Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Giving up your airline seat: What's your price?

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As I waited in the Minneapolis airport Sunday night for my (delayed) Northwest Airlines to take off, the gate agent got on the Mr. Microphone and said the flight was over-booked, would anyone care to give up their seat? For $300 towards future travel and a free hotel room that night?

Maybe I'm a cheapskate, but I always jump at the chance at a free ticket. And despite it being nearly midnight on Sunday and spending soul-sucking hours at the airport, I mustered the energy to once again jump at the offer.

The gate agent wrote my name down on a list of volunteers (I was No. 2 -- sweet!), and I returned to my seat, fantasizing about where I'd go on my upcoming free flight.

Turns out she didn't need anyone to give up their seat after all. This proceeded to tick off several people waiting on standby, who couldn't understand why the airline wouldn't let the volunteers give up their seats so they could take this last flight out of Minneapolis. "Because that would be giving away money without a reason," the gate agent told one irate standby passenger. "And we need a reason."

I'm wondering if all airlines are offering $300 to bump yourself off, so to speak, of if Northwest is above or below the going rate?

Has anyone out there ever been able to get the airlines to sweeten the pot even more, like twisting their arm until they throw in a first class seat or something like that?

Let me know what you gave up your seat for, and whether you think airlines are being generous or stingy in their enticements....

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on August 22, 2007 8:05 PM.

Animal encounters: Cool or cruel? was the previous entry in this blog.

Free concert, but Bears fans might not like it is the next entry in this blog.

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