Woman talking(L+r), Airline seats(c)

liviotti/Shutterstock @collinskaye/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘You better than me. I would’ve already been at the hotel’: Passenger considers getting off plane after hearing what airline is offering to give up seat

‘I would’ve been at the exit before she even finished’


Charlotte Colombo


Overbooking is an open secret in the aviation industry. If a flight ends up too full, airlines rely on the goodwill of passengers to give up their seats—and to sweeten the deal, they may end up giving them offers they can’t refuse. 

In a viral video, TikToker Kaye Collins (@collinskaye) captured the moment airline staff offered people money to give up their plane seats. As she deliberated the offer, she ultimately decided against it but admitted to viewers that she was more than a little tempted. 

“I hate [that] my leave ends today!” she wrote in an on-screen caption. “Cuz I wanted to give up the seat for that $1500.” By the time she uploaded the video, which amassed over 500,000 views, Collins had shared more details about the deal. “Would you [get] off?” she asked viewers via the video’s description. “They offered $1500, a hotel, and a flight back in the morning at 0930.”

For many commenters, the decision was an easy one. “You [are] better than me,” one said. “I would’ve already been at the hotel checking into my room.” 

“I would’ve been at the exit before she even finished saying hundred,” another said. A third joked, “I would have yelled BINGO. Stand up and start walking to the front.” 

Collins didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via email and TikTok comment.

Why do airlines overbook flights?

With Delta offering $4,000 for a passenger to disembark, it’s clear that overbooking flights has become commonplace. In an interview with Business Insider, Airways senior business analyst Vinay Bhaskara explained that it was all about filling as many seats as possible. 

“On the vast majority of flights that are full, and even when a flight is booked partially empty, there is always going to be some percentage of passengers that are no-shows,” he said. 

@collinskaye Would you got off? They offered $1500 , a hotel , and a flight back in the morning at 0930. 😣🥺😩 #foryou #fy #foryoupage #miltok ♬ original sound – Collins.Kaye

“In terms of how many extra seats they sell, historically, they used to have a flat number across their entire system, but now with sophisticated computer methods, they actually do it based on the percentage of expected no-shows that they see in the data.”

He continued, “So, if the Atlanta to New York route sees 15 no-shows on average per flight then over the course of the year, the next they will basically put in 15 extra seats. So they do it based on the data of how passengers behave on that specific route.”

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