How This Family Made $11,000 During United Airlines Fiasco


The now famous Dr David Dao wasn’t the only passenger who ended up on an overbooked flight this week…

On the very same day that the infamous United Airlines incident occurred, Forbes published Laura Begley Bloom’s account of how she and her family of were bumped from not one but two Delta flights.

However, as opposed to being brutally dragged from a packed plane, Laura and her husband ended up $11,000 (£8,700) better off for their troubles, reports Mashable.

After nationwide flight back-ups, Delta started asking for volunteers to stay back on Laura’s family’s flight out of New York – which they were taking to visit relatives in Florida with her husband and 4-year-old daughter.

At first Laura said she wasn’t going to give up her tickets, but when her husband negotiated to receive $1,350 (£1,075) per person in American Express gift cards they re-booked the flight for the following day.

However, when they returned they found more delayed flights, so volunteered and again received $3,950 (£3,150) in American Express gift cards – as well as lunch vouchers and their taxi fare.


But when Delta then couldn’t find a flight to re-book them for the next day, they offered to cancel their tickets altogether – for which Delta paid them $1,000 (£800) each in gift cards and refunded them for all three tickets.

So, all together that makes $11,000 (£8,700) in gift cards, plus vouchers and refunded tickets, which certainly goes some way to making up for their lost holiday.

Through her experience, Laura saw the volunteer system work first-hand – when the airline had a good enough offer.


Airlines have a lot of discretion on what they can offer passengers to convince them to volunteer their seats.

And you have to admit Laura’s experience stands in pretty stark contrast to that of Dr Dao.

Given the pending lawsuit as well as the shitty publicity and plummeting share prices, it’s going to end up costing United a hell of a lot more than eleven grand.