Bumping 101

Ok so you have your flight booked, you head to the airport and go through security, you get to your gate and then you here they are asking for people to be bumped. Why would they need to be bumped, they know how many seats they have and it is not like they expect anyone to sit on someone’s laps for the flight.

We had this happen on our recent flights to Alaska. In fact when we checked in the night before it asked would we consider being bumped. It gave options for how much it would take for you be considered to be bumped and said you had the right to refuse if the new flights offered you would not work. So we said sure for $400 each. We were instructed to see the gate agent and let them know we would be willing to be bumped.

We did this and he said to have a seat and we would probably need to be bumped. He then made an announcement that he was offering $100 for anyone willing to bump. A few minutes later it went to $200, then $300, then $400. He then asked for anyone who had pre-agreed to come up as boarding was getting ready to start. He said he would need our seats and told us what the flight change was. It was going to take us to Atlanta before Salt Lake and then have us on our original 3rd flight. He said if that was acceptable to have just stay seated and wait for the plane to board and not get on. At that point they would re-assign our seats and he would confirm our new flights after the plane left. We sat down and heard him announce $600 to be bumped and then $800 to be bumped.

the plane boarded and left, we went up after and he told us he had had to go upto $1000 a seat so we each would get $2000!  He said he had us confirmed it would just take a little for the boarding passes so he gave us each a $15 dining voucher and said to find him after we had lunch and he would have our boarding passes. We now had 3 hours before our flight so we went over to Sam Adams and had lunch a drink.


After a good meal we headed back to the gates and found him. He had our new boarding passes ready and had upgraded to seats with more room. We ended up with a great flight 4, $500 visa gift cards and lunch.

when should you consider getting bumped

Look at what alternative flights they are offering.
If you have a specific time to be somewhere like a cruise or hotel does the new flights impact them.


you should never try to be bumped if it will make you tight on time, or potentially make you miss your cruise. Sometimes the new flights might get you in even a day later, so you have to decide if what they are offering is worth missing a day at that all-inclusive resort.

and lastly remember as long as you have a confirmed seat, you can take your original flight. You are not required to let them bump you.

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