Paid for First Class Sky Priority for Bottom of the Line in the Gutter Service!
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?