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Amidst United PR Catastrophe, Delta to Offer Nearly $10,000 to Passengers who Give Up Seats
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15 Apr 2017 11:51 AM EST

-by Anthony Bell, Contributing Writer; Image: A Delta Express Jet (Image Source: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia Commons)

While it has been a bad week for United Airlines, it seems that at least Delta Airlines has found a way to benefit from its competitor's PR blunder.

Delta is reportedly letting employees offer passengers almost $10,000 in compensation to give up seats on overbooked flights, according to the Associated Press (via CBC News). This move comes after United has received backlash from a passenger being dragged off a flight for refusing to give up a seat.

According to the report, Delta gate agents can offer up to $2,000 in compensation, while supervisors can offer up to $9,950. Delta announced the change in an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press on Friday. Previously, the gate agent maximum was $800, while the supervisor maximum was $1,350.

United is also attempting to fix their image, now requiring employees who need a seat on a flight to book at least one hour before departure. A United spokeswoman announced the policy change on Friday.

Last Sunday's confrontation was caused by employees attempting to board a flight last minute, forcing out four passengers at random after nobody would give up the seat.

One customer, 69-year-old David Dao, was forcibly dragged from his seat on a sold-out United Express flight, and the incident was caught on camera. Dao, as well as three other passengers, were ordered off the flight after four airline employees demanded seats to make it to Louisville, Kentucky, to operate a flight the following day.

Had the new policy been in place, the Dao's flight would have still been overbooked, but airline employees could have dealt with the matter at the gate instead of aboard the plane.

United is also reportedly reviewing its compensation policies, though the airline did not disclose its payment limit.

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