I got bumped

So I was in San Diego this weekend for Girl Ninja’s little sister’s college graduation ceremony. Yesterday, on our flight back to Seattle, the Alaska Airlines representative mentioned during check-in they oversold our flight by one seat. I LOVE OVERSOLD FLIGHTS! Without hesitation, I asked if I could be put on the “bump” list in case everyone checks in and they need someone to give up their seat.

Sure enough, everyone that bought a ticket showed up and I got the bump I so desperately wanted. I gave up my seat in exchange for a $300 voucher and was rebooked on the next flight out (which was two hours later). It’s too bad they didn’t have two bumps available otherwise Girl Ninja would have given up her seat too. And before you think I just put her on a plane to fend for herself, she was on the same flight as her parents so she just went home with them.

So I got home two hours later than originally planned, but came out $300 ahead. Not a bad deal for a relatively minor inconvenience. Being bumped is seriously one of my favorite things about traveling and I volunteer myself to do it every time they ask. In fact, one Christmas, I bumped myself three times in a row (they kept rebooking me on to oversold flights) and walked away with around $1,200 in airfare for a twelve-hour total delay.

I’m always surprised that more people aren’t willing to give up their seat in exchange for some free tickets. Unless someone is dying, being born, or getting married, you better believe I will be racing to the counter to give my seat up first.

You ever been bumped? 

21 thoughts on “I got bumped”

  1. Not that many people have the freedom you seem to enjoy. Vacation time is finite and sick time does not exist for me so I’m always on such a deadline when I travel. My flights usually include a 3 hour time change so it would be even more exaggerated if I accepted a bump. How did you get home when you arrived in Seattle, did you cab it or did you inconvenience someone?

    • 1. Don’t be so negative

      2. I got bumped from a 3pm Sunday flight to 5pm so my work flexibility had nothing to do with it.

      3. I did not inconvenience anyone as I paid my brother $25 to pick me up (so girl ninja didn’t have to drive back to the airport) and he jumped at the offer as he wants money.

      • Seriously, getting bumped is fun even if you inconvenience someone. I always take the bump going from LA to Vegas and it’s worth it every time. I actually save more with one less night of gambling/alcohol and usually just cab it home and back the next morning.

  2. I have never volunteered. I usually have someone with a fixed schedule on the other end to pick me up, or it’s the last flight of the day and I don’t want to wait for the next day. If I had time to spare and it wouldn’t be a major inconvenience to me or someone else, I might do it. But usually my travel plans don’t have a ton of slack in them. Either that, or I have been away a really long time and all I want is to get home as soon as possible. I also might just not be flying a lot on routes that overbook.

  3. I don’t think we’re being negative when we say that some of us just can’t “afford” to change our schedules. For me, the times the airlines offer to bump us is on a 5+hr delay, if not next day. It also only provides about $200 in vouchers. The airport being about 2hrs travel distance, and the people picking me up being about 1hr away from the airport, I really can’t put them on that sort of inconvenience. Sure, if I was traveling for myself, I’d do it! I’m totally flexible and wouldnt mind a 24hr delay. But I’d rather not make other people be flexible for me, especially during business hours or late hours of the night, especially after a 2hr time change.

    That said, glad the bump worked for you! Very nice deal. I had been thinking about including possible bump delays when I talk to my contacts, in case I do get the opportunity, they’re ok ahead of time with me being there late or next day.

  4. That last time I had the option of giving up my seat, I was leaving Italy. The offer was $600 each for the first 4 people. It was tempting, but I would’ve had to stay over night. I think the security and check in process at the Rome airport is 10 times more inefficient than any airport I’ve ever been to in the United States. I had no place to go but home and no one to report to. I just couldn’t suffer through that process again. So I gave up $600 for my sanity.

  5. There are only 2 (maybe 3) flights into my hometown airport a day. Since there are few they are usually full. A bump would cause you to spend the night at the Atlanta airport (not fun). Living a good ways from the airport also screws up my family/friend who has to come pick me up.

    Long story short, its annoying. 😉

  6. Never been bumped, never been asked. If I was travelling with my Hubby, there’s no way he’d volunteer to be bumped; when he travels, he wants to get there and get there NOW… if I were travelling by myself, I’d be a little more flexible. If I only had to wait an extra couple of hours, I probably would offer to be bumped (but no longer than that), and the voucher would have to have to be good for minimum 1 year, as typically, we only fly for our annual anniversary vacation.

  7. Wow that’s great! I’ve never been bumped technically just because I get free flights due to the fact that my dad used to work for the airlines.

  8. People that are pointing out that you have a lot of flexibility are not being negative – they are trying to give you another point of view. Especially since you really didn’t seem to have perspective if the only reasons you came up with for not taking advantage of a bump were marriage, death and birth.

    I fly a lot. Like weekly as of late. Firstly, not every route is a direct, frequently travelled one. Ive been bumped off a 7pm flight that resulted in missing a connection and being stuck in Detroit overnight. Ive been bumped off a 9 pm flight and the only way to get me to the right city relatively on time was 3 more planes, the last of which was delayed 2 hours. Fun times. Even if it is a direct fight, whether its for work or for pleasure, most of the time I’ve chosen a flight that fits into my schedule. Getting bump messes with that schedule. . I have a friend who travels for work – she flies out Monday am and back Friday pm. A bumped flight means a few hours less time spend with her kids/husband.

  9. I have never had the option to get bumped. I guess it would depend on the situation if I would accept it. Most of the flights I’ve been on were chartered for the military so I never really had the option. Looks like you got a good deal though. I would of done the same thing.

  10. My dad does this every year. He always flies to Chicago either the day before Thanksgiving or the morning of Thanksgiving. That Weds is ALWAYS overbooked so he parks himself right in front of the gate desk and waits for them to ask. Sure enough, every year he gets bumped. Since its less than a 2 hr flight he doesn’t mind waiting a little longer in the airport and his brother lives 5 minutes from the midway airport so its never inconvenient to tell him to pick him up 2 hours later. Then he uses voucher to travel to Chicago in the summer

  11. I pretty much am willing to be bumped any time they offer it up (as long as the next flight still fits within my schedule). It makes traveling that much cheaper in the future. I have yet to be involuntarily bumped, but I wouldn’t mind that since they have compensate you waaaaay more.

  12. I’d be willing to get bumped if I wasn’t in a hurry.

    I’m a big guy so I always get two seats (for my comfort as well as for others). Wonder if I’d get TWO vouchers if I gave up those seats? Hmmm…I could REALLY be banking…

  13. If I lived in the big city and was kid-free for the flight, I would most definitely do it. However, I live a couple of hours from any major airports which means I either risk losing my connecting flight or it also bumps back my driving commute. It sounds like for you (to quote Flight of the Conchords), “conditions are perfect”. For $300, I say rock it if you can!

  14. It sounds like a good deal for you, but our travel style wouldn’t make it easy. Most of our flights are cross-country, usually involving a layover. We take the last flight possible out of our home airport so bumping would mean flying the next day, and we take red-eyes back home – again, bumping would mean missing work the day we were supposed to get back. Plus, we almost always have family picking us up from the airport and we don’t want to inconvenience them any more. We schedule our flights to maximize our time at work and away so any deviations would be detrimental to one or the other.

  15. LOVE getting bumped. My husband and I have given up a lot of seats over the years. The worst was when we were coming home from Cabo and we could have gotten bumped…but had to go home because my husband had to work the next day! That would have been awesome!!

  16. I’ve only been bumped once, going from Chicago to Virginia, and it was an overnight bump with me and my boyfriend. We each got a $400 voucher, a free room, and two $15 food vouchers. I called my boss and told her my flight got delayed and I would be a day late. Boyfriend called and said the same thing. (And here’s the thing, they were overbooked by 7, no one was going anywhere unless people gave up their seats and it was already 2 hours behind trying to find people willing to do it). We had a lovely meal, on them, a lovely night at the hotel, and left the next morning. AWESOME!

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