|Thank you Southwest Airlines!!!
When we were involuntarily bumped off our flight to Las Vegas, Continental Airlines tried to placate us with a next day departure, a free hotel stay in Newark, NJ, and a $500 travel voucher good for future travel on the airline. We chose to get re-routed to Orange County, CA then purchase a one-way flight on Southwest Airlines
to Las Vegas drive because I was already losing a day to the hassles of air travel and I wasn’t going to lose more.
Somehow, our decision translated into our “voluntarily” giving up our seats – which also entitled us to a $500 travel voucher if we just signed a little yellow piece of paper. I’ve never been a fan of travel vouchers because it basically locks you into future travel with that airline, but thanks to a fellow passenger, we got cold hard cash.
So what’s the airlines’ dirty little secret? According to New Passenger Rights
, you can request CASH if that’s your preference instead of the voucher – and that’s something the airlines don’t want you to know.
With one simple request: “We’d like our travel compensation to be cash, not a voucher,” we not only eliminated the hassle of vouchers, we got three checks for the $500 PLUS the difference of our business class to coach tickets – something I’m not sure we would have gotten if we hadn’t asked for cash.
Grand total for us? $800 per person, which went a long way to soothing my spirits.
A couple on our flight who chose to do the same got around $532 per person. Granted, that’s not much beyond what the voucher offered, but their $1000+ was in CASH to use however they wanted – which for them and us was to make a mad dash to the Southwest Airlines counter in Orange County, buy a one-way ticket to Las Vegas, and arrive only an hour later than the earlier delayed Continental flight.
The upside for them and us? By insisting on cash, we were able to pay for our flight on Southwest Airlines and have some extra left over for all our trouble.
Offering cash instead of travel vouchers for bumped passengers is something the airlines would probably like to keep as quiet as possible so I’m shouting it to the world and hope others will share the information . . .
Next time you’re involuntarily bumped from a flight – ask for cash!!!