Delta Air Lines, which was recently fined $750,000 by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for not compensating passengers who were denied boarding against their will on oversold flights, has negotiated a deal to use a part of the fine to buy tablets for monitoring oversold flights.
When an airline oversells its flights, federal rules require it to seek volunteers willing to give up their seats for compensation. Passengers are denied boarding against their will (bumped) if a sufficient number of volunteers are not found.
Most such bumped passengers are entitled to cash compensation of up to $1,300, depending on their ticket price and the length of delay suffered.
DOT found in March 2012 that Delta failed to look for willing volunteers on oversold flights and involuntarily bumped passengers without the mandatory notice and notification about their rights to cash compensation.
Delta will use up to $425,000 of the penalty amount to buy tablets for recording passengers’ decisions on whether they agree to leave the flights and accept compensation. The data may also help the airline better comply with the bumping rules in the future.