K miles ...

I think we as customers need to give AA (and UA) feedback to improve their product. And yes, some of us expect a high level of service because loyalty works both ways.

For this particular thread the main lounge was very unhelpful and I let AA know about it (BTW I also explicitly said I didn't want compensation in that email) since I would rather have had the time to relax on a Friday rather than calling up people to cover my absence.
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Old Oct 14, 14, 8:05 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by dickinson View Post
It is no mystery at all what the OP is trying to accomplish, as was pointed out in Post #22 above.
Really. Where did you draw this conclusion from. If you read the other threads, I was really annoyed that AA was going to bump me and leave me stranded overnight with no hope at getting out until next afternoon. I wanted to know the rules so I can use them to not get bumped.

Thanks to everyone who added some useful information to the thread.
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Old Oct 14, 14, 8:10 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Really. Where did you draw this conclusion from. If you read the other threads, I was really annoyed that AA was going to bump me and leave me stranded overnight with no hope at getting out until next afternoon. I wanted to know the rules so I can use them to not get bumped.
And as many, many people on this thread - and on the "other thread" have pointed out, the chances of you getting bumped were very very slim and ultimately - as predicted in that thread - you were not bumped.
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Old Oct 14, 14, 12:17 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
Really. Where did you draw this conclusion from. If you read the other threads, I was really annoyed that AA was going to bump me and leave me stranded overnight with no hope at getting out until next afternoon. I wanted to know the rules so I can use them to not get bumped.

Thanks to everyone who added some useful information to the thread.
As was posted multiple times by knowledgeable posters, AA was NOT "going to bump" you. Period.

As you posted, you checked in 25 hours in advance, and thus were probably the last person on the flight who was in any risk of being involuntarily denied boarding. Nevertheless, you latched onto the mistaken notion that not having a seat assignment placed you at some risk of being denied boarding. It appears that the mistaken notion continues even now.

Knowing "the rules" on the federal law requiring compensation will not give you any leg up in the future and keep you from being bumped. AA involuntarily denies boarding to very few people. Odds are, you can fly an entire lifetime and never experience it.
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Old Oct 14, 14, 1:06 pm
  #36  
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1. This whole thread went wrong when it started with a link to a news article rather than the CFR rule which is the law.

2. IDB compensation is set by law and is paid in cash equivalent, unless you want a voucher. The rules also require that carriers IDB people in a pre-specified order. The carrier can choose the order, but it is set in advance. It is not made up by the GA.

3. VDB is what the carrier is prepared to offer and you are willing to accept.
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Old Oct 14, 14, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
He might end up spending a ton of money if he's looking for a pot of gold on the AA side. I remember getting 8 bumps one year on UA (around $3,000 in vouchers), mostly on the return flights on cheap mileage runs to Florida. After my move to AA in 2002, I learned pretty quickly there's no pot of gold here (more like a box of rocks if you're looking to VDB). I average about one a year, the most recent being two weeks ago from Sacramento.
Having occasionally been VDBd, even when it looks very likely (e.g., they need 12 volunteers on a DFW-SFO 757 60 minutes before departure time and I'm the first volunteer--already I can envision my $400 voucher and the boarding pass for the next flight an hour later), it doesn't necessarily happen. In that case, a bunch of connecting pax didn't make it in time and, voila, suddenly everyone at the gate had a seat. I'm sure there have been IDBs on some of my flights, but there's a challenge with knowing if they've actually happened--usually, if it doesn't happen to you or you haven't been VDBd with the IDB (so you're not standing there at the gate while the plane pushes back), I'd think it'd be hard to know.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 9:42 am
  #38  
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So I tried using the information I learnt on the weekend. When I checked it at the airport it was noted that one my flights was oversold and would I be interested in taking a later flight ...

When I entered the DFW Admiral's lounge I made a polite note that I'd be seeking the $1200 compensation in cash rather than the voucher if IDBed. The agent smiled and said "Duly noted in your record".
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Old Oct 20, 14, 9:49 am
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Agreed that odds of IDB are incredibly low, to the point that announcing your intent to seek comp if IDB'd is sort of like announcing your intent to seek comp if a meteor hits you in the terminal.

Between the quality of the models airlines use to decide how many tickets to sell, and the fact that nearly every flight which does end up oversold will find volunteers who are happier with the smaller voucher, getting IDB'd in the first place is just not something you can reliably cause, or something that's worth spending this kind of time and effort on.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 10:19 am
  #40  
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Originally Posted by ubernostrum View Post
Agreed that odds of IDB are incredibly low, to the point that announcing your intent to seek comp if IDB'd is sort of like announcing your intent to seek comp if a meteor hits you in the terminal.
I agree, but planes are much more fuller now so the chances are increasing. Also, I may look like a nutter, but if I get home/to-a-meeting on time then sobeit.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
So I tried using the information I learnt on the weekend. When I checked it at the airport it was noted that one my flights was oversold and would I be interested in taking a later flight ...

When I entered the DFW Admiral's lounge I made a polite note that I'd be seeking the $1200 compensation in cash rather than the voucher if IDBed. The agent smiled and said "Duly noted in your record".
Smiling because s/he knows your chance of getting it are nil.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 10:24 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
I agree, but planes are much more fuller now so the chances are increasing. Also, I may look like a nutter, but if I get home/to-a-meeting on time then sobeit.
Not sure what you think you are gaining. As explained earlier again and again, anybody that is IDB'ed will get the same compensation. If you are truly not interested in accepting a voluntary bump, then sobeit and just say so, usually someone else will be willing to accept AA vouchers of $400 - $800 for a delay of a couple of hours.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 10:34 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
Smiling because s/he knows your chance of getting it are nil.
So if you look at http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/ri...l/2011_1q.html

you'll see that about 1/3 of denied boardings are involuntary and 2/3 voluntary.

I think some of you are missing the point that many of us live in cities or do business in cities with perhaps 2-3 flights a day from DFW (or some other AA hub). So if you miss it, your stuck overnight.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 10:38 am
  #44  
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
So if you look at http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/ri...l/2011_1q.html

you'll see that about 1/3 of denied boardings are involuntary and 2/3 voluntary.
Note: these statistics are from Jan - March, 2011
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Old Oct 20, 14, 10:44 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
Note: these statistics are from Jan - March, 2011
Exactly and I think we all agree planes are much more fuller now than in 2011.
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