National

Posted: April 17, 2017

Delta will now pay passengers up to $9,950 to give up seats


By Brianna Chambers, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Delta Airlines has increased the maximum amount of compensation the airline will offer passengers when reaccommodating travelers on overbooked flights.

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According to CNN Money, Delta supervisors are cleared to offer up to $9,950 to passengers who volunteer to give up their seats on overbooked flights. The announcement was made Friday via a Delta spokesperson. The previous maximum compensation offered was $1,350.

The amount Delta gate agents are now allowed to offer passengers who volunteer their seats on overbooked flights increased from $800 to up to $2,000, The Associated Press reported.

Delta told its staff to start compensation offerings “at a lower compensation and increase, if necessary.”

>> Related: When can an airline force a ticketed passenger off a plane?

Delta’s updated financial incentive comes days after an incident in which a United Airlines passenger was forcibly removed from a flight after refusing to give up his seat for airline employees who had nowhere to sit on a fully booked flight.

According to the AP, Delta had the lowest rate among airlines of bumping passengers off flights against their will last year.

>> Related: Delta lost $125 million, canceled 4,000 flights in domino effect after storms

Out of about 130 million total passengers last year, Delta involuntarily bumped about four passengers each day last year, CNBC reported. In contrast, United bumped more than 10 passengers per day.

In 2015 and 2016, Delta paid an average of $1,118 in compensation to passengers who were denied seats on flights, the AP reported. In comparison, United Airlines paid passengers an average of $565 each. 

>> Related: All passengers on United flight 3411 to receive compensation

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

Read more at The Associated Press.

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