As United Airlines is finally taking responsibility for their poor actions this past week, a woman is claiming she made a nice $11k off of a different airline for volunteering her seat.
Travel Editor Laura Begley Bloom claims she was able to cash out on Delta airlines after her flight from New York City to Florida became overbooked. In an article for Forbes, Bloom admits she “scoffed” at people who gave up their seats for money but of course, she has 11,000 reasons why she knows better now.
“This weekend, my family and I profited from Delta’s travel woes — big time. We made $11k,” Bloom wrote for Forbes.
She says delays due to bad weather had stranded hundreds of travelers earlier, with 60 of them being on standby for her flight prompted Delta staff members to give current passengers incentives to give up their seats.
“After hours of delays, Delta Airlines started offering money for volunteers to give up their tickets on our overbooked flight, which had 60 (sixty!) standby passengers hoping to get a seat. I didn’t flinch. My husband and daughter and I were headed to Fort Lauderdale to see our relatives, and — as far as I was concerned — nothing would hold us back.”
“When the compensation for volunteers got to $900 a ticket in gift cards (American Express, Target, Macy’s and so on), my husband convinced me to consider the offer. I thought it was too low to delay our vacation, but our plans were flexible, so I said I was open to the idea. My husband approached the gate agent and offered to give up our seats for $1,500 a piece. She countered: $1,350 each.”
“Other frustrated passengers were yelling at the staff and crying over vexed travel plans. Somehow, when an airline is offering you and your family $4,050, missing a flight doesn’t seem so bad.”
She says she could’ve gotten a free hotel room with dinner but declined because they already lived near the airport. Things got even sweeter when her second flight was also delayed and overbooked.
“I turned to my husband and said, ‘Cha-ching!’,” Bloom wrote for Forbes.
“Indeed, when we got to the airport, the airline started offering money to volunteers … $300 … $600 … $900 … $1,000 … $1,300. Bingo! We took the offer of $1,300 per person.”
“The airline also threw in lunch ($15 each) and round-trip taxi fare (worth about $50). Do the math — that’s almost $4,000 for a family of three.”
After making a cool $8,050 off of giving up her seat for that flight, the family decided to give up their seats on their third flight by canceling their flights altogether and let’s just say… it was worth it.
“After our flight departed, we waited. And waited. And waited. But the airline was still struggling to figure out the rebooking and get us three confirmed seats the next day. We found out that standby passengers were being told that Delta flights to Florida were fully booked (in fact, overbooked) until Tuesday. We were drained, and suddenly our long-weekend trip was looking far less appealing.”
“So when we suggested to the gate agent that we might be open to volunteering our seats again by canceling the trip altogether, the offer was met with smiles and another $1,000 per person in advance compensation. Delta sweetened the deal by refunding the cost of the three plane tickets. We accepted Delta’s offer and went home, sad to miss our trip, but not so sad about the lucrative results.”
Apparently, the art of bumping is a very popular money scheme and we’re just arriving to the party! Anyways, Bloom does admit to feeling “guilty” for milking her situation but still finds a silver lining.
“I felt a bit guilty making so much money off the situation, but other passengers pointed out that we were freeing up seats for people who really needed to get somewhere. Many passengers actually thanked us for doing this,” Bloom said.
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*Goes and look for Delta flights….?*
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