The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) announced that commercial airlines must compensate passengers who are denied boarding due to overbooking of flights. Flight overselling occurs when an airline sells more tickets than the number of available seats it has on the plane.
In exchange, the airlines say they offer “cheaper fares” and other “benefits” to affected passengers, such as extra money or miles.
Compensation for denied boarding due to overbooking
The SCJN resolution states that when the airline does not allow a passenger to board due to an overbooked flight:
- Compensation must be at least 25% of the ticket price, regardless of whether the affected person chooses to refund their ticket, transportation on the first available flight, and food coverage and lodging at the expense of the airline, or the rescheduling of your flight on a date that suits the passenger.
“Therefore, commercial airlines must compensate passengers who are denied boarding due to overbooking of flights, regardless of offering them the options specified above,” they reiterate.
Previously, the Civil Aviation Law excluded compensation for those who, when a flight was overbooked, chose transportation on the first available flight, with the necessary food and lodging coverage until boarding. However, in the loss of a connecting flight caused by overbooking, “the responsibility of the airlines is limited to the fact that this connection forms part of the contract entered into between the same airline and the passenger”, the SCJN states in a statement.
Passenger rights during delays and cancellations
The first thing that the airline must do in the event of a delay is to inform its passengers in the boarding area or by electronic means.
- When a delay of more than 1 hour is exceeded, the airline must provide, as a minimum, discounts on subsequent flights to the same destination. Or, food and drinks at no cost.
- If the flight is delayed more than 2 hours, but less than 4: “in case of discount, it must not be less than 7.5% of the ticket price.”
If the airline is directly responsible for the delay, then the passenger can choose one of the following options:
- The refund of the ticket price plus an indemnity of not less than 25% of the ticket price.
- Transportation on the first available flight, food, lodging, and transportation to and from the airport.
- Transportation at a later date plus compensation of not less than 25% of the ticket price.
Additionally, in delays and cancellations, passengers also have the right to access telephone calls and email at no cost.