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!