Some Delta Air Lines passengers received an offer this morning they couldn’t refuse.
Delta flight 3550 operated by SkyWest from Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR) to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) apparently was oversold. There were more confirmed passengers who showed up at the airport than there were available seats on the Embraer 175 aircraft.
Airlines generally ask for volunteers to take later flights in instances like these. In return, the volunteers are given rewards such as gift cards, vouchers for future travel, etc. (Here on the blog, we call these “Bumpertunities.”) We’ve taken voluntarily denied boarding opportunities like these countless times and scored anywhere from $400 to $3,000. A few years ago, a woman traveling to South Bend, Indiana, received $4,000 in Delta bump vouchers.
Those amounts are nothing compared to what Delta reportedly coughed up this morning.
Delta Offers Passengers $10,000!
Well, it seems things were dire in Grand Rapids this morning — and Delta offered passengers $10,000 to take later flights.
You read that correctly.
Ummm…well, this article did not age well. Today is June 27th, 2022. I just flew from Grand Rapids, MI to Minneapolis. Delta offered $10,000 to anyone willing to give up their seat. Actually, they said they needed more than one person willing to bump. There was no mad dash among the passengers, but several people did indeed get off the plane and receive $10,000 via a Visa gift card. I was and am still stunned. Just sorry I couldn’t do it, as I was flying with my Wife who is legally blind and has to have me nearby.
(In our defense: we think the post aged rather well — given a pandemic and massive changes in the commercial airline world that have taken place since the piece was published five years ago. 🙂 )
Inc. contributing editor Jason Aten tweeted:
On @Delta flight from GRR to MSP and they just offered $10,000 for people to give up their seats.…
Ten. Thousand. Dollars.
— Jason Aten (@JasonAten) June 27, 2022
Delta confirmed to us that this happened.
In the meantime, are you now fantasizing about that happening to you — and what kind of things you could accomplish with a surprise $10,000 Visa gift card? I sure am.
How Did Passengers Get $10,000?
Things can get expensive for airlines if enough passengers don’t volunteer to take later flights. The US Department of Transportation explains passengers involuntarily denied boarding are entitled to “400% of one-way fare (airlines may limit the compensation to $1,550 if 400% of the one-way fare is higher than $1,550).”
Indeed, the next flight out of Grand Rapids wasn’t until about 11:30 AM. (DL3550 was scheduled to depart Grand Rapids at 6:45 AM but departed at 7:06 AM. The flight arrived in Minneapolis at 7:26 AM, just ten minutes late — no doubt full of people filled with 10,000 regrets!)
So, there either were a bunch of passengers traveling on expensive one-way tickets or an airline rep made a slight math miscalculation when figuring out how much compensation to offer. (Let’s hope it’s the former.) Or maybe there was a weight and balance issue? All of the above? That’s what comes to my mind.
Delta Connection flight 3550 from Grand Rapids to Minneapolis was apparently very full.
Delta reportedly offered $10,000 to passengers willing to take a later flight.
This certainly is an outlier when it comes to bump. But given the summer travel season isn’t halfway over, I wonder if we’ll see something like this again.
We’ve contacted Delta about this story and will let you know what information they provide.
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