MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After weeks of trouble for some major airlines, Delta could be offering passengers a lot more money to give up their seats.
The move comes after a man was dragged off of an overbooked United Airlines flight last Sunday.
Delta is also coming off of storm cancellations that carried on for days, costing them more than $100 million.
“I saw the videos. That was pretty bad,” Gwen Terwey said.
Like millions of people, Terwey has seen the images of a man flying United, forcefully removed from a full flight.
But that’s not why she’s choosing Delta today.
“I just want a cheap flight and get home,” she said.
Delta does appear to be responding to the unfortunate event for competitor United.
In an internal email obtained by the Associated Press, Delta says gate agents can now offer up to $2,000 if a passenger is willing to give up their seat on an overbooked flight — up from an $800 maximum. Supervisors can now offer almost $10,000, up from $1,350.
“Maybe I’ll get 10,000 dollars today? No, I don’t know. I mean that’s kind of odd to me,” Terwey said.
“The most I’ve ever seen is a thousand dollars,” Jay Ditlevson said.
According to the AP, Delta is already paying passengers more to give up their seats than other major airlines. In 2015 and 2016 the average was more than $1,000 per person. Southwest paid just over $750, United about $560 and American about the same.
“It is unfortunate also, the fact that we have less choices as there’s been more and more airlines paired together,” Ditlevson said.
Ditlevson thinks most passengers will likely never see 10 grand, but it’s refreshing for an airline to be adding incentives.
“It’s nice to see the fact — and hopefully other airlines follow through, so the fact that those of us who fly actually feel like we aren’t treated like dirt,” he said.