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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 20, 14, 10:53 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
I get it that the IDB and Volunteer would be different people, but if I didn't have a seat allocated to me, I would just wait and hope its me that gets IDBed. After all there are only two outcomes:

a) I get on the plane (win)
b) I get IDBed (win)


Even though Value(VDB) < Value(IDB), nonetheless,
Probability(VDB) * Value(VDB) > Probability(IDB) * Value(IDB).

I've had just one IDB in over 40 years of flying and nearly 2 million BIS miles.

I get VDB offers every month, and have even taken a few.

The reason why Flyertalk exists is because: Probability(VDB) * Value(VDB) > Probability(IDB) * Value(IDB) and there are enough people with the flexibility to take advantage of that inequality. Enough that can get top elite status for under $1000 a year.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 11:12 am
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Assuming you want to be IDB, I'm not sure how one can do that. AA always looks for volunteers first. I've volunteered a couple of times this year when it made sense. Both times, they didn't need the volunteers. On another time where they were looking for volunteers, I just asked the GA to put me on a flight that I preferred rather than wait to see what happened. I then headed for the club.

Seems to me I saw a priority list of how people get selected for IDB a while a go. I think it may even be in AA's published customer service plan. So ... if you're a no status customer, paying a low fare, and checking in at the last minute, you might be at risk on an overbooked/oversold flight. Since AA will be offering progressively larger vouchers to avoid IDB, I think the bigger risk for that customer is being stuck in a middle seat in Row 28 and having to gate check your bag!
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Old Oct 20, 14, 11:20 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by jerry a. laska View Post
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.
I'm perplexed as well. Would have loved to have seen the actual reactions of the DFW AC Agents as (and, especially, immediately after) this kookiness was presented to them.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 12:00 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Assuming you want to be IDB, I'm not sure how one can do that. AA always looks for volunteers first. I've volunteered a couple of times this year when it made sense. Both times, they didn't need the volunteers. On another time where they were looking for volunteers, I just asked the GA to put me on a flight that I preferred rather than wait to see what happened. I then headed for the club.

Seems to me I saw a priority list of how people get selected for IDB a while a go. I think it may even be in AA's published customer service plan. So ... if you're a no status customer, paying a low fare, and checking in at the last minute, you might be at risk on an overbooked/oversold flight. Since AA will be offering progressively larger vouchers to avoid IDB, I think the bigger risk for that customer is being stuck in a middle seat in Row 28 and having to gate check your bag!
One occurrence was in the OP's other (similar) thread on this subject:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23668813-post29.html
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Old Oct 20, 14, 4:02 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
I'm perplexed as well. Would have loved to have seen the actual reactions of the DFW AC Agents as (and, especially, immediately after) this kookiness was presented to them.
indeed.

If the agent was smart she wrote "DO NOT let this nut volunteer for VDB- he will be a PITA".
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Old Oct 20, 14, 4:31 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
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".
And then you arrived at the gate and the agent there said.....???
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Old Oct 20, 14, 7:29 pm
  #52  
 
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While I'm looking at AA's Customer Service Plan ...

"Just because a flight is overbooked, it does not necessarily mean that customers with reservations will not be accommodated on their flight. The overwhelming majority of overbooked flights depart with all customers who have reservations and are present for departure.

If at departure time more customers with confirmed reservations are present than there are seats available, gate agents will first ask for volunteers who are willing to give up their seats in exchange for compensation and a confirmed seat on a later flight. On extremely rare occasions, a customer may be denied boarding on an involuntary basis, if a sufficient number of volunteers are not obtained. In such events, we 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. With few exceptions, persons denied boarding involuntarily are entitled to compensation under federal law.

Additional information concerning our overbooking policies can be found in our conditions of carriage. Upon request, reservations representatives or airport agents will advise you if your flight is overbooked at the time your reservation is made or during airport check-in. Bear in mind that, as stated above, most overbooked flights do in fact have sufficient seats to accommodate all customers who are present for departure."

http://www.aa.com/i18n/customerServi...cePlan.jsp#fwo

So ... if you're not an O&D pax, there is minimal chance of being IDB. I suppose if you think the flight is overbooked, you could wait until the last possible minute to check in. Note that not having a seat assigment is not a factor.

As for rates, this was in the Dallas Morning News from last year ranking AA as no. 7 in bumps. Note that there were 7.02 VOLUNTARY bumps per 10,000 pax and only .56 IDB per 10,000 pax which makes sense because there will usually be sufficient volunteers.


7 American Airlines 7.02 0.56 7.58

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/tag/denied-boarding/
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Old Oct 20, 14, 7:39 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
While I'm looking at AA's Customer Service Plan ...

"Just because a flight is overbooked, it does not necessarily mean that customers with reservations will not be accommodated on their flight. The overwhelming majority of overbooked flights depart with all customers who have reservations and are present for departure.

If at departure time more customers with confirmed reservations are present than there are seats available, gate agents will first ask for volunteers who are willing to give up their seats in exchange for compensation and a confirmed seat on a later flight. On extremely rare occasions, a customer may be denied boarding on an involuntary basis, if a sufficient number of volunteers are not obtained. In such events, we 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. With few exceptions, persons denied boarding involuntarily are entitled to compensation under federal law.

Additional information concerning our overbooking policies can be found in our conditions of carriage. Upon request, reservations representatives or airport agents will advise you if your flight is overbooked at the time your reservation is made or during airport check-in. Bear in mind that, as stated above, most overbooked flights do in fact have sufficient seats to accommodate all customers who are present for departure."

http://www.aa.com/i18n/customerServi...cePlan.jsp#fwo

So ... if you're not an O&D pax, there is minimal chance of being IDB. I suppose if you think the flight is overbooked, you could wait until the last possible minute to check in. Note that not having a seat assigment is not a factor.

As for rates, this was in the Dallas Morning News from last year ranking AA as no. 7 in bumps. Note that there were 7.02 VOLUNTARY bumps per 10,000 pax and only .56 IDB per 10,000 pax which makes sense because there will usually be sufficient volunteers.


7 American Airlines 7.02 0.56 7.58

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/tag/denied-boarding/
The Customer Service Plan does not foreclose as a factor to be considered that a booked passenger does not have an assigned seat. The factors that have provided in the past that are supposedly used do include not having an assigned seat as a factor.
1. Passengers who do not meet the minimum check in time requirements
2. Passengers without assigned seats, based on check in times who did not qualify for one of these categories:
3. Passengers with assigned seats, based on check-in time who do not qualify for one of the following categories.
4 AAdvantage/AAdvantage Gold
5. Executive Platinum, Platinum, Emerald and full fare coach passengers
6. Businesss Class passengers
7. First Class Passengers
8. Those passengers who will experience a severe hardship as a result of being denied boarding. These customers might include those who are elderly, disabled, or children traveling alone.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 8:30 pm
  #54  
 
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These customers might include those who are elderly, disabled, or children traveling alone
This might be getting near OMNI, but ... what is "elderly"? Who decides (AA or the individual)? Is the oldest person on the plane? Is the cutoff at 60 or 70 or 80 or ... ?

As an aside, it seems that everytime an announcement is made for VBD, it is the outbound flight on a business trip or for the last flight of the day - meaning not worth it. In about 40 years of flying, I have gotten VDB twice and IDB never.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 9:02 pm
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Several pages ago, I don't care to figure out how many, somebody asked "why would anyone accept VDB". It's called the prisoner's dilemma. Read about it - it explains oh so much about conduct of both passengers and the airlines.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 9:35 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by BStrauss3 View Post
Several pages ago, I don't care to figure out how many, somebody asked "why would anyone accept VDB". It's called the prisoner's dilemma. Read about it - it explains oh so much about conduct of both passengers and the airlines.
But likely beyond the comprehension of some here.
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Old Oct 20, 14, 11:05 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by BStrauss3 View Post
Several pages ago, I don't care to figure out how many, somebody asked "why would anyone accept VDB". It's called the prisoner's dilemma. Read about it - it explains oh so much about conduct of both passengers and the airlines.
Um, what relevence is the prisoner's dilemma to whether to accept to be denied boarding voluntarily

The airline will make an offer
If that offer makes it worthwhile to accept then the passenger accepts
The offer pay increase if not enough volunteers are found : in which case will receive more than was originally happy with
If there is no need for a volunteer then will get on the flight

If the offer is not of interest, then no need to volunteer; there is very unlikely to be any impact to not volunteering , just a very low chance that if there are not enough volunteers AND if then picked for denial of boarding then will get IDB compensation plus denied boarding


The prisoner's dilemma has no similarity and is to do with co-operation of 2 individuals
e.g. with 2 prisoners ; there is insufficient evidence to convict either one on a major charge but both could be convicted on a minor one. If one is prepared to betray the other then he will get off and other convicted of major charge. If both betray, then they both get convicted of the major charge

Each left to decide whether to betray or stay silent

Last edited by Dave Noble; Oct 20, 14 at 11:10 pm
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Old Oct 20, 14, 11:36 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post
Even though Value(VDB) < Value(IDB), nonetheless,
Probability(VDB) * Value(VDB) > Probability(IDB) * Value(IDB).

I've had just one IDB in over 40 years of flying and nearly 2 million BIS miles.

I get VDB offers every month, and have even taken a few.

The reason why Flyertalk exists is because: Probability(VDB) * Value(VDB) > Probability(IDB) * Value(IDB) and there are enough people with the flexibility to take advantage of that inequality. Enough that can get top elite status for under $1000 a year.
The comparison and calculations in the second line aren't what matters unless the passenger is risk neutral.
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Old Oct 21, 14, 12:50 am
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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.
I agree. By the end of all theses mergers, when there will be 3 airlines and 1 low cost carrier, requests for volonteers is going to rise up like in the old times. Personaly I hope for these nearly everytime I travel, I like paying my tickets with free vouchers :-). But this did not occur on any of my flights for 15 years.

Except 1 time in RDU in december 2012. It poped up on the gate screen, by the time I rushed at the gate agent, 1 guy already got it
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Old Jan 31, 15, 5:00 am
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41 bumps on my flight last night. I think more then half were IDB. Crj 900 den-lax. Complete fiasco 4 hour delay. Was not given any option and was never even asked if I'd VDB since 1/2 guests were on plane for most of that time. Muself included. When I was yanked off Full fare F and ex plat I was slightly stunned and so we're the 6 other F passangers who were taken off.

Given 500 in vouchers. Was told that was all I could get. Would prefer a check or more comp. any suggestions? It was a really really awful experience.
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