Breaking News
More () »

Verifying social media claims about travel

A social media post going around Facebook gives tips from an anonymous flight attendant. We verify the claims.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A social media post going around Facebook gives tips from an anonymous flight attendant, and since flying is more of a headache these days, WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team is digging into those claims to see if some of them are true. 

The Facebook post gives 19 flying tips, but the one many people are wondering about is No. 14, regarding oversold flights and who might be the first passenger bumped. 

 "If a flight is oversold, and no one volunteers to give up their seats, who do you think is the first to be bumped? You guessed it, the family that saved a few $$ by using sites like Expedia, Kayak, Hotwire etc."

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app.



No, you are not automatically first on the list to be bumped if you book through a third-party website. However, if you book "basic economy" through one of these sites and you don't have standing with the airline, you could be more likely to get bumped.


Orlando and Ogando had the same answer to this question.

"No, that is not true," Ogando said. "There is not actually any truth to this statement that if folks try to book through an online booking like Expedia or Priceline are more likely to be involuntarily bumped from a flight." 

American Airlines said something similar. In a statement, they said, "in short, the answer is no, that is not the case."

However, Orlando said if you book a basic economy fare, but haven't accumulated a lot of frequent flier miles with that airline, then you could get bumped.

RELATED: VERIFY | No state has currently banned out-of-state travel for abortions

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

"Those are the folks with the first one off the plane and who don’t have any status with the airline generally, priority to be taken off," Orlando said. 

But how likely is it to get involuntarily bumped? 

"Your chance of being involuntarily bumped from a flight is 1 in 20,000," Orlando said. 

According to the Department of Transportation, if you are involuntarily bumped, most passengers can expect to be paid double the one-way price of the flight they were bumped from, but, the max amount is $775. Although bumped passengers who experience long delays can get four times the one-way value of the ticket or up to $1,550. 

RELATED: What countries require a COVID-19 test to enter?

Ogando says the best thing to do is book through the airline's' website. That way if your flight is canceled or delayed, you can work with them directly and not through a third-party site. 

 Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

Before You Leave, Check This Out