Lucky is taking some heat over on his One Mile at a Time blog for planning to meet some folks for dinner taking a bump instead, blowing off plans and friends for $400 in vouchers.
Now, in fairness to Ben he actually thought he’d wind up making the dinner, maybe 15 minutes late. Because of another flight delay and some additional flight changes, he wound up with a second voluntary denied boarding. (Read the whole story, he was very creative and had a great strategy — worth learning from.)
I used to take bumps all the time years ago, I haven’t taken any in a really long time, I’m almost always wanting to get where I’m going with enough commitments on the other end and downline consequences for missing a flight, that the compensation rarely seems worth it at the time.
But that’s not a moral judgment about taking compensation for yourself and not keeping plans with others. It’s that the compensation amount isn’t enough to meet my reserve price.
It’s reminiscent of the apocryphal Churchill story
Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Woman: My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Woman: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price
I wouldn’t have taken the first bump, but if I had had foreknowledge of two bumps it’s hard to imagine that I’d have said no.
I would, however, have texted a credit card to buy a round of drinks for the group I was missing, to make up for skipping out on dinner. Call me a Coasian if you like, I’d have bought off the objections by dipping into my double VDB gain.