Airlines

Delta fined for mishandling bumped passengers

June 26, 2013 at 4:41 PM ET

Delta airplane
Karen Bleier / AFP - Getty Images
A Delta Airlines jet takes off from Florida's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in this February 21, 2013 file photo.

The government is fining Delta Air Lines Inc. $750,000 for bumping some passengers involuntarily, without offering compensation or seeking volunteers first.

Airlines sometimes sell too many tickets for a flight, and have to "bump" some or move them to a later flight. If travelers don't volunteer, the airline has to compensate them.

The Transportation Department says Delta has a widespread practice of noncompliance in how it handles bumped customers. Delta says the incidents were isolated, and that it has been training its employees in how to handle overbooked flights.

Atlanta-based Delta can use $425,000 of the penalty to buy tablet computers to record whether customers volunteer to be bumped. Delta has already been planning to buy tablets for that job.

Delta was fined $375,000 in 2009 for similar violations.

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