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Doing The Bump – Delta Airlines Style

Posted by bvalaw on July 5, 2013

It’s not an old disco move or a knuckles on greeting between friends. Nope. Delta Airlines (Delta) was recently fined again for its practices and procedures with respect to bumping passengers. As we all know, airlines routinely oversell flights. If too many passengers show up at the airport, the airline must bump some passengers to a later flight. If passengers do not volunteer to take another flight, the airline is required to compensate the passengers who are involuntarily bumped.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reviewed a considerable number of complaints against Delta. It determined that there was “substantial evidence” of violations. Specifically, the DOT determined, among other things, that Delta was bumping passengers without first soliciting volunteers and was failing to compensate involuntarily bumped passengers.

Although Delta disputes some of the findings, it has agreed to resolve the matter with a payment of $750,000. This fine comes on the heels of a cease and desist order against Delta in 2009 for much the same reason. At that time, Delta was fined $375,000. Part of that fine was allocated to the installation of tools designed to prevent future non-compliance. Clearly, the initial fine – and the new practices — were ineffective.