Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Thoughtfulness is the signature emotion of airlines.
Thoughtfulness about profit, that is.
Yet the whole United-beating-up-a-paying-passenger-just-to-get-its-own-people-a-seat thing might have caused a little stirring in at least one airline’s conscience.
I conclude this from the news that Delta Air Lines looked at its maximum compensation numbers for bumped passengers and thought: “Hmm. We could get some good PR out of this.”
So with a sudden coincidence that would startle a fortune teller, Delta has raised the maximum from $1,350 to, are you ready, $9,950.
These are the amounts that supervisors are now allowed to offer. Mere mortal gate agents used to be able to dangle up to $800. Even they, however, can now offer the utterly princely amount of $2,000.
I should temper your joy by saying this isn’t real money, but travel vouchers.
Still, with $9,950 of vouchers, think of the comfort of flying to, say, London.
On Virgin Atlantic, that is. It’s a Delta partner.
If your countenance is dry, you might even ponder that Delta is one of the less enthusiastic passenger-bumpers, so this isn’t too much of a biggie. You might also think that such maximum sums will be very unlikely to be paid out in real life.
And if you bought your countenance in the Sahara or Gobi, you might also think that Delta is desperate to embrace some good news.
After all, last week it was America’s worst airline. It had stranded tens of thousands of passengers and claimed it was all due to the weather.
It was actually a lot due to the Crew Scheduling System going down, so that Delta had no clue where half its staff were.
Still, at least you have hope that there will be room to negotiate when Delta takes away your seat and gives it to someone, say, from Delta.
If you get the full $9,950, please remember to do the right thing and send a nice thank you note to Oscar Muñoz, CEO of United Airlines.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.