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Airline Pays Woman $3,000 To Give Up Her Seat

Daisy Phillipson

Published 
| Last updated 

Airline Pays Woman $3,000 To Give Up Her Seat

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@megkeav / Alamy

A US woman was awarded a whopping $3,000 to give up her seat on a Delta Air Lines flight that originally cost her just $358.

Megan Keaveny was waiting to be seated on a plane set to travel from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Florida’s West Palm Beach.

However, just at the last moment the airport announced that the flight was overbooked – and were offering $1,300 to any volunteers willing to give up their spots. 

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Speaking to CNBC Make It, the 30-year-old real estate broker said: “While we were boarding, a gate agent announced, ’We need 22 people to get off this flight. We’re offering $1,300 to any volunteers'.”

While many people might jump at the chance, Megan’s friends and boyfriend had already boarded and she decided she’d only offer up her seat if Delta paid her $2,000.

But by the time she’d entered the plane another announcement was made – the price had gone up to $2,500.

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Megan quipped, “I almost broke my neck sprinting down the aisle.”

And if that weren’t good enough, once the New Yorker and a group of other volunteers had left, the sum had risen to a cool $3,000 – nearly ten times the price of her ticket.

She still made her trip, having jumped on a plane to Fort Lauderdale and taking a $50 Uber to West Palm Beach.

Delta Air Lines paid volunteers $3,000 to give up their seats on a recent flight. Credit: Creative Commons
Delta Air Lines paid volunteers $3,000 to give up their seats on a recent flight. Credit: Creative Commons
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While you might think Megan lucked out, apparently airlines offering people cash for their seats on overbooked flights is relatively common.

Although it’s unlikely you’ll get as much as Megan did, Willis Orlando, a senior flight expert at Scott’s Cheap Flights, told the outlet that people who are bumped from their travels are protected by federal law and are entitled to a payout. 

He explained that if you are removed from an oversold flight in the US and the rebooked journey is one to two hours later than the original departure time, the airline is obligated to shell out two times the ticket price. 

And if it’s two hours or more, this figure jumps to four times the original cost, with Orlando saying that the issue has been accelerated by the pandemic. 

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“If a plane is delayed by two hours because of an issue of getting folks off an aircraft, there are not enough crews and pilots to ensure that it doesn’t ripple through their entire network,” he explained. 

“Before the pandemic, they weren’t risking their entire network falling apart with one or two flights going haywire.”

If you do find yourself in a similar situation to Megan, the flight expert said: “We always advise people to run to the front end and ask them for whatever the last person gets. That’s always the sweetest deal.”

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If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: Community, Travel, US News, Coronavirus, Money

Daisy Phillipson
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