Volunteering to be bumped off of flight leads to better benefits, say students

Written by: 
Brooklyn Redd

The location of BYUH can make it difficult for arranging cheap travel plans to any location in the world, an obstacle students and community members overcome by volunteering their seats in exchange for flight vouchers. 

Brendan Scott, a BYUH graduate from Arizona, said, “[Giving up your seat] is an easy way to make some extra money if you don’t have anywhere to be at a certain time.” He said for a two-hour delay he was offered a $400 voucher and a free meal ticket.”

Scott said without the voucher he would have not had the opportunity to travel, using the voucher to cover the cost of his trip to Arizona during the summer. He said, “Do it and give it up, so you have opportunities for an extra trip.”

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Melinda Crow, a travel journalist, wrote, “Volunteering to get off a flight doesn’t have to be a drag.

“Amid the turmoil over the involuntary removal of a United passenger, many are wondering why nobody on that flight was willing to take the compensation offered and voluntarily give up their seats.”

According to The New York Times, United Airlines offered up to $1,000 on Flight 3411 for four passengers to volunteer their seats.

Rachel Howden, a sophomore from Utah majoring in intercultural studies, said to always volunteer because you never know what is going on in other people’s lives when they are traveling. She said, “The main thing is to be aware you are not the only one in the air.”

Howden said on her flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, her flight was overbooked so her airline compensated $800 for passengers who could not get on the plane, along with a hotel and a flight the next day as early as possible. She said the compensation paid for the entire flight she already planned to be on. “I got a free night in a hotel and $800, which is more than I can make in one day.”

Crow gives advice in her article on saving money while traveling. She wrote, “Travel during busy seasons, avoid checking bags, get your offer in early, know what [airlines] are required to pay you… and ask for upgrades.”

Lurline S. Nunu, manager of BYU-Hawaii Travel Services, said in regards to receiving a voucher, “Don’t leave the [travel services counter] until they have confirmed your next flight because they may forget about you.” She said to make sure they have confirmed your ticket, travel itinerary, and voucher.

Nunu shared her experience of how her flight was overbooked so she volunteered to give up her seat, allowing her to receive a meal voucher, compensation, hotel room and free Uber access. “Take the deal if you are not in a rush to get anywhere. It’s good compensation available to anyone,” she said.

In preparation for summer holidays approaching, Travel Services said they are a full-service travel agency offered to students who are interested in personal traveling. She said, “As a manager, we take care of reservations and personal travel for students.”

Nunu said, “Students don’t know we exist, but we are happy to take care of itineraries, travel, and offer discounts.” She said BYUH Travel Services has access to all airlines and rentals, along with free luggage.

Nunu said those interested in traveling this summer should contact Travel Services located in the Lorenzo Snow Building. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

Date Published: 
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Last Edited: 
Thursday, May 25, 2017