You’re all ready for your vacation — you’re packed, you made a tentative travel itinerary, and you can’t wait to have some time off — but there’s just one problem: Your flight is full. When it comes to what to do when your flight is overbooked, you have a few options. Of course, everyone will take this news differently — while some may look forward to getting a flight voucher, others will still want to take this flight; they don’t want to wait one more minute to be on that Maui beach.
“Overbooking is more common than air travelers might think,” Christian Nielsen, chief legal officer at AirHelp, tells Bustle. “Overbooking flights is the practice of selling more tickets than there are seats on a plane.” He says that, this way, airlines can sell more seats than they have available, as they assume that not all passengers will show up for the flight. “If all passengers do show up, some may be denied boarding, or be ‘bumped’ off the flight,” he says. “Luckily, there are laws in place to ensure passengers are properly compensated if that happens. Knowing their air passenger rights will help consumers decide what to do next.” Below, Nielsen and other travel experts reveal what you should do when you’re in a situation where your flight’s overbooked.