How much would it take for you to accept a Delta “bumpertunity”? $3,000? $4,000? $8,000?

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’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. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

The ND stadium from a Delta jet!

The other day I blogged about the fact that unless it is a Notre Dame football weekend (like Saturday) Delta Air Lines shows very little love for SBN or South Bend airport. All we get is horrid, and often broken, CRJ200s day after day. Again, unless there is a ND game about to happen.

But if there is a game then something interesting happens. “Bumpertunites“, or chances to bump, rise to simply insane levels. My fellow blogger Gary from A View From The Wing today posted that there was one flyer who gave up their seat for $4,000 and was put on a flight later that day. Not too shabby right?

2x $3,000 – yes please!

My wife and I, last May on the way to Sweden via Amsterdam, gave up our seats for 2x $3,000 vouchers and we were happy to accept a 6 hour delay for $1,000 per hour in travel money. Sure not cash, but keep in mind Delta bump vouchers are good for 1 year (2 years to fly) and spend just like cash when buying Delta tickets with just about zero restrictions for the person whose name is on the voucher. That is not bad at all!

But it gets better. There is a rumor on the web that one pair on a later fight Friday night into SBN from ATL took a bump for over $8,000 EACH! That, IMO, is worth giving up tickets to the big game. Heck, one person I shared this story with told me they would delay their honeymoon for that kind of a bump voucher – and I would too.

In case you are not aware, Delta gate agents can offer up to a $2,000 voucher per person but a Red Coat, or station manager, can go all the way up to $9,995 to get folks to willingly give up their seats to get off a flight (vs. paying out cash on the spot to force folks off a flight)!

So that brings me to this weekend’s question for you. Just what number would it take to get you off a Delta flight? $1,000? $5,000? What if it was a very special event and it would mean you would have to miss this event? What if it was work related? Would some number, say $8,000, motivate you to give up your seat no matter what? You tell me in the comments below! – René



  1. I sent this to my friend who is a Delta gate agent in Atlanta. He said $4000 is nothing. They recently gave $6,000 each to bump 16 people – bribe them to take later flights. That’s $96,000 for that one flight! For me, it would take $4,000 to arrive later that day or $6,000+ to arrive next day.

  2. If taking the bump would cause me to miss a “life event” – say, the birth of your child or wedding (or funeral) of someone close then NO amount of money would suffice. If it caused you to miss a work event and the reason got back to your management (and they WILL ask questions), you could get fired and you would have to weigh the value of the travel voucher vs. the loss of income, which could be much higher.

    Now, If I have the time and the delay is only a few hours, I could probably be bought for a few hundred. For a more inconvenient delay (say, overnight), the price would go way up.

  3. $1,000.00 + if overnight, accommodations in a decent hotel with meal vouchers. Of course, more $$ is even better!! LOL

    Rene, any new thoughts about the DM AMEX Waiver for 2018 since the new amex card was revealed?? Thanks!!!

  4. Last November, the wife and I gladly took $1,000 each in flight credit to arrive in Miami about 3 hours late and with no fixed plans anyway. So next week, we fly to Spain on Delta’s dime! Who knows, maybe we can play it forward once again!

  5. Well, it always depends on your fellow passengers, doesn’t it?
    I was glad to get $800 quickly, before anyone else could approach. The agent was only offering $400 to start with.
    As it turned out, the flight I got bumped from was delayed, and my standby on the next flight worked – so I was only 45 minutes later than my wife getting home!

  6. This morning on MSP-XNA gate agents were offering $1400 in gift cards from Amex, Target or Best Buy + hotel + meal vouchers for 2 people to give up their seats and fly next day. It would take way more than that for me to spend 24 hours in a place to skip a 1,5 hour flight.

  7. I would rather have a coupon for a free Delta One RT anywhere in the system. Airlines used to do that; does Delta not ever give that away for a bribe anymore?

  8. I once offered $200 and I negotiated it up to $600 when I was chosen. It’s a balance because you don’t want to price yourself of of the market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *