A Georgia woman was paid $4,000 compensation by Delta Airlines for giving up her seat in an overbooked flight on Friday.
Travis Jarvis Smith, who lives in Cumming, Georgia, volunteered to give up the seat that she had reserved on a Delta flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to South Bend, Indiana, when Delta Airlines upped their offer from the initial $2,200 to $4,000.
Delta had overbooked the flight, leaving one fan who did not want to miss the Notre Dame Football game on Sunday extremely disappointed. The fan had successfully reserved a seat on the flight but did not get assigned one due to Delta overbooking the flight, New York Post reported.
To salvage the situation, the airlines offered $2,200 to anyone who would willingly give up their seat on the particular flight. Since most of the passengers were flying to Atlanta to catch the much-anticipated game, no one took up the offer.
This forced Delta to sweeten the offer, which eventually hitting $4,000 -- which Smith caller her “magic number.” After pocketing the hefty payment for her good deed, Smith accepted that she was waiting for the airlines to sweeten the offer till it reached a sum that she could not refuse.
“I told Larry that if they offer $4,000 for my seat I'm taking it and I will see him tonight! The bidding started at $500 and went up to 4 grand! I pressed my button and accepted their payment! How in the world can one refuse?! #feelinglucky” She wrote in a Facebook post.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, Delta had increased the maximum compensation from $1,350 to $9,950 in April, following an incident on one of the United Airlines flights flying from Chicago, Illinois, to Louisville, Kentucky. A passenger was forced to get off when the flight crew realized that the airlines had overbooked it to the point where one of the crew members onboard did not have a place to sit.
United had initially offered the passengers a compensation of $400 for anyone who would consider leaving their seat and catch the next flight instead. After no one took them up on the offer, they upped it to $800, the New York Times reported.
However, none of the passengers were interested in accepting the revised compensation too. At this, the airlines randomly picked a doctor, who repeatedly kept on explaining that he had to reach his destination by the next day for work, and told him to get off the plane.
When the doctor refused, airport security was called in and the man was wrestled out of his seat and dragged out of the airlines. The entire incident was recorded by many of the other passengers who were present on the flight at the time, and posted on social media where it went viral.
Calling the incident an “upsetting incident,” the chief executive of United Airlines Oscar Munoz said in a statement at the time: “Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”
Smith, who received a compensation of $4,000 from Delta, was also able to book a seat in the next flight to Indiana, reaching her destination eight hours later than expected.