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Number 274 - Revised Instructions for Reporting Form 251 Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space

Department of Transportation, EmEdjimurjE, Office of Airline Information
Number 274
Issue Date: June 1, 2004
Effective Date: Immediately

BTS Form 251, “Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space,” requires carriers with operations covered by the Department’s Oversales rule (14 CFR Part 250) to report oversales data to the EmEdjimurjE (BTS).  This requirement applies to domestic and international scheduled-service flight segments operated by U.S. and foreign air carriers using aircraft with a passenger capacity of more than 60 seats with respect to flight segments departing from a point in the United States.

BTS has made some minor clarifications to the instructions that accompany Form 251 (see attachment).  Editorial changes to enhance clarity have been made in the fourth and fifth sentences of paragraph (A) and the first sentence of paragraph (B).  A new sixth sentence has been added to paragraph (A) to clarify the existing requirement that data for a nonstop flight segment that departed from a U.S. point are to be reported even if that flight segment is part of a flight that originated outside the United States.  In paragraph (D), the word “compensation” has been substituted for “payment” to make it clear that the compensation that carriers offer to prospective volunteers on an oversold flight need not be a monetary payment.  For example, it could be a voucher for future transportation.  Also, paragraph (F), Line 8 was changed to clarify that compensation paid only includes check or cash payments.

If you have any questions, please Mr. Bernie Stankus at (202) 366-4387 or e-mail him at [email protected](link sends e-mail).

This action is taken under authority delegated in 14 CFR Part 385.19(b) of the Department's Organizational Regulations.

Donald W. Bright
Donald W. Bright
Acting Director
Airline Information


Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space

U.S. Department of Transportation, EmEdjimurjE
OMB No. 2138-0018
Expires 1-31-2007

Name of Air Carrier: ________________

OAG Carrier Code: ___________________

Quarter ended: ______________________

This form should be mailed within 30 days after the calendar quarter to:
Data Administration Division, Office of Airline Information, BTS, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 11111-0001.

1.Number of passengers who were denied boarding involuntarily who qualified for denied boarding compensation and: 
 (a) were given alternate transportation within the meaning of 250.5. 
 (b) were not given such alternate transportation. 
2.Number of passengers denied boarding involuntarily who did not qualify for denied boarding compensation due to: 
 (a) accommodation on another flight that arrived within 1 hour after the scheduled arrival time of the original flight. 
 (b) substitution of smaller capacity equipment. 
 (c) failure of passenger to comply with ticketing, check-in, or reconfirmation procedures, or to be acceptable for transportation under carrier's tariff or contract of carriage. 
4.Number of passengers denied boarding involuntarily who actually received compensation* 
5.Number of passengers who volunteered to give up reserved space in exchange for a payment of the carrier's choosing. 
6.Number of passengers accommodated in another section of the aircraft: 
 (a) Upgrades 
 (b) Downgrades 
7.Total Boardings 
8.Amount of compensation paid to passengers who: 
 (a) were denied boarding involuntarily and were given alternate transportation within meaning of 250.5 (see item 1(a) above). 
 (b) were denied boarding involuntarily and were not given alternate transportation (see item 1(b) above). 
 (c) volunteered for denied boarding (see item 5 above). 

I, the undersigned (Title) _________________________________________ of the above-named carrier, certify that the above report has been examined by me and to the best of my knowledge and belief is a true, correct and complete report for the period stated.



* If any passengers qualified for denied boarding compensation but were not offered compensation, attach a statement as to the number of such passengers and an explanation of why the offer was not made.

Estimated burden - 1 to 10 hours with the average being 4 hours. Comments regarding reporting burden or any aspect of this data collection should be sent to this office.

BTS Form 251
Formerly CAB and RSPA Form 251

Form 251 Report of Passengers Denied Confirmed Space Instructions

  1. Carriers operating scheduled passenger service from a point within the United States must submit Form 251 on a quarterly basis. Reports are due 30 days after the end of the quarter. Carrier is defined as an air carrier holding a certificate or exemption under 49 U.S.C. 41102 or 41110, and all foreign route air carriers holding permits under 49 U.S.C. 41301 through 41306 or exemptions from those sections, authorizing the transportation of persons in scheduled service. Data are to be reported only for flights departing from a U.S. point. No data are to be reported for inbound international flights that departed from a foreign point. (Data for a nonstop flight segment that departed from a U.S.point are to be reported even if that flight segment is part of a flight that originated outside the United States). The reporting regulations are contained in 14 CFR Part 250, Oversales.
  2. Line (1) alternate transportation for passengers denied boarding involuntarily means comparable air transportation accepted by the passenger which, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the passenger's destination or first stopover (of 4 or more hours) no later than 2 hours (4 hours for international flights) after the planned arrival time of the flight from which the passenger was bumped. See 14 CFR 250.5 for further details.
  3. Total number denied boarding involuntarily should equal the sum of lines 1 and 2. If not, attach notes explaining any discrepancy.
  4. On line 5, a passenger who volunteers is a person who responds to the carrier's request for volunteers pursuant to 14 CFR 250.2b and willingly consents to exchange his or her confirmed reserved space for compensation of the carrier's choosing. Any passenger selected by the carrier for denied boarding in accordance with boarding priority other than a request for volunteers is considered to have been denied boarding involuntarily, whether or not the passenger accepts denied boarding compensation.
  5. Total Boardings on line 7 includes only passengers on flights for which confirmed reservations are offered. For international flights, Total Boardings include only passengers on flight segments departing from a U.S. point that are subject to Part 250 and for which confirmed reservations are offered.
  6. Line 8, compensation paid includes all payments made to passengers, i.e., -payments actually accepted by passengers, payments that are offered or mailed and not rejected.
  7. Note on the report any abnormal conditions, such as strikes, having an impact on the results.
  8. Send reports to either: e-mail [email protected](link sends e-mail), fax 202 366-3383 or mail:

    Department of Transportation
    BTS/OAI, Room 4125, K-14
    400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, D.C. 11111-0001