Yes, Under the Right Circumstances You Can Make Money From the Airlines

Yes, Under the Right Circumstances You Can Make Money From the Airlines

If you feel like you’re not getting the bang for your buck when you fly lately – delays, cancellations, airport hassles, baggage problems – well, some people are finding satisfaction in getting bumped from flights.

Voluntarily bumped, that is.


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Airlines are overbooking flights, as they have done for decades, but with a pilot shortage, staff shortage, fewer flights, more delays and more cancellations, they can accommodate all the people and have no wiggle room to move them to another flights.

In fact, on an overbooked Delta Air Lines flight earlier this month agents were offering passengers up to $10,000 to get off the plane and rebook on another flights.

So, yes, you can turn a miserable day into a profitable one. In fact, according to CNBC, 23 percent of all domestic and international flights have been delayed or canceled this year, a fairly whopping figure.

But the circumstances have to be right.

First, in order to negotiate that kind of money into the thousands, you have to volunteer to be bumped. An involuntarily bump done by the airline comes out to far less financially for the flier.

But if you think you have the time to delay getting to your destination, and can negotiate well – including an overnight hotel stay if need be – then negotiate away.

And it is a negotiation. Airlines will start with the lowest figure they think they can get away with, says Willis Orlando, a senior flight expert at Scott’s Cheap Flights. The airline will usually start with a voucher for a future flight or even loayalty program points if you give up your seat. Hold your ground. If you volunteer, you’re in command.

But be fast when they make an announcement.

“If you are flexible, and you want to get that extra cash in your pocket … run to the front and ask them for whatever the last person gets,” Orlando told CNBC. “It’s always the sweetest offer. … They want to have guaranteed numbers … almost no matter what. Volunteering to get off puts the negotiation ball in your court.”

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