Should you worry about taking a Delta gift card vs. a Delta bump voucher? Are they having issues with their gift card vendor?

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$6,000? Yes please Delta!

It has been a while since I have taken a bump on a Delta flight. There have been offers but due to either the size of the offer or the number of seats they needed I have chosen to stay in my seat. Clearly, if Delta had offered SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS again I would have done whatever was needed and take a flight a few hours later. The nice thing about a Delta bump voucher is they:

  • Are good for 1 year to spend and you have 2 years to fly them
  • They spend just like cash on tickets
  • You earn full SkyMiles, MQDs and MQMs just like cash
  • You don’t have to spend them all on one ticket
  • You can spend them on those flying with you
  • You can use them on Delta code-share partners

As you can see there are simply so few restrictions on them that when one of these is offered as compensation for taking another flight I am more than happy to take them! But there is another option sometimes (many times in fact). That is a choice of gift cards:

I love these Delta!

I blogged years ago about the single best choice you can make when one of these is offered, that is, an Amex gift card (visa would be better imo if ever offered). Why Amex vs. the others? You can lock in the value before the rather quick 6 month expiration date on these (vs. the 1 year on the Delta vouchers). You can, for example, buy Amazon gift cards that do not expire (or simply reload your Amazon credit balance). You can pay some bills or just about whatever to make sure you burn these. But is Delta having issues with the vendor who provides these gift cards? Look at the below video from WKMG News 6 in Orlando:

Yikes! I am so happy that this x-Delta flyer stuck to her guns and got the promised compensation from Delta. But there are a bunch of disturbing bits from this video.

  • First that Delta stopped trying to help her.
  • Next, that the report sorta muddied the water of forced bump vs. voluntary bump
  • The email to claim the gift card worked – the card was just never sent.
  • Delta did not show up in court to defend themselves (wow)!
  • The DOT fines are not the same as this issue (i.e. a voluntary bump)
  • The passenger took (face palm) a Target gift card!

OK with that out of the way the biggest issue is clearly that Delta had an issue with the subcontractor who they are paying to execute the bump gift cards. I had no issue with mine years ago and I have had any number of readers tell me they loved the gift card process and offer and also got theirs in a reasonable time. But if they are never sent – what good is the bump?

I reached out to Delta Corp to find out if they are in fact having issues with the subcontractor and we can again trust we will get what is promised by the gate agent if we take this type of compensation as a bump offer but they did not respond for this post. I will update the piece if they do offer a comment.

Personally, I would much prefer an Amex gift card vs. “Delta dollars” as I am finding myself flying other airlines more than ever this year so I hope this is a short term issue for Delta! – René





  1. I have been voluntarily bumped by DL twice in the past 6 months. Both times I selected the AMEX gift card online from a menu of choices. Both times the AMEX cards showed up at my house by FEDEX within 3 days. They actually arrived sooner than I was told. Other choices are instant online gift cards with no wait. There is also a phone number to call to track the shipment. First class service in my view.

  2. Rene,
    The irony here is that when they break my wheelchair, i.e. my legs, and it takes hours of emails, calls, and tech visits with or without the correct parts, Delta CROs generally give me a 50 or $100 voucher even though I usually buy 1st class ticket. Maybe once in 5 years I got $500 voucher. Wheelchair damage is a multi-week inconvenience vs a 6hr or even overnight “BUMP” that gets $400-multiple thousands. The only logic is Delta does not want to reimburse the customer with wheelchair damage. The irony is that because of all my chair damage last year I had to reduce my flying and did not make Diamond for 3rd year…Now I’m a lowly Platinum.

  3. Over the last couple years, I have taken voluntary bumps on Delta. Earlier on, I received Delta “e-gift card” credits, good for one year. I used those up with no problem whatsoever. More recently, Delta gave me Amex gift cards (good for approx. 6 months) when I took a voluntary bump. Again, no problem whatsoever. In every instance, everything worked as planned. (I would have done a giant NO to Target gift cards!)

  4. We (2 seats, first class) took $6,000 in Amex gift cards to take a later flight home from Honolulu to Seattle recently… though they had to space it out as 2x $2k and 2x $1k letters/reward packs, and initially the web links for the vendor did not work.

    Half an hour later, the links did work… the web servers were just entirely down by the provider. Mild heart attack about that at first!

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