Delta Airlines turns the game of voluntary seat bumping into Ebay

delta airlines involuntary bump

Marginal Revolution posted this photo of a voluntary bump screen on a Delta Airlines automated kiosk. Instead of offering bump vouchers to anyone interested, they now ask in advance how much you would be willing to accept for a bump.

Genius.

Pay close attention to the “Delta accepts lower bids first” text – which is a great way for the airline to pay much less than they’d normally hand out.

Inexperienced fliers may be tempted to settle for $100, or even less – just for taking a later flight. But keep in mind that a “normal” bump entitles you to much more. Normally with voluntary bumps, the airline may start at $150, and keep going up. Once they can’t find volunteers and start switching to involuntary bumps, they will have to pay a maximum of $400 ($800 if they can’t rebook you a different flight).

In other words – if the airlines gets enough suckers to settle for $100, they’ll make a fortune. Don’t be one of those suckers. The terminal apparently only settles for numbers under $400, so make sure your numbers are always around that amount. Sure, be competitive with others, and go for $398 (folks on the Price is Right do that all the time), but don’t spoil the system with low-ball offers.

[Via: Consumerist]

Top ten best airlines revealed in 2010 World Airline Awards

Spoiler alert: U.S. based airlines apparently all suck. At least, if you believe the results of the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards. The top ten airlines in the world are mostly from Asia. The only upside for U.S. based airlines is that no European airlines made it to the list either.

American airlines are only represented in the “best North American Airlines” results – and even there, Air Canada takes the top spot.

The results are hardly surprising – I’ve flown many of these international airlines, and their product is indeed miles ahead of anything on offer in the U.S. or Europe. Still, it is a bit of a disgrace that none of the U.S. based airlines managed to make any of the winning categories. The top ten airlines of the world are:

  1. Asiana Airlines
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Qatar Airways
  4. Cathay Pacific
  5. Air New Zealand
  6. Etihad Airways
  7. Qantas Airways
  8. Emirates
  9. Thai Airways
  10. Malaysia Airlines

Still, it isn’t all doom and gloom – in recent weeks, the AOL “spy in the sky” flew all major U.S. carriers and found that there are still some friendly and helpful airlines out there. Check out their report cards for the ten airlines they reviewed.

Delta Airlines adding hourly Chicago <-> New York service

Delta airlines just announced the introduction of 22 new daily flights between Chicago and New York. The new flights will be operated as Delta Shuttle flights, and will start June 10th.

The new hourly service out of O’Hare replaces current Delta flights between Chicago Midway and LaGuardia.

Delta obviously means business – because they are also going to offer free coffee and newspapers at the gate, which will be located as close as possible to the terminal 2 security checkpoint.

More flights on this route means cheaper fares for everyone, because the other airlines will clearly be paying attention to this increased capacity. Delta kiosks will be available for same-day ticket purchases.

The route will be operated by an Embraer 175 jet – with 12 seats in first class, and 64 seats in coach. Because this is a narrow body jet, there are no middle seats. The flights will offer Delta’s “enhanced shuttle service” which means meals in first class, and free wine and beer in all cabins.

Free Wi-Fi tomorrow on Delta Airlines – for a good cause!

Tomorrow, October 31st, Delta Airlines and Gogo are offering free Wi-Fi on all their flights.During the sign-in procedure, simply use promotion code GOPINK.

As if that were not cool enough, Aircell (the company behind Gogo) will donate $1 for every free session that day (up to $10,000) to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This is the fifth year Delta has supported breast cancer research with their Pink Plane. Last year, Delta raised half a million Dollars for the foundation through donations and pink product sales.

During the month of October, all Gogo proceeds from Wi-Fi sales on the Delta Pink plane will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

So, if you are flying a Wi-Fi equipped plane on Delta tomorrow, you’ll get free Internet access, and you’ll help support a great cause.

Delta Airlines ordered to pay customer money for cancelled flight

Oh, it’s so satisfying when the little guy fights back and wins. I have no idea how big Mitchell Berns actually is, but he took on Delta Airlines in small claims court and won.

As the story goes, Delta canceled a flight that Mr. Berns was to take using bad weather as an excuse. When delays or cancellations are because of bad weather, airlines don’t have to cough up refunds. Delta’s solution was to book Berns on a red-eye flight which he refused to take. As he found out, the bad weather had yet to start. It wouldn’t be happening for hours later.

Pooh pooing Delta’s explanation, Berns booked a flight home on JetBlue and then filed the claim against Delta that was equal to the cost of the JetBlue ticket. That seems fair. It’s not like he was claiming pain and suffering. The court sided with Berns because no one from Delta showed up for the court appearance.

The moral of the story is to stick up for yourself when you can when it comes to travel. It’s almost like becoming a dog with a bone. I have my own dog with a bone story.

Once when I was flying from La Guardia to Albuquerque, I was bumped off the flight because the airline wanted to switch to a smaller plane. As I saw other people arrive after me be given seats, I complained. (This was when seats were assigned first come first serve at the airport.) The airline personel told me that the computer was randomly picking who would get on the flight. Ha!! That’s rich! I thought.

After refusing to leave and continuing to politely, but incessantly complain, the ticket counter person gave me a taxi voucher to go to John F. Kennedy Airport and rerouted me since there was a flight leaving from there that I could take. This allowed for me to make my connection in St. Louis and arrive in Albuquerque when I wanted to.

There is something about these small wins that gives one hope that ones well-being is important indeed.