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Delta often compensates passengers for taking a later flight when the current flight is oversold. This is called a voluntary denied boarding situation. Delta has a pretty slick bidding process for customers that are willing to take a voluntary denied boarding voucher. It is automated and gives the passenger complete control over the bidding process.
In certain situations, passengers can be involuntarily denied boarding (IDB). In instances where you are prevented from getting an assigned seat and are denied boarding, make sure you know your rights. You should be compensated based on the involuntary rights afforded to you. Knowing these rights will be especially useful around the holiday season when flights are jam packed. Back in 2009, Delta was fined by the DOT for violating disclosures during denied boarding of passengers.
Delta’s Automated Voluntary Denied Boarding Process
When you check-in with a Delta kiosk or on Delta.com, you’ll see a “Got Time? Get Rewarded” message if your flight is in an oversold situation. Delta will begin seeking volunteers at this point. Their obvious hope is that a non-elite will want to change their flight and take this as a free opportunity to change their itinerary. For Delta Elites, changing a flight using the same-day confirm process is free for Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members. To learn more about the same-day process take a look at Delta’s Same-day Travel Benefits.
Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your desired compensation should you wish to volunteer for a bump. Entering in a number like $10,000 isn’t a way to increase your chances of being bumped. But a guy can dream can’t he?
Once you enter a realistic bid, you’ll be notified your bid has been received. You can proceed to the gate or a nearby friendly Delta SkyClub, to relax before your flight. The gate agent will call your name if your seat is needed and will provide you with the compensation from your bid.
Be aware that the vouchers have new rules prohibiting anyone other than the “owner” on the voucher from using the ticket. You can now only use 1 voucher per ticket instead of three. So if you receive a voucher, you’ll be the one that has to use it. Hat tip to Delta Points who posted the full terms and conditions in this MP post.
Knowing that your flight is oversold is the first step to getting voluntary denied boarding vouchers. You can either take your chances with the automated approach or use the good old fashioned way of speaking to the gate agent. Also knowing your involuntary denied boarding rights can make sure you don’t get taken advantage of during an IDB situation.
Have any of you successfully received a bump from the automated “Got Time, Get Rewarded” process?