Guide for BUMPING on DELTA airlines+ FREE SKYCLUB 1 day pass giveaway!

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I have been told by those who fly UNITED that you can ask at check-in to be put on the list and all the way along your route if they need you on any of your segments they will have you on the BUMP list.

With DELTA it is not that E-Z. In fact, boarding organization is not one of DELTA’s strong suits. But paying you for bumps is very nice most of the time. Regionals pour out $400 vouchers like water I have found. Mainline jets can play around with the price but $300-400 is the norm. On international $800 and up is what you can expect (yes I know about the new rules this year for bumps, but we are NOT talking involuntary bumps but volunteering). Suspended Travel FAQs at DELTA website

I have had flights were I volunteered at check-in on a regional jet, then the same agent later runs the desk, the flight is oversold, and they take some else who just walks up when I had asked before anyone at check-in!

So, if you want to BUMP, tell everyone along the way. At check-in and at the gate. One tip I can share is that you print TWO copies of your boarding pass for each flight. Then, just tell the gate agent to HOLD ON to your pass just in case they need you (after all you have your extra one).

Also never ever trust the DELTA seat map as a check to see if the flight is really oversold (I missed out on a $2000 bump for an oversold international flight sitting up in the SKYCLUB looking at seatmap). Until the agents are working the flight, you can not be completely sure of the real numbers. As blogged about before, when you do give up your seat, work it for the best flights, seats, and maybe more vouchers when you have to stay overnight.

On a side note, and I am in NO WAY suggesting you invest in DELTA stock (I sure am not) this article does tend to show our DELTA flights will be more and more full over the short term and give us more chances to bumps!

Happy “bumportunities” – René


  1. i haven’t had a bump opportunity in forever … a one-day pass to skyclub could help make the bump (voluntary or otherwise) less painful.

  2. I like your specialized Delta blog. I switched my allegiance to them from Continental after I made Silver and they upgraded my ticket and my gf’s to business class for an international flight.

  3. I certainly isn’t an exact science that’s for sure. It seems every time I run into a good bump opportunity I’m on a tight schedule and can’t delay the flight. However it is a good excuse for missing a meeting. “Sorry I couldn’t make it but I got bumped from the flight I was on” 🙂

  4. Getting bumped on DL is inconsistent at best. They seem to have figured out revenue management better than other carriers.

  5. It’s been eons since I’ve been bumped on a DL flight – however, they make sure EVERY single seat flies full now. Good luck.

  6. Lax has the kiosk bump registration.
    JFK to my knowledge does not,
    I too am curious about the kiosk queue to bump
    Thank you SO much for blogging delta!

  7. Thanks for the info! I haven’t been able to get bumped on a long timebut am definitely hoping to soona!

  8. Thanks for the article! I’ve found that I have more opportunities to get bumped from the smaller airport regional jets… Morning flights. I rarely get those opportunities from the Delta hubs. But. I LOVE the idea of printing two boarding passes and leaving one with the gate agent. So smart 🙂 thanks for the tip!! Please sign me up for the sky club pass giveaway too!

  9. Awesome post! I feel like a lot of people don’t know how lucrative these bumps can be until the gate attendant makes an announcement about one.

  10. Good ideas to use in the future. Usually the person ahead of me gets the bump. Example last month got in line to volunteer, they paged so and so who didn’t have a seat. She came up they told her we’re oversold and would you take $400 for a 3 hr. later flight. When they were done said sorry we were only overbooked by one. 🙁

  11. I’ve taken a number of voluntary bumps with DL; unfortunately, I’ve lost some upgrades that way. Make sure you get put on the upgrade list for your new flight, but at that stage your odds of clearing aren’t that great.

  12. Didn’t Delta at one time have a bidding thing on the check-in kiosks that let you sign up for being bumped, and you put in how much you could be bought off for being bumped? Do they not do that any more?

    If not, thanks for the great info. I often available to be bumped and thought the process had changed. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Unfortunately, now that I’m no longer a grad student my schedule usually doesn’t allow bumping. Or at the least, it’s rarely worth it. But thanks for the tips!

  14. I have not been bumped in several years…Even though flights are “fuller”…I have not had any luck recently

  15. My last bump was over Memorial Day weekend traveling with my wife CLT-ATL-PIT. I didn’t even think about VDBing but we got called up by the GA who offered $300 vouchers and a direct flight on US which got us there sooner than the original itinerary. We just used a part of one of those vouchers to get a ticket for my wife to accompany me on a business trip to PHL/NYC next weekend. #bumpwinning

  16. Some say summer is the best time to be bumped, but I tend to go by days of the week. I have over a dozen bumps over the last two years with the majority occurring on Sunday evenings.

  17. I live for bumps, and I always have a back up plan to suggest for the gate agent. That way I might be able to accrue more miles by even doing a double connect.

  18. I always hope for a bump opportunity and have only been on a flight once, when I had to get somewhere at a specific time so couldn’t volunteer.

  19. Delta boarding is such a joke…I once saw people in zone 4 try to board with the pre-boarders and the agent LET them! When other saw that EVERYONE bum rushed the gate!

  20. This is another reason I have missed NW so much:-) DL fills up planes & gives no bumps like no other…at least that has been my experience since the merger!

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