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Delta Air Lines is making a significant change to its overbooking policy, now allowing gate agents and crew members the flexibility to offer up to an astonishing $9,950 to passengers who voluntarily agree to be rebooked.

Last year Delta got more passengers to give up their seats than any other USA airline, partly by paying more than most of the others.

For instance, a report in Forbes said a family got bumped three times due to back-to-back overbooked flights over the weekend, netting them a windfall of US$11,000 in compensation. While the airline would not reveal its payment limits, it did state that it has changed its policy regarding when employees can book a seat on a flight.

As a result, it had the lowest rate among the largest USA airlines of bumping people off flights against their will - something that is legal but alienates customers and requires the airline to pay compensation of up to $1,350 per person.

The airline claimed it first offered passengers $1,000 to take a later flight - but there were no volunteers.

The practice has been questioned, however, since video of the United Express incident went viral. On Friday, company Chairman Robert Milton said the board supported Munoz.

The dragging has turned into a public-relations nightmare for the entire industry, not just United, and led to calls from politicians and consumer advocates to suspend or ban overbooking. It's more than seven times higher than the previous limit of $1,350 paid to passengers who help the airline out when it sells more tickets than it can accomodate.

"There were so many people at the airport who were heading to weddings, people who were going to funerals, people who were going to see their dying parents, who had real reasons to go", said Ms Bloom "And of course, we had a reason to go - we wanted to see our family - but it wasn't a life-or-death situation".

Here's how much cash Delta paid out in compensation to the average passenger who was denied boarding in 2016: $9.

But not every Delta gate offers gift cards from American Express, which are almost as good as cash. Passengers said the offers stopped at $800.


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