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Travel

Know Your Rights on Flights

Airlines are experiencing turbulence over overbooking policies. Here’s what you need to know when your flight is oversold.

When it comes to air travel, long lines, delays, lost baggage and bumpy flights happen. So do overbooked flights. But no one expects to suffer physical harm when they balk at giving up their seat.

But you’re on thin ice if you don’t follow the airline’s rules. When you book a flight, you agree to the rules in the airline’s contract of carriage, which can’t be negotiated. “If you do something that offends or upsets them, or fail to follow the directions of the flight crew, you can be denied boarding or removed from the plane,” says Arthur Wolk, a Philadelphia-based aviation lawyer. For more details about your rights, check the Department of Transportation’s consumer guide to air travel.

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