Predict which flights will be overbooked, buy a ticket, trade it in for a more valuable voucher.
Still, there are some travelers who see the flight crunch as a lucrative opportunity. Among them is Ben Schlappig. The 20-year-old senior at the University of Florida said he earned “well over $10,000” in flight vouchers in the last three years by strategically booking flights that were likely to be oversold in the hopes of being bumped.
“I don’t remember the last time I paid over $100 for a ticket,” he boasted. His latest coup: picking up $800 in United flight vouchers after giving up his seat on two overbooked flights in a row on a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Or as he calls it, “a double bump.”
The full article has a rundown of all the tricks you need to know to get into the bumpee business. I was surprised to read this.
Most of those people volunteered to give up their seats in return for some form of compensation, like a voucher for a free flight. But D.O.T. statistics also show that about 1.09 of every 10,000 passengers was bumped involuntarily.
On the other hand, it is not surprising because involuntary bumping only lowers the value of a ticket. Monetary (or voucher) compensation can be recouped in the price of the ticket (in expectation.)
Garrison grab: Daniel Garrett.