JetBlue Offered $10,000 to Customers to Take a Later Flight, and No One Would

Airlines and passengers struggle with overbooked flights amid flight delays and other challenges.

Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock
Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock
Editor's Note:We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. Should you travel now, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC's latest guidance on domestic and international travel as well as local requirements, protocols, and restrictions for both your destination upon your arrival and your home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

The desperation airlines are feeling was put on full display recently when a rather bizarre video was shared to TikTok. First reported by the Matador Network, user @riesjess shared a video showing her and her traveling companion seated on a JetBlue flight. The two travelers and everyone else on their flight had been sitting on the runway for 45 minutes since boarding. The reason why? JetBlue employees were desperately trying to find a few seats for crew members who also needed to be in Cancun.

It was apparently so urgent that the airline seat these employees that JetBlue offered $10,000 in flight credits to any customers who would give up their seats and take a later flight. But according to @reisjess, she and 30 of her friends who were traveling together for Spring Break didn’t want to be split up or lose any precious time on their weeklong break.


The TikToker went on to say even if she had a whole year to use the flight credits, which is what the cabin crew was offering, she couldn't imagine using them all. "Considering that JetBlue doesn't even fly to that many destinations—they don't even fly out of the airport near my house—it just didn't seem worth it," she said.

Currently, JetBlue flies to more than 180 locations, including Paris. But the need for JetBlue to transport some of its crew, and the overall unmoved response from the passengers upon hearing such an enticing offer, really illustrates where things are right now when it comes to airline travel.

Airlines are struggling with staff shortages and significant delays and cancellations across the country. Airline employees are feeling desperate, and passengers are feeling exhausted. And unfortunately, experts believe that these challenges will continue into the summer of 2022. So if you're ever in a circumstance like this, consider taking the deal. Air travel is expected to improve in the fall, and you could book yourself a vacation or three.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.