Lonely Planet Writer

Delta are going to pay passengers more money to give up their seats

With all the drama in the news about seat overbooking and passengers being asked to give their seats, a leaked memo from Delta Airlines reportedly outlines how much passengers will now be offered to be bumped from their flights. It reveals that in the case of overbooking, the airline will offer up to almost $10,000 to those willing or forced to give up their seats.

Woman at airport using tablet.
Delta has increased the amount paid to passengers who give up their seat. Image by J. James/Getty Images

Delta‘s gate agents can now offer passengers a maximum of $2000, where previously it was $800, and supervisors can go as high as $9950, up from a previous limit of $1350. Obviously they will hope to get passengers to agree to move flights early on in the proceedings so that they don’t have to offer the maximum amounts. They will start off by offering a lower amount and only increase if the situation becomes pressurised. 

“If more volunteers are needed, solicit early and often,” the memo said. “Be prepared to explain options to customers traveling to their final destinations.” If airlines resort to involuntary bumping, US Department of Transportation rules state that passengers must be compensated with an amount equal to 200% of their one-way ticket cost. This is up to a maximum of $675 for flights arriving one to two hours after their original time.

A post shared by Delta Air Lines (@delta) on Dec 4, 2016 at 1:52pm PST

Any passenger bumped to a flight departing more than two hours later can expect to get 400% of the ticket cost, up to a maximum of $1350. This, we imagine, would definitely soften the blow of taking a later flight, plus imagine how lovely it would be to take the money to Duty Free and browse around with all the extra time you’d have?

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