Woman earns US$10,000 in flights for agreeing to not board the plane

Holding out has earned a stubborn passenger a free holiday - or several holidays.
Holding out has earned a stubborn passenger a free holiday - or several holidays.

A broken airplane seat has earned an American woman a US$10,000 (NZ$13,800) travel voucher - just for agreeing to be bumped off the flight.

The United Airlines flight had one too many passengers because of the faulty seat - so they started offering incentives to their customers to not board the plane.

And Washington, DC woman Allison Preiss cashed in - eventually.

Ms Preiss told The Associated Press she was waiting to board a flight to Austin, Texas, for a bachelorette party - and was concerned that she'd be kicked off, as the lowest fare passenger.

Ms Preiss tweeted as the drama unfolded.

"@united offering $1K in travel credit for an oversold flight. If nobody bites, they will kick off the lowest fare passenger by pulling them out of the boarding line. For a flight that THEY oversold. Unreal."

"I AM THE LOWEST FARE PASSENGER," she wailed on Twitter.

But it's now United Airlines company policy to pay bumped customers on oversold (or otherwise) flights up to $10,000, after international embarrassment last year after a man was violently dragged off a full flight in Chicago.

So the negotiations started.

"They really do not want to give me cash. They just offered me $10,000 in travel credit. TEN THOUSAND."

But she held out for the maximum amount of free travel, before finally caving in.

"Despite this, the airline held pretty firm on not giving me lounge access for the day."

Ms Preiss told AP she paid US$163 (NZ$225) for her original ticket.

She's now considering a holiday to Hawaii with her windfall.


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