Last Summer, Bumped off Delta Flight. This Fall, Free Business Class Flights to Mexico City

This time last year, I was hiking through the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana. I wrote about how I booked the trip and the one and only time I’ve ever had to use rental car insurance to file a claim.

I also got to stay at Granite Park Chalet with my dear friend Angie for 3 nights of mountain views, good company, and sneaky shots of whiskey before bed. 😵

delta bump

Glacier National Park is one of my favorite places on earth

On the way home, I got bumped off my original departing flight. And ended up leaving 30 minutes later, getting home an hour earlier, and now – scoring a free flight to Mexico City with my $500 Delta voucher for taking the bump.

All in all, I came out ahead on this one!

Turning a Delta bump into more free flights

I’ve wanted to visit Mexico City for as long as I can remember. The Delta route map from Dallas says I can fly nonstop to Delta hubs (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, or Salt Lake City) OR to Mexico City and Seoul, South Korea (?!?).

a map of the united states

My nonstop Delta options from Dallas

I briefly toyed with the idea of visiting Salt Lake City – I’ve never properly been, although I’ve spent time at Zion National Park in southern Utah and its largest city, St. George. But never SLC.

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’ll know I’ve had Mexico City on my mind for a couple of years by now. And this November, I get to finally visit – on Delta’s dime!

Last summer, as I got to the airport in Kalispell, Montana, I checked with gate agents for a bump. They asked if I’d be willing to connect in Salt Lake instead of LAX – the flight to LAX was overbooked.

I pulled up Google Flights and checked the itinerary – the next flight to Salt Lake was only 30 minutes after the LAX flight. Plus, the connection was shorter and would get me home a full hour earlier!

I really wanted the bump at this point. But feigned inconvenience in hopes of scoring a sweet voucher credit.

  • “Ugh, I was really looking forward to getting on that flight…” 🤦🏻‍♂️
  • “We can offer you a voucher for the trouble.”
  • “For…???”
  • “$400”
  • “Can you do more?”
  • “$500?”
  • “Sure.”
a receipt with blue writing on it

My $500 Delta voucher

I cackled maniacally in my mind. Then I scanned the voucher into Evernote cuz that ticket paper fades like none other. Then I set a reminder in Todoist to actually use it. (These tools have helped my travel planning in so many ways!)

It was set to expire on July 14th, 2018 (this week!). So I did some searching and found nonstop Business Class flights to Mexico City for $582 round-trip this November.

a screenshot of a computer

$82 for round-trip Business Class flights is an incredible bargain

After the $500 voucher, I was on the hook for $82 more dollars. Granted, I could’ve taken worse flight times and gotten a completely free ticket. But, I chose to use my US Bank Altitude Reserve travel credit to completely cover the remaining cost to get more, uh, humane flight times.

Take a bump when you can!

Sometimes taking a bump can mean waiting hours in an airport. In my case, I only had to wait 30 extra minutes. Just enough time for another taste of delicious huckleberry beer. 🍻

a hand holding a can of beer

I took my $500 voucher and treated myself to a cold local brew

A few minutes later, they announced boarding for my new flight to Salt Lake City. And after a short connection with just enough time to visit a SkyClub for a drink and a snack, I was out of there.

But the memories of the mountains in the distance are still in my mind. And I deeply love the mountain scenery out west. I will have to make a proper trip out there soon.

a airport with many airplanes and mountains in the background

Seeing those handsome mountains from the airport sparked new passions in me

If you ever get the chance to take a bump and don’t mind hanging at the gate or better yet – at a lounge – for a couple of hours, take a bump! Before you do, you should:

  • Check the itinerary – in my case, I actually got home earlier by taking a bump
  • See what your lounge options are if you’ll be sitting for a couple more hours
  • Ask if your seats are guaranteed or if they’re placing you on standby
  • Ask for an upgrade to Business Class or Premium Economy – can’t hurt, right?
  • NOT check bags – your “bumpertunities” are better if they don’t have to get your bags out of the cargo hold

Finally, don’t be afraid to proactively volunteer for a bump. You might actually help the agents out. Or, you might annoy them. Oops.

But if you have time, there’s no harm in politely asking if the flight is overbooked if you notice a lot of people at the gate.

The last tip is to bargain. The gate agents will lowball you. Don’t let them. They might say $100 or $200. Keep asking for more. Don’t be belligerent, but press them by asking, “Can you do more?” or “Is there a better offer for the seat?”

They don’t really care how much your voucher is for – it’s just numbers in a computer to them – but in my case, asking a simple question got me $100 more than originally offered.

And now I’m able to take a dream trip to Mexico City for free!

Bottom line

What’s even cooler is I used US Bank Altitude Reserve points to pay for my Delta flights to Kalispell – Delta was the best/only option from Dallas. And FCA is a tiny airport with limited flights anyway.

So not only did I get free flights anyway, but I just got another free set of flights to Mexico City this fall. All for taking a bump with a short wait and better flight times.

I can’t wait to visit Mexico City this November. It’s been at the top of my list for so long. And I’m so excited to visit and look at all the art (Fridaaaa!!!), visit the city parks, and drink mezcal in Zona Rosa.

Have you taken a good bump? Would you take a later flight to get free travel later? 

Finally, is there anything to NOT miss in Mexico City? I’m so excited to visit!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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    • 4 days this time! But if I love it (I’m sure I will), I’ll definitely return for a longer, more robust trip. Any recs would be a awesome, even just one or two!

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