Travel | October 23, 2017 9:00 am

The Literal Script for Getting What You Want When an Airline Bumps You

Courtesy one of the best negotiators in the business

Truth: I love getting bumped from a flight, because if you do it right — and the airline’s desperate enough — you can clean up: There’s nothing like going to an airport for a routine flight and walking out with, say, $600. And airlines are newly incentivized to up their offers to passengers who volunteer to open up a seat on a sold-out plane: Remember United’s passenger dragging debacle? After that, the airline changed its policy to allow staff to offer up to $10,000 to passengers willing to stick around for a later flight. If you ask us, a few hours in an airline terminal — or even overnighting, at an airport hotel — is well worth the inconvenience, depending, of course, on what’s waiting at home.

I, however, am nowhere near as good a negotiator as the best in the business — and among their ranks is Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights. You’re going to want to take a look at the script he uses to get what he wants from the airlines in exchange for his seat: an upgrade, lounge access, and, of course, cash. Here’s how it starts: “Okay. I’ll do it. I want $1,000 travel credit. I also would like to be put on business class or first class on the next flight to Portland that [I can] actually get on, and how about some lounge passes in the meantime so I can hang out and eat and drink while I’m waiting for that flight.” 

Really, though, this whole, short post is well worth reading — especially coming into the holiday season, with all those packed, packed planes.