PASCO, WA – After being offered $800 in compensation to give up his seat on an oversold flight, one traveler embarrassingly admitted he’d have done it for nothing.
Airline travel is back in full force, and because of that, airlines are back to their old tricks again. A standard practice of airlines for years has been to oversell their planes in the hopes that passengers would not show up, therefore meaning more for the airline’s bottom line.
If all the passengers do show up, airlines start to offer money to passengers in order for them to switch flights to a later time.
On one such flight from Pasco to Seattle, Delta Airlines oversold their small plane by just one seat. It was the last flight of the day, and no more flights would be heading out until the morning.
Patrick Dickson was arriving late at the airport that evening, as he was visiting his girlfriend in the nearby town of Richmond. “It had been a while since we had seen each other, so we decided to end the night with a gourmet dessert at the new Chili’s that opened up across town. We went there because it was, of course, a special occasion!”
By the time he got through security and got to the gate, the gate agent was already up to $800. “She was just screaming into the intercom for people to volunteer their seat. I’ve never heard so much desperation in someone’s voice. The passengers around me said that they were stuck because they HAD to be in Seattle that night, but she started out at $200, then went to $400, $600, and now $800… just to stay one more night in Pasco!”
No one would take the money to stay another night in Pasco… but Dickson would. “Heck, I’d have done it for nothing.”
He approached the desk and confirmed that he would indeed receive $800 if he stayed until the morning. NOT ONLY would he get the $800, but the airline would put him up in a hotel for the night to make sure that he got back to the flight in the morning well-rested.
He couldn’t believe his luck. He called his girlfriend and told her that the flight was delayed, and they could have one more night together.
The best part of the story is that Hampton Inn and Suites that Delta Airlines was providing for the overnight stay, was right next to, you guessed it, an Applebee’s.
“We went back and had a second dessert that night and I still left $800 richer. The night couldn’t get much better now, could it?”