Lawyer Reveals How You Can Get Huge Payouts If an Airline Holds You Up in Flight

A lawyer specializing in finance has received more than 30 million views online with her advice on how to recover thousands of compensation from an airline.

In two months, Erika Kullberg has gained over 6 million followers on TikTok, where she often advises people on tips and tricks for one-off businesses. Kullberg is a lawyer and founded the startup Plug and Law, where they draft legal agreements, including policies and disclaimers for small businesses, meaning she’s well versed in reading the fine print.

It’s exactly that skill she used to show her viewers how to recover large sums of money from an airline if she was denied a seat on a flight due to oversale.

In the post, Kullberg acted out the situation, acting as both the passenger and the airline. She explained in the video how passengers can cough up four times the price of their ticket if they are bumped off a flight, causing more than two hours of delay.

“According to the Department of Transportation, since the next flight you can get me on is delayed by more than two hours, I’m entitled to four times the price of my one-way fare. I paid $250 for the one-way fare, so that will $1,000,” she said.

The video can also be viewed here.

Kullberg is also right. Bumping is officially called involuntary denied boarding and is completely legal for an airline. Often, airlines will sell too many airfares, expecting to receive no-shows. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), they usually predict no-shows correctly, meaning no seats will be affected, but if they are, you can claim compensation.

Airlines will first ask if passengers are willing to voluntarily give up their seats in exchange for compensation, but if no one does, they could run into people.

According to the DOT website, if you’re bumped onto another flight and delayed one to two hours after your original arrival time, you’ll be entitled to 200 percent of your ticket cost, up to a maximum of $775.

If you’re more than two hours late, you can receive 400 percent of the compensation, up to a maximum of $1,550.

Compensation is only required if you had to give up the seat and had already checked in and arrived at the gate on time.

There are some instances where compensation is not offered, for example if you have been bumped due to a change of aircraft, weight or balance restrictions, flights with small aircraft and flights departing from abroad.

Despite being Kullberg’s most popular by a mile, her videos have achieved incredible success in a short period of time. Like this post, they often capture a fictional situation where the customer pulls out a “gotcha” card at the company.

“They don’t know I know this,” she tells the camera over and over.

“Erika did it, she’s a lawyer and reads the fine print, so I don’t have to,” the client’s character replies when asked how they learned the handy trick. “That’s why I follow her.”

The video format became so recognizable that it became a popular meme in the app, with users making parodies of the video with completely ineffective tips and tricks.

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