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e-CFR data is current as of July 28, 2021

Title 14Chapter IISubchapter APart 250 → §250.5


Title 14: Aeronautics and Space
PART 250—OVERSALES


§250.5   Amount of denied boarding compensation for passengers denied boarding involuntarily.

(a) Subject to the exceptions provided in §250.6, a carrier to whom this part applies as described in §250.2 shall pay compensation in interstate air transportation to passengers who are denied boarding involuntarily from an oversold flight as follows:

(1) No compensation is required if the carrier offers alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if none, the airport of the passenger's final destination not later than one hour after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight;

(2) Compensation shall be at least 200 percent of the fare to the passenger's destination or first stopover, or $775, whichever is lower, if the carrier offers alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if none, the airport of the passenger's final destination more than one hour but less than two hours after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight; and

(3) Compensation shall be at least 400 percent of the fare to the passenger's destination or first stopover, or $1,550, whichever is lower, if the carrier does not offer alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if none, the airport of the passenger's final destination less than two hours after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight.

(b) Subject to the exceptions provided in §250.6, a carrier to whom this part applies as described in §250.2 shall pay compensation to passengers in foreign air transportation who are denied boarding involuntarily at a U.S. airport from an oversold flight as follows:

(1) No compensation is required if the carrier offers alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if not, the airport of the passenger's final destination not later than one hour after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight;

(2) Compensation shall be at least 200 percent of the fare to the passenger's destination or first stopover, or $775, whichever is lower, if the carrier offers alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if not, the airport of the passenger's final destination more than one hour but less than four hours after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight; and

(3) Compensation shall be at least 400 percent of the fare to the passenger's destination or first stopover, or $1,350, whichever is lower, if the carrier does not offer alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if not, the airport of the passenger's final destination less than four hours after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight.

(c) Carriers may offer free or reduced rate air transportation in lieu of the cash or check due under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, if—

(1) The value of the transportation benefit offered, excluding any fees or other mandatory charges applicable for using the free or reduced rate air transportation, is equal to or greater than the cash/check payment otherwise required;

(2) The carrier fully informs the passenger of the amount of cash/check compensation that would otherwise be due and that the passenger may decline the transportation benefit and receive the cash/check payment; and

(3) The carrier fully discloses all material restrictions, including but not limited to, administrative fees, advance purchase or capacity restrictions, and blackout dates applicable to the offer, on the use of such free or reduced rate transportation before the passenger decides to give up the cash/check payment in exchange for such transportation. (See also §250.9(c)).

(d) The requirements of this section apply to passengers with “zero fare tickets.” The fare paid by these passengers for purposes of calculating denied boarding compensation shall be the lowest cash, check, or credit card payment charged for a ticket in the same class of service on that flight.

(e) The Department of Transportation will review the denied boarding compensation liability limit amounts prescribed in this part every two years except for the first review, which will take place in 2012, to put the reviews specified in this section on the same cycle as the reviews of domestic baggage liability limits specified in 14 CFR 254.6. The Department will use any increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) as of July of each review year to calculate the increased denied boarding compensation liability limit amounts. The Department will use the following formula:

(1) Current Denied Boarding Compensation liability limit in paragraph (a)(2) of this section multiplied by (a/b) rounded to the nearest $25 where a = July CPI-U of year of current adjustment and b = the CPI-U figure in August 2011 when the inflation adjustment provision was added to this part.

(2) The Denied Boarding Compensation liability limit in paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be twice the revised limit for paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(3) The Denied Boarding Compensation liability limit in paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall be the same as the revised limit for paragraph (a)(2) of this section, and the Denied Boarding Compensation liability limit in paragraph (b)(3) of this section shall be twice the revised limit for paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(f) In addition to the denied boarding compensation specified in this part, a carrier shall refund all unused ancillary fees for optional services paid by a passenger who is voluntarily or involuntarily denied boarding. The carrier is not required to refund the ancillary fees for services that are provided with respect to the passenger's alternate transportation.

(g) Nothing in this part prohibits carriers from offering denied boarding compensations in an amount more than the amount calculated according to paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, or more than the denied boarding compensation liability limit amounts effective at the time of denied boarding.

[Doc. No. DOT-OST-2010-0140, 76 FR 23162, Apr. 25, 2011, as amended by Doc. No. DOT-OST-2015-0104, 80 FR 30147, May 27, 2015; Doc. No. DOT-OST-2014-0056, 81 FR 76827, Nov. 3, 2016; Doc. No. DOT-OST-2020-0251, 86 FR 2538, Jan. 13, 2021]

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