1 in 5 Americans believe no amount worth giving up seat on flight, survey finds

NEW YORK — More than a fifth of Americans wouldn’t accept any amount of compensation in exchange for having to give up their seat on a flight, a new survey finds.

Researchers at PolicyGenius, an online insurance brokerage, commissioned a poll with 1,500 American adults on what they would need to rebook, finding that many were very averse to the hassle involved.

Passengers inside an airplane cabin
One in five Americans say there isn’t a dollar value high enough that’s worth being bumped off an overbooked flight, a new survey finds.

Provided with six different compensation levels for being booted— $250, $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000— respondents were asked to indicate which, if any, they found appropriate.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they would need somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000 to feel fairly compensated, while 70 percent felt as if any amount below $2,000 would be insufficient.

Interestingly, many more would rather sit next to a crying baby for $250 in compensation (13 percent) than wait for another plane (4 percent). Fifteen percent felt that $10,000 was an appropriate reward for sitting beside a fussy infant, while 20 percent believe no amount is worth the headache.

Perhaps most surprisingly, a higher percentage of people who earn less than $35,000 annually would feel slighted at being bumped off (37 percent), even if compensation were given, than high-income individuals making over $200,000 (27 percent).

Overall, those in the lowest and highest income brackets were the most likely to express displeasure at getting kicked off from their flight.

“The results echo what we’ve watched play out in all the headlines over the past few months,” says Colin Lalley, a PolicyGenius staff writer, in a press release. “Whether flying business or leisure, Americans of all stripes, income groups and regions just want to get on their flight.”

PolicyGenius, which had Google Consumer Surveys conduct the poll, surveyed a nationally representative segment of Americans in July.

The survey’s margin of error is between three and five percent.