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Reasons why your airline might bump you off your flight

Most of us are familiar with flight etiquette, or, at the very least, aware that such exists. Certain types of behaviours are frowned upon and some might even get you taken out of the plane prior to departure. However, in some cases you might be bumped off your flight even if you’ve done nothing wrong – it’s simply airline’s policy.

Air marshals need your seat

This is especially true if you’re flying first class; air marshals have priority over ordinary fliers simply because they protect the public. If an air marshal shows up and needs your seat, chances are that you might be reassigned to another seat or even another flight. Because it’s also government business and is most certainly confidential, you’re unlikely to receive an explanation either.

Fashion choices

Gone are the days when the smart, sophisticated look was synonymous with flying. However, even though most companies don’t have strict attire regulations, you could be refused to board if you show up with a T-shirt with vulgar words or a garment that shows excessive skin. No one says that you should wear a three-part suit but still, put some effort into your attire so you won’t risk getting bumped off your flight.

Overweight passengers

Why your airline might bump you off your flight

Every airline has a clause about passenger size – it’s usually in the fine print and it’s not usually enforced. However, if you’re way too big for your seat and the person next to you complains, you might be required to purchase an additional ticket; in some cases, you might even be bumped off the flight and would have to wait for another where two adjacent seats are available.

Tickets are too cheap

As a general rule, if a non-stop flight fills up rapidly, this is an indication that the tickets are way too cheap – and that’s a realization no airline company enjoys. If this happens, your flight might be changed to a connecting flight.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do.

Overbooked flight

Sadly, most companies are still dealing with overbooked flights. Sometimes it might be due to policy to ensure the airline doesn’t lose money in case of no-shows, and in other cases, it might be a computer error. This usually happens with last minute check-ins, so the best way to avoid is by booking in advance (additional perk is that you save yourself a few bucks by booking early). In case of double book seats, priority is usually given to the frequent-flyer members or the person who checked in first. The good news is that, if this happens and you get bumped, you’re entitled to up to $1,350 compensation. However, beware of how this compensation is offered: always ask for cash and politely decline vouchers as these are harder to use and usually expire within a year.

Fortunately, most of these scenarios are quite rare but this doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Be on your best behavior, research flights and companies in advance and always see if you can get compensation if you get bumped off your flight. For more tips on how to make your air travel more enjoyable, check out

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