It was the video seen around the world. An elderly United Airlines passenger who refused to give up his seat to some last-minute crew members needing transport to another flight was dragged bleeding off the plane.
The outrage directed at the airline was enormous, deeply damaging the company’s reputation and leading many air travelers to vow to never fly with United again. The incident also led to a string of other battles between passengers and flight crews as the airline industry’s common practice of overbooking flights bit them in the back. Few U.S.-based airlines escaped having at least one violent or embarrassing incident captured on cellphone video and turned into a PR nightmare.
But now United Airlines has confirmed that they have a solution. According to Business Insider, they’ll be launching an auction-based system that will allow passengers to indicate if they’re willing to be bumped off an overbooked flight and enable them to get into a bidding war with each other over how much money they get in compensation.
If the system is similar to one that Delta has developed, passengers will be given the option to volunteer when they check in their flights. And that’s when they’ll be able to name their price for the inconvenience of having to take a different flight. Skift airline business reporter Brian Sumers shared a screenshot of the new United option:
The new option allows passengers to volunteer and choose a preset or custom bidding amount. It also indicates that the lowest bids will be selected first if United needs to kick passengers off an overbooked flight.
So how high can you bid? $10,000.
A United spokesman also told Business Insider that, “United has already taken steps to reduce overbooking, resulting in a 90 percent year-over-year reduction in involuntary denied boardings.”
What do you think about this? In other trending news, a well-known Hollywood celebrity said on Friday that she’d prefer Kim Jong-Un over Trump as America’s leader.