It looks like Delta has seen what happened with United Airlines' overbooked passenger fiasco and is making some serious changes to its compensation policies — serious as in way more cash monies to entice volunteers to give up their seats on oversold flights.
The Associated Press reported Friday that an internal memo from Delta shows gate agents can now offer up to $2,000 in compensation, up from an $800 limit, while supervisors can dish out a maximum of $9,950 (up from $1,350). A Delta spokeswoman confirmed those numbers are accurate.
These are some big increases, and would mean that the woman who made $11,000 in compensation for postponing and ultimately canceling her flights from New York to Florida last weekend could have made even more bank.
The Delta news comes less than a week after United's PR disaster on Sunday when passenger David Dao, 69, found himself on an oversold flight from Chicago to Louisville. According to reports, Dao was one of the randomly selected passengers asked to take a later flight. But he refused to budge and that's when authorities came in and his violent removal was caught on camera.
In a earnings call Wednesday Delta CEO Ed Bastian talked about overbooking, which he called a "valid business process." He said, as recorded in a transcript, that airlines need to focus on how they manage an overbook situation. "I think it’s very much about giving our front line the tools and the flexibility to empower them at the first point of contact, and that’s what we’ll continue to do."
No word on when Delta's increased compensation packages go into effect, but at those prices I'm ready to get bumped, especially if it guarantees no forced removal from the plane.
Video credit: Tyler Bridges via Storyful