A United Airlines passenger bumped from her flight to Texas because of a broken seat ended up with a $10,000 travel voucher for the inconvenience.
Allison Preiss was boarding a flight from Washington Dulles to Austin to join her friends for a bachelorette weekend when United announced a seat had to be taken out of service on their flight. That meant one passenger on the fully-booked flight wouldn't be flying to Texas, and as the lowest fare customer, Preiss was that person.
"United is offering $1K in travel credit for an oversold flight. If nobody bites, they will kick off the lowest fare passenger by pulling them out of the boarding line. For a flight that THEY oversold. Unreal,” she said in an 8:19 a.m. ET tweet on Thursday that kicked off a Tweetstorm about the incident.
Preiss, a Communications Director from Washington D.C. outlined her ordeal in a series of tweets.
When no one stepped forward to be bumped, Preiss claims United singled her out because she paid the lowest fare. United agents offered her a $2,000 voucher, but, she asked for cash instead. But instead of a check, the gate agent offered Preiss a $10,000 travel voucher and a ticket for the next flight.
"They really do not want to give me cash. They just offered me $10,000 in travel credit. TEN THOUSAND," she said in another tweet.
Flying as a whole has been pretty rough the last couple of years. From people fighting over bin space, and news of a dog dying after a flight attendant placed it in an overhead compartment, to last year's incident during which security dragged a doctor off an overbooked United Express plane, the pressure is on airlines to do better for customers.
United raised the amount of money employees could offer passengers on oversold flights in April to $10,000 per flier as part of a ten point plan outlined for customer service changes that the airline enacted in the wake of the incident.
We'll see if the not-so-friendly skies get any friendlier, but a $10,000 travel voucher is probably a good start.