Delta standing FIRM on low bump offers – need reader feedback!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

With my annual ski trip to Utah winding down I am looking forward to seeing how overbooked my return flights are. My outbound was also oversold from ATL-SLC by 4. I offered our seats as long as we could get $400 each and, since we were already in 1st, get 1st on the next flight we were  moved to.

Here is where I see a disturbing trend. The GA told me he could not go over $200 no matter what! Even if he had to pull people off the flight then that would be what would happen rather than up the amount to $400; how dumb is that? Also there was no way to put me in 1st on another flight. Now this could have been a unique situation, but I have seen this more and more on mainline jets during my travels.

On regionals, the same restrictions do not seem to be in place at all as one gate we passed was announcing $600 for just waiting a few hours for a later flight! Sweet but I was not going that way to take advantage of that deal.

So what I need from you all is some feedback. Are you seeing a trend about Delta standing firm on the cheap $200 bump offer. I would not even give up a coach seat for that little due to how hard it is now to use these ETV’s. What are you finding kids – I really want to know! – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Heck no. I wouldn’t let them bump me for just $200. Too low. At LEAST $400 – time is valuable!

  2. I haven’t been bumped in almost a year, I got $300 for a 1-hour wait, though was used to $400 + an upgrade in the past. I still would take a $200 bump if the price/time is right as all my travel is self-funded.

  3. The gate agent is full of crap. Sorry to be blunt, but that strikes me as the only answer.

  4. I’ll let you know what happens tonight. Taking off on a MR LAX-MIA tonight. Listed $250 for my seat – is just a MR after all.

  5. During the ice storm that hit SLC a few weeks ago, they were BEGGING people on outbound LAS flights to take $400, a night in a local hotel and first flight out in the morning. Very few took them up on it…everyone wanted to get home! But yes, I have seen the $200 offer more and more and would never consider it myself.

  6. Data point: I flew DL in early Jan (MIA-ATL, fwiw). Flight was oversold and I was prompted with the screen cap that you show to “place your bid” essentially. I did so at the highest amount. When I got to the gate, I heard the announcement and went straight to the agent. The offer was $400 and on the next flight in a few hours. I gave a thumbs up, but in the end – they didn’t need me. Oh well.

  7. Delta has been doing this for quite some time I think. I travel pretty regularly on a red-eye and the highest they offer is $125 on the website. However at the gate, the offer has gone up to $400. I think it depends on how bad they need people.

  8. Go for 400 plus first class on your rebooked flight. Otherwise, I’d be sitting in my first class seat reading my novel.

  9. Last Friday they were offering at the gate $400 on PDX-ATL red-eye. If I didn’t have a firm commitment earlier the next day, I would have taken. They were putting people on the first flight on Saturday.

  10. I overheard an offer of $400 as I was passing a gate in ATL the other day. I’m always traveling with my kids so bumps aren’t really a good option for me.

  11. Interesting observation. Checked in for ATL-DEN tonight and got the volunteer reverse bid option starting at just $25, laughable no matter what and particularly because the next open flight requires an overnight in ATL. Wonder what the gate offer will be.

  12. 250-300 is my minimum, unless I have hours in between flights and can get a comparable seat.

    To take a middle seat is $400 for less than 1.5h and $600 for up to 6hrs, after that, can’t pay me enough to sit in a middle seat.

    UAX recently offered $150 for a 3hr later flight, passed on that.

  13. Subperbowl Monday from Jackson MI I was flying back JAS ATL DCA and everything was overbooked… heard the same: $200 max offer.. they ended up having to remove.. paid the $800 probably.. I might have taken $400.

  14. Aren’t some of the newer policies/laws put into effect make very expensive on the part of the airline to remove customers by way of an involuntary bump?? Something like a cash payment and upwards of $800 or more, depending on length of delay??

    If that’s the case it seems Delta is just being stubborn on the $200 offers, it’s gonna cost the a lot more to bump passengers off as involuntary . . .

  15. Had a similar situation in ATL overbooked. The GA asked what I wanted and also said $400 with a response most they could give was $200. I was not going to changing my plans for such a low price.

  16. I got a bump a few weeks ago, they ignored the bids and just did requests at the gate. Gave me a flat $400 due to length of my delay

  17. Sorry for the beginner question, but why is it so hard to use the ETVs now?

  18. I took a $200 ETV for 2 more hours in the airport. It worked out b/c it was during the NFL playoffs and I got to see the end of a really good game. Turned around and used the ETV the next day for an upcoming flight.

    ETVs have to be called in and then mailed in, which can get lost, etc.

  19. farsighted99 Reply

    I think $300 is fine, but that’s for coach. And only if it’s an hour or two until the next flight. Otherwise, let some other fool get $200…. I usually just want to get where I’m going, so it has to be worthwhile to me. However, I would skip the money and wait a couple hours to go First Class.

  20. $200 for a couple of hours yes, but longer than that $400 would be the minimum for me.

  21. $400 is my absolute minimum, & then only if I can be guaranteed F & some food vouchers.

    • @ALL – Thanks SO much for the feedback. If we look at all the comments we are seeing a bit of a push to stand firm on the $200 ETV even if they must force others off a flight. This is scary to me. I will be reaching out to CORP and asking more about this. Again, my HUGE thanks to you all for the input. – Rene

  22. Going from ATL-FRA, they offered us to take a $800 voucher and then put us on ATL-MAD-FRA. Turns out that our original plane had some problems and didn’t actually take off till I arrived in FRA :D!

  23. Rene. I commented 2 weeks ago that I entered $400 for a bump. I was not offered to enter a number when I checked in 24 hours in advance. I got it when I printed my boarding pass at the airport.
    I got the $400 credit for an hour wait and a better itenerary. That was jan 31.

  24. My flight last week from ATL – SFO was oversold by 7 and the starting offer from the agent was $400 and moved up to $500 to take a flight that left an hour half later. But they couldn’t guarantee what seat you would have on the other flight, so i passed since i was concerned i would be stuck in a middle back seat for 5 hours 🙁

  25. Are there any restrictions in using the travel vouchers? I had one 400.00 in my account and forgot to use it. I saw it was expiring today and I booked a fall domestic flight. I was not aware of any restrictions in using these. You mentioned something about them being restrictive? Thanks for the info about booking the low level tickets. That might help me in the future.

  26. lobstergreg Reply

    The first week in Janaury I was waiting for a flight from ATL to GSP. They asked for volunteers at $200.00 and the next flight in 2 hours. I had some free time so I took them up on thier offer and decided to have lunch before the next flight. They then offered $400.00 as they needed one more person. Another said yes so they closed the flight. I was pleasantly surprised to get a voucher for $400.00 and lunch.

  27. Jeff Jones Reply

    UA was offering $500 last week IAD-ATL They had 4 oversold on a regional. Delta either has to get better at load management or loosen their purse strings

  28. Oversold flight by 3 to TUL Monday. Started at $400 and went to $600.

  29. Only have seen offers on JFK-LAX routes and since both my flights this year on those routes were upgraded and were the last flights of the day there was no way I would be taking any offer less than 1,000 bucks.

  30. It used to be $400 when I was taking bumps. Last time it was a firm $300. Now if they are trying to stand pat on $200, I see a time when I won’t volunteer anymore!

  31. Just had an overbooked flight from CVG to MSP. Started with $300 and moved to $600 when no one volunteered. Unfortunately I wasn’t on that flight and was just standing by “just in case”. I probably would have taken $300, but would have asked for $400 first. Time will tell. If they can get dumb people to take bumps for $200, more power to them. I won’t be bumping, which is unfortunately because I love me some bumping!

  32. Pingback: Some interesting updated bump info from Delta customer service. - Delta Points

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