Delta Airlines offered a family a humongous amount to give up their seats on an overbooked flight. However, they didn’t fulfill their promise and canceled the original flight.

Delta Airline’s flight scheduled to fly from Oakland to Salt Lake City on Christmas day was overbooked, resulting in the airline offering an $8000 voucher to passengers to give up their seats. David Reeves, traveling with his family of three, volunteered for the voucher but never got the money. 

Overbooking and the Resultant Offer to Give Up Seats

Airlines in the US routinely overbook flights – selling more tickets than seats onboard. Overbooking is often the result of airlines trying to squeeze out every possible penny from passengers who often get the short end of the stick. When an overbooking occurs, airlines must move passengers to other flights and, by US law, offer compensation to impacted passengers.

David Reeve and his family’s experience is akin to the scenario above. He and his family were going to Nashville on a flight to Salt Lake City. Passengers were offered $8000 to give up their seats and fly on a later flight at the gate. The family agreed to give up three seats which qualified them for a $24000 voucher as compensation. However, the family never received their money because the first officer for the flight did not show up; hence, the flight was canceled as a result. 

According to ABC7, Reeves had asked the gate agent if the airline would honor the voucher offer. According to him;

“So I asked her, you are not honoring the vouchers you agreed to pay, and now you’re canceling the flight?”

He added that the decision not to honor the vouchers was bad business.

“That’s not right; if we are not getting the flight and you offered the voucher, why don’t we get the voucher?

As if not honoring the voucher was not bad enough, the flight was canceled, and Reeves and his family were offered another flight two days later.

The airline compensation policies went into effect as the cancellation was “considered” controllable by the Department of Transportation’s standard. 

According to Reeves, Delta Airlines should have honored everything it promised to pay. The family rented a car, drove to Monterey Regional Airport, and booked a flight on another airline. However, according to Reeves’s family, Delta Airlines did pay for a hotel and the rented car but has yet to refund the flight to Nashville.

Have you ever had a situation like this? Have you ever voluntarily offered to give up your flight seats, in return for compensation and rebooking? We’d like to hear from you in the comments below!

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  • It’s interesting to know about giving off seats on a plane, but airlines should try not to over book their flights, to avoid being tasked themselves to compensate those affected. Nice read.


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