Sunday, August 7, 2022

Delta allegedly offered passengers $ 10,000 to give up seats on oversold flights

As major flight delays and cancellations continue to make headlines worldwide, Delta Air Lines has finally offered a huge chunk of change to passengers willing to leave an oversold flight, according to two passengers on the plane.

Inc. Magazine Technology columnist Jason Athens tweeted this week that he boarded a flight from Michigan to Minneapolis and Delta “had just offered $ 10,000 for people to give up their seats.” The next day, he elaborated on the experience in a piece for Inc.

“While we were sitting on the plane waiting to leave the gate, the announcement overhead explained that the flight was apparently oversold and that they were looking for eight volunteers,” he wrote. “In exchange for their seats, Delta offered $ 10,000 in cash.”

Co-passenger Todd McCrumb backed Athens’ account, both on Twitter and in an interview with Fortune. An airline agent initially offered $ 5,000 while people were still at the gate, but continued to increase the amount when people did not take it, McCrumb told Fortune.

McCrumb was traveling with his wife and said on Twitter she had health problems that prevented them from leaving the flight. In his piece for Inc., Athens said he did not accept the offer “for reasons I do not enter because my wife is still not happy about it.”

“The ability to provide compensation empowers our employees to take care of our customers and get our planes out on time,” the spokesman said.

Airlines regularly overbook flights deliberately in anticipation of a certain percentage of passengers not arriving. When more ticket passengers arrive than there are seats on the plane, companies usually offer several incentives to have some people re-book.

In 2017, Delta raised the maximum amount agents could offer passengers to $ 9,950 – a big bump from the previous maximum payout amount of $ 1,350, CNBC reported at the time. That decision came days after doctor David Dao was forcibly dragged away from an overbooked United Airlines flight, causing widespread outrage at United and Chicago airport police.

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