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Overbooked Flights: What Compensation Did U Get?  
User currently offlineDFWMEX From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 114 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4529 times:

I was booked on AA from DFW to MEX on the last flight of the day on Dec. 18. Because of the high season, all flights tend to be overbooked. I volunteered to give up my seat and got a $300 voucher, plus hotel accommodation, and a breakfast voucher for the following morning. I was accommodated in Business Class on the first flight the next day.

On the way back, the same thing happened on January 5 (last flight of the day): $300 voucher, hotel, 2 meals, and Business Class seat. The following morning they were offering $400 voucher to volunteers, but unfortunately I had to give up the opportunity because I had to return to work the same day (I was late to work on the 6th). I would have taken it so that I could have an aggregate of $1000 to use it for a trip to Australia (they are brutally expensive). I paid $480USD for the roundtrip from DFW to MEX, and basically after getting 2X$300 vouchers, this trip came to be FREE, plus got a little bit back, and got to fly on Business Class (literally for FREE).

My question is, has anyone gotten more attractive compensation packages? Sometimes, they do offer $500 vouchers when they are desperate, but have you gotten something else or a higher value voucher?

The above scenario was with AA. Which airlines have the best compensation deals for giving up your seat? I am curious to know your experiences with other airlines when you gave up your seat.

Does anyone often volunteer in order to get these deals? And if so, what was the aggregate amount in vouchers that you collected?


Jose Aguilar
Fort Worth, TX, USA

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEx_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4456 times:

Just this past Sunday: LAX to HNL, they offered $400 to go on a flight four hours later. I volunteered, but they did not need my seat, so they gave me an upgrade instead!

User currently offlineLHSebi From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 1049 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4441 times:

When I was quite young, I was upgraded on LH from CCS to FRA to Business, along with my parents and older brother. Nice time...business on a 747 at about 10 years old Big grin


I guess that's what happens in the end, you start thinking about the beginning.
User currently offlineC17Glbm From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4423 times:

Was booked on DL20 from ATL to FRA. They asked me if I'd like to take the flight the next day. Since I didn't have anything better to do, I agreed. They gave me $400, a excellent hotel room, food coupon and a upgrade to Business Elite.
Can't complain about that.

User currently offlineVarig md-11 From France, joined Jul 2000, 1609 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4394 times:

I got a 300€ voucher from AF for a an overbooked CDG-AMS (1 hour flight!!!) + a 15€ voucher for meal + hotel night at Sofitel which I didn't need so they gave me a voucher for free taxi back to downtown Paris (cost 40€)
with the 300€ voucher I bought 2 free AMS-CDG-AMS tickets
AF: overbook me anytime!!!!  Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineNtspelich From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4382 times:

One a flight from ORD-PIT, my girlfriend and I gave up our seats and opted to be put on a flight about 90 minutes later. I return we were given free unrestricted tickets anywhere UA flew in the continental 48, a $25 voucher per person good at any store/restaurant in the airport, and were nicely surprised by being upgraded to first class on the flight later than evening.

Needless to say, those vouchers made going to Las Vegas over New Year's a lot more affordable!


United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
User currently offlineLitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 4331 times:
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A few years ago, I watched a DL flight attendant (could have been gate agent, maybe someone more senior - was some time ago) start peeling off $100 bills in the front of the cabin. A family needed to fly in order to get to a funeral.

Took $400 ea for the first two tickets, and $600 for the third.

And I'm pretty sure they tossed in hotel + vouchers too as they had been trying desperately to get people off the plane to make room, and nobody was willing.

- litz

User currently offlineN6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4290 times:

I frequently take that ATL - GNV flight (flow on ATR-72 by ASA the DL Connection) on Friday afternoons. This flight is regularly overbooked - sometimes by a large number. The passanger mix is about 70% professionals returning home from a week on the road and 30% students returning to the University of FL.

I can't remember the last time they didn't call for volunteers to take the next flight. The students are usually very eager to jump up and take the first offer made to them. However, the road warriors are simply not going to delay their return home one minute more than they have to - I think that the next flight leaves around 830 and gets into GNV at around 1015.

I regularly organize the students to hold out for more than the standard $200 ASA opens the bidding at. I even got a group of three students to hold out for $600 each (in DL dollars). I tell the students to look around, the professionals aren't going to give up their seats for $200 on a Friday afternoon. Works every time. You should see the look on the student's faces. You should also see the look on the gate agent's face - I even had one get in my face and tell me to stop. Too bad.

Given that ASA is regularly late out of ATL (ASA = always stuck in Atlanta), it's my passive agressive way at getting back at them.


User currently offlineAirtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1564 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4259 times:

A few years ago I won a contest on a local radio and was offered a trip to Atlanta for a concert. The flight was with NW and I saw they were offering a $400 voucher to volunteers for taking the next day flight. As I was flying with a group and since we had to be in ATL on the same day, I couldn't put my name in the volunteers' list, but it would have been amazing to get a voucher for a flight that I hadn't paid  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlineDFWMEX From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4216 times:

Alternatively, has anyone been re-routed through another city and/or airline instead? If so, was any compensation offered or any other benefits.

Back in June, I was suppossed to fly DFW-EWR-CO / LIRF), Italy">FCO, but the inbound flight to DFW was very late. Consequently, the outbound to EWR was going to be late thus making us miss the only flight to Rome. We were told that since it was the weather's fault, we wouldn't get anything. We had two options, one, flight to NY and stay there at OUR expense, or two, be re-routed. They tried several airline/city combinations and only unrestricted business class fares were available for which they were not willing to pay for us. Instead they re-routed us DFW-IAH-LGW then we were suppossed to transfer to LHR for the leg to CO / LIRF), Italy">FCO. The CO flights were kind of uncomfortable as my PTV was not working and the sound didn't work on my brother's. When we got to LGW, they were able to book us on a BA flight from the same airport. The BA 737 had to abort take-off for an engine failure and we were at a remote spot for 3 hours without air conditioner. This was the most miserable trip with a bad choice of routing. I guess we were better off opting for the NY choice even at our expense. I think CO should had compensated us for the inconvenience of re-routing at a minimum. We arrived to Rome 9 hours late (and very tired).

User currently offlineCO2BGR From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 558 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

while I was going EWR- SFOon the 4th, the 3rd flight of the day was oversold and the offered a $300 voucher, a $20 food voucher and coach seats on the flight 3 hrs later (the next one) or first seats on the flight 5 hrs later. Unfourtuately I was flying nonrev. I did get in the 4th flight.

A trip report is in the works once I finish a TR on a BOs-EWR-TPA return.

There are too many self indulgent weiners in this town with too much bloody money" Randal Raines- Gone in 60 Seconds
User currently offlineIndustrialPate From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4176 times:

My question is, has anyone gotten more attractive compensation packages? Sometimes, they do offer $500 vouchers when they are desperate, but have you gotten something else or a higher value voucher?

Generally you'll find that airlines have "cheapened" their compensation package within the past 12 months:

- NW and CO offer a maximum of $300 (*all monetary amounts are in travel credits, not cash). NW and UA continue to push HIGHLY RESTRICTED free tickets in lieu of travel credits, often not giving a choice -- even in situations of desperate need.

- DL offers $100/hr up to $400.

- HP offers $500. Unlike most other airlines, HP will hold you to the fine print: the voucher cannot be combined with others and can be used one-time only.

- WN offers the value of your one-way ticket + $100-$200 depending on the need of the situation.

- FL offers a free ticket (not as restricted as UA/NW).

Most airlines will offer meal vouchers for longer layovers (and several have been trying to phase them out). All airlines will provide a hotel room should you have to overnight.

BTW, it's estimiated that less than half of these vouchers/value of the vouchers will be redeemed.

- - -

My best single "bump" came in 1994 on a NW DTW-CDG flight: $800 in travel credits, $400 in cash, $50 in meal vouchers, hotel accomodations and an upgrade to business on the next flight (the next day). My best single "multi-bump" day also came in 1994: $1,800 in total credits on more than a half-dozen NW flights from DTW-Orlando. I didn't do that well until 2002, when I received $1,600 (and meal vouchers + a hotel room) for three bumps on DL LAX-HNL.

Compare that to CO's offering last Saturday night HNL-EWR: $300 voucher, two meal vouchers and a hotel room + reaccomodation 30-hours later via IAH. They found plenty of takers (even though I don't think it was worth it).

[Edited 2004-01-09 05:48:01]

User currently offlineBosugadl From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4131 times:

A relative of mine was on an overbooked flight from EWR -SFO the Sunday after thanksgiving. This was 1998-1999 when things were good (pre 9/11, sky-rocketing economy). She told me that CO was offering a first class ticket for use anywhere in the North America and cash voucher(forgot how much)/ accomidations for the night/ and a first class seat on the following mornings flight...This was the last flight of the day from EWR-SFO and my cousin said no one was going. What I just wrote was the final offer and they got some people to go give up their seats. My cousin wanted to do it, but had to be back for an exam the following morning, tough luck

User currently offlineFly727 From Mexico, joined Jul 2003, 1803 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4127 times:

I once volunteered for another flight (which was going to leave 2 hours after mine) on Continental SAT-IAH (1 hour flight time); I got a 250.00 Travel Certificate and an eight dollars meal voucher valid for 24 hours at any CO airport.

I got that second flight and arrived to IAH with time to spare to do my connection.

RM  Smile

There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
User currently offline7574EVER From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 478 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4121 times:

I got a $200 voucher while flying on some Southwest rapid reward tickets my brother-in-law gave me. So I took off on a free ticket and returned home with a $200 travel voucher. The tickets may have been my brother-in-laws, but the voucher was mine, mine, mine mine mine!  Big thumbs up

Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
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