Delta hikes payouts for overbooked fliers

Delta Airlines

Delta chief calls overbooking 'valid' practice

The airline has also authorized supervisors to offer up to $9,950, up from $1,350.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Delta passengers who were "significantly affected" by the airline's weather issues can expect to receive a bit of redress for the travel woes they experienced last week.

Delta is letting employees offer customers almost $10,000 in compensation to give up seats on overbooked flights, hoping to avoid an uproar like the one that erupted at United after a passenger was dragged off a jet.

United said it is reviewing its compensation policies.

Bear in mind that this figure includes both passengers who volunteer to give up those seat and those who are selected if no volunteers are found.

According to a memo obtained by TMZ, United Airlines crew members are no longer eligible to bump a passenger already seated in his or her seat - as Dr. Dao was - and the crew member who needs to get somewhere for assignment must arrive and be booked at least one hour before the flight.

The controversy following the United incident has brought into question the incentives airlines use to get passengers to give up their seats.

For the past few years, Delta Air Lines has surpassed its competition, United Airlines and American Airlines, in bumping far fewer passengers involuntarily while persuading more passengers to voluntarily fly standby.

Airlines that bump off a passenger are obliged to pay up to four times the cost of a passenger's one-way ticket, up to a cap of US$1,350 (S$1,891).

Yet, out of every 100,000 Delta passengers, only three were bumped involuntarily, in contrast to 11 for United and five for American.

Overselling flights is a fact of life in the airline business.

Raising the limits "lets them solve some PR problems" and might head off U.S. Transportation Department regulations to curb overbooking, said another travel blogger, Gary Leff.

Here's how much cash Delta paid out in compensation to the average passenger who was denied boarding in 2016: $9. Passengers said the offers stopped at $800.

"If you offer enough money, even the guy going to a funeral will sell his seat", said Ross Aimer, a retired United pilot.

Latest News