Amid growing concerns about travel delays and cancellations during Fourth of July weekend comes word of a jaw-dropping offer from one U.S. airline.
Last week, a Delta Air Lines flight from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, was overbooked. In order to resolve the issue, Delta reportedly offered passengers on that flight $10,000 each to get bumped to a different flight.
Not every passenger on that flight took up Delta’s offer, but a lot of them did.
Jason Aten, a tech columnist at Inc. magazine, was on the flight along with his family waiting to take off when a flight attendant broadcast over the intercom for volunteers, he wrote earlier this week.
Aten wrote that the airline was looking for eight volunteers to give up their seats on what he said was an oversold flight, and offered $10,000 cash each.
“If you have Apple Pay, you’ll even have the money right now,” the flight attendant said, he added.
His story was corroborated by another person on Twitter who said he was on the same flight.
Inside Boston’s Logan International Airport on Saturday there were some delayed and canceled flights — and frustrated passengers.
“Yeah, we got delayed on our first flight and had to switch flights. And we’re hoping it doesn’t happen again because we have stuff to do and we want to get home. So we’ll see,” Alex Logan, a Michigan resident who was traveling back home after a family reunion in Massachusetts, told WCVB.
Logan and his family may have things to do, but they would jump at the chance for $10,000.
“If they offered, I would take it!” said Lauren Logan. “I mean, it would be unfortunate not to get home, but I would definitely take it.”
“Ten thousand, yes, if it’s handed to us in Apple Pay or something like that. I don’t want flyer credit though,” Alex Logan said.
Delta did not confirm they specifically offered $10,000 to those passengers, but their chief executive officer recently apologized to customers and the air line said it would waive change fees for people adjusting their Fourth of July weekend travel.
A spokesperson for Delta told The Hill that there is compensation available to ground staff when such incidents take place.
“That compensation provides our employees with the ability to ensure that our overbooked flights are able to take care of customers and then ultimately dispatch or get our aircraft out on time,” the spokesperson said.
The airline had previously increased the maximum compensation limit it would pay to entice passengers to get off oversold flights from $1,350 to nearly $10,000, according to CNBC.
At the time of the reported increase in compensation limits, Money.com reported that it came in the wake of a viral social media video that showed a passenger being dragged off an oversold United Airlines flight.
The incident also comes at the time of a surge in demand for airline travel after pandemic lockdowns and amid pilot and staffing shortages.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian took to his LinkedIn page to apologize for flight delays and cancellations this Fourth of July weekend.
“If you’ve encountered delays and cancellations recently, I apologize,” Bastian said in a letter shared on his LinkedIn page. “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.”
Air ticket prices are on the rise, as are delays and cancellations, meaning travelers can’t be sure they’ll get to their destination on time — if at all.