Recently, I wrote about a family that received $11,000 for giving up their seats on Delta Airlines. The family agreed to voluntarily give them up and cashed in!
On the opposite end of the spectrum you can be selected to be bumped when a flight is over sold. This can cause many headaches, especially if you have a pricey dream trip already booked at the destination you are flying to.
This is what happened to a woman who was supposed to fly with Air Canada to Miami.
The woman, Vicki Russell had booked a Galapagos cruise which she considered the “trip of a lifetime,” according to the BBC.
Russell was supposed to fly from Toronto to Miami when Air Canada bumped her on April 1. The flight was booked two months in advance. The bump had a ripple down effect causing her to miss a connecting flight where she was supposed to meet the cruise ship.
The problem began two hours after checking in and receiving her boarding pass for the Air Canada flight. An agent told her that the flight was oversold and she didn’t have a valid ticket! I’m trying to understand why she was checked if she didn’t have a valid ticket. Something just doesn’t add up…
Russell showed her travel docs and had the tour company e-mail the receipt for her trip to show that her ticket was valid. Regardless, the flight left without her.
Besides the inconvenience of being bumped, Russell claims that the agent was extremely rude.
Air Canada customer service wasn’t of much help. By the time she go to speak with an agent, there weren’t any flights to Miami which would get her to the connecting flight in time.
She filed a complaint with Air Canada the next day. Russell received C$800 ($592US) from the airline.
Russell was supposed to go on a National Geographic cruise which cost $10,00 which was organized by Lindblad Expeditions. The company had been in touch with Russell throughout the situation. Luckily, she’s been rebooked (at no charge). They also included airfare from Miami to the Galapagos.
Air Canada says that the flight was oversold. They claim to have tried to help Russell out by getting her directly to the Galapagos even though she had only bought a ticket with them from Toronto to Miami.
In the end, it sounds like Russell will (or did) get to go on her dream Galapagos trip however with a lot of unnecessary added stress.