I honestly never thought I would see this. After the David Dao dragging incident, airlines (including United) made drastic policy changes. They reduced the amount of overbooking they did. The airlines also increased the amount they would pay to someone to voluntarily give up their seat and changed procedures for involuntary denials. At the time, I thought the amounts were a bit silly. Would it ever reach some of these crazy numbers? I was wrong.
It appears United Airlines paid a passenger $10,000 to take a later flight yesterday. They appear to have removed her from the flight (commonly referred to as involuntary denied boarding) and apparently offered her $10,000 in flight credit instead of paying her $1,000 in cash.
This is how badly United didn’t want to give me cash: pic.twitter.com/sI7vmbeB2Q
— Allison Preiss (@allisonmpreiss) March 22, 2018
It’s interesting how the airlines some these issues in different ways. Delta, for example, routinely gives out American Express gift cards which can be spent like cash pretty much anywhere, not just on Delta. If the facts are correct, United preferred to give this passenger $10,000 in future travel versus $1,000 cash. It would also seem they preferred this method as opposed to offering a higher voucher amount than $1,000 for someone to voluntarily take a later flight. I have to think they get at least one taker if they upped the amount somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000. Feels like we’re missing some details here.
I guess I’ll think a bit before I criticize this decision too heavily. But, it seems silly.
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