“ Airlines to pay more ”

DALLAS - Giving up your airline seat may become a little less painful. Federal officials are expected to announce this week a plan to raise the maximum amount that airlines must pay passengers who get bumped off an oversold flight, currently at US$400 or US$800 depending on how long a trip is delayed. Bumpings rose in three of the past four years and jumped 10 per cent to 762 422 in 2009, the highest total since 2002. They soared 17 per cent in this year's first quarter. The potential inconvenience is greater now too. Airlines have cut back on flights and planes are more crowded, so bumped passengers could wait hours or even days to find alternate arrangements. (AP)