Bumps & Vouchers

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  1. I just returned from a trip to TYO and had an IRROPs on the outbound and a VDB on the return with a $200×3 (the agent gave me just 1, then there were 2 additional IRROPS) and a $1000 (for arriving 1 hour earlier than booked). I tried booking a trip with them, but can’t use more than 1.

    Is there a way to combine the vouchers for 1 trip?

  2. I received $800 in AMEX Gift Cards for volunteering my seat on a flight from LAX-MSP last month.

    Can I use them on Delta as well as Skyteam Partners?

    Flying Delta to CDG this summer and will connect to Middle East via Air France.

    • @Muzzy – They are like cash, just spend them on anything inside the USA. Use a credit card that earns bonus points to pay for your tickets 🙂

  3. I was on a flight earlier this week that was oversold. I checked in on my phone about 2 hours before my flight and was NOT notified that they needed any volunteers. I then actually checked in again at a kiosk (about 40 minutes after I checked in on my phone) because my battery was running low. There it stated that the flight was overbooked and they were looking for volunteers. I bid $800 (probably a mistake on my end). When I got to the gate they were offering $500. I said I would take a lower amount. I overhead the red coat at the gate say they were over by 8, which seemed high. They ended up needing four volunteers, and I was not one of them. Do you know how the prioritize volunteers? If the bid is the same, do they go by status, check-in time, other methods. Any insight would be appreciated. Also any insight as to why Delta didn’t ask me to volunteer when I checked in on my phone, but they asked if I wanted to volunteer at the kiosk 40 minutes later??

    • @Dan – Mostly, the paper list trumps all. At some airports, and some agents, the online list trumps and lowest bid wins. But that depends on how many they need. Then, everyone gets the highest anyone in the group gets. Lastly, after 100-150 segments a years, I have ONLY seen online and kiosk never in app.

  4. Thanks @ Rene! I am just trying to figure out the whole system and have a higher chance of being #1 on that paper list. Seems like they go by the bid first, but there is no way I am only bidding only a couple hundred bucks.

  5. On April 3rd, I gave up my seat on and received an $800 voucher. I elected to have the voucher given to me in the form of an American Express Gift Card. The gift card came as the following in the mail: 1 X $500 card 3 X $100 cards

    When I went to book a flight, I was told that I could only use two of the cards over the phone/online. If I wanted to use all of them to book a flight, I would need to go to the airport and MAYBE they could be assist me with combining all of the cards. I went to the airport and fortunately was able to have the cards combined and purchased my ticket. But it shouldn’t have had to come to this. I helped the airline and this is what happens. I wish I could have gotten a $500 and $300 card and called it even.

    I took 2 hours out of my time to go to the airport. I feel like I deserve some sort of compensation. What are your thoughts?

    • @Max – Really bad call. Next time spend them on other things that only earn you 1x and then buy tickets with a card that pays 2 or 3x (like the PRG). The AMEX cards were like cash!!!!!!!!!

  6. Nightliner Reply

    Hey René, thanks for the podcast and the blog posts on bumps. I suspect my next flight might be overbooked (they don’t sell Y at all and only full fare F, dep may 15, last flight of that day). I am booked in paid F and wouldn’t mind a bump, provided I can make a (later) intl connection. There are open flights on connections via ATL way earlier. Does it make sense to show up at the airport WAY too early or even reach out to DL via Twitter the day before? I don’t want to end up spending the better part of the day at the airport if no dice anyway 🙂

    • @ Nightlife – Gate control. Be 1st to gate with paper extra boarding pass as mentioned in other posts.

  7. @Max I agree with Rene. You should have used a regular credit card to earn bonus miles on your ticket, and used the gift cards for other purchases. Question though, which airport did you receive your gift card compensation at?

  8. Nightliner Reply

    Thanks René – I sort of hoped that there was something else I could try, but I’ll then just see to get to the airport as early as possible. Wish me luck 😉

  9. Hi Rene,

    If I do a voluntary bump is there anyway I can still retain the MQM’s that would have come with the flight if I choose not to take another flight on that same day? How do I maximize my chances of getting asked for a voluntary bump?

  10. Hi Rene,
    I have a travel voucher from a bump. Can I use it for two separate tickets, for two separate trips a few weeks apart, all travel by me? Ie: can I split it, or can I only use it for one ticket, and then I would lose the excess value?

  11. Amar Karamali Reply

    I was apart of the 8/08 travel mess from the system wide outage.

    I saw delta is offering 200$ to passengers…think I can get more? any tips for getting more? My flight was delayed 6.0 hours (was supposed to get in at 10am, got in at 4 pm) and I missed a full day of work so was thinking about saying that to try and get more money. How much should I ask for?


  12. Hi Rene:

    Both my wife and I had separate 200 vouchers in our account. I just called to book a trip in November but the agent said she wasn’t able to book on the same PNR if we pull vouchers from two accounts. Have you heard of this hogwash?

  13. I flew on 8/8 and just had 20K miles added to my account which I’m guessing is the $200 they mentioned in the press release. Has anyone gotten $200 or just the 20k miles?

  14. Hey Rene, wanted to run a thought past you real quick before I book a ticket, to see if what I have observed is just a coincidence… So I fly a route out to europe through ATL a couple times a year on military tickets (V class, deep discount). Sometimes, these tickets are offered to me as KLM marketed, even though its all Delta flights. The two times I have been bumped to business class on the route, I was flying under a KLM purchased ticket as a gold elite w/ delta (even though there were diamonds not moved). Other times on Delta tickets, I have seen diamonds get pulled from next to me to business, as they obviously have priority. My question is, do you think this has to do with Delta having to bump some partner passengers as well and there not being any other KLM elites on flight? I wonder because booking that ticket makes me ineligible for upgrades within the US, but seems to increase my international bump chance. What are your thoughts? Booking a ticket soon and can get either Delta or KLM code for same price.


    • @Jorden – Delta tends to favor its elites and KLM it’s elites. But most times GA discretion matters most so talking to them and asking if coach is oversold can help hint hint

  15. Hi Rene, I saw your post on combining Delta gift cards. I tried booking a flight with 3 (x $50) of them + credit card and cancelled it within 24 hours. Unfortunately I was given back the same original gift cards. Do I have to request specifically that they be refunded on 1 combined gift card? Thanks!

    • @Jennie – You have to call and get total ticket issued as one credit. You will have 1 year to spend.

  16. I was able to cancel my Delta Business class ticket and they gave me full refund as Delta credit but I would need to use it by end of June since I had purchased the ticket this June. Overall very happy with it. The two questions I have are: can I use this credit on multiple flights and more importantly, do I need to complete my flying before end of June or book by end of June? Thanks!

    • @jediwho – Can spend on many tickets. Must spend by exp. date then +1 year to fly.

  17. Hi Rene,

    I have a $1000 bump voucher. Anyways I can use it to pay taxes & fees on award booking? I know I will have to call Delta but wasn’t sure about the rule. Thanks!

  18. I had 2 vouchers/credits expiring the end of December. I booked a one way trip with 1 family member over the holidays. They combined my vouchers without asking (600 and 200) to pay for both seats, and created a residual voucher (great). I then separated the PNR’s for the 2 of us. If I were to cancel one ticket (the original voucher holder), would that cause any issues for the second ticket? Thanks,

  19. René,

    I just got a nice $1,200 voucher to extend my family holiday trip one more day. Do you know whether I could redeem this through DLVacations for something like a cruise or hotel nights? That would be great!

    • @Pawtim – No only tickets. But you can still use them for air so that will help and then pay for the rest how you want. Well done btw!

  20. @Rene – what is your record for consecutive bumps? I once volunteered for $800 on one flight, then got a similar offer from the flight I was bumped onto. The 3rd one, no option ending up sitting in middle seat in the back.

    • @Vicente – Had a number of double bump days. Max record was $2600 in one day.

  21. Jeremy Houser Reply

    I’m on my mileage run IND to DTW to LAX to HNL to IND.

    Delta has oversold the flight from LAX to HNL leg. I want to volunteer bump to get a voucher. However, they will have to change my ticket from LAX to IND with no leg to HNL. There is no way I can make it to HNL since I’m leaving for ANC from IND on Thursday at 6am. If I request a voucher, and then delta books me back to IND from LAX, will they still credited me the MQMs associated with the HNL legs?

    I hope this reaches you in time…. Thanks for everything

    • @Jeremy – Maybe. Since you are willing giving up your seat for a voucher they may say NO. If the bump is big enough IMO worth the risk as you can always re-spend it if you need to! The only other thought is to have them offer free to move around your next flights free as part of the bump offer.

  22. Hi Rene,

    My sister bought a ticket for a friend to go on a trip with her, but the friend is unable to make it for the trip. When my sister called Delta they said they could not transfer the ticket to me and that the only thing they could do is give the credit back to my sister’s friend even though my sister is the one who has paid for the ticket to begin with. Is there anyway around this? I am willing to pay the difference of what the cost of a ticket now would be. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • @Julianna – Nope sorry. I am honestly shocked that the fee to chance is not more than the credit back AND that Delta is even willing to give you any credit back. Take the credit (for the friend) and RUN!

  23. Hi Rene,

    I have a bump voucher (e credit) which I am trying to use for a flight for my wife. I am not traveling with her. Is that allowed? The delta system appears to suggest no and it auto populates my information when I try to buy the ticket for her. Any way around this?

    • @R – You have to be flying with her. Or, if you already have a ticket on your own, then she can join you on the same flights with your voucher! (hint)

  24. Hey Rene,

    Thanks for the hint. 🙂 but I am a little dense. This is a sole business trip for her and I am staying at home. Still the *hint* works? ( If yes, I can probably search the details on your blog if available )

    • @R – Really can not say more. All the rules for ticketing (both) come into play.

  25. Hi Rene,
    I just received a Delta voucher on 8/3 for $1000 to take a 7hr later flight home when my original flight was overbooked by 4 seats. I wanted to use my voucher to buy a ticket for my wife to travel in October, but found out that the only way is for me to buy us both tickets. The good news is the voucher will cover the total of both tickets. Once I buy both tickets, can I then decide not to use my ticket and have her travel without me (they won’t cancel her return flight if I don’t use my ticket – will they?). The other question I had was – can I book both tickets and then decide to cancel my ticket leaving hers intact (without penalty)?

  26. I’m betting you may not have heard this one before. ;-). I was taking a mileage run today PHX -> SEA -> NRT -> SIN and back. There was a permit to fly over Russian airspace that was not granted, so we had to pull back to the gate in SEA, add fuel and dump 4000 lb of cargo. I would have missed my connection in NRT to SIN, and there’s only one flight per day. I would have been stuck in NRT for a day (not necessarily bad, but also not planned and I do the runs to keep costs low!).

    Question to you is, how is the best way to approach this with Delta HQ? Trip in vain? Ask for full refund, or no penalty rebook?

    All DL flights from SEA back to PHX are booked, so they are sending me back on Alaska.

    • @Tim in AZ – If their fault you can bug out and go home and then request (beg if need be) route credit since you started to fly the trip. They can push back but just keep pushing and you should get full credit as their fault you could not fly. I had a run like this with 2 busted jets. Never went past ATL (first city). Then flew home. Got full credit after 3x emails.

  27. John Parrott Reply

    Hi, Rene. I posted this on Flyer Talk bout would like to see if you can provide any advice for me.

    Flying from DTW to EWR. Flights delayed all day, including mine. Finally boarded for takeoff 3.5 hours after original departure time. Just before pushback, a Redcoat came on board and made an announcement that the pilot informed her we were critically overweight (CRJ-700), and they needed 3 volunteers to immediately deplane. We would be accommodated on the next flight to EWR, which was only leaving 30 minutes later (due to all the delays). In exchange, we would receive $1,000 Delta dollars.

    I sprung up and volunteered. After all, what was 30 more minutes of my time?

    So, 3 of us make our way back to the gate area and the Redcoat begins to work feverishly on our rebooking and vouchers. After about 15 minutes, she calls us up to the counter. Unfortunately, “the system” will not allow her to rebook us on the EWR flight she promised, and the standby list is full. I say fine, put me back on my original flight then, as I needed to travel that evening to make my morning meetings. No go, as the jet bridge has pushed back. There is nothing she can do. She was very apologetic.

    Needless to say, we were agitated and perturbed. Attempts to route us to other NYC airports were futile, so I ended up going back home and calling it a night.

    Delta is refunding my ticket (as there is no reason for me to travel any longer since I’ll miss the meeting) and I have my grand in Delta bucks.

    Should I be satisfied with my compensation, or should I pursue more (FYI, I also incurred a 1-night hotel cancellation penalty)?

    Looking forward to your thoughts!


    – John

  28. So I received a $1000 voucher from delta for giving up my seat and taking a later flight. Can I use this voucher to purchase delta tickets on skyscanner? There flight is half the price than the same flight on the official delta sight.

    • @Tina – You can use them on Delta.com or call Delta. I have no idea what skyscanner is but if you can get a screen shot of the price I would hope Delta could match the price over the phone.

  29. Skip Lehman Reply

    Rene, I am totally POed at Delta, I am a Diamond Million Miler (already Diamond for 2020). I called yesterday to book two first class seats from Rochester NY to Maui in January using regional upgrade certificates, there were two flights listed both flights had EVERY first class seat open, but I was told there were none available using upgrade certificates, I then tried booking a flight from Rochester to Honolulu in December and was told the same thing. I then spoke to a supervisor, and was told the same thing again. I then posted on Twitter, and was asked for all the information in a “private Message”. This was my reply: “I understand your frustration. I’ve reviewed our inventory and didn’t see availability as well. I would suggest to check back with us for updates on availability. HKS” Rene, I would really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on this.

    • @Skip – It is up to revenue mgt. Even empty jets means nothing. You ask them to ask rev mgt to open space but unlikely.

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