Passengers on a recent Delta flight say the airline offered them $10,000 each to give up their seats.
The incident reportedly went down Monday morning, as travelers awaited takeoff at Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Jason Aten, a tech columnist for Inc. magazine, said he was aboard the Minnesota-bound flight when a crew member announced they were seeking eight volunteers who were willing to get off the overbooked flight in exchange for cash.
“‘If you have Apple Pay, you’ll even have the money right now,’” Aten recalled the flight attendant saying.
Aten admitted that the $10,000 offer was enticing, but he and his wife ultimately chose not to take it.
“Yes, $10,000 is a lot of money, but it was clearly better than forcing eight people to miss their connections and ruining their plans,” he wrote. “The people who volunteered did the math and decided that it was worth it to change their plans because, obviously, that is a lot of money.”
Twitter user Todd McCrumb said he, too, was on the Delta flight, but couldn’t take the offer because he had to stay with his wife.
McCrumb shared his story with KTVB, claiming the airline initially offered $5,000, before increasing the amount to $7,500, and eventually $10,000.
“I look at my wife and go, ‘Honey, we gotta do this!’ She says, ‘No!’” McCrumb said. “And then the lady says, the stewardess says, ‘This will be paid immediately via Apple Pay … or a Visa gift card.’”
McCrumb told the outlet he saw a total of four people take the offer.
According to a 2021 CNBC report, Delta offers to compensate passengers who are willing to give up their seats on oversold flights. The amount of compensation reportedly ranges from $1,350 to $9,950.
A Delta spokesperson declined to confirm the alleged incident, simply telling CBS News: “The ability to provide compensation on full flights empowers our employees’ efforts to care for customers and get aircraft out on time.”