Airline Offers Passengers $10,000 Each To Give Up Seat On 'Oversold' Flight

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Passengers on a flight from Michigan to Minnesota were offered a hefty reward if they gave up their seat on an "apparently oversold flight" this week.

Delta Air Lines employees offered passengers $10,000 to any passenger who volunteered to get off the Monday morning flight out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport, according to USA TODAY. The flight crew was looking for eight passengers to volunteer, passenger Jason Aten wrote in a column he wrote for Inc. magazine.

"On a recent Delta Air Lines flight, my family and I were traveling to Minneapolis to catch a flight to Alaska. As we sat on the plane waiting to leave the gate, the announcement overhead explained that the flight was apparently oversold and they were looking for eight volunteers. In exchange for their seats, Delta was offering $10,000 cash. 'If you have Apple Pay, you'll even have the money right now,' the flight attendant said," Aten wrote.

Aten told Fortune that nobody in his trip group raised their hands to volunteer because they didn't know exactly how many people the flight crew was looking for. "Had we known it was eight, we would have gotten off. By the time that was clear, four or five people had already left," he said. Aten ultimately didn't take the money, he wrote. "We did not take it for reasons I'm not going to get into because my wife is still not pleased about it," he wrote in his column.

Another passenger shared his experience on the same flight on Twitter. In a response to Aten's tweet — "On @Delta flight from GRR to MSP and they just offered $10,000 for people to give up their seats.…Ten. Thousand. Dollars." — Todd McCrumb said, "It’s a true story. I was on that flight! Unfortunately, I could not take advance the offer, as I was flying with my wife who has very limited eyesight. She has to have me nearby when traveling."

McCrumb shared more details with local news outlet KTVB. He said the flight crew originally started to offer $5,000 for passengers who volunteered to give up their seats, but that number was upped to $10,000. "I looked at my wife and I thought, 'No way,'" he said.

According to USA TODAY, it's unclear how many passengers ultimately took the $10,000 deal. The flight departed from Grand Rapids 20 minutes later than scheduled.

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