Bumped United passenger walks away with $10,000 voucher

United Airlines (Photo: Jun Seita / CC BY 2.0)

A United Airlines passenger bumped from a flight and walking away with a travel voucher isn’t terribly surprising — but for one flyer, it was worth $10,000.

For Allison Preiss, a communications director from Washington who began tweeting Thursday morning from Dulles International Airport after she was asked to deboard, her travel experience ended much better than it began.

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“Well,” she later told ABC News, “I can say it was the best flight delay ever.”

United oversold the flight and asked Preiss, the lowest-fare passenger, to deboard. Thus began her tweetstorm:

“United is offering $1K in travel credit for an oversold flight. If nobody bites, they will kick off the lowest fare passenger by pulling them out of the boarding line. For a flight that THEY oversold. Unreal.”


“They are kicking me off this flight.”

“They can’t board me on this plane because there is a broken seat.”

“.@united IS THE WORST.”

“United tried to get me to sign a document that says I volunteered my seat on this plane when I was involuntarily denied boarding. Sketchy af.”

“On the upside, I wasn’t physically dragged off the plane and my dog wasn’t killed on board, so I’ve got that going for me … which is nice.”

“They really do not want to give me cash. They just offered me $10,000 in travel credit. TEN THOUSAND.”

Preiss posted a photo of the voucher on Twitter with the comment, “This is how badly United didn’t want to give me cash.”

She added: “I also got two $10 meal vouchers. I am going to go INSANE at Pizza Hut.”

United raised its payment cap to $10,000 last year after a passenger was literally dragged off a flight.

In a statement obtained by ABC News, United confirmed Preiss’ account and that the flight was oversold.

“Yes,” the airline said, “we issued this voucher per our policy.”