Voluntary Bumping on Delta

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Feb 18, 2016
19
46
13
#1
Hello everyone! I wanted to post my recent experience giving up my seat voluntarily (yes you read that correctly) because I never knew what to expect if you did, and in my case it was such a pleasant experience! I was flying White Plains, NY to San Antonio, TX on Delta via Atlanta on a weekday afternoon. At the time of making the reservation, I had selected my seat assignment. 24 hours before the flight, I checked in online. When I went to check in, it asked me how many bags I had to check, etc, and then a window I had never seen popped up on the screen. It said that this flight may be oversold and that they may be looking for volunteers to give up their seat for compensation and later transportation to their destination. At the bottom of the screen were four boxes each one with a different denomination $200/$300/$400/$500 and it said if you would be willing to give up your seat for any of these denominations of vouchers, please click one now. It always works out that when they are asking for volunteers I can't change my flight plans. Here, I was landing in the evening in Texas for a conference the next morning. If I would be able to get to San Antonio later in the night or first thing the next morning, I would change my flight for $500 in vouchers (I was traveling alone and had only a carry on). However, I didn't click on one of the denominations because I didn't want to be "locked in" should I change my mind, and also they weren't telling me at this time when I'd be able to get to San Antonio.

Realizing that they might not have enough volunteers, that night I looked at alternate flights. Sure enough, there was a flight HPN-ATL two hours after my original departure, and another ATL-SAT flight two hours after my original connecting flight- the same itinerary a mere two hours later. The next day, I got to the boarding gate and waited for my flight to board. Sure enough, once the gate agent starts boarding she states she needs three volunteers because the flight is oversold. Anyone willing to accept $200 in vouchers please step up. (I decided that I would wait until $500 and then I would speak up). She kept going up in increments (while boarding the early boarding groups) until she got to $500. At this point I went up to the podium, with my smartphone in hand. I showed her the 2 hour delayed HPN-ATL-SAT itinerary. I said if you can put me on these flights I will accept the voucher offer. Within 90 seconds, I had new boarding passes. She said once she finished boarding the flight, she would get me my compensation (I was a little uneasy waiting that there would be some sort of "switcheroo"). The gate agent, Margarita, was fantastic. I'm not sure why, but even though I agreed to $500 it was now $600, and it wasn't just Delta vouchers- an email was sent within a few minutes to me in which I could select either $600 in Delta vouchers or a $600 gift card to Amazon, Target, Bloomingdales, Best Buy (and some other places I don't remember). You had to use the $600 towards one gift card- you could not break it up. I was very happy to receive my $600 Target gift card in a FedEx envelope at my home address within the week.

That's not all- after taking care of doing the gift card paperwork, the agent told me that there was a nonstop flight from JFK to San Antonio on Delta leaving in a couple of hours. She asked if I was interested in being on that flight,, and to make an already long story short, she took me to the front of the airport terminal, put me in a taxicab from Westchester County Airport to JFK Airport at Delta's expense and en route my new boarding pass was transmitted to my smartphone- and she put me in Economy Plus! It was great being on the large jet in Economy Plus as opposed to the regional jets, and I only landed in San Antonio 20 mins after I was originally scheduled to land! I thought I'd share this positive experience and that sometimes if your plans are flexible, there may be some opportunities to take advantage of.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
814
768
93
#3
This is a great story. Everyone gets the same amount regardless of what you offer. That might explain why you got $600
 
Likes: VoR61

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,406
6,464
113
San Francisco
#4
Hello everyone! I wanted to post my recent experience giving up my seat voluntarily (yes you read that correctly) because I never knew what to expect if you did, and in my case it was such a pleasant experience! I was flying White Plains, NY to San Antonio, TX on Delta via Atlanta on a weekday afternoon. At the time of making the reservation, I had selected my seat assignment. 24 hours before the flight, I checked in online. When I went to check in, it asked me how many bags I had to check, etc, and then a window I had never seen popped up on the screen. It said that this flight may be oversold and that they may be looking for volunteers to give up their seat for compensation and later transportation to their destination. At the bottom of the screen were four boxes each one with a different denomination $200/$300/$400/$500 and it said if you would be willing to give up your seat for any of these denominations of vouchers, please click one now. It always works out that when they are asking for volunteers I can't change my flight plans. Here, I was landing in the evening in Texas for a conference the next morning. If I would be able to get to San Antonio later in the night or first thing the next morning, I would change my flight for $500 in vouchers (I was traveling alone and had only a carry on). However, I didn't click on one of the denominations because I didn't want to be "locked in" should I change my mind, and also they weren't telling me at this time when I'd be able to get to San Antonio.

Realizing that they might not have enough volunteers, that night I looked at alternate flights. Sure enough, there was a flight HPN-ATL two hours after my original departure, and another ATL-SAT flight two hours after my original connecting flight- the same itinerary a mere two hours later. The next day, I got to the boarding gate and waited for my flight to board. Sure enough, once the gate agent starts boarding she states she needs three volunteers because the flight is oversold. Anyone willing to accept $200 in vouchers please step up. (I decided that I would wait until $500 and then I would speak up). She kept going up in increments (while boarding the early boarding groups) until she got to $500. At this point I went up to the podium, with my smartphone in hand. I showed her the 2 hour delayed HPN-ATL-SAT itinerary. I said if you can put me on these flights I will accept the voucher offer. Within 90 seconds, I had new boarding passes. She said once she finished boarding the flight, she would get me my compensation (I was a little uneasy waiting that there would be some sort of "switcheroo"). The gate agent, Margarita, was fantastic. I'm not sure why, but even though I agreed to $500 it was now $600, and it wasn't just Delta vouchers- an email was sent within a few minutes to me in which I could select either $600 in Delta vouchers or a $600 gift card to Amazon, Target, Bloomingdales, Best Buy (and some other places I don't remember). You had to use the $600 towards one gift card- you could not break it up. I was very happy to receive my $600 Target gift card in a FedEx envelope at my home address within the week.

That's not all- after taking care of doing the gift card paperwork, the agent told me that there was a nonstop flight from JFK to San Antonio on Delta leaving in a couple of hours. She asked if I was interested in being on that flight,, and to make an already long story short, she took me to the front of the airport terminal, put me in a taxicab from Westchester County Airport to JFK Airport at Delta's expense and en route my new boarding pass was transmitted to my smartphone- and she put me in Economy Plus! It was great being on the large jet in Economy Plus as opposed to the regional jets, and I only landed in San Antonio 20 mins after I was originally scheduled to land! I thought I'd share this positive experience and that sometimes if your plans are flexible, there may be some opportunities to take advantage of.
Josh, thank you so much for this! I have ALWAYS wanted to do it but either the timing wasn't right or I chickened out. A 20-minute delay, a big plane and a $600 gift card - quite a successful negotiation I would say. The agent that took care of you is one of those that should be empowered to take care of passengers for sure. I'm convinced that's the only way out of the horrible experiences that people encounter when they're flying. Three cheers for Delta!

P.S. We have seen lots of gift card fraud victims - so spend that $600 as soon as you can!
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
814
768
93
#5
I'd just like to point out that in cases of gift fraud, the card issuer should replace the gift card with the full unused value, as they did for us.

I also recently got a $600 gift card from Delta, by the way, for giving up my seat.
 
Likes: mmb and VoR61
Feb 18, 2016
19
46
13
#6
Yes, I follow Elliott's web site enough to know the issues with gift cards, and so I am certainly not waiting to spend it. I have also since found out that at White Plains it is common practice to rebook American and Delta passengers on LGA or JFK flights and they have accounts with the local taxi companies. (The stress of making the new flight while parked on the Van Wyck Expwy is a matter for another posting)
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
1,230
1,681
113
Coastal South Carolina
#7
@Joshdent - Congratulations on a winning solution from Delta. They were indeed excellent to work with in this case.

I'd like to venture, however, that your polite and businesslike approach probably had a LOT to do with the success of this situation. So I think congratulations are in order to you, too, sir.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,406
6,464
113
San Francisco
#8
I'd just like to point out that in cases of gift fraud, the card issuer should replace the gift card with the full unused value, as they did for us.

I also recently got a $600 gift card from Delta, by the way, for giving up my seat.
Barry, we have countless cases of gift cards being "emptied" when a buyer/recipient tries to use them. People are coming to us because the issuer won't help them at all.
 
Dec 12, 2014
105
133
43
60
#10
At the bottom of the screen were four boxes each one with a different denomination $200/$300/$400/$500 and it said if you would be willing to give up your seat for any of these denominations of vouchers, please click one now
FYI - There is also an "Other" box which allows you to enter amounts up to $900. More importantly, the Delta gate agent is authorized to offer up to $1000. In those cases where a redcoat shows up, the skies the limit. I learned this last summer where I volunteered to be bumped several times and received $1100, 1300, 1500, 2200 & 2800 just to take a flight a few hours later.