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Don’t Do Delta… January 3, 2006

Posted by J in Delta Sucks.
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…sigh…

I have to worst flying luck. I am always delayed, have the worst seat, miss a connector, etc…

Dealing with Delta this past weekend was no treat. My girlfriend (Her name is Jen…) and I walked up to the self check-in kiosks at Logan airport on late Saturday (1/1/06) afternoon. We got an error message saying that we would have to speak with someone at Delta Direct. We walked over to the phones that call right to them and Jen picked up a phone. She was connected to someone who listened to our problem and informed us that our plane will be late leaving Boston and in turn we will miss our connection because of this… super

Jen asks her if there is anything else they can do because we really have to get home that night. We booked these tickets in September and at that time it was for a direct flight home. They sent us an email about a month before we left to go back east, that the flight had been canceled and we would now have a layover in Cincinnati. This we could deal with becuase at least we got home around the same time and left around the same time.

The person on the other end of the line then put Jen on hold to see if she could find anything. She put her on hold for 20 minutes… We hung up the phone and tried again. This new person told us the same thing, but didnt put us on hold this time. They just told us that there was nothing they could do except get us out tomorrow at 5:30 in the morning …also super

Not good enough.

We went to the counter after waiting in a fairly long line with other disgruntled travelers. We were ready to rip into the woman behind the counter but she was pretty nice even though there was nothing she could do either. We accepted the early morning flight and got into LAX at 10:40 in the morning, the flight was 20 minutes late getting there…

The part that really pissed me off though was that an airline can book you on another airline if they are having mechanical trouble. If its weather related then you are SOL, which is completely understandable.
Our plane was delayed because it was having trouble de-icing. They are saying this is weather related. How is it weather related if everyone else’s plane is able to de-ice but your machines that de-ice aren’t working correctly? Again, our lady was nice and I didn’t think of that at the time so we were stuck with what we got. No upgrades, no sorry’s, no nothing… plus on the way out they had no problem charging me to bring my snowboard bag along for the ride to the east coast. What was the charge for being 8 inches longer than the limit… $100… so super

Delta, you are crossed of my list… I hope this bankruptcy hits you really hard, though my $100 might help a little…

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Comments»

1. Katheryn Haghn - October 5, 2006

Why was it weather related?…Well, allow me to shine light on the matter. De-icing…There is a small window to de-ice a plane. Once the plane has been de-iced and it doesn’t take off from the ground within about a 20 minute window the plane then needs to be re de-iced again…The longer the aircraft sits after being de-iced the more de-icing fluid runs off the wings and tail then the aircraft would sustain ice build up on the wings and tail and would crash…Remember the flight from D.C. that crashed into the Potomac river right after take off? Many passengers fail to realize that when flights cancel or delay it’s not to make their travel plans fail, but simply for the safety of the passengers. That’s every airline’s main priority. However, once ATC or (Air Traffic Control) steps in and thins the operations to make an extremely difficult task much easier. You have to take into context that “your” plane was not the only plane to be de-iced from that airport that particular day. Sadly…It was your flight they thinned the operations with. This is something completely out of the airline’s control. Once ATC has stepped in it’s no longer the fault of the airline. Simply a case of unfortunate events.

2. Jeff - October 5, 2006

I was pretty pissed at the time when i wrote this… just wanted to get back to California and out of the snow.

I think it was more the customer service that irked me to be honest. No one should be put on hold for that long… even 5 minutes is too long.

I do appreciate you replying though and explaining the other side of things however. It is gestures like that, that make me reconsider my position. So thank you.

3. JGater - December 6, 2006

We have traveled across the U.S for many years and have delt with all sorts of things like this. We meaning my wife and I ,have learned not to book flights to far in advance. 3 to 4 weeks max. Alot of airlines have frequent changes on there flights. United and Delta have at least 3 to 4 a year. Us airways is the worst. Between all of them We have found that Delta being the liest of the Evils. We travel 2 to 3 times a month on all different carriers and most offer you flights on different days or vouchers that help out on you next trip plus free lounge benefits when this occurs. The trick is to not be a understanding and then ask for something in return.

4. martin - March 27, 2007

Similar experience here. I had spent thousands of dollars on a credit card in order to earn enough to take a crappy $400 flight. So I decide to take the flight and use the miles. When I go to book my “free” flight, I find out it’s $50 to use your skymiles. Of course! Why shouldn’t you be charged to cash in on a free flight. Come to find out that it’s only $50 if you book within 21 days of flying. Who the hell books a flight more than 21 days out? Furthermore, if you have a “free” ticket, why would you book it more than 21 days out??? A week later, I had to cancel the flight I had paid to book (out $50 at this point). The Indian operator, who seemed to really get a kick out of how frustrated I was, told me that I would have to pay $50 to get the miles put back on my account. Of course! Why wouldn’t you have PAY to get the miles back that you never used??? Well, I’m out $100 and I’ve never left the city! Hah! It’s almost insane to think that a company can roto-rooter their customers’ in the ass and call it a business model. After over an hour *bickering* on the phone with some Indian teenager for over an hour I finally decided to ask him his name. “My name is Brian Jackson, sir.”

5. Guy - May 17, 2007

I’m in the Ramada hotel, where there are lines of about 70 people all from Delta delays, and only 1.5 people on the reception desk. This is after dear Delta had only 2 people to serve a line of 35 people in an obscure unsignposted part of JFK Delta terminal where it took 90 minutes to reach the front and ask what to do, seeing as THEIR delay lost me (and everyone else there) an international connection.

You then wait in another unsignposted section for the Ramada bus – for 45 minutes, where – after pressure Delta have agreed to put you up for the night.

Then, the biggest joke of all – you get a voucher for dinner. It’s worth $7 – while the dinner is $25 for the buffet.

I definitely will not do Delta again. Can;t believe any Americans would fly this rubbish.

6. Britt - June 6, 2007

Unfortunately there are things that ANY airline cannot control. Look at the JetBlue incident a few months ago. Yes, weather is out the airlines control. It is no more in their hands than a taxi driver in NY or a kid in the ice cream shop. We have wait it out too. And believe me when I say it is not fun to stand there and rebook international or domestic flights for 50 -200 people when flights are delayed or cancelled. I’d rather get the PAX’s out and on their way. Holidays are the worst. As a customer service rep I’ve had to tell people on their way to weddings and funerals that there is just no way to get them there. This does not come from lack of sympathy, but there is nothing I can do when EVERY airline is oversold for the next 4 days. From time to time an agent will get lucky and find a random route. For example, I had a gentleman going from Fresno to Newark, with a stop in Denver. Denver was delayed. Other airlines full. I found a way to get him there if he went fresno, los angeles, orange county, vegas, newark. What a pain for the cutomer, I know, but he insisted he get there that night. So i did. But that’s extreme, if it’s even available.
I also have a bought a “free” ticket with anothe airline. I booked my ticket over 21 days in advance. I usually plan flights with more than a month to go. And yes, the closer you get to depature, the higher all costs will be. And if you get a special deal from an online agent (Expedia, hotwire, cheaptickets, etc) then read their small print. Once you buy with them, you’re under their contract too, which may include extra change fees or other restrictions.
Please keep in mind too that us agents (at any airline) are really not paid enough to be around screaming people all day long, telling our kids we’re not coming home because the last flight out is delayed three hours, and other complications. We juggle with following security measures, policies, a mad customer, a flight cancelled, calculating weight restrictions (so that the plane isn’t overweight and crashes at the end of the runway – to do this we need the number of passengers and bags totaled with fuel and other factors. Why do you think we have a cut off time for check-in?) and then you have the regular questions like, “can I change my seat,” “ow delayed are we?” and so on while you’re trying to rebook. The pay they offer will usually cover some inexperienced kid out of high school. But then the airline will turn around and ask us agents to be these top-quality professionals with weeks of training (and we still don’t quailify for a raise). In the industry, it’s not merit or hard work that gets you to the top, it’s time. So you’ll have people who have been there for years and have become indifferent to that chaos.
Cut us a break. If all else fails, ask for a supervisor. They have less restrictions we do when trying to accomodate PAX’s. But that doesn’t mean they’re magic either. No one comes into your office and asks for something free just because they’ve had a bad day. Business doesn’t work like that. Just a few things to keep in mind when you fly. And unfortunately you will get those who are simply not good at what they do, and they will be rude, but make sure they’re being rude to you and not just frustrated at the situations around them. Then complain. You hold that right.


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