Passengers were faced with the option to give up their seats on an overbooked Delta Airlines flight in exchange for $10,000 in compensation.
Passengers flying on Delta flight 3550 from Michigan to Minneapolis were patiently waiting at the gate when the crew and a customer service agent announced that the flight was oversold.
The bid began at $5,000 cash for eight passengers to volunteer to give up their seats and take a later flight. However, when no one was taking the deal, Delta increased the bid to $7,500 once boarding began.
The bidding had increased to $10,000 by the time a majority of passengers had boarded the flight. That’s $80,000 for inconveniences caused to a handful of passengers.
One of the flight attendants had even announced:
“If you have Apple Pay, you’ll even have the money right now.”
It’s a true story. I was on that flight! Unfortunately, I could not take advance the offer, as I was flying with my wife who has very limited eyesight. She has to have me nearby when traveling
— Todd McCrumb (@ToddMccrumb) June 28, 2022
Inc. magazine technology columnist Jason Aten who originally shared the bidding on Twitter said in a follow-up tweet:
“Yes, all six of us are still on the flight I don’t want to talk about it.”
Daily Wire also reported an incident that happened back in April 2017 wherein travelers who agreed to give up their seats on overbooked flights would be provided compensation:
In April 2017, Delta sent employees an internal memo giving them authority to offer compensation of up to $9,950 to travelers who agreed to give up their seats on overbooked flights, the Post reported.
The news comes as summer travel gets more chaotic amid high gas prices, weather cancellations, overbooked flights, and airline staffing shortages. Some of this is residual from the pandemic, with more pilots taking early retirement. Also more people are traveling this year than in 2020 and 2021.
In a recent LinkedIn post, Delta CEO Ed Bastian later apologized for recent flight delays and cancellations.
“If you’ve encountered delays and cancellations lately, I apologize. We have spent years establishing Delta Air Lines as the industry leader in reliability and while most of our flights continue to operate on time, this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable.”
Sources: DailyWire, New York Post