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It is hard to believe it has been over two years since Delta, in an effort to prevent “abuse” that is, flyers selling their bump vouchers, has changed the rules on who can use and spend a bump voucher.
Back in “the day” you could, at times, bump from one flight to the next and husband and wife could collect them all and use up to 3 ETVs per ticket. Yours, hers, or even a friends – you betcha – they could all be used on the same new tickets and spent just as cash.
The problem for Delta was that many people did not want to fly Delta and use them. They were more than happy to, for say 75% or so of face value, sell them on eBay or such. This made Delta very mad as many times you see these vouchers would go unused by the expiration date and that was very good for Delta. The way you fix that was to make it much harder to redeem them by limiting them to ONLY the flyer who got them.
Fast forward to yesterday. My ATL-SEA flight was oversold by 3. So much so that I later learned they had to remove 3 passengers from the flight. OUCH. That makes flyers REALLY unhappy and costs Delta (and DAL shareholders btw) a bunch of money and the rules for forcefully removing passengers are much worse that voluntary bumps.
Here is where this little story gets interesting. I had put in a request to bump at check-in via the automated system. However, the paper bump list at the gate took precedent. Now that makes me most upset. Not just that, but I offerred to give up my seat for FREE if they could get us both on to Hawaii in business class on the next available flights. No doing as the paper list took precedence so we boarded the flight (hello Delta IT at it’s finest – why even have the online volunteer option at all) ?
I even tracked down a red coat but nothing doing there. I did not hang around the gate to board last for a better shot at a great bump for two main reasons. The first was that I could not combine my vouchers so they are worth much less to me than before. The next was the fact since Delta does not in any way enforce the “Size Check” for bags I knew if I did wait and was not needed I would have to gate check my carry-on bags; that is a most frustrating event IMO and affects my choice to give up my seat.
Lastly, I have had way too many readers tell me that when they have offered up their seats the great seat they had was no longer available once they were NOT needed and they ended up flying middle seat last row (I am exaggerating but not by much)! Sloppy GA’s (gate agents) does have an impact on my desire to give up my seat. Are you less likely to give up your seats now-a-days with the current ETV rules? – René