Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM-TV reports flyers were offered the five-digit payout on an oversold flight from the Western Michigan city to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
“Ten. Thousand. Dollars.”
The flight in question was scheduled to depart from Grand Rapids Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) on Monday, June 27, 2022, at 6:45 a.m. According to FlightAware.com, the flight is operated by SkyWest Airlines on behalf of Delta utilizing a 76-seat Embraer E-175 regional jet.
Prior to departure, gate agents informed passengers that the flight was overbooked and they were seeking volunteers to get bumped to a later flight. Compensation for taking a later flight reportedly started at $5,000, but quickly increased to $10,000 when volunteers were slow to show up.
According to those aboard the flight, the payout was not offered as a travel credit towards future Delta travel. Instead, it was a cash payment on a Visa gift card, or direct to passengers via Apple Pay. Under federal law, flyers who are involuntarily denied boarding from their flight are only entitled to up to $1,550 in cash if they are rebooked with an arrival delay of two hours or more.
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
Writing about the experience for Inc. Magazine, flyer Jason Aten confirmed the $10,000 compensation story, noting a gate attendant saying: “If you have Apple Pay, you’ll even have the money right now.”
“Yes, $10,000 is a lot of money, but it was clearly better than forcing eight people to miss their connections and ruining their plans,” wrote Aten for Inc., saying he was unable to take the payout for undisclosed reasons. “The people who volunteered did the math and decided that it was worth it to change their plans because, obviously, that is a lot of money.”
Neither Delta nor SkyWest have confirmed the exact amount of the offered payout, but a Delta spokesperson told WZZM gate agents are authorized to do “whatever necessary” to help flights depart on schedule.
Payout Comes as Delta Sees Increased Network Stress
The reports of enhanced compensation for bumped volunteers comes as Delta faces one of their most stressful years to date. Ahead of the 2022 Independence Day holiday weekend, the Atlanta-based carrier offered anyone flying between July 1 and 4 a systemwide fare difference travel waiver to rebook outside of the holiday. Days later, airline chief executive Ed Bastian posted an apology on LinkedIn, telling flyers: “If you’ve encountered delays and cancellations recently, I apologize. We’ve spent years establishing Delta Air Lines as the industry leader in reliability, and though the majority of our flights continue to operate on time, this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable.”
Source: frugal travel guy