13 Delta Passengers Receive $2,000 – $4,000 As Agent Begs Them To Take Later Flight
Delta Air Lines paid 13 passengers on an overbooked Boston to Rome flight up to $4,000 each – plus covered their hotel rooms for the night – to get them to give up their seats.
The flight had already boarded when an agent came on board still looking for volunteers, and she ran an auction. You can hear her raising the price to $3,500 begging someone to “take one for the team” and “go shopping.” Two people appear to stand up at this point and walk towards the front of the aircraft.
It’s almost certain that they made a nice profit, considering they’d still get to fly and Delta pays out actual gift cards and not just their own travel credits like most airlines do.
@onlyinbos 13 passengers on an overbooked #Delta flight from #Boston to #Rome ♬ original sound – Only In Boston
Delta is the only one of the largest U.S. airlines that still offers extremely generous compensation to avoid kicking someone off of a flight when they overbook. They’re willing to pay out far more than the legally required 400% of a passenger’s one-way fare not to exceed $1,550 for involuntarily ‘bumping’ someone.
Here’s an agent literally begging passengers to take $1,300 (not travel vouchers!) to give up their seat and take a later flight, because more people showed up than they had seats. And that’s for a domestic flight, where $1,300 may be more than four times the one way fare.
On Christmas Eve day Delta was offering as much as $8,000 per passenger (before reneging when they cancelled the flight). Shortly after the David Dao dragging incident on United Delta authorized gate agents to go up to $9,950.
Around that time United gave one passenger a $10,000 travel credit for taking a later flight but they eliminated that generosity at the start of the pandemic. American Airlines once handed out $5,000 per passenger on a flight where they weren’t legally required to do compensation at all, because the overbooking resulted from a change in aircraft. Yet they handed out around $250,000 in compensation for that one flight in total. American ceased their generous denied boarding compensation policies, too, leaving only Delta regularly handing out that much cash when they overbook.
Delta still takes the position that when they make a mistake and sell too many tickets, it’s their responsibility to own the cost and make it worthwhile for passengers to take a later flight – instead of ultimately just falling back on legal minimum cash compensation if there aren’t enough volunteers at lower amounts.