Did Over-booking A Flight Kill A Passenger?

by Chris Christensen  Add comments
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Is it time to rethink the common practice of over-booking airline flights? Airline’s routinely sell more seats on a plane than they have so that they can deal with business travelers who cancel flights at the last minute. These travelers pay more for their tickets for the flexibility of travel plans. But at what cost? According to one family and a story from USA Today, being bumped for a flight caused a man’s death.

The widow of an Air France passenger is suing the airline for bumping her husband. She claims the airline’s decision to bump her husband “caused him to miss a life-saving dialysis treatment at home,” Travel Weekly (free registration) writes. Carmelita Llorera and the estate of Romiel Llorera are listed as plaintiffs in a suit Travel Weekly says was filed in San Francisco. It charges Air France with breach of contract, negligence and wrongful death.

The Llorera family had been booked on a Paris-to-San Francisco flight on Jan. 2, 2006, but were told when they arrived at the airport that they had been bumped from their flight because it was oversold. Romiel Llorera was scheduled for dialysis treatment in San Francisco the following day, and court papers say that the family “repeatedly advised” Air France agent about his need to make it to California for the treatment. “The airline booked the family on a flight the next day. He died on the flight home,” Travel Weekly writes.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

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