Hot Damn. The legal max for bumping passengers just bumped itself to $800. The Dallas Morning News has a snippet

I love working the system. I always knew that airlines had to pay people they bumped from flights for overcrowding. Shortly after college I learned you could volunteer. For every flight, I approached the counter and asked how full the flight was. If they said very, I’d ask if they were taking volunteers to be bumped. Flight attendants cull from the volunteer list before they make a general announcement. 

When I lived in San Antonio, I flew Delta home to Baltimore through Atlanta. The Texas to Georgia leg never had enough seats. On Sunday nights, Delta flew three evening planes – a 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30. The 7:30 was always overbooked, but the 11:30 always had room. So I’d book the early one, volunteer to be bumped, take the voucher, and still get home in time to work the next morning.

My vouchers paid for all but $200 of a flight from Texas to Madrid, and an entire vacation flying into Baltimore and out of Boston.

I’ve never been that lucky before or since. In Tel Aviv two years ago, I flew home the weekend before Pesach with, I swear, every American Yeshiva boy in the entire country. My flight was one of the last before the actual holiday. Ben Gurion? Ayza Balagan! Of course, I volunteered – El Al bumpees get a free flight to any El Al destination within a year. But no dice. I was the last to board the plane. I’ll just have to try again next year.