COU passenger says offered $2k in vouchers to give up seat to Denver

1 month 14 hours 58 minutes ago Sunday, May 19 2019 May 19, 2019 Sunday, May 19, 2019 11:12:00 PM CDT May 19, 2019 in Top Stories
By: Cory Johnson, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - Passengers on a United Airlines flight from Columbia to Denver were offered thousands of dollars worth of vouchers to miss their flight Sunday.

Flight 5269 was scheduled to take off at 7:16 a.m. Sunday morning, but didn't leave the runway until 8:50 a.m.

Passengers told KOMU the plane was carrying too much weight to take off from the shorter, temporary runway while the primary runway is under construction.

Passenger Jeff Kerridge said the airline requested 10 people give up their seats in return for flight vouchers.

"So, the guy goes, we'll give you a voucher for $500 and nobody moves. We'll give you, five minutes later, we'll give you a voucher for $600, nobody moves. Five minutes later, we'll give you a voucher for $700. Literally the guy's sitting there and is like we're not going anywhere until we get ten people," Kerridge said.

Kerridge said the vouchers reached up to $2,100 per passenger.

In a statement, United Airlines said:

"Customers traveling on United Express flight 5269, operated by SkyWest, were offered an option and compensated to take a later flight to accommodate weight restrictions due to weather and runway availability."

Sunday marked the 49th day of a scheduled 75-day maintenance period of the main runway.

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