Delta pays passenger $4,000 to give up seat on overbooked plane

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One mom scored big when an airline overbooked her flight. (WLS)

One mom scored big when an airline overbooked her flight.

Delta, desperate to make room on board, offered thousands of dollars for a seat.

One mom held out until the price was right. That price was $4,000.

An airline passenger is thousands of dollars richer after agreeing to give up her seat on an oversold flight packed with college football fans desperate to get to Saturday's Georgia-Notre Dame game.

Delta conducted an auction on board, hoping to convince enough people to give up their seats so the plane could take off.

"It was like a live auction on the plane. Everybody was rowdy, laughing, looking at each other like are you going to take it? Are you going to take it?" said passenger Tracy Smith.

Smith, traveling to the game with her husband Larry and son Adam, said the bidding started high.

"They started at $1,500, then $2,000, then $2,200, $2,500, finally the bidding got up to $3,000," Smith said.

The offers kept rising without a taker until Smith said, "I looked over at my husband and said you know I really think if they get to $4,000, I'm going to get off this plane. They came back at $4,000 and without a flinch I pressed the flight attendant button.

Her happy replacement was a crazed college football fan.

"It was quite funny. He goes, 'Well how much did they give you for my seat?' and I said '$4,000,' and he says, 'Oh my God, I would have taken that,'" Smith said.

Smith was able to get on another flight, meeting up with her family in South Bend just eight hours later with $4,000 in travel vouchers in her pocket.

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