Skip to content

AA Now Offering Bump Compensation Through Its App

May 16, 2019
3 min read
AA Now Offering Bump Compensation Through Its App
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A couple of weeks ago, American Airlines launched a new feature letting passengers volunteer for the bump list on oversold flights right in the AA app. At the time, an AA spokesperson told me that this was just a first step, and the airline was working on dynamic solutions to reduce the number oversold flights.

One of the methods that AA said it was working on was a way to add confirmable offers right in the app. I figured that this was a ways off from being implemented, but we already have our first field report from TPG reader Ed that received compensation to switch to a different flight.

RELATED: Choosing the Best Credit Card for American Airlines Flyers

Ed was scheduled to fly on Thursday from Washington-National (DCA) to Dublin (DUB) through Philadelphia (PHL). As an American Airlines Gold elite, Ed was eager to check-in Wednesday afternoon right at 24 hours to departure to select a Main Cabin Extra extra-legroom seat — which is complimentary for Gold elites at check-in. When he did, he received an offer of $200 to switch to one of four alternative itineraries (two on the same day, the other two for the following day).

One of the itineraries left a couple of hours later than his original flight, connected in Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) and arrived in Dublin a couple of hours later:

This itinerary had times that worked better for Ed anyways, so he happy took the offer. He was confirmed on the new flights instantly and received an electronic voucher for $200 "within a minute of being confirmed on the new flight." Seems like it couldn't have been a more seamless process (and he's even getting a chance to meet up with some friends in the Chicago Admirals Club!).

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Ed's takeaway: "I’m guessing I could have made more at the actual gate but this is effortless!" Sure, this is a way for the airline to save on having to pay substantially more to a volunteer at the gate. But, it's also good for the passenger taking the new offer, as they have a chance to be confirmed on a new flight without having to change plans at the last minute.

From looking at Ed's original flights, the pinch point seems to be the DCA-PHL flight, which was fully sold out — and possibly still oversold — about an hour before departure:

Out of curiosity, I checked Ed's new flights to see how much space was available. Turns out that both flights are completely sold out — and potentially oversold — as well.

So, Ed might have another opportunity to volunteer for a bump. While he doesn't see any offers to switch to a new flight in his app currently, it's possible he could take another offer at the gate.

Featured image by Alberto Riva

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers