When United overbooks, when you check in online, sometimes you are asked if you will consider being voluntarily bumped. Usually there are no details regarding exact compensation or on what flight you will be rebooked.
My question is... if I check "yes", that I am willing to be voluntarily bumped, and I get to the airport and I don't like the compensation offered or the rebooked flight, can I then refuse to be voluntarily bumped?
I'm always willing to consider being bumped... but depending on the compensation and the rescheduled flight, I might not want to... so I'm always reluctant to check "yes" on check-in for fear they will bump me regardless. Can I refuse the offer once at the gate and claim my reserved seat?
You can call all you want but mantra on flyertalk is HUACA (hang up and call again) because the answer you get will differ from one agent to another.
1.) Remember in any negotiation you want the other party to state their position first. You putting yourself on the list without hearing the offer first already puts you at a disadvantage. Reason you want to volunteer at the gate is because the offer made to volunteers depends on how bad they need volunteers. If they see a list of volunteers early prior to departure, the offer being made would be lower. Example, they need 5 seats, but volunteer list is 15. They know they can lowball to get 5 off. You and fellow passengers who put their name on the volunteer list before hearing the offer results in the the offer being lower than it would have been.
2.) If for some reason you are late to the gate (traffic, TSA) and had volunteered in advance and indeed get bumped, you just lost your involuntary denied boarding protection. Good luck filing a DOT complaint you were involuntary denied boarding when you checked the "I volunteer to be bumped" checkbox.
needhelpplease said: avoid the vouchers. They expire in a yr. typically. Wonder if they'll give you miles instead...
Actually I prefer vouchers. I got a tiny bit of compensation last month for a cancelled United flight. I had to fly home the next day from Shanghai. The choice was a $200 voucher or 10,000 miles. I chose the voucher. A no-brainer. They also paid for my hotel, food and ground transportation for that extra day.
I flew home from SFO to LAX two days ago. The Christmas rush has started. At the gate the screen said the flight was overbooked by 27, which was the same as the stand-by list. The offer went from $150 to $300. I just took my flight and didn't play the volunteer game. So much can go wrong with holiday flight madness. I didn't want to get stuck there for days. On the way to SFO there also was a $150 offer to take a later flight. That I also skipped as I had to meet with someone in San Francisco that afternoon. As it turned out, my plane arrived two hours late, but I still made my short meeting.
I'm done flying "the unfriendly skies" of United for at least a few months.
syrauch said: Can I refuse the offer once at the gate and claim my reserved seat?
Thanks for your input.
Selecting "yes" simply adds you to a list of travelers whom United may approach for "Voluntary Denied Boarding / VDB". It is not a commitment. You will still be presented with an offer, usually in the form of a travel credit (e-certificate), which can be as pathetic as $150 unless you have "premier" status. You can decline the offer and insist on taking the flight (or be presented with a more $$ in credit). If you do intend on playing the VDB lottery, do NOT check your luggage.
syrauch said: My question is... if I check "yes", that I am willing to be voluntarily bumped, and I get to the airport and I don't like the compensation offered or the rebooked flight, can I then refuse to be voluntarily bumped?
Yes. There is still a risk that they could involuntarily bump you, but there's not much harm in having your name on the VDB list.
selecting yes, just adds you to a list. if the flight is truly oversold, there are fliers that will up in the gate attendants face the minute they get there looking for the voucher. If they don't get those people, they go down the list of volunteers.
Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.
Members of our community may attach files to a post in accordance with the User Agreement. FatWallet is not responsible for the content, accuracy, completeness or validity of any information contained in any attached file. Files have *not* been scanned for viruses. Be especially wary of Excel files which may contain malicious content.
Earn Cash Back while you shop - just 3 simple steps.
1. Sign Up so we know who to pay! (It's FREE.)
2. Shop through FatWallet for deals from your favorite stores. Your online purchases earn Cash Back that builds in your FatWallet account.
3. Get Paid by requesting a payment via check or PayPal.
FatWallet coupons help you save more when shopping online. Use our Coupons Search to browse coupons and offers from thousands of stores, gathered into one convenient location.
As part of our FatWallet Community, you can share deals with almost a million shoppers in our forums. Forum content is generated by consumers for consumers. Share deals, money-saving tips, and more. It's FREE, fun, and addicting.
Our customer experience team is here around the clock - real people ready to assist.