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Overbooked LATAM Flight? Get Compensated When Denied Boarding

Overbooked LATAM Flight? Get Compensated When Denied Boarding
Jeremiah Awogboro
Written By Jeremiah Awogboro
Last Updated: May 30, 2024

The feeling of getting bumped on a crucial flight can be disheartening, especially when you have connecting flights before arriving at your destination. We understand your concerns about navigating the situation to reduce the effects and disruption to the barest minimum. The good news is that you are entitled to compensation and care if LATAM Airlines overbooked its flight and bumped you involuntarily.

As much as we’d prefer skipping this part, LATAM is guilty of overbooking flights and bumping a few passengers. The carrier transported over 74 million passengers in 2023, but not without overbooking incidents. OldMountainGoat, a Reddit user, got the short end of the stick after he was denied boarding and given confusing tickets on his connecting flight.

No matter your situation, always remain calm. Whether the carrier just bumped you or you had this happen to you awhile back, our AirAdvisor experts will get you through, and help you check the flight to see your eligibility for denied boarding compensation. In the meantime, here’s what you must know about LATAM overbooking its flights.

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All you have to do is submit the application and wait for the compensation to be received.

What LATAM Overbooking is and Why the Carrier Does It

Overbooking involves selling tickets to more passengers than the flight can carry. As a result, the possibility of getting bumped on an overbooked flight is always there, but it might not happen if the carrier can get enough volunteers to give up their seats.

Passengers have mostly called out LATAM for missed connecting flights. A staff member once admitted that the carrier thought the passengers wouldn’t make the connection, but that’s another story.

Despite the discomfort and disruption caused by overselling flights, LATAM is obliged to provide denied boarding compensation. The deal also extends to accommodation and care if the next flight requires an overnight stay. 

FACT: In the US, domestic flights reported an 83.7% load factor in 2023, while the top ten carriers in the US reported a 0.3% overbooking rate. However, you can expect LATAM Airlines to continue overbooking as it pushes its 83.1% 2023 passenger load factor higher. 

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Regulations and Passenger Rights When Denied Boarding on a LATAM Flight Due to Overbooking

LATAM is not a U.S.-based carrier. However, it adheres to U.S. laws whenever it flies out of an airport in the country. This means they must honor passenger rights for voluntary and involuntary denied boarding.

Your overbooked flight compensation might come immediately at the airport, with LATAM staff providing vouchers and new tickets. That would spare us all the troubles, right? Nonetheless, there is no harm in pushing for compensation (respectfully) if the carrier is not forthcoming.

You can inquire about the compensation package immediately if you are denied boarding. Also, find out if the flight was overbooked. It’s best to deal with these issues as soon as possible.

Here’s what you must know about involuntary denied boarding on an overbooked flight:

Involuntary Denied Boarding

The U.S. Department of Transportation lays out the compensation packages for domestic and international flights. However, LATAM Airlines is only obliged to comply with this law when it cannot get you to your destination within one hour of the original arrival time.

LATAM uses a boarding priority of six groups, and your group will be indicated on your boarding pass. This arrangement will help you see which passengers are likely to get bumped.

Passengers with special assistance boarding, like pregnant women, are not categorized under the six groups, as they always receive priority boarding from the carrier. After allowing special assistance boarding, the carrier will move on to passengers in the Black Signature and Black categories.

Confirming your reservation and checking in on time is essential if you plan to seek denied boarding compensation. The amount of money you get from LATAM Airlines is based on how long you wait for the new flight.

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Voluntary Denied Boarding

Don’t panic if a gate agent approaches you and asks you to give up your seat for fair compensation. If this happens, the carrier has overbooked the flight and is looking for volunteers. So, if you can spare a few hours and take  another flight, then this will be your chance to negotiate a good deal

As a volunteer, you are entitled to incentives, like vouchers and money. While offering reduced tickets, vouchers, or a free ticket, LATAM must inform you of any restrictions on these packages. Besides information on the restrictions, you have other rights that we recommend enforcing at the boarding gate that will help avoid complications and shattered expectations. 

Here’s what you should ask the boarding agent or LATAM staff when you’re offered voluntary denied boarding compensation:

  • On which flight can the carrier confirm a seat for you? The alternative flight might be acceptable or equally overbooked, leaving you the chance of getting stuck again.
  •  Will LATAM provide meals, accommodation, transportation, and phone calls if the next available flight takes a while?
  • What is the carrier’s policy regarding reimbursement for expenses you incur while waiting for the next available flight?
  • How long is the voucher valid?
  • Can you use the tickets or vouchers during the holidays?
  • Can you switch the ticket or voucher to an international flight if you were previously on a domestic flight?

Your Other Rights When Bumped

You can get a statement from LATAM Airlines explaining your rights if you are denied boarding. This is standard practice, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, so ask for it if the carrier doesn’t provide it immediately.

LATAM cannot bump you off a flight for overbooking if you have met the following conditions:

  • You checked in before the deadline the carrier set.
  • A boarding gate agent accepted your boarding pass (physically or electronically) and allowed you to proceed.

Denied boarding can still occur, but, that will only be allowed if it was due to safety or security concerns.

passenger with a boarding-pass

LATAM Airlines Overbooking: Compensation Limits When Denied Boarding

Compensation in the U.S. depends on your ticket price, the length of the delay, and the flight type. With that in mind, here’s what you can expect from LATAM when denied boarding:

Flight type

Delay time

Compensation

Domestic flight

1 to 2 hours

200% of one-way fare

Domestic flights

Over 2 hours

400% of one-way fare

International flights

1 to 2 hours

200% of one-way fare

International flights

Over 2 hours

400% of one-way fare

U.S. law allows carriers to limit the compensation to $775 and $1,550 for domestic and international flights, but that doesn’t mean they won’t offer more.  Also, you can expect to receive compensation the same day. If your bumped flight incident occurred a while ago and you want to confirm your eligibility, contact AirAdvisor’s compensation experts because you can still claim for compensation.

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What to do If LATAM Overbooked and Denied Your Boarding

Here’s what you must do to get compensation as quickly as possible:

  1. Make scanned copies of all your travel documents, including your boarding pass, luggage tag, reservation confirmation, etc. Include documents that show you were booked as a passenger for the bumped flight.
  2. Keep receipts for your meals, refreshments, and accommodation if the wait time exceeds two hours or overnight.
  3. Contact an AirAdvisor compensation expert by visiting our homepage.
  4. Follow the expert recommendations after checking your flight.

At AirAdvisor, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our work speaks for us, with a 98% success rate for over 250,000 passengers. Let our legal experts take the stress off your shoulders.

Exceptions: When Compensation Does Not Apply

Getting bumped for reasons outside overbooking may mean no compensation. In this case, we can refer to government regulations and the carrier’s boarding policies. According to U.S. law, you may be bumped without compensation for the following reasons:

  • A safety or operational issue forced LATAM to use a smaller plane with fewer seats.
  • The affected flight is outside the carrier’s regular schedule.

Airline Policy

LATAM’s fair boarding policies ensure all passengers are well catered to. However, you can be bumped without compensation if you exhibit the following:

  • Intoxication from illegal drugs
  • Unruly behavior, like attacking the flight crew
  • Interfering with the flight crew’s duties
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Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you wait before filing a complaint for compensation?

We recommend approaching the carrier’s staff immediately if you are denied boarding, then file compensation claims if they don’t come through.

What happens to your checked luggage if you’re denied boarding?

If you choose to accept the next available flight offered by LATAM, then the airline will forward your baggage to your final destination.

What happens if you accept the next available flight but then it’s canceled?

Hopefully, this won’t happen, but if your rebooked flight is canceled, then you’ll again be offered a rebooking. If this happens when departing from an EU or UK airport, then you could also get compensation depending on how long you’re delayed at your final destination.

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