Hated to Pass Up This Bump

My flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam was 16 people oversold. 15 folks had already volunteered to take a later flight and Delta needed one more person to say “I will.” Well, I tried. $800 for a bump and still get to Amsterdam the same day – that sounded too good to pass up.

Unfortunately, Amsterdam was not my final stop but rather a small city in Norway. Delta searched and searched but getting me confirmed onto my final destination within the same day wasn’t possible. I wouldn’t get to Norway until Monday instead of Sunday.

As I discuss in my book, Business Travel Success…How to Reduce Stress, Be More Productive and Travel With Confidence!, is it worth it to take the bump and take a later flight? Well, in this particular case, no. I am in Europe for business reasons and the schedule with colleagues is set. I’d lose more in income than the voucher is worth. If I was on vacation and had set plans, such a boarding a cruise ship, again the answer would be no.

With bump opportunities, you’ve got to react fast. What’s Plan B for your flight? Will that work with your schedule? Are you willing to lose your upgrade, exit row, etc. or other seat you had selected to take a chance at a less desirable seat on the new flight? Will your bag be returned to you it the event of an overnight hotel stay? All things to consider.

For me, for this trip, the bump answer was No. Darn… an $800 voucher would have been nice. Maybe the opportunity will arise again on the way home when I have more flexibility.

What’s your track record with bumps?

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  1. I’ve gotten a decent share of bumps, and love them when they come up. I always check for alternate routings in anticipation of a potential bump so that I’m prepared with Plan B (or know when Plan B doesn’t exist).

    Two best bumps I ever took:
    One was SFO-RIC, where my VDB led to a new routing and actually got me home earlier than originally planned.
    The other was ROC-FLL, where I was supposed to get into FLL around noon but would have been bored out of my mind stuck at an airport hotel for the rest of the day. Instead had a long layover at DCA, went into the city for the day, and got to my airport hotel just in time for bed.

    In both cases, I would’ve volunteered for free because of the side benefits, but of course I didn’t tell them that and was happy to accept a few hundred dollars in credit 🙂

  2. Great bumps, New Girl! I love when things work out in the traveler’s favor! And having a Plan B in prep for bump opportunities or cancelled flight rerouting is always a great idea!

  3. $800 for an INTL flight doesn’t seem like a lot, considering I got two $600 VDB vouchers from Delta earlier this year for 1hr flights from ATL-MSY (one during Mardi Gras, one during JazzFest). They started out at $400 but upped the ante on both (also helps to be DM). 🙂 They put me in F on the later flights, too!

    I was flying home to MSY from SLC Sat and they were offering $400 VDBs and a F upgrade on an overnight flight (due to weight restrictions related to high temps in SLC) but I passed. :p

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