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Apr 28, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Delta Air Lines offers $10,000 to passengers who give up their seat on overbooked flights

Delta Air Lines will offer up to $10,000 to passengers if they agree to voluntarily give up their seat on an overbooked flight. The American airline thus hopes to avoid incidents like the recent damaging scandal suffered by its competitor, United Airlines.


This high sum is sure to interest some passengers, or at least prevent any scandals from breaking out. Delta Air Lines has just announced that they will offer up to $10,000 to passengers who volunteer to leave the plane in the event of overbooking.

Delta now authorises boarding staff to offer up to $2,000 to any passengers who agree to give up their seat on an overbooked flight, compared with the $800 previously offered. Supervisors, on the other hand, are authorised to offer up to $9,950 to passengers to incite them to give up their seat. The limit was previously $1,350.


Delta Air Lines to offer up to $10,000 to passengers on overbooked flights @Conor_Shine

— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) April 15, 2017

The United Airlines scandal

This decision comes a few weeks after its competitor, United Airlines, forcefully evicted a passenger with a valid ticket from a domestic flight in the US, sparking worldwide indignation.

Delta hopes to avoid incidents like the violent removal of David Dao, a doctor of Vietnamese origin who has lived in the United States for many years, which led to calls to boycott United Airlines, gave the company some extremely bad publicity and caused its stock market value to plummet. 

Authorised by American law

The United Airlines incident on 9th April brought "overbooking" into the spotlight. This commercial technique enables airlines to sell more seats that the aircraft holds to cover for any potential cancellations or late passengers. American legislation authorises airlines to oblige passengers to get off overbooked flights, in exchange for compensation, if not enough people give up their seat voluntarily. 


While awaiting the results of an internal audit, which will be delivered at the end of April, United Airlines have already announced that they are set to change their check-in and boarding policies for crew members. Crew members must now check in 60 minutes before take-off, whereas they were able to check in at the last minute until now.

It is worth pointing out that David Dao was removed from the aircraft to make way for a member of the United Airlines crew… 


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