Laura Begley Bloom wasn't the type to sacrifice herself on an overbooked flight. The travel editor "scoffed" at people who traded their seats for cash from the airline. "Not my thing," she writes at Forbes. But then a weekend trip to Florida went awry—and Bloom made a cool $11,000.
The saga unfolded on Friday morning as Bloom and her husband and daughter waited to board a Delta flight at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Bad weather had caused thousands of flight cancellations, but the storms had passed so Bloom didn't expect a problem. Wrong. With 60 standby passengers, Delta began offering deals, and Bloom's family got $4,050 for agreeing to fly Saturday night. The family arrived for that flight, only to learn Delta was begging for volunteers to bump, and the price kept rising. "Cha-ching!" Bloom writes, pocketing another $1,300 each, plus lunch ($15 each), and $50 taxi fare.