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Aviation lawyer details your rights if you are involuntarily booted off plane

OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - The video of a United Airlines passenger dragged from his seat is still taking the world by storm. United did what's called an involuntary bump.

"There's a lot of collateral damage to that airline's reputation," said Bassel El-Kasaby, an aviation lawyer.

El-Kasaby told FOX 42 News Wednesday the airline had every right to boot the man from the plane, but the way it was handled is what raises question marks.

"It would have been wiser probably to spend $2,000 to induce people to get off the plane instead of the cost of litigation."

Aviation attorneys say the most important thing to remember is you have options when it comes to something like this and you should put those to use.

So, what should you get if an airline kicks you off a flight because it's overbooked? The law says you'll get paid, but the amount varies depending on how long you're stuck at the airport or a hotel. If the airline rebooks you on another flight and you get to where you're going within an hour of where you're supposed to, you get nothing. On the other hand, if you show up more than two hours after that time you must be paid up to $1,300. That's the law.

"I'm sure there are incidents that are happening on a daily basis," said El-Kasaby.

You can also ask for a full refund for your ticket cost. That includes additional fees like checked luggage. If you have to wait until the next day to leave where you are, most airlines will put you up in a hotel.

Travel agents recommend, however, you pay close attention to the fine print. There could be exceptions to a rule.


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