Some interesting updated bump info from Delta customer service.

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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.

The topic of bumping and our beloved airline continues to make my blood boil. From my questions to readers about Delta standing firm on $200 ETV’s, there was some interesting feedback from you all and I thank you.

I hope to get more info from CORP soon but for now I did have a friend forward me part of an e-mail that came from customer service. Most of it is the same verbiage as on the paper printed when you are bumped but the 1st part is not. Take a look at the below:

Generally, customers who have volunteered for Denied Boarding Compensation (DBC) vouchers during check-in are selected from the lowest to the highest bid. If an insufficient number of passengers volunteer, Delta may involuntarily deny boarding to one or more customers on the oversold flight according to our boarding priority rules.

However, boarding priority factors may include, but are not limited to,
the following.

– A passenger’s time of check in.
– Whether a passenger has a seat assignment before reaching the departure gate.
– The fare paid by a passenger.
– A passenger’s frequent flyer status.
– If our agent is unable to find alternate flight protection without significant inconvenience to a customer.
– A passenger’s disability or status as an unaccompanied minor.

Delta will not, however, involuntarily deny boarding to the following passengers.

– Passengers with special needs including physically disabled passengers, unaccompanied minor children, and aged or infirm passengers.
– Passengers holding tickets for confirmed space in the First or Business Elite cabin and/or SkyMiles members identified with an EP Elite status designation.
– Customers with a status of Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion.
– U.S. military personnel traveling on official orders
– Employees on urgent company business or emergency travel such as a crew member needed to cover an assigned flight.

I have always suggested to sign up for a Skymiles account before you fly to move up the list to not get forced off a flight. But, as we can see, unless you are GM+, it will not help you much.

What really intrigues me is the fact that Delta is now STATING that they will take a lower bid offer over you volunteering at the gate. While I can not fault Delta for trying to save money on oversold flights, this sure seems to be a race to the bottom of compensation. I am still stunned they can get anyone off a plane for $50-$200! Ugh – 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. What right is it though of ours to demand more compensation when people will accept less? If someone is dumb enough to bid $50, more power to them – Apperently both delta and they win that way.

    If we complain that delta will take a lower bid, don’t we sound over entitled?

  2. Through my time flying I have never taken a shot to get bumped off a flight. I have a set number in my head and that is not $50. That sounds like something with USeless air.

  3. I’m not sure if this is really being followed…

    Last weekend, I was flying SEA-ATL-STL. SEA-ATL was changed from a 757-200 to an international 767-300. Apparently, the 763 was coming in from Paris and due in only 45 minutes before SEA-ATL flight was scheduled to leave.

    I was prompted to reroute and ended up on an SEA-MSP-STL routing (booked into F). When I checked in, the kiosk said the flight was oversold. I volunteered via the kiosk (entered in a bid of $199) and immediately headed to the gate.

    At the gate, I told the agent I volunteered via the kiosk and she kept my boarding pass. Prior to boarding, she paged me to the desk and said she was going to bump me. She asked the agent what the bump offer was (suggesting $250) and the other agent said “give him $400” — which I got.

    So, there may be some stations / agents which are strictly adhering to the only accept the offers which people bid on… but not always.

    FYI — I was rerouted back onto the ATL flight.. kept my upgrade and made my connection back to STL.

  4. I agree with what Greg said. I’ve never been bumped domestically but whenever I fly internationally I always seem to have that type of luck. Last time I was flying from ATL-FRA and there was something wrong with the plane and they had also oversold it. I went up to the gate agent and asked for an upgrade to Business instead of taking the voucher. After a while they hand me my ticket (upgraded & rerouted), and a $800 voucher! Granted, this doesn’t happen most times but I think it shows the power those gate agents have. They could’ve refused to upgrade me and give me a low-ball ETV offer. Now onto the 50-200 upgrade. That’s just plain stupid but ingenious. Delta is saving money by taking advantage of, well, everyone who doesn’t know how this system works. I’d never take an offer like that (unless it’s a really short domestic flight). Jason and Timmer1001 hit it right on IMO. If someones dumb enough to take that offer let them take it! You can’t be bashing Delta for accepting a lower offer. If somehow nobody would take an offer like that them Delta would most likely either higher the offers or risk losing some customer support.

  5. Last Friday I arrived in DTW to connect to my FWA flight. Just after I arrived, the gate agent announced the flight was oversold and anyone wishing to give up their seat would receive a $400 voucher. Three persons immediately volunteered although one was eventually seated on the oversold flight. So, I assumed the other two people collected their $400 vouchers; nothing was ever stated that they had to bid.

  6. My most recent bump experience seems to indicate that DL will give you approximately $100 in VDB for each hour you’re delayed. I gave up my seat for a flight that was roughly 3hrs later. The jr. GA was asked the other GA (who seemed in charge) if I was due $200, but she said, no, for three hours it’s $300, which is what I got.

  7. To me it’s starting to look like Delta wants to do everything on the cheap. Flew a A330 to BKK a couple of weeks ago and it seemes like 10%+ of the entertainment players were non working. At least 1 in every row of EC was down including my wifes. FA said it’s scheduled to go in sometime this year for touchscreens and their not fixing any with problems, nice. I’m planning on challenging either UA or AA next Jan. Would love to see As get larger and maybe they’re a back up because they have agreements with almost eveyone. Then while flying to Sea from BKK they cancelled our flight home because of weather and put us on a redeye 10+ hrs. later. When we landed we tried to get on the flights 2 and 2 1/2 hrs earlier from our 1PM flight but by then they were all full. They wanted us to sit around from 7AM to 11:20 PM. GA, and telephone agent were useless. We ended up getting back on our 1PM flight and paying for our own room in MSP so we could get some sleep. Did I tell you we had a crying baby in the seat ahead of us all the way from BKK to Sea. So it was impossible to sleep. It’s not just the computers that are Delta dumb.

  8. Biggest pain for me is that I have $1200 in vouchers from two pax being bumped at Christmas, but I can’t use them to buy my parents some flights, I *have* to be on the itinerary for the vouchers to be used.

  9. I’ve taken $200 bump voucher to wait an hour and a half, and I don’t see why anyone else wouldn’t. If you are making enough money that that 1.5 hours isn’t worth $200, you don’t need to worry about the bump voucher at any value.
    Last year I was offered $300 to overnight at SFO, a week later I was offered $400 to arrive an hour later (reducing layover time at subsequent airport). Those compensation levels make no sense.

  10. I zm a Delta Diamond and whenever my spouse (no status) and I travel together and there is an overbooked flight and we do an on-line checkin, spouse is asked if they want to volunteer and fills in a bid amount. I, with Diamond status, NEVER get the request. So I call the Diamond Medallion line to volunteer. They can’t help me. I asked at the check in counter, even though we have done ONCI 24 hrs prior to flight. They can’t do anything at the club. So, essentially, there is no way for me to volunteer except to sit on the gate agents desk for when they make an announcement = if they do. And, since they already probably have some volunteers from ONCI, they may not call for additional volunteers.

    I wrote to Delta customer service, who 3 weeks later responded in such a manner that he should have been fired. He did not address my question, did not advise as to how to change this situation OR admit that there might be something wrong with the system. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t even an apology.

    Instead it was a letter explaining how sometimes airlines overbook anticipating some no shows and the need to ask for volunteers. As a elite on Delta with over 1.5 M miles, the response was pathetic !

  11. Delta was offering $600 vouchers today for a bump. Unfortunately, my schedule wouldn’t allow the 7 hour delay.

  12. I flew JFK to slc yesterday and the flight was oversold. They were offering $600 vouchers or $300 cash for volunteers. Unfortunately I couldn’t take them up on that offer.

  13. Yeah, the most troubling thing is how they have decentralized the bargaining process by asking folks to enter their bump value at check-in–it reduces information passengers have about other passengers and consequently limits our ability to coordinate to extract higher payouts from the airline for volunteering.

  14. When I was still a Gold Medallion (I hit Platinum late last year), I bid something like $250 when it was offered during the on-line check-in for my JFK-SAN flight but still checked with the gate agent, who told me if selected I would be getting $400. In addition to the $400, she ended up booking me in First on the later flight (to LAX instead of San Diego) since I told her I didn’t need a hotel since I could drive home from there – and gave me the 50% EQM bonus.

    Apart from an hour delay on that flight, the whole thing set me back 6 hours including the drive but despite the verbiage on the voucher, I was not able to redeem it for others in my family even when I was flying, but was able to get some extra EQMs and avoid drawing down miles for holiday travel. Not sure I’d do it again given all the restrictions unless I really didn’t have anything better to do the next day 😉

    • @Andy Z – txs so much for you good feedback. (btw we Delta flyers call then MQM’s not EQM’s like others – we have to be different 😉 )

  15. I concur with others where it seems that it’s heavily gate agent and/or airport specific. Sometimes I’ve entered in $200 as my bid, only to get $400 at the gate. Other times I’ve had the gate agent explicitly ask me for my bid (I asked the maximum and bid one dollar less…lol). Smart for Delta, bad for those of us that like free money.

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