US Airways Generous Flight Bump Compensation

US Airways and American Airlines post-merger loyalty points, elite status, and alliance.I was on a transcontinental flight on United when the gate agent announced they were oversold.  My ears perked up.  I was disappointed when the amount of money they would give you to voluntarily take another flight was announced as $200.

It is an easy way to make $200 but this reminded me how spoiled I am by US Airways.  I was just on a flight out of Phoenix that was oversold.  They announced they were offering compensation of $500 to take a flight two and a half hours later.  Bonus points:  I had to wait in the airport for about two hours anyway with my current plans.

I was to the desk before the woman finished making the announcement.

A few weeks ago, they were bumping people off my Chicago flight for $300 to take a flight just a little later.  My parents were arriving from New York before I would have gotten in, so I passed this up.  They were in town a really short amount of time, plus that would have been really rude!  (I’ve also passed up generous bumps due to work obligations).

Another time, Keri and I got offered $300 each to take the next flight out of Philly to DC.  We each got a nice glass of wine and hung out while waiting (feeling justified in spending the money on wine with the flight vouchers in hand!) and got bumped off the upgrade standby list into first-class (whereas our original plane did not have a first-class).

So for being an hour and a half later, we were plus ~$280, a nice glass of wine AND a seat in first-class.

I heard that you can sometimes negotiate up with airlines, so maybe $200 is United’s starting point for compensation.  But US Airways starts out generous with their bumps.

I just hope post-merger this generosity continues!



About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Yes, you can negotiate. Over $400 depends on if a manager is available.

    On a recent flight from RDU-DTW (Delta) the gate agent asked for volunteers. Seeing that a redcoat was next to him, when he offered me $400, I immediately countered with $600. He approved it and I was back in the D a few hours later/$600 richer.

  2. this is a timely post as this aa flyer just received my first (very generous) us airways voucher. i have my eye on a summer itinerary, but it’s pricing out $200 higher on us air than on aa. any thoughts on if/when these vouchers can be used to book directly on aa?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Probably not until they are completely combined, unfortunately :-/ Their systems are pricing things out on each other in very strange ways.

  3. I got $500 on United from Newark to Denver (then on to Vail). They put me on a direct flight to Vail the next day in First.

  4. Normally waiting helps. A few months ago I was in EWR waiting for my flight to SFO. Flight was full. The first offer from United was $200. No takers. A few minutes later, they increased it to $400. no takers. After boarding started, the last and final offer was $600.

  5. AA offered $800 on my ORD-NRT. But I has a daughter’s birthday to get to.

  6. Once during the DNC in 2012, I was on an oversold US Airways CLT-LGW flight (before it transferred to LHR) and they offered:

    a) Flight the next day (which was great for me, as I got to spend more time with my family)

    b) A seat in Envoy

    c) $900

    So I took the offer, one of the best decisions, I have ever made.

  7. This wasn’t even a bump. We were on our award flight back from HNL to IAD, on United with my wife, my son and me in row 3 (i was in the middle single row)

    The 767 with lie flat beds. Well we were 10 minutes behind schedule still at the gate because they were working on row 5’s seat because one of them would not go flat. So the agent asked my wife and my son if they would not mind switching seats. They offered $1000 ($500 each) for switching from row 3 to 5. We said sure.

    Well come to find out the seats will go flat if done manually. So on this red eye direct flight from HNL to IAD, we had dinner and ice cream sundae, then my wife asked the flight attendant to lower the seat so they did so they can sleep.

    Woke up at 6am to have breakfast, had the flight attendant make the seat up right again for landing. They were so grateful, they even gave us a bottle of wine.

    So we are $1000 + bottle of wine richer on an award flight on a vacation. The sad thing was that the couple who didn’t know we were offered voucher to switch didn’t even thank my wife or my 6 yr old son who switched with them. high maintenance flyer I suppose.

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