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Tablets will cure passenger bumping blues, airline told

July 1, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59In an unusual deal, Delta Air Lines has been fined in a highly creative way.

The airline was booked by US authorities for not compensating booked passengers in the correct manner after denying them boarding when a flight was oversold – the process known as “bumping”.

The US Department of Transportation (DoT) fined Delta USD 750,000  for not following the correct procedure, which is to ask for volunteers willing to relinquish their seats on oversold flights.Sidebar-Banner-GTM_Specs--250x250-A

Volunteers are offered compensation and some are happy to take it.

DoT said Delta had failed to inform bumped passengers that they had a right to cash compensation. What’s more, the airline classified some passengers it had bumped as people who had voluntarily given up their seats. So the data Delta is required to report on bumping wasn’t accurate. The penalty relates to March 2012 and is Delta’s second such conviction.

Delta proposed that it be allowed to use USD 425,000 of the fine to buy tablets (iPads or similar Android devices) to record, for educational purposes, what happens when a flight is oversold and the hunt for volunteers begins. DoT agreed, Businessweek.com reported.

Delta has lately been upgrading its mobile and online tools to help passengers check in and manage their travel itineraries – so the money from the fine will be well spent. As Delta was doing it anyway, it sounds like a merciful break on the DoT’s part.

The airline is now choosing between iPads or Androids. It should get a volume discount for USD 425,000 worth.

Written by : Peter Needham

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