By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a silver lining for airline passengers after that doctor was dragged off a United jet: companies are shoring up policies on overbooked planes and how people should be treated. And you could end up cashing in — if your schedule is flexible.

Airlines don’t want to be the next United. In an overbooked situation, Delta tells its employees to solicit volunteers early and often…to take the next flight.

That’s according to editor Mark Albert, who says Delta gate agents now can offer up to $2,000. If no one bites, a supervisor could wave nearly $10,000 in a flyer’s face.

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“I really don’t think you’re going to see these high amounts being issued on a regular basis,” Albert said. “However, passengers may be more willing now to voluntarily give up their seat when perhaps they may not have considered it before.”

If you don’t mind trading a later departure for cash, let your airline’s desk agent know an hour or so before the flight.

“Be kind, smile and let them know that your plans are flexible,” Albert said.

And stay in the area so you’re easily found.

Don’t want to be bumped? Your best bet is to check in as early as possible, select a seat, and be a member of the airline’s loyalty program.