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 online 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 online. 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 online 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?
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:
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 and 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.
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 **. Thanks.
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.
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 yourself to a first class trip, think twice about using Delta.
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 than I had in Delta's first class section. I know that I will not be flying Delta again!
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.