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Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump Experiences on UA [2020-2021]

Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump Experiences on UA [2020-2021]

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Old Feb 3, 20, 2:48 pm   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump Experiences on UA [2019]
Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump Experiences on UA [2018]
Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump on UA [2017]
Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump on UA [2016]
Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump on UA [2015]
Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump on UA 2014
Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump on UA 2013

Related thread - Is this IDB? Am I entitled to IDB compensation? [Consolidated]

VDB -- Voluntary Denied Boarding -- is when the flight is overbooked and the airline is looking for volunteers to change their travel plans. It is voluntary and you do not need to participate. The compensation is 100% negotiable. It could be $100's or even $1,000s in future travel vouchers ($10,000 has been reported), it might be food vouchers, a different routing (perhaps more direct or for MR's more indirect ), perhaps lodging if overnight and sometimes a bump in cabin. It all depends on how desperate the airline is and how flexible you are.

The standard UA policy is after you have agreed to a voucher amount and additional VDBs are still needed, if those passengers get a higher amount, you will also get the higher amount.

There are no DoT requirements for VDB compensation, it is whatever you and the airline agree to. The DoT does require the airline to try VDB before moving to IDB.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The changing story of IDB on UA since the merge and post-Dao
source: BTS Data

Code:
IDB/VDB data for UA (w/o UX) 1st Qtr
 Year VDB IDB
 2019 8,856 17
 2018 8,214 27
 2017 15,917 900
 2016 14,380 929
 2015 17,373 1,817
 2014 21,469 4,395
 2013 14,095 2,592
 
 IDB/VDB data for UA (w/ UX) 1st Qtr
 Year VDB IDB
 2019 20,564 24
 2018 16,973 51

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Old Dec 31, 19, 9:22 pm
  #1  
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Voluntary Denied Boarding - VDB/Bump Experiences on UA [2020-2021]

Happy New Year and New Decade!! Please post about any VDB experiences on United Airlines happening in the new year into this thread please!
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Old Jan 6, 20, 1:11 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Saturday, January 4
UA2370 MCO-DEN

At T-24, I volunteer myself, wife, and kids on the app. The Sunday 6am flight was looking especially tempting since it was a 752 with four F seats still available.
At T-75 (minutes), I approach the gate, the GA said they are currently over by one. Doesn't take my BP or anything.
About 20 minutes later, another GA gets on the PA and asks for a volunteer. $500 and take the very next flight (7:35pm flight which was already 2-hours delayed). I ran up to the podium even before she finished the announcement.
She takes my BP and tells me to wait until boarding is almost complete. I also tell her that if she needs more people, my family is willing to wait.
My family boards, I keep the roll-aboard carry-on just in case I'm stuck overnight.
Some jerk misses the cutoff, and I board.
I was shocked at how empty most of the overhead bins are. FA just tells me to stick my carry-on in any available F bin.

Oh what could've been....

I'm just annoyed that it appears the GAs ignored the app, as well as my initial request, and simply just went with whomever got to the podium first.
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Old Jan 6, 20, 2:06 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
I'm just annoyed that it appears the GAs ignored the app, as well as my initial request, and simply just went with whomever got to the podium first.
Ignoring the app is pretty much par for the course. Ignoring your initial request is not -- I'm surprised that the initial agent didn't take your BP.
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Old Jan 6, 20, 2:16 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Ignoring the app is pretty much par for the course. Ignoring your initial request is not -- I'm surprised that the initial agent didn't take your BP.
I agree. I offered my BP, and he said for all four of us to just hang out by the desk during boarding. Fat chance, especially since he said the flight was only over by one.

When my wife and kids boarded, he was questioning why they were boarding.

To add to the irony, after final boarding was called, he called out my name (and the jerk who missed the flight). I thought it was to start the VDB process; then the other GA yells, "No! He's my volunteer!"
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Old Jan 6, 20, 2:16 pm
  #5  
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Interesting VBD (or OP-UP) experience tonight
TL;DR:
Jan 2 UA 2006 EWR-SFO. Accepted $600 (or 30k miles) to take a 2 hour later flight. All done via the app and manually checking my reservation prior to boarding, no gate announcements were made.
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Old Jan 6, 20, 4:56 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Ignoring the app is pretty much par for the course. Ignoring your initial request is not -- I'm surprised that the initial agent didn't take your BP.
the typical FT experience is that the app is used prior to the gate (UA will make proactive phone calls), but ignored at the gate. So bidding on the app can still be useful.
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Old Jan 7, 20, 6:58 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by prometa View Post
the typical FT experience is that the app is used prior to the gate (UA will make proactive phone calls), but ignored at the gate. So bidding on the app can still be useful.
At the gate - usually those that are prepared and flexible at the podium are the ones that win. The GA's appreciate this

Proactive phone calls - I have received the phone call without being on the VDB list...... not in my GS days, but back in 2018 when I was 1K, had the phone call on a few occasions.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 10:09 am
  #8  
 
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Had my first experience with UA proactively calling me to take a bump. I was already driving to MCO and scheduled on MCO-ORD. UA cancelled the two late flights from the day before due to weather in ORD. I volunteered via the app when I saw my flight slowly go from wide open to sold out.

As I was nearing MCO I got a call from an Orlando number. I almost never answer unknown caller IDs but I decided to give it a try since Verizon didn't tell me "potential spam". It was someone in Passenger Planning and she said my flight was overbooked and I could take a non-stop to my destination. She was holding a first class seat on the next two non-stops. I told her that's all well and good but the voucher is what I'm interested in. She offered me $600 on the spot to take the non-stop and arrive five hours earlier to my destination. Done and done.

Of course she never documented the PNR after I asked her to. The agents at MCO had no clue what was going on other than seeing a ton of flights in my record. The lady who called me from Passenger Planning never cleaned it up which means she didn't even release my seat being held on MCO-ORD until I got to the airport. That seemed a bit odd to me.

Agent at MCO asked for my email address and the $600 voucher was in my Inbox before she even printed my new BP.

-RM
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Old Jan 13, 20, 10:24 am
  #9  
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Friday night, two passengers suddenly showed up on the F seatmap just prior to departure (all upgrades had already been cleared, and we went out with two empty F seats). A couple boarded; it turns out that they had been VDB'd from BE on IAH-STL to F on IAH-MSP and Y on MSP-STL the next morning on DL, plus hotel and meal vouchers and $700 ETCs each. Now that's a pretty nice deal.

I hope that UA pushed the ticket over to DL properly...
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Old Jan 20, 20, 1:22 pm
  #10  
 
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Bingo

Me and the Mrs and my two adults kids on our way from EWR to RDU this past Saturday morning, prior to noon weather moving into EWR. Apparently, a last minute aircraft swap created an oversell situation (overbooked by 6 in first, and maybe more in Y). We were in economy. Iím getting food, but my kids call and say gate agent offering $1000 to VDB. By the time I get to the gate, offer is up to $5000 and not much crowd interest due to pending weather and possible overnight stay. Agent quickly jumps to $7,000 and I walk over. By the time I talk to the agent they go to the $10k max. Long line forms after me! Wife and I snare 2 VDBs and we meet my kids in Durham 4 hours later after clearing the standby list on next RDU flight. Weather not much of a factor when we left early afternoon.

Another father and son take $10k each and decide to drive. Solo female grabs an afternoon flight to GSO which is where she wanted to go. $50k in comp to the 5 of us, plus more to some downgraded first passengers. Iím surprised and happy UA didnít just cancel the flight.

i could fly UA every day for the next 100 years and never see so much $$ for so little effort.
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Last edited by dkc715; Jan 20, 20 at 1:36 pm
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Old Jan 20, 20, 2:42 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by dkc715 View Post
Me and the Mrs and my two adults kids on our way from EWR to RDU this past Saturday morning, prior to noon weather moving into EWR. Apparently, a last minute aircraft swap created an oversell situation (overbooked by 6 in first, and maybe more in Y). We were in economy. Iím getting food, but my kids call and say gate agent offering $1000 to VDB. By the time I get to the gate, offer is up to $5000 and not much crowd interest due to pending weather and possible overnight stay. Agent quickly jumps to $7,000 and I walk over. By the time I talk to the agent they go to the $10k max. Long line forms after me! Wife and I snare 2 VDBs and we meet my kids in Durham 4 hours later after clearing the standby list on next RDU flight. Weather not much of a factor when we left early afternoon.

Another father and son take $10k each and decide to drive. Solo female grabs an afternoon flight to GSO which is where she wanted to go. $50k in comp to the 5 of us, plus more to some downgraded first passengers. Iím surprised and happy UA didnít just cancel the flight.

i could fly UA every day for the next 100 years and never see so much $$ for so little effort.
Double WOW!!!
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Old Jan 20, 20, 3:51 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by dkc715 View Post
Me and the Mrs and my two adults kids on our way from EWR to RDU this past Saturday morning, prior to noon weather moving into EWR. Apparently, a last minute aircraft swap created an oversell situation (overbooked by 6 in first, and maybe more in Y). We were in economy. Iím getting food, but my kids call and say gate agent offering $1000 to VDB. By the time I get to the gate, offer is up to $5000 and not much crowd interest due to pending weather and possible overnight stay. Agent quickly jumps to $7,000 and I walk over. By the time I talk to the agent they go to the $10k max. Long line forms after me! Wife and I snare 2 VDBs and we meet my kids in Durham 4 hours later after clearing the standby list on next RDU flight. Weather not much of a factor when we left early afternoon.

Another father and son take $10k each and decide to drive. Solo female grabs an afternoon flight to GSO which is where she wanted to go. $50k in comp to the 5 of us, plus more to some downgraded first passengers. Iím surprised and happy UA didnít just cancel the flight.

i could fly UA every day for the next 100 years and never see so much $$ for so little effort.
You've trained your kids well!
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Old Jan 20, 20, 5:53 pm
  #13  
 
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They offered $1000 for IAH to EWR last Saturday as well. I couldn't jump on it but I was surprised that not many did. However the flight was connecting with a bunch of skiers heading to GVA so they really couldn't get off either.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 9:56 pm
  #14  
 
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Plus hotels; meals?

If I accept a VDB and forced to stay a day or more, will United give me a voucher for my hotel and meals?
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Old Jan 27, 20, 10:08 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by Michael D View Post
If I accept a VDB and forced to stay a day or more, will United give me a voucher for my hotel and meals?
part of the negotiation. likely the agent will try to look for someone else with a less complicated routing, which might not be possible for the last flight of the day

still possible, see last year's thread:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30696499-post16.html
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