As United Airlines continues to be in the limelight after removing a passenger from an airplane, you may be wondering how to avoid being removed from a flight.

Well, in general officials say that airlines usually sell more tickets for flights than they have seats in order to fill any of the empty seats left by no-shows. The Department of Transportation requires airlines to request volunteers to give up their seat on the flight before bumping anyone involuntarily. This should happen at the check-in or boarding area.

Further, if volunteers don’t come forward, then airlines do have the right to select people to take a later flight involuntarily. For United Airlines, passengers are prioritized based on their fare class, itinerary and whether they are frequent flyer program members.

Here are some tips from TravelSense.Org on how to avoid getting bumped:

  • Become a member of the airline’s frequent flyer program to reduce the chances of being selected.
  • Choose an off-peak time to fly.
  • Check in early for your flight, because those who arrive later will be prioritized for involuntary bumping.

Find more from TravelSense.Org about the procedures, lingo and what you need to know if you are in that situation.