Delta Threatens Flight Cancellation If Passengers Refuse Bumpage

Teresa says Delta did an excellent job of driving her into the arms of other airlines by not only changing her itinerary without notice, but overbooking the changed flight and demanding passengers take their bump offer, otherwise they’d cancel the flight.

She writes:

On my return flight, Delta rescheduled me to entirely different flight (which left 2 1/2 hours later) on the return trip with absolutely no notification.(And seriously, Not even an email? My Zipcar can text me.) And note, It wasn’t a delayed flight, it was a different flight, with a different flight number, layover and arrival times. Thank Goodness, I didn’t have anyone trying to pick me up at the airport from a flight I’m no longer on.

But they overbooked the flight and made announcement after announcement about the really great deal of 300 dollars in vouchers for passengers who agreed to fly out the next day. A deal which I had no intention of taking because I will never fly on Delta again and besides, I, like many people, had things to do tomorrow.

But what really drove the point home, was that they boarded the plane and after everyone was seated with their carry ons stowed away and their tray tables in there upright and locked position. The flight attendant made the announcement that unless four people got off the plane right now and “volunteered” to take the “great deal” of
$400 vouchers and overnight stay in a crappy airport hotel that this flight will not leave the airport. I swear that we sat there for fifteen minutes, until four people (much nicer than I am) got off the plane so, four other people could get on.

The worse thing about this, is that the staff acted like this was our fault. Delta know how many seats are available and If they choose to overbook the flight and rip off their customer, who buy their tickets in good faith believing that they will be honored. They should at least pretend that it was a mistake and include at least one “I’m Sorry” in the announcements.

Next time, I’ll . . Actually I’ve no idea what I’ll do next time. I’m fairly certain that even if I buy first class tickets on different airline, I’ll still be treated the same sleazy maneuvers and horrid service.

Does anyone know if Delta has the right to cancel the flight for such a reason? Have you faced a similar threat while already boarded?