Under Department of Transportation rules, the compensation you're entitled to for being involuntarily bumped from a flight varies by the extent of the delay:
- If the airline can make alternate arrangements that get you to your final destination within one hour of your original arrival time, no compensation is required.
- Between one to two hours of your original arrival time on domestic flights, or one to four hours on international flights: 200 percent of your one-way fare, up to a maximum $675.
- More than two hours later than your original arrival time on domestic flights, or more than four hours late on international flights: 400 percent of your one-way fare, up to a maximum $1,350.
"If your ticket does not show a fare (for example, a frequent flyer award ticket or a ticket issued by a consolidator), your denied boarding compensation is based on the lowest cash, check or credit card payment charged for a ticket in the same class of service (e.g., coach, first class) on that flight," according to the rules.
Airlines are required to pay out that compensation in cash, Hobica said.