Getting bumped off a flight seems to be becoming more commonplace. Though a frustrating experience, it’s important to know that you do have rights if you’re bumped off a flight, and Erika Kullberg, a lawyer and TikTok star, says she knows exactly what you need to do to maximize your bumped benefits.
If you haven’t seen Kullberg’s TikTok videos yet, let us fill you in on why you need to follow her ASAP. Kullberg isn’t just a lawyer, she’s also the co-founder of Plug and Law, a company that drafts legal agreements like policies and disclaimers for small companies, making her an expert in all those terms and conditions and the fine print you don’t bother to read.
On her account, you’ll find tips and tricks to getting refunds, freebies, and discounts, and lots of videos about how to work the airlines to ensure you get what you’re owed if your flight is canceled, your luggage is delayed, or you’re bumped.
Kullberg sets up each video as a little skit, playing both the passenger and the airline employee. She begins her bumped video by asking, “What can be done?” after getting bumped from her flight. Playing the airline worker, she replies, “There’s nothing I can do, sorry.”
Then, she turns to the camera and says, “She has no idea I follow Erika; watch this,” and lays down the law.
“According to the Department of Transportation, since the next flight you can get me on results in over a two-hour delay, I’m entitled to four times the cost of my one-way fare. I paid $250 for the one-way fare, so that will be $1,000,” she explains.
CREDIT: JEFF GREENBERG/GETTY IMAGES
As the U.S. Department of Transportation website confirms, Kullberg is correct, but there are a few stipulations to keep in mind. To be eligible for compensation, you must have a confirmed reservation and be checked into your flight on time as well as be at the departure gate on time.
Then, if you get to the gate and it’s indeed overbooked, the airline will first ask for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for some type of compensation (think credit, cash, or a discount). You can negotiate the rate, so go ahead and ask for more.
If not enough people volunteer, the airline may then involuntarily bump people. At that point, any compensation you receive will be based on a scale. If you arrive in your intended destination on a different flight within an hour of your original arrival, they owe you nothing. If you arrive within one to two hours, you may be entitled to 200% of the one-way fare. If it’s more than two hours, you’re entitled to 400% of the one-way fare.