Overbooked flights can lead to an unexpected jackpot for disappointed customers. Delta Air Lines tapped into the belief that thousands of dollars can wipe away any unpleasant customer experience.
Delta Air Lines is not the only airline that has faced the issue of overbooked flights. Many airlines intentionally sell more tickets than the available seats due to the percentage of people that fail to show up for their scheduled flights. Their profit margins increase with the higher number of sold tickets.
A plot twist occurs when the airline misses the mark on the estimated percentage of no-shows. It becomes problematic when all the passengers attend the boarding of their flight. How do the airline representatives confront customers eagerly waiting to fly to their destination?
The solution proposed was to flash money in their faces to excuse the booking mistake. Delta Air Lines announced that a flight to Alaska was oversold to the passengers. They needed eight volunteers to accept new bookings. These lucky individuals received $10,000 cash. The flight attendant added to the pitch by saying, “If you have Apple Pay, you’ll even have the money right now.”
$10,000 can fund many more future trips, and a minor inconvenience can add zeros to the bank accounts of eight people. People jumped on the opportunity and happily accepted the cash settlement.
Delta maintained its brand reputation by displaying accountability for its mistakes and excellent customer service. It was raining money in this gate before the flight soared into the sky.