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Old 01-21-2011, 01:16 PM   #1
Disneybuckeye
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Southwest & Getting Bumped

DH and I are flying SW for our trip in March. I am not planning on paying for EBCI as we can sit apart for two hours if necessary as we both sit and just read on flights anyay. I also plan on checking in right at 24 hours. I have read about people not being able to get seat assignments when they check in due to computer issues and TSA flags. If I bought a ticket on that flight, and for some reason they cannot get me on it due to overbooking, what is my recourse? Do I receive a free ticket in addition to the one I bought? Will they try and get me out on another airline?

I know all I bought was a seat on a plane, but I do want to get there on the same day and not a day or two later. I really don't care where my seat is located or who I am sitting with.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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Involuntary bumping, problems with online check in and getting flagged by TSA for special security screening are all very rare occurrences. I wouldn't invest too much time in worrying about any of them. You are more likely to be delayed by weather or mechanical problems, in which case you don't get much, if anything, in the way of compensation.

FWIW, travelers who are involuntarily bumped are entitled to be provided with substitute transportation and are frequently entitled to denied boarding compensation in the form of a check or cash. The amount depends on the price of their ticket and the length of the delay in getting to their final destination. For delays of less then one hour, no compensation is provided. For delays of one to two hours, compensation in the amount of 100% of the one-way fare up to $400 is provided. Those numbers double for delays of greater than two hours or in cases where no substitute transportation is provided. The airline can offer you tickets or flight credits in lieu of a check as payment, but you are entitled to demand your compensation in the form of a check if you want to. Those are Department of Transportation rules that apply to all airlines. Compensation offered for voluntary bumping will differ by airline policy.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:53 PM   #3
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Jestocost has it right. Southwest is pretty good with not routinely involuntarily bumping passengers. Not sure what computer issues you;ve heard about (personal or SW computers being down). Generally if you get to the counter two hours before hand and you have a ticket they can confirm your space.

Weather is a whole different ball of wax. March is tricky, as you know here on the east coast we have been getting hammered by lousy winter weather.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:23 PM   #4
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Southwest never* books you on another airline due to overbooking or other irregularity. The may offer a free trip, or a dollars off voucher for future travel, to entice others to volunteer to be bumped, volunteers and also those involuntarily bumped then use their original tickets to fly later.

* Well, hardly ever!
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:02 PM   #5
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I understand weather and mechanical issues, and realize they are out of SW's control. I just don't want to get to the gate and for some reason be told I can't board that flight if my flight is indeed there and taking off. I plan on checking in right at T-24 and being at the gate more than 2 hours ahead of time. I just want any seat on that plane. Thanks for reassuring.

I think I am going back to Delta in the future. I like picking my actual seat the day I buy my ticket. And then checking back everyday and moving back to my seat when they try and stick me in the back of the plane for some silly reason. I wish I could fly via pixie dust. So much easier.
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Enjoyed a great March 2011 trip staying at the Boardwalk.
Enjoyed a great December 2011 trip to our home resort VWL with a short visit to see Harry Potter.
Enjoyed a great October 2012 trip at BLT.
Enjoyed a last minute surprise trip to Disneyland February 2013.
Enjoyed a great October 2013 trip to Saratoga Springs with our daughter and her college friends
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
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You do realize that just because you get to 'choose' a seat with Delta, they can do that exact same thing, right?? Again, you buying, basically, passage from point A to point B, on that airline, on that particular day. I have had Delta change my seats and flights more than any other airline. Granted I've never been bumped.

Now, I think you're worrying about something that isn't likely to happen. If, for some strange reason, one of you isn't allowed to checkin at the 24 hr mark, the other one will most likely be able to..and then be able to save the other one a seat. If, for some reason, you have to actually checkin at the airport (which just doesn't happen very often), you will just have to get to the airport earlier than you planned. Save a bit of extra time to checkin at the airport. But, just because there is a reason for you to be forced to checkin at the airport is no reason to think there won't be a seat for you on the plane.

Is there some reason you think you won't be allowed to do checkin at the 24 hr window?? Has it happened before? I have to tell you....I would fly SW any day rather than fly Delta. Ihate the changes they make, I hate having to constantly keep checking to make sure my flights and seats are what I originally booked. I just don't think you're going to have any issues with SW...no, you don't have a specific seat, but I have to tell you..you will have a seat on the plane. And since you don't have to worry about not being able to sit together, so much the better. I'm sure you're going to be just fine.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
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If you check in at the 24 hour mark you will get a boarding pass to get on your flight. If you have issues with your name being flagged your boarding pass will not print when you try to check in at 24 hours. If it does not print you a boarding pass just get to the airport several (meaning three or more) hours in advance and check in at the counter. YOU are responsible for having the proper documentation to get through the TSA checkpoint and on board your flight.

If for some reason you are not able to get through security, that is an issue you will have to resolve with the TSA, not your airline. You will not be compensated over and above them placing you on the next flight available once you are cleared.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Truthfully, I have had more issues with airlines that I booked seats with that SWA....more than once I have had my seats (carefully picked out) changed, me moved away from my traveling companion and even my whole seats taken away!!

At least with SWA, with the early birdie checking in (via on-line or in line) gets the the worm. Not so the case with the poor birdie who bought tickets on a different airline, 6 months out, picked her seats and then found out that two hours before her flight at check-in, her seats where taken away - when she confirmed them the night before . I can only *assume* a frequent flyer bumped me from my seats. Thankfully, I was early and yes, some other poor unfortunate soul got their seats bumped .
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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You are worrying for nothing. It is highly unlikely that you will be bumped. As someone already mentioned, this doesn't happen as often as people seem to think.

And no, SWA will not book you on another airline if you are bumped or your flight is canceled. They will try and get you out on another SWA flight.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:18 PM   #10
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SWA does bump, as do all airlines. Know your rights.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/business/28fine.html
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dis-happy View Post
SWA does bump, as do all airlines. Know your rights.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/business/28fine.html
Good thing that no one has posted the rights before.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:15 PM   #12
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We went to Disney back August 2006 and flew Southwest. I was hoping to hear of voluntary bumps on our way home. I went up to them as I was sitting close to the desk and overhead them talking. I went up to them and offered to give up our seats as they had a later flight - only an hour extra wait but it was a no change plane stop in BWI. They needed two so it was my DD and myself. THen come to find out they needed an extra seat and everyone was already boarded at that point in time. I offered to get my Mother but they wouldn't allow me on and they went in and asked her if she wanted to stay with my DD and I. She did come out - we were refunded each of our round trip costs plus additional - walked away with I think it was just over $1,000 for the 3 of us. I paid for 3 of us to fly that following April for Spring Break - girls only trip. I took my DD back as she was sick part of the week in August. We had a good time, and being Disney Vacation Club members at that time, it didn't cost us anything as I had some unused tickets. I booked our rooms and a friend purchased me the meal plan as I paid for her ticket and she had a free room out of it also. I made out well. I am hoping in August that happens again. Just waiting for Southwest to open for the end of August so I can book.
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