Delta Airlines First Class

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Paid for First Class Sky Priority for Bottom of the Line in the Gutter Service!
Posted by on
My younger brother died August 12, 2010. I was devastated. He was my only sibling and the last member of my nuclear family to die. His funeral was what necessitated last minute reservations. The closest airport was Hartford, CT. I looked on line for the cheapest flights. Delta was one of the few that flew into Hartford. I used to fly Northwest before they merged with Delta - so maybe Delta had improved since I stopped flying them decades ago. Big mistake! HUGE!

I have a chronic pain condition that has put me on disability. When I fly I need to have plenty of space to move around and stretch my legs out completely in front of me. So, to assure that I got a lot of space all around my seat - I splurged on First Class. We could not afford two fares so my husband was to stay home. We could not afford even one fare as my husband lost his career job 6 months ago. Every penny was precious. But I was grieving and did not want to be crammed into Coach. I needed to be pampered like one would expect in First Class - at least the First Class I have flown in the past.

I did not notice anything posted on the Delta website regarding no First Class service on such and such a flight. When I book the cheapest flight I did not get any notice that there was no First Class on the flights I booked. Nothing! I did remember that Northwest offered Bereavement Fares - so I called to see if Delta had them, too. They did - if you called to book by phone. So, I called. The woman I spoke to was very nice and told me that Bereavement Fares would definitely not be below the low fare I booked on line. She then told me that I would have to call back two days out from departure date to get those fares. At no time did she explain to me that any booking by phone would incur a $20 service charge which showed up on my on line credit card statement. I immediately called Customer Service and was outsourced to India. After what seemed like hours of dealing with a language problem - the man in India told me, assured me that the $20 would be removed. As of today it has not been removed. Once all reservations were completed I still had not been told by anyone I spoke to on the phone that the flights I was booked on had no First Class Service.

Once I boarded the first leg of my flight to Hartford I found out that there was no First Class service other than there were 2 + 2 seats across instead of 3 + 3 seats across. That was the end of First Class. Oh, there was a monitor screen attached to the wall way over arms length away from my face. I had booked seat 1A front row by the window on all flights. I could watch movies and listen to music if all else failed. The seating was so crammed together I had to walk all over the businessman sitting next to me to get up to go to the restroom. Leg room? HA! That was a joke. First Class? Not on that flight. Once in the air the stewardess told us we had two choices for breakfast. I chose yogurt and fruit plate. It was full of sugar and starch, but beggars cannot be choosers. The fold out table was old and rickety - and very small. Trying to balance a laptop computer on it was almost impossible. Which brings me to reality that First Class had to PAY for the In-Flight Wi-Fi from an independent company. I signed up for 24 hour service so I could use it the second leg of my flight. After paying almost $2,000 for First Class you would have thought that would include Wi-Fi. NOT! Thankfully when the plane stopped in Detroit for 20 minutes we got back onto the same plane. The return flight two days later would not be so simple.

My return flights were what I call the Flights From Hell. If I had known before I even bought the tickets what the return planes were all about I would have never booked any of my trip on Delta. Once I boarded I knew immediately I was in trouble. The plane seemed even smaller than the cramped seating of the trip out. How could that be possible for a long flight? Delta obviously was going to make the most $$$ possible off of every flight they booked by cramming as many people onto each plane. I felt like I was flying in a sardine can. To top this off - there was no monitor! I asked the stewardess if there were movies or music and she told me stunned that I would ask - 'NO! Not on this flight!'. OMG! No movies, no music, no nothing! All there was to eat was junk food. I was so uncomfortable in my seat and so unable to stretch out my legs that they began to cramp up. The pain was beginning to take over my entire body. I felt like I was being tortured and there was no escape. I was trapped. The first leg of the trip home the businessman next to me slept. Then I had over an hour in Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport where they did not have free Wi-Fi! More torture. And the in-flight internet service I did buy - did not work! I was in hell! The second leg of this hell the guy next to me was a heavy drinker, downing 8 or more of those little bottled, and loved to talk without stop. The more he drank the more he talked. My pain got worse by the hour. The staff on board were not friendly at all.

By the time we landed at SFO my pain was a 10 and my mood was not good. I was tired, in pain and then had to walk for a mile to get to where the luggage was supposed to be. We had to share the luggage area with two other flights. More torture. Sky Priority First Class passengers were supposed to have their luggage arrive first, but with all of the other flight's luggage who knew if this was really happening. By this time my pain was escalating to a 10+. It was the most miserable I have ever been after a flight across the country. The next morning I was so sick I could hardly function. I felt like I had been run over by the plane and thrown in with the luggage. I had to make an appointment with my doctor the pain was so bad.

So, not only does my younger brother die, but I have to endure injury to insult on Delta Airlines. I had to pay almost $2000 for this hell in the air! I am filing a complaint with Delta and any other government agency that overseas airlines. Anyone know what those might be?
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 09/30/2010:
jktshff1 on 09/30/2010:
Out comes the tape again for the fingers.....
Ben There on 09/30/2010:
The service you got is pretty typical of first class on most domestic flights these days. Since so many people upgrade using status instead of actually paying for first class, the days of champaign and steaks are gone.

There still are lots of flights that don't have music or television, and even some regional aircraft have tiny little first class seats. If you are expecting lots of legroom and footrests you will be sorely disappointed as these seats are more appropriate for someone who wants a little more space for a laptop, not luxury.

Next time you travel I suggest you check out what types of planes you will be on then go to to look at what amenities you should expect, including legroom, entertainment, the possibility of wifi, etc... I use this site all the time to get the most out of a flight - for example, the 9am from Dallas to Miami on American is on a 767 aircraft - since this plane is mostly used on international flights it has lay flat seats that convert into a mini-bed. The flight from DFW an hour and a half later is on a 737 - first class is the same price, but the chair is more typical of a domestic airplane with some recline, no footrest, etc... You can guess which flight I try to take.

Also, if you travel across country again, you might want to consider a little back tracking and fly from San Fran to NYC or Washington DC to connect instead of connecting in the middle of the country. These flights tend to have much nicer first class cabins than planes that go just 2 or 3 hours.

Lastly, check out American Airlines first class next time. While they can be dreadful in coach compared to Delta, Virgin America or Jetblue, I think they have the best first class in the USA hands down.
jktshff1 on 09/30/2010:
BT, ya did well.
Anonymous on 09/30/2010:
I think Ben covered all the bases quite well.

I agree that these flights did sound horrendous, especially for what you paid. Following Ben's guidelines should help you on future flights. My son used to fly daily and he said that Delta was, in his opinion, the very worst of the US carriers. I've had pretty good flights/service on United and they are in the process of revamping.
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Letter I wrote to Delta
Posted by on
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- In response to the letter below, I was offered 2 $100 vouchers that don't work online.

These people *know* that no one will use their vouchers if they are worthless online. I wrote back and told them that if they were really sorry for their bad service that they would send $100 in cash.

I have not heard back...I suspect that I won't.

My letter follows:

Dear Sirs/Ma'ams:

I feel I need to write to you to let you know my level of disappointment in my recent flight with Delta.

My wife and I recently flew to Jamaica to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We upgraded to first class as part of our celebration. This was a regrettable decision on our part. First class is not a value at all on Delta.

1.Meals. Delta is the only major airline that does not provide First Class passengers with a meal. Continental, AA, British Airways, etc all offer meals to First Class passengers. I understand that you have new executives because of your recent emergence from bankruptcy. I'd like to have a personal conversation with any of them who feels that cheese crackers and oatmeal bars are a meal worthy of a Delta First Class passenger.

2.Service. During one leg of our flight, I wanted to request a drink from an attendant. It had been about 10 minutes since I had seen an attendant (most airlines have someone dedicated to the First Class cabin, apparently Delta does not feel its First Class passengers would like a higher level of service for the higher fee.). 5 - 6 minutes after pressing the service request indicator, an attendant rushed by and turned off the indicator. She did not ask what we wanted – she just hurried past. I'd like to have a talk with anyone at your company who thinks that this is acceptable service.

3.Policies: one advantage to flying First Class (on most airlines) is that the lavatories are dedicated to the people who paid to upgrade. This results in shorter lines. Delta allows coach passengers to use the First Class lavatories. Even though we paid for not having to wait in line, I was forced to wait behind 3 coach passengers who decided on a free upgrade to the First Class lavatories. My wife an I paid a good premium in order to not have to wait in long lines.

4.Noise levels: My wife and I were looking forward to a nice quiet trip back to the US. Unfortunately, we were surrounded by screaming infants (one in row 1 and one in row 3 – we sat in row 2). I know that Delta is not responsible for the rudeness of fellow passengers, but maybe airlines in general should put a low age limit on those traveling in the First Class cabin.
6.Baggage: in 4 trip legs, I had 2 bags damaged. This is inexcusable. Baggage handlers who are careless should be fired on the spot and the cost to repair their damage should be held from their final check. When other handlers see that airlines are serious about holding handlers responsible, I guarantee that they will become more careful.

7.Arrival Delay: We sat on the tarmac for about 15 minutes on one leg because there was a jet in our spot. How on earth does this happen?? Is it a surprise that flights are scheduled to take a spot at the gate?? This is just horrible planning on someone's part.

As you can tell, my wife and I are extremely disappointed with Delta. The best constructive criticism I can give is for some of your executives to fly on Continental or American. Until your service is on par with them, we will probably not be flying Delta. I have already applied for an Amex frequent flier card with American Airlines.
I welcome a call from any of your senior management team to discuss this. I do not want a call from some middle manager. That's just a waste of my time and the middle manager's.

My email address is and my phone number is 512-xxx-yyyy


Flight info:
June 8 - DL 422 AUS -> ATL
June 8 - DL 743 ATL -> MBJ

June 16 - 742 MBJ -> ATL
June 16 - 431 ATL -> AUS


Further: Your website needs a bit of work. When I try to enter this information, I get a page saying:
Required Fields Missing or Invalid
System Unavailable. We are sorry but this service is unavailable at this time. Please try again later.

Which fields?? What's wrong?? Is your system really down?

A company with a real IT staff would insist on good error handling of their site.

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User Replies:
Anonymous on 06/26/2007:
You need some cheese with that whine? Learn to live with it, sorry to say it's how all the airlines are being run now.
Gando on 06/26/2007:
25 years of marriage? God bless your wife
furnitureman on 06/26/2007:
So part of your story your mad because of the noise from the infants. I can tell you must have not had any kids...if you knew how even concieve
heaven17 on 06/26/2007:
You have a few valid issues, but honestly they get lost in all of the pettiness you exhibit.
Anonymous on 06/26/2007:
I agree with all of the above responses.

rhondam718732 on 06/26/2007:
I agreed with you on all your points until you got to the kids section. You cannot be guaranteed a perfect flight just by paying for First Class. Kids cry and whine and that shouldn't be a reason that parents can't fly First Class with their kids should they so choose. When it comes to asking Delta to handle what they have control over I.e. food, service, bathrooms, I agree. But when it comes to other passengers, who are you or Delta to dictate who is worthy of First Class if they are willing to pay...
Anonymous on 06/26/2007:
Well, if you pay for first class you should get better service, but I have a feeling that you think so highly of ourself. Maybe you are not worthy of first class. Maybe they should ban whinny brats that have been married for 25 years from first class so their consent complaining does not ruin the flight of other first class passengers. How many times were you pushing the service indicator, were you pushing it constantly for a long period of time over and over like a 9 year old playing with it would. If so I can see why they were annoyed. It is not a toy and you do not need to press it consently. To bad they can't remove you from first class.
Pomona Guy on 06/26/2007:
Next time try Amtrak.
Ponie on 06/26/2007:
'These people *know* that no one will use their vouchers if they are worthless online.' What? From where did you obtain this profound information?

I like cheese crackers and oatmeal bars. They're 'good for you.'
runaway on 06/26/2007:
While some (but not all) of your points are valid, your message is lost due to the tone of your letter. I can see why they only sent you the vouchers; I don't think they really want your business again.
richb01 on 06/27/2007:
Ghostbuster - I pushed it *once*. Once was all it took for me to figure out that they were not going to respond. (BTW, your crack about my being married 25 years tells me that you are and will die a virgin.) ;-)

Also - I did not complain while I was in flight.

I wonder what bad upbringing causes you to be so judgmental - especially when you have no clue what you are talking about. No wonder you will never be in a long term relationship. What person would put up with you jumping to wrong conclusions so often?? (Sorry, but truth hurts, doesn't it?)

Ponie - When was the last time you drove to the airport to make a reservation? Everyone makes reservations online. Delta knows this. Therefore, they know that their vouchers are worthless.

Pomona Guy - Next time, I'll fly Continental or American. They treat customers right.

What I see here is a bunch of Delta employees trying to save their jobs. I fly *a lot*. This is the first time that I've written a letter like this to an airline.

All - If the letter sounds angry, it was probably because I was angry about crappy service.

Interestingly, while you kids all find it easy to flame my legitimate complaints, 68% of all respondents rate Delta with 1 star. In other words, over 2/3 of everyone agrees with me!!

Sparticus on 06/27/2007:
I lived in Cinci for a while and flew Delta quite frequently since they pretty much owned that airport. I rarely had a good experience with them. Over-priced and mediocre service.
heaven17 on 06/27/2007:
Kids? You assume a lot.

"...over 2/3 of everyone agrees with me..."
But I doubt that they all would display the same level of smarm in relaying that dissatisfaction.
Anonymous on 06/27/2007:
Gango - Perhaps his wife and him have the same attitude. Anyway I bet he is the virgin whatever that means. Also I bet he was fired from Delta, so that is why he thinks they are bad and has so many problems.
familytravel on 06/27/2007:
You know....I know you think you are so important for flying First Class and all that, but lets be reasonable. Those screaming infants parents paid good money for them to be there, so have just as much right as you. I believe there is always an announcement on any airline that lavatories are reserved for first class passengers. The enforcing of that policy is the issue here--however if you really think you want a private lavatory maybe you should consider hiring a private jet. Also, did you check specifically with other airlines that went to your destination that they would be serving a meal? Just because it's First Class doesn't mean you will automatically get a meal. It really depends on the duration of the flight. I've flown in First Class on various airlines and sometimes first class passengers don't get a meal. Sounds like you really like to whine.
richb01 on 06/28/2007:
Hey, Ghostbuster - there you go again with the personal flames without knowing wtf you're talking about. You must have a very sad, lonely life and I feel pitty for you. The fact that you slam me for being married as long as I have shows the rest of us how lonely you must really be. Your parents must have been terrible people - like I said, I'm sorry that you are the way you are.


OK, I know that my complaint about the screaming kids is controversial. So here is my point of view - it was my desire to have a nice peaceful, *quiet* flight.

These people made the decision for me that I was *not* going to have a quiet flight. To me, that's just rude.

It the same as if we are in a car together and you are a non-smoker and I bring out a big smelly cigar and I smoke it (even though you might hate it). Yup, I sure enough have a right to smoke it. Those people sure had a right to annoy me with their screaming kids.

Also - do I feel I am "self important" in first class? Yes!! I paid extra money for a quality trip and I simply did not get it.

If any of you readers were to buy a Cadillac and you found that it was no better than a Kia, you'd be upset also.

But, botton line - the public survey shows I'm right. I'm not looking for anyone's approval, especially from the vocal minority. ;-)

Thanks, everyone, I'm sure your bosses will appreciate you sticking up for your company on these public forums. THe fact is, public opinion agrees with me.

Skye on 06/28/2007:
Maybe ghostbuster is that way sometimes, because, he says he is only 10 years old.

Not sure if I believe that, but ya never know.
Anonymous on 06/28/2007:
I bet your if it was your child/children that were making noise you would find no problem, yet you should not have to listen to other people's children.
Disappointed traveler on 07/28/2007: seems like you were on a smaller plane because Delta's larger jets serve meals in premuim class. Regardless, everything else you said is typical Delta.
yusimmi on 08/22/2007:
Grow up buddy...first of all you bought and upgrade..which is not a full first class ticket...I've travelled delta first class many times and I have never had a problem with the inflight crew asking if everything is OK if I need anything...maybe they should have sat beside you...your so full of what if delta makes passengers from the back use the bathroom in first think your GOD cause your sitting in first class...if you ask me those kids that were seated in first class belong there more than you cause they paid full fare not should be happy that delta gave you anything you actually don't deserve nothing...oh and by the way those vouchers are very valuable if your a frequent flyer with can use them for UPGRADES and also in the crown room..if delta did anything wrong in this case it's giving you those vouchers
richb01 on 09/23/2007:'re a moron. I bought a full fare first class ticket. I don't think I'm god about anything. I deserve a peaceful flight. Period. People bringing teething infants onto a jet a rude. Period. People who think that rude people a great to have around are morons. Period. This is NOT up to debate!!! It's very very easy to NOT bring a scream infant onto a airline flight!
You have no clue what you are talking about. Those screaming infants were on that flight for FREE! Airlines don't charge kids under a certain age. Again, your post shows that you are a clueless little idiot. I'm so glad I'm not you! (You frigging loser!!) LOL
Anonymous on 09/23/2007:
Rich, I bet those infants weren't crying half as much as you are now. Shaddup!
richb01 on 09/23/2007:
I know why people are bashing me about my very very legit complaint. Here is an email I just got from

-- start ---
The following is an email sent to you by an administrator of "Delta Air Lines Complaints". If this message is spam, contains abusive or other comments you find offensive please contact the webmaster of the board at the following address:

Include this full email (particularly the headers).

Message sent to you follows:

Dear members,

It has come to our attention that Delta Air Lines is spamming our forum and ridiculing their own customers.

[I truncated this email due to IP info. I'm going to take the higher road here and not divulge personal info.]
-- end---

PiratWithParrot, etc - You Delta employees have been caught! LOL You people are pathetic. You post incorrect facts and you bash people that legitimately have complaint against your horrible airline. Just STFU - all of you, you f**king pathetic losers. You've been busted.

I see the Ghostbuster also has fled this site with his tail between his legs. What a sad excuse for a human.
jktshff1 on 09/23/2007:
rich...I think I know what the b in your handle stands for. Do you know someone named Eileen???
you got an attitude of entitlement.
Anonymous on 09/23/2007:
People, I do believe we have found Eileen's brother! His name is Rich.
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First class fare, low class flight
Posted by on
I purchased a full first class fare for my family from Atlanta to Sacramento round trip at a cost of $5300 for 4 tickets. Atl to Sac was fine, coming back was unbelievable. Both trips on the same type of plane. No personal in flight entertainment, no choice of meals, were not stocked for breakfast even though the plane sat overnight for a 6am departure, no power outlets and the movie that was shown for the entire plane was inappropriate for my kids to watch. When I called to complain I was argued with about my fare instead of the actual problem of the in flight service. I stopped flying Delta years ago for this reason, but came back figuring that the first class fare would remedy the customer service issues, I was wrong. If you are thinking about treating your self to a first class trip, think twice about using Delta.
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User Replies:
MzDLBrand on 09/17/2009:
When you booked your trip, did you ask what type of plane you were to be travelling on? Different planes offer different IFE. Had you asked, I'm quite sure you would have been told the differences between the two flights.
Ben There on 09/17/2009:
Check out for info about your aircraft type. There are still plenty of planes flying out there without entertainment systems and power outlets.
jerseygurl on 09/17/2009:
First Class sure is NOT what it used to be!! Especially on Smelta!!
Anonymous on 09/17/2009:
What was the movie?
jimworcs on 09/23/2009:
Why should the customer have to do research to determine the different equipment in order to guess what standard of service they will receive? If Delta say they offer a first class service, it should be first class. The mistake this customer made was flying Delta. Delta and First Class are oxymorons.
Ben There on 09/23/2009:
jimworcs... all airlines deck out first class differently depending on the airplane. When I fly in a premium cabin on an intercontinental flight I expect a lay flat seat and personal TV. When I fly domestically I expect a bigger seat. Sometimes you can get the planes that do the long haul flights on a domestic flight which is great, but to expect to be able to lay down and watch TV on every flight I take from Dallas to Chicago is a bit much.
MzDLBrand on 09/24/2009:
I agree, Ben. Every route is not the same, and some plane, depending on its transit city could have been coming from somewhere else, which could change its amenities. Since it obviously mattered to the OP what amenities the plane offered, I would think the responsible thing to do would be to at least ask or do a little research, it would have saved him some aggrevation in the long run.
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Don't Waste Your Money On First Class!
Posted by on
GEORGIA -- I took a flight from Honolulu to Fort Lauderdale on Delta. It was direct from Honolulu to Atlanta. I paid for a full fare, first class ticket so that I could be comfortable and rest during the flight. What a waste of money! There was no leg room and I felt as if the guy in front of me was in my lap the whole flight. I returned to Honolulu 2 days ago and am still trying to recuperate. My entire body aches from sitting in the most uncomfortable first class I've ever flown. This past Jan., I flew Hawaiian airlines from Hon to Las Vegas and I had more room in there coach section then I had in Delta's first class section.

I know that I will not be flying Delta again!
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 03/24/2008:
Delta just cut several thousand jobs, reduced their flight schedule and raised their ticket prices.

I wouldn't expect a whole lot of improvement in the near future from Delta or most other major carriers.
Hugh_Jorgen on 03/24/2008:
I recall reading somewhere as the Hawaiian flights carry so many people traveling on frequent flier miles, the configuration of the planes used for those runs offers less leg room than their standard long haul aircraft.

Not sure if it's true, but for some reason that story stuck with me.
lobo65 on 03/24/2008:
I've also had bad experiences with Delta, and will avoid flying with them in the future if possible.
Starlord on 03/24/2008:
You know what DELTA stands for, don't you?
Deliver Everyone's Luggage To Atlanta.
Anonymous on 03/24/2008:
Back not too long ago Delta was about the best. What the heck happened to those guys anyway.
DebraJ on 06/14/2008:
My Delta plane to Atlanta had me cramped like Sardines. My Delta flight from Atlanta had me sitting on luxurious leather seats with PLENTY of leg room. You really can't determine what the seats would be like in a Delta plane. I, however, would NEVER pay first class for a Delta ride--most times it is not worth it. I weigh 120 and can't even find room in a Delta plane unless it is one of the commuter type planes with the leather seats.
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Domestic First Class
Posted by on
HNL, HAWAII -- Warning: Do not fly Delta First Class domestically in the USA. Especially Atlanta-Hawaii 9 hours of hell.

To be fair Delta International Business Elite is quite good, but how they have the nerve to class a 9 hour + flight as First Class the same as a flight of 2 hours is crazy.

I booked mileage ticket for 112,000 miles ATL-HNL-SLT-LAS-FLL. Because I refused to use their service from HNL-Salt Lake, connecting to LAS Vegas, They cancelled my seats from Vegas to Fort Lauderdale and I had to buy a FC ticket for nearly $600.00.

Customer service they are trying with nice approach/ comments etc. But could / would not assist with my complaint.

I could go on and on but I will never fly Delta again even though I am a medallion member. Not even international in their business elite.

I will write about Delta on as many reviews as I can.
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Timboss on 10/12/2007:
Are First Class seats smaller on a 9-hour flight than a 2-hour flight? I'm not sure what you are saying.

And, as far as I know, when you cancel one leg of your trip every airline will cancel the remaining legs. Was Delta First Class that bad you paid another airline to fly (I assume First Class) back from HNL to Salt Lake?

What was so bad about First Class?
Hugh_Jorgen on 10/12/2007:
I think Tim is right - miss any leg of a trip (on any airline) and they cancel the whole ticket. As far as what is first class - I do believe the aircraft DL uses on ATL-HNL service have a little less legroom than the planes used for European and Asian service. That route is well known as the Frequent Flyer express - it seems like that's where everyone wants to redeem their miles to - so they cram a few more seats into the planes that work that route.
Anonymous on 10/12/2007:
You said it yourself, "Because I refused to use their service...".
Good luck.
Anonymous on 10/12/2007:
I couldn't make much sense out of this either. You 'refused' to use one leg of your itinerary, you introduced the problem.
chris513 on 10/12/2007:
this doesn't make much sense, but the above posters are correct. if you miss one leg of your itinerary, with the exception of missing it because the flight is cancelled, then your whole itinerary is cancelled out....why did you refuse the service in the first place?
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