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Have you ever been 'bumped' from an overbooked flight?

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 Have you ever been bumped from a flight due to overbooking? How were you compensated? Share your stories below. (iStock)Many travelers were pleased to learn Tuesday that Air Canada will be increasing the amount of financial compensation it gives to passengers who get "bumped" from overbooked flights.

Currently, the airline offers ticket-holders who are forced to wait for open seats on a later flight a blanket rate of $100 cash or a $200 voucher.

The Canadian Transportation Agency ruled Tuesday morning that this amount is not adequate. In the European Union, passengers can get up to about $800 depending on the length of the delay, and in the U.S., up to $1,300.

The agency has given Air Canada 30 days to determine the new compensation amount, suggesting that a more suitable amount would start at $200 and increase depending on the length of the delay.

CBC Readers had some suggestions of their own for how the new fee should be set in the comments section of our story on the ruling.

  • "Alaska airlines gives double the ticket value, Air Canada should follow suit, especially since they have a reputation of changing planes at the last minute and bumping passengers," wrote tdot34.
  • "I think a fair system would be to refund a portion of the ticket for every hour the overbooking delays a passenger. 1 hour delay = 40 % refund, 2 hour delay = 50% refund, etc," said 1991 Canadian. "$100 is fair compensation for a short delay. But I would be really annoyed if I was bumped from a Vancouver-Tokyo flight and delayed 24 hours and all I received was $100."
  • "An independent agency should be making that call or perhaps TransportCanada itself. To let Air Canada to determining compensation is absurd!" said victorbasil.
  • Paul 789 agreed; "Why does Air Canada get to determine the new compensation amount? The Canadian Transportation Agency should determine the amount, and give them 30 days to implement it!"

Many of our readers took issue with the practice of overbooking flights itself, despite The Canadian Transportation Agency's stance that this is an acceptable industry practice.

  • "Recognition must be given to the fact that many people are counting on being at their destination at a particular time. While inconvenient for vacationers, it can be outright disastrous for business travelers. I've personally missed a very critical company meeting, and know others who have lost sales, as the result of delayed flights. $100 doesn't make up for that." - KevinDW
  • "Simply put, as a consumer I've made a contractual agreement for Air Canada to provide transport from point A to point B at a specific point in time. To sell 300 seats in a 240 seat aircraft? Fraud. If they knowingly cannot provide that service to each and every person they've sold tickets to, then they are complicit in a fraud." - stopnthink eh
  • "It is stunning that airlines are even allowed to overbook a flight. It is tantamount to selling 2 people the same seat at a concert. They should simply have a no refund policy if you do not cancel a certain number of hours before the flight. They keep the money and save money on fuel. Everyone who books a seat gets one. It's pretty simple!" - Jake Jarmel
  • "Why is overbooking a flight considered acceptable? Can any other industry sell something it knowingly can't provide? If I miss my flight can I provide an airline with a $200 voucher in return for the rest of my ticket fee (and taxes) refunded?" - TakeABreath

While almost all of our commenters agreed that increased compensation for being bumped from a flight would improve the experience, for some, it's simply too late for Air Canada to redeem itself.

  • "I've received an AC voucher once, only good for flights on AC. I sent it to Baird (then minister of transport) to donate it to his favorite charity. Because after all the grief and bad AC attitude I had to endure to receive it I decided never to fly AC again." - Harper 666

  • "I was once stuck in limbo in an airport terminal for 2 days because Air Canada couldnt figure anything out and find a way to get me to my destination. On top of that, they lost my baggage...During the whole thing I had to wait endlessly and plead just to get a toothbrush and some meal vouchers...while being ignored by customer service because supposedly helping people isn't a part of their jobs. I try to avoid Air Canada every opportunity that I can." - tuppy_glossop

  • "I recognize the need for overbooking flights, because an airline company has to break even and try to operate at maximum efficiency. But there's a difference between overbooking, and overdoing it, and then doing only the bare minimum to "appear" to compensate bumped passengers. Sorry, Air Canada. You need to provide better, more sensitive service. In the meantime, I will fly Porter, Westjet or a US carrier rather than fly AC." - Argirion

Have you ever been bumped from a flight due to overbooking? How were you compensated? Share your stories with us below.

Tags: POV

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