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Airlines often oversell flights during summertime, leading to overbooked seats and paying passengers who voluntarily give up their seat. While this can be frustrating for passengers, it also often results in a payout for those who voluntarily give up their seat.
This week, Delta Air Lines reportedly offered $10,000 to volunteers to board an oversold flight! The offer was made on a flight from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Minneapolis early Monday morning.
Tech columnist Jason Aten, who was on board, wrote about it in a recent Inc. magazine column, noting that the airline was looking for eight passengers to give up their seat for another later flight for $10,000. Aten recalled how as they waited to board, an airline attendant informed them the flight had been oversold and needed volunteers.
Aten, who was traveling with his family, reported that a crew member came on the PA system and announced they were looking for eight volunteers. He added that the attendant informed them they would pay $10,000 per volunteer.
Though not unheard-of, the deal was for an hour long domestic flight - far more than most airline vouchers offer!
It's likely the flight was oversold due to weight restrictions or some other reason, meaning the airline needed to sell some tickets before departing. While this isn't the first time a passenger has been offered a substantial sum for giving up their seat on an oversold flight, it certainly ranks as one of the largest thus far.
Aten and his family were presented with an attractive deal, yet ultimately decided against taking it. Avoiding such situations in the future can be a wise decision since they can be a major hassle and often not worth the extra expense.
Being bumped off an oversold flight can be a traumatic experience for both passengers and crew, but it doesn't have to be. With some tips, you can minimize your pain by negotiating your rights and bargaining power in a positive light. If you find yourself on an oversold flight, here are some strategies for getting the best possible deal:
Donaldson and his crew conducted a comparison between different airplanes to see which was best for them. For $10,000 they flew on an Emirates A380, enjoying individual luxury cubicles with giant TVs, built-in drink fridges, free gourmet food, private lounge access and access to a bathroom with shower. At $25,000 they upgraded to the same plane as the $10,000 flight except it also came complete with its own personal attendant!
No matter if your ticket costs $1 or $500 000, it's essential to remember there are numerous elements that go into each expense. Some expenses are fixed (like insurance and hangar fees), while others can vary (gasoline, oil, maintenance).