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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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Old Feb 25, 19, 1:28 pm   -   Wikipost
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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 Jul 20, 15, 9:55 am
  #76  
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Start by verifying whether the check in cutoff for those not checking bags is 30 or 45 minutes for AA at ORD. I assume that this was a domestic flight and no international connection was involved. I also assume that you did not do OLCI in advance on your computer or phone (even without printing a boarding pass or seat request card).

If you arrived at your destination within an hour of the originally scheduled time, even if this was an IDB, I don't think compensation would be due but AFAIK AA is still required to report it as an IDB to the DOT and also (I think) to ask for volunteers.

After you got your boarding pass for the 7:15 flight, did you try to go to the gate for the 6:30 am flight? Was AA soliciting volunteers at the gate?
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Old Jul 20, 15, 9:56 am
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
Get the UA app and checkin or checkin online.

That said, you should have been ok with checkin at T-40, as T-30 is the rule at ORD.\http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...s/default.aspx
OP was flying AA not UA from ORD.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:03 am
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Thanks for the replies.

Yes, it was domestic. Unfortunately, I never stopped by the 6:30 flight as reticketing for the 7:15 likely made that unmakeable.

Sadly OLCI was not available, as I did not have a seat assigment (nothing available on the map, including prem seats).

Looking at the aa regs now (link below), seems to indicate that I might be out of luck as ORD is a hub and they list "If you're departing from our hubs or one of the cities listed below you'll need to check in at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure".

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInform...e=arrivaltimes
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:11 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OP was flying AA not UA from ORD.
You're right, I misread. Still should have been ok with a domestic flight on AA.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInform...s#arrivaltimes

Minimum check-in and boarding requirements for flights fully within the U.S., which includes Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Without checked baggage:

The minimum check-in time requirement for customers without checked baggage is 30 minutes prior to departure, except for Guam, where the requirement is 60 minutes.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:27 am
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Man, 5:50 arrival for a 6:30 departure with no assigned seat, no BP, and a meeting to catch? You must have nerves of steel. Even reading the stories of people who cut it this close makes me nervous.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Man, 5:50 arrival for a 6:30 departure with no assigned seat, no BP, and a meeting to catch? You must have nerves of steel. Even reading the stories of people who cut it this close makes me nervous.
My thoughts exactly. Any reason you did not try to get a seat assignment prior to going to the airport? Did you buy the ticket that morning?
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Old Jul 20, 15, 11:12 am
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The minimum time at a hub is 45 minutes:

If you're departing from our hubs or one of the cities listed below you'll need to check in at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure
https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInform...eckedbagcutoff
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Old Jul 20, 15, 11:19 am
  #83  
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Originally Posted by adambrock View Post
The minimum time at a hub is 45 minutes:



https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInform...eckedbagcutoff
I saw that, too. The problem is that the page doesn't define AA hubs, nor does the domestic contract of carriage. Relying on travelers to intuit AA's definition of hub is problematic. The aa.com of ~two years ago was better at this stuff. Seat widths and pitch are gone from the web site, too, an action that seems deliberate. Example:

http://www.aa.com/i18n/aboutUs/ourPl...p#!first-class
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Old Jul 20, 15, 11:20 am
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Bottom line is OP got there near the cutoff time without having checked in online, which likely would have saved him some grief.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 2:36 pm
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Even if checking bags, OLCI at T-24 will save you a lot of angst and prilosec. It isn't clear if OP tried to do OLCI and was not allowed to by the web site/app, or if the blocked seat map discouraged the attempt. Seat maps are notoriously inaccurate (lots of threads on this...) If the OP tried and was denied, then I think OP has a better case for IDB, although I don't know if 45 mins is long enough for any compensation. Perhaps "trip in vain" would be a better category.

Last edited by iplaybass; Jul 20, 15 at 2:38 pm Reason: reworded to remove assumption
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Old Jul 20, 15, 4:32 pm
  #86  
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It's been my experience that AA OLCI, unlike UA or DL, won't give a "priority verification" card without a seat, so if it wasn't able to assign a seat (e.g. because the only ones left were held back for gate assignment, like bulkheads), that would explain why OLCI failed.

By the by, having been in a few situations like this, I would always run by the original flight's gate, even if time is short. The GAs have a lot more discretion than the ticket counter, so there's a reasonable chance if you were physically there and ready to board they could put you on standby (or just move you, if standbys were already cleared), which they are able to do without a time-consuming reissue. Never hurts to ask nicely!
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Old Jul 20, 15, 5:36 pm
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I've never tried to OLCI without a seat assignment on AA -- I would think it would let you check in, give you a BP/barcode of some sort to allow you to get through security, and then say something like "see agent for seat"

Does that functionality not exist, either on the web or in the app?
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Old Jul 20, 15, 7:03 pm
  #88  
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OP missed the check-in cutoff for ORD. Thus, he was rebooked as a courtesy on the next flight. Unless he had a flexible ticket, he should thank AA for the courtesy rebook.

If OP was not sure whether the check-in deadline was T-30 or T-45, he could have called and asked.

IDB would only apply if OP were denied boarding due to an oversale. In this situation, there would be no compensation anyway.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 1:34 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I saw that, too. The problem is that the page doesn't define AA hubs, nor does the domestic contract of carriage. Relying on travelers to intuit AA's definition of hub is problematic. http://www.aa.com/i18n/aboutUs/ourPlanes/boeing737800.jsp#!first-class[/url]
The referenced web site states "If you're departing from our hubs or one of the cities listed below you'll need to check in at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure." Hubs (at least premerger) are listed.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 7:22 am
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Originally Posted by Tracer_SEA
I've never tried to OLCI without a seat assignment on AA -- I would think it would let you check in, give you a BP/barcode of some sort to allow you to get through security, and then say something like "see agent for seat"

Does that functionality not exist, either on the web or in the app?
It didn't last time I encountered this situation; just gave an error message saying you would need to check in at the airport. Not sure if this has changed recently.
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