Delta hikes payouts for overbooked fliers

Overbooking rife but Delta softens the blow for its passengers

Overbooking rife but Delta softens the blow for its passengers

Delta is giving airport employees permission to offer passengers up to nearly $10,000 in compensation to give up their seats on overbooked flights.

Delta customers on overbooked flights can now be offered almost $10,000 for their seats.

It might not be $11,000, but Delta Air Lines is trying to make up for massive delays and cancellations stemming from serious storms last week by offering some displaced passengers 20,000 miles or $200 vouchers.

Dao's removal from the United plane came about after attempts to find a fourth passenger to voluntarily remove themselves from the plane in exchange for compensation (a figure of $800 was reported by passengers) proved unsuccessful.

Authorizing employees to offer more money is an easy way to reduce the potential for a similar disaster.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black confirmed the authenticity of the memo, but declined to comment further.

Meanwhile, United is re-working parts of its overbooking policy that were at fault in the incident.

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A United spokesperson told TMZ the change was made "to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure".

Overselling flights is a fact of life in the airline business. "This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience". It does not address the United controversy.

It's no surprise airlines would want to beef up the incentives for customers they need to bump from flights. "I am sorry for what you experienced".

Passengers receiving the vouchers and miles should get them via email.

In a letter to passengers, CEO Ed Bastian apologized for the days-long "major disruption", adding that the airline's "response was out of character". The airline has more than 800 planes and flies about 180 million passengers a year.

"As always, any customer who feels the specifics of their flight requires additional attention should contact Delta Customer Care", he said. In January, customers were marooned at airports when flights were grounded due to a computer system breakdown.

Delta's Black declined to comment on the voucher and SkyMiles bonus gesture.