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Paid $16k to downgrade from business

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United Premium Plus offers more legroom and other benefits.

SUPPLIED/UNITED AIRWAYS

United Premium Plus offers more legroom and other benefits.

How would you fancy getting a US$10,000 (NZ$15,800) credit by schlepping your way from business class to premium economy?

Well, that was the offer to a group of passengers on United Airlines who had to swap to slightly smaller seats on an 11-hour flight from Newark to Hawaii.

The reason? Their planned Boeing 777 was changed to an older model 767 at the last minute, meaning there were fewer seats up the pointy end of the plane.

Nine flyers were affected, meaning United will end up at forking out US$90,000 in air miles.

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“Occasionally we have to change aircraft at the last minute, and when that happens, we try to do the right thing and make the impact to customers as minimal as possible,” United spokeswoman Maddie King told CNN Travel.

King didn’t confirm the amount offered.

Ever since the massive amount of bad press the violent off-loading of David Dao in 2017 received, airlines have been more willing to splash the cash and credit for overbooking and downgrades.

Dao suffered a concussion, broken nose and sinus injury after he was dragged off a United plane at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Aviation blog View From The Wing reports that American Airlines once had to give out as much as US$250,000 in travel credit for a single flight, although that was divided between 50 passengers. 

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