The big news the past week has been how a United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane Due To Oversell however after the investigation has been going on, it seems that United did a poor job in handling how the flight was oversold from the beginning, and makes you question their oversell procedures in general.
Taking a look at Delta Air Lines, we also covered a story about How To Score $11,000 in Oversold Bump Vouchers, where a family earned that much in American Express gift cards thanks to Delta’s generous and fair compensation when it comes to oversells.
While most airlines offer airline vouchers to entice volunteers to take a later flight, Delta does something more innovative. In several of their key cities including New York (JFK, and LGA), Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, and Minneapolis, the airline offers customers gift cards from several merchants including American Express.
The amounts are also generous, with passengers reporting receiving between $800- $1350 in gift cards, Delta is willing to do what it takes to avoid involuntarily deny passengers boarding.
Well Delta already does a good job, I think there is an opportunity to expand their gift card program to all the cities they serve rather than their hubs. For United, perhaps it’s to offer gift cards to your volunteers so you don’t have to involuntary deny boarding to so many passengers.
This Wall Street Journal article explains:
Last year, Delta had the highest rate of people without seats for flights by far and United was No. 2. But they handled those customers differently, according to DOT data. Delta was the most generous airline in voluntary compensation. On Delta, 100 times as many customers voluntarily took vouchers as those who were involuntarily denied boarding. United had 17 times as many volunteers as customers involuntarily denied boarding: 62,895 volunteers and 3,765 forcibly bumped.
When airlines involuntarily bump passengers, they are required to compensate customers with cash of four times the one-way fare, up to $1,350.
Bottom line: Even though Delta did more overbooking, United had three times as many customers involuntarily denied boarding as Delta.
When it comes to United, based on reports, the airline offers airline vouchers ranging from $200-$800, however in the instance of the flight last week an $800 United voucher didn’t entice anyone!
If you are on an oversold flight you’d rather be on Delta as their passengers are more willing to volunteer to give up their seats thanks to the airline offering American Express gift cards with amounts as much as $1,350.
Have you had an oversold flight recently on Delta or United, feel free to comment below.