Delta Airlines Skymiles

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Delta Airlines
1030 Delta Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30320
1-800-221-1212 (ph)
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Delta Skymiles Deceptive Practices
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Airline passengers should know that when you book a flight with DELTA AIRLINES through a travel agent or third party such as a cruise line, that DELTA SKYMILES may not give you the mileage that you actually travel. You are only guaranteed full mileage if you book directly through Delta.

On a recent flight from Tampa to Detroit which is actually over 900 miles, I was given credit for 246 miles. On a flight from Atlanta to Tampa which is actually over 400 miles, I was given credit for 102 miles. On a flight from Detroit to Amsterdam I was given credit for 985 miles yet on the return flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta I was given credit for 4,401 miles.

I don't know if other airlines are involved with this deceptive practice or if this is another way for DELTA to take advantage of their passengers. The above information has been verified by a DELTA SKYMILES representative on 12/13/2013. If you have a choice, try another airline.

Loyalty Program - NOT!
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I am a Platinum Medallion of Delta Airlines. Have been for several years. I used to think loyalty was a two-way street. But, according to Delta, it's pay them and maybe you will be rewarded. I booked a flight, paid flight, not free, nearly three months ago from HNL to EWR. I had received as a "reward" four system-wide upgrade certificates. Under NWA, those of us living in Hawaii used to get Hawaii resident certificates because free upgrades didn't happen for us unless we were going somewhere within the 48 states (you get no loyalty if you get treated like every other smuck just because you live in a state that's over an ocean).

Anyway, when I called to try to redeem a certificate, I was told I could on the inbound flight, but the outbound didn't have availability. I could wait-listed however. OK, I'll take the wait-list. So I used one certificate. After that, I had to take a trip to Japan which used up two more certificates, leaving one left for the just in case I might get lucky. Well, I checked certificate status and found I had used them all. When I called, I got told by Skymiles that the remaining certificate had been pulled for the wait-list, which if cleared would show up on the reservation. OK, I'll buy that.

Day of the flight, I get called to the desk. Good news - my wait-list had cleared. Bad news - no available certificate. Trying to get Skymiles involved was a useless endeavor as they didn't have the staff to do any quick research. So the plane doors were closing, and I had to get on the flight. Well, since my wait-list had cleared, they gave away my seat, a window seat. So to give me an equivalent seat, they pulled a non-rev in a window seat. Guess where the non-rev moved to? First class. This is loyalty? I don't think so.

My wish... Delta goes bankrupt again... only this time not to recover. Loser airlines, like Delta, need to go airline heaven, and make way for upstarts.

Loss of Frequent Flyer Miles
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When Delta announced their merger with Northwest Airlines, they announced they would link the SkyMiles and World Perks accounts. I waited for them to send me the information on how to do this, and received it on May 13. It said that I could link my accounts and delay the expiration of my 47,810 miles. When I went online to do this, I was informed that my miles had expired on April 30, and that had I linked the accounts sooner, they wouldn't have expired.

I wrote to Delta and explained that they had waited until my miles expired to tell me that I could extend expiration by linking my accounts, and that had they informed me earlier, I would have linked the accounts earlier. I got an email back from ** at Delta's Medallion Desk telling me that my expiration date would be extended and that I should check my account in the next 7-10 days. When the miles weren't restored, I contacted Delta by email again, and was informed that to restore my miles, I would need to pay $50 plus tax.

I sent a total of 4 emails to Delta, and each time asked for someone to either restore my miles, or call me to get the matter resolved. I got two emails telling me to pay $50, and a third from ** at the Online support Desk saying my miles would be restored. Finally, I called Delta and after spending 35 minutes on the phone, was told my only option was to pay the $50.

I understand that merging two airlines and two frequent flier programs is difficult, but Delta shouldn't hold me responsible for not linking my accounts before they gave me the information on how to do it. They also should stand behind the word of two of their employees who agreed to restore my miles.

Skymiles Bait and Switch
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CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- There is a severe problem with Delta's online reservations. The following is a letter which I wrote to Delta: I was going to book a flight, then use Skymiles to upgrade to first class. After spending quite some time on the website, I found I had to call for an upgrade, which was not at all apparent... I just couldn't find a way to upgrade on the website.

After calling I learned that not only may I not upgrade this particular flight on the website, but I can't upgrade on the phone either as I have the incorrect fare type. But even if I had the correct fare, this flight has no available seats left to upgrade. There is nowhere on your website where this information can be found prior to booking your flight.

I design websites... This seems like a major flaw and I feel I was scammed by Delta. At least I believe there is a bait and switch going on. You inherently encourage customers to join Skymiles and to use them for free travel or upgrades.

Only after calling I found that only fares booked in Y B or M can be upgraded to first class (Europe fares). It seems like such an easy thing to say on your site. Just a quick note that would say these fares are not available for first or business class upgrades. I also believe Delta's intent is to allow people to book fares on your website. No travel services or travel providers to remunerate. Great idea, but very flawed in this case.

After calling to find the fares were not available, I asked where this was located on the website. The agent said that was not his job (it's really bad when people pass the buck like that) and he would connect me to someone who works with the website. I was transferred and talked to a representative of Delta, **, who works on your website.

After much deliberation and even him agreeing with me, he finally said "as flawed as you think our website is... it is what it is". I really don't think this is the answer anyone was looking for. He offered to upgrade my flights to the fare that would allow the first class upgrade for $2100 (gee thanks), but then Mr ** found out there were no seats available on these flights for an upgrade. Upgrading now seemed like a really dumb idea to me.

I have been a loyal Delta flyer for a number of years. Sometimes using Skymiles but also buying tickets. Now that Air Tran has moved into Charleston, I will be considering flying with them in the future. My goal was just to upgrade to first class on my Europe trip, not part the Red Sea. I was willing to even pay for the Skymiles, if needed. Delta needs to inform people better as they are booking flights. It really seems like such a simple concept, yet after talking with Mr **, Delta still doesn't get it!

Delta's Skymiles Program Is A Total Ripoff
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First of all, they advertise a "free" flight in the U.S. for 25,000 miles, but GOOD LUCK on finding anything, even though you are very flexible, plan WAY ahead, and want to use your miles during a slow travel period. Now I've belonged to their program for many, many years, and have seen all the changes, so (**) please forget the fountain-of-knowledge advice.

The whole program is a "bait and switch" routine now. And if you are lucky enough to find anything, be prepared to use the MOST miles to get the WORST flights with the MOST legs at the WORST possible times. Now I know all about the bad economy, etc., etc., but Delta should not be allowed to get away with this phony "bait and switch" routine. When I am fortunate to use up my miles in this worthless program, I'm sticking with American and Southwest, where I can actually use my miles.

No Warning of Miles Expiration
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I have been a Member of Delta SkyMiles (Frequent Flyers) Program for 20+ years. I have accumulated 99,435 miles. I recently found out all my miles apparently "expired" as of 12/31/08 without notice. My wife and I were saving these miles for a 40th anniversary trip next year. The last time my miles were about to expire, Delta sent me a notice and asked me to buy a magazine to keep the miles from expiring. I bought the magazine.

This time I received no notice of any kind. I would have bought another magazine or applied for a Delta credit card if I had known the choices. We are senior citizens now and find it hard to keep up with everything. Illness has prevented us from travelling as much as we used to. When I contacted Delta customer service, they said there was nothing they could do and sent me a form letter response. I have also written the Illinois Attorney General and they sent a letter to Delta explaining this is "Failure to Warn". Again, a form letter response.

I have now contacted the Better Business Bureau, several TV and radio station's consumer protection advocates, and my Congressmen to investigate Delta's policies. If Delta has changed their past warning policy, they should let us know. A precedent has been set.

What would happen if banks did not warn about expiring certificates of deposit? Delta will say that they sent warnings which is absolutely untrue. Specifically,

* NO postcard were ever received warning of expiration.
* NO e-mail warnings of expiration were ever sent/received.
* NO mileage reminder statements were ever mailed to me. Yes, their policy is on their website, but this in not enough.

Delta can not continue to scam and defraud the public!

SkySaver Fares Non-Existent
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DALLAS, TEXAS -- Beware about Delta's lure of SkySaver fares. I tried to book a flight from Dallas to Managua on May 14th, only to find that there are NO available SkySaver seats available on Delta for the rest of the year. The company did offer to book me on a Continental flight, but if I wanted to fly Continental, I could do that without going through Delta. Besides, the schedule on Continental is very inconvenient to what we are trying to do.

This promise of SkySaver fares amounts to false advertising on their part, because those fares are just a mirage. If you are considering getting a SkyMiles card, take into account that in most cases you will need to use 70,000 miles to get a single ticket for travel outside of the country (50,000 miles for domestic flight).

Delta treats skymiles members like garbage
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We used our Skymiles on 1/4/07 to fly from NY to SF without incident. The problems came the next night when we were supposed to fly from SF to Honolulu. Although the weather was fine in SF and Hawaii, Delta postponed the flight first two hours, and then five hours. We heard two stories: the plane was going from Orlando to Atlanta, then Atlanta to SF then to Honolulu. (1) There was bad weather in Atlanta. But when we checked our laptop there were flights going out of Atlanta. (2) They were short a plane and pulled our flight.

Since we had no place to stay that night, we spend it in SF airport. Although we were supposed to be spending our first night in Hawaii, instead we spent part of it in the airport in SF and part of it flying. We had to cancel our hotel reservation for the night. In addition, Delta told us they could have flown us out earlier with a partner airline, but because the Skymiles had no money value, they couldn't do that. Because a lot of passengers were irate about the canceled flight, they offered an upgrade at $200 a ticket. When we asked about it, they said that their Skymiles tickets didn't even have money value to them (Delta) so we couldn't upgrade.

When we got to Hawaii at 3:30am, the airport wasn't even open yet. Because we were supposed to be leaving Oahu to go to the Big Island, we had to change our inter island flight. Delta was supposed to transfer our luggage to Hawaiian Airlines. They didn't, so when we got to Hawaii we had no luggage and no clothes. When we called Delta they said they don't transfer luggage in the middle of the night.

They also said it was Hawaiian Airlines' responsibility to get the luggage. Hawaiian Airlines said it was Delta's responsibility to transfer the luggage (as they said they would when they took it). IT took another day and endless phone calls to get our luggage, wasting yet a second day of our vacation. It is impossible to get Delta on the phone, plan at least 20-30 minutes of busy signals, waiting and hope they don't hang up/disconnect you. Because of the problems we had with them, we did not use or Skymiles tickets to fly home. DON'T FLY DELTA AIRLINES.

Cheated Missionaries out of skymiles credits
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After reading the other complaints about Delta's disregard for upholding their side of the "Skymiles" deal, I'm not encouraged about a positive conclusion to my own episode with Delta. My family of four are part of a missionary team that travels to Zambia, Africa each July to take medical and spiritual aid into the bush villages of the Southern Province of Zambia. Our team consists of about 150 people and we book with Delta each year BECAUSE they offered the Skymile program. The tickets for our family of four total approximately $10,000 EACH year.

We have flown with Delta on this mission for four years now, and should have almost 80,000 Skymiles each (which is what is needed for an award ticket THIS year)... However, we have only been credited about 35,000 Skymiles. Seeing that the cost of the tickets and the additional expenses of the mission each year total $15,000, and we are FAR from "well-off",.. the "5th year" break of getting to use the award tickets is VERY important. I have gone around and around with the reps I can finally get a hold of by phone, but as seems to be the general consensus... I get the "sorry can't help you" spiel.

And I've had pretty much NO success at getting emails answered. Below I've included the most recent email I sent on their "customer service" section of the Skymile page of their website.... I have not heard a reply (surprise!). I've also noticed that they seem more than happy to pass out credits like candy to anyone who wants to open a credit card account... yet those of us who have paid $40,000 to fly with them are apparently "unworthy" of receiving what they promised. Is there not SOME kind of LAW or something that would require they fulfill their promises? Perhaps we should look into that.

I must also say that now that I've read the other complaints on this site, I'm afraid that if somehow I miraculously get past this first hurdle and get them to credit us what they owe us... getting to REDEEM our miles might be the next wall to climb over. Why do we let companies get away with this kind of thing? If anyone has any ideas, or has had any success in dealing with Delta... I'd be happy to hear any suggestions.

Using Skymiles
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I purchased tickets online 10 months in advance for an international flight, reading all the fine print on the screen to make sure that the tickets were upgradable, as I had been stockpiling miles for that very purpose. After the tickets were purchased I was told by Delta that they were non-upgradable, non-refundable, and I had no recourse.

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