Delta’s Kinda Cool Bump Auction

(Personal note:  Longtime reader/former roomate/close friend D-Lux will love this:)

Delta has done away with the old system of asking people on crowded flights at the gate if they will take a $300 voucher to move to a later flight.  You used to hear announcements where gate agents begged for volunteers at increasing amounts until they got the number of people they needed off the plane.

Not anymore.

Delta has now implemented a silent auction system for bumps that would please the hearts of economists everywhere.  In short:  when a flight is in risk of being oversold, they ask every passenger at check-in (kiosk, online, etc) what amount they would take to be bumped off the plane.  In effect, it’s a silent auction.  The airline then knows exactly who they will bump and how much it will cost them.  The airline gets to pay market rate, and you don’t deal with the mad pushing and shoving that occasionally erupts during a bump situation.  It is brilliant, and I expect we’ll see most airlines follow suit asap.

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  1. Longtime reader/former roomate/close friend

    1st of all, I consider myself a former roomate/Longtime reader/close friend as opposed to Longtime reader/former roomate/close friend. I’m just saying.

    2nd of all, I do love it! While I think it will end with lower bump payouts (people will lowball themselves), I love the idea of it. Once everyone has checked in, they should post the all bids on a big board at the gate. Are you telling me it wouldn’t be fascinating to sit there, knowing you are the 7th lowest bid and wondering if you are gonna get paid? Also, if you are the lowest, and you know the next lowest was $100 or more above you, and you both get paid, aren’t you going to feel like an idiot? I’m totally for this.

  2. Before I offer my seat (which I rarely do), I always ask what flight I’ll be rebooked on. The $$$ compensation is only part of the equation.

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