March has not been a banner month for United Airlines in terms of public relations, but on Thursday, another overbooked flight ended with a customer getting an astronomical amount of free travel, NBC Washington reported. Allison Preiss live-tweeted her ordeal, with the airline ultimately offering her a $10,000 voucher to give up her seat.
Preiss planned to fly from Washington, D.C. to Austin, Texas for a bachelorette party. However, she was reportedly kept from boarding the flight because there was not room and she paid the lowest fare for her ticket. She was later told that she was bumped because there was a broken seat on the plane.
Airlines usually offer some kind of make-good for people who are bumped off of flights, usually in the form of free travel, food vouchers or hotel stays, if necessary. Preiss tried to get cash out of United, but they would not budge. Instead, they offered her a huge sum of $10,000 worth of travel credit for her troubles.
This is how badly United didn’t want to give me cash: pic.twitter.com/sI7vmbeB2Q
— Allison Preiss (@allisonmpreiss) March 22, 2018
She also got two $10 meal vouchers, which she initially said she would use for a first-class dining experience at the airport Pizza Hut. However, that ended up falling through.
One important clarification to yesterday’s travel saga: I did not actually eat Pizza Hut. That is all.
— Allison Preiss (@allisonmpreiss) March 23, 2018
United bumped up its free credit cap to $10,000 in 2017 after Dr. David Dao was beaten and injured while being removed from an overbooked flight. Travel vouchers often come with caveats, such as 12-month expiration dates and exclusivity to the airline that provided them.
United has been under the spotlight for customer mistreatment and company errors throughout March. A French Bulldog puppy died after a flight attendant forced its owner to stow it away in an overhead luggage compartment, causing outrage towards the airline. Days later, a family’s dog was accidentally sent to Japan instead of Kansas while the family was moving, a mere 6,200 mile difference.