Start the Bidding to Be Voluntarily “Bumped”…

While reportedly not a new idea with other commercial airlines — and in order to increase the chances of oversold flights departing on-time — Delta Air Lines now has a New OLCI “oversold message” for VDB auction…

The way it supposedly works is that potential volunteers “bid” via Delta Air Lines kiosks for how much compensation they were willing to accept to change their travel plans, with the lowest bids being considered first.

Previously, when a flight was oversold, Delta Air Lines used to offer vouchers with an amount — $200.00, for example — by having gate agents announce at the gate with requests for volunteers who would be willing to change their travel plans for that amount. Occasionally, if no one responded to the call, the amount would increase. If the call for volunteers was early enough before the flight, one could put oneself on the volunteer list at a Delta Air Lines kiosk but with no dollar amount to bid.

Involuntary “bumps” are not affected by this new process.

Still, some questions remain: how does one know when is the next flight one can take — is it an hour later or three days later? How are the results calculated? Can winning bids be severely below compensation, such as an inexperienced traveler bidding $50.00 for an international flight, for example? Is a $1,500.00 winning bid for a short domestic flight possible if there are no lower bids?

One thought on “Start the Bidding to Be Voluntarily “Bumped”…”

  1. oliver2002 says:

    Brian,
    This offer was offered while OLCI atleast since November 2009. I so far always bid 600 or 800 and the system response was that they don’t accept bids above 300$ for domestic :p

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