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Are You Kidding Me!!!!
Posted by on
My husband is an rather high employee with the federal government. They said they will give us VOUCHERS for our next flight with them. DO THEY THINK WE ARE NUTS! Out of .... 5 planes Justin was too take, ONE was tooo late that he missed the connecting flight and had to wait until the next day (three hours ...delayed to be exact NOT due to weather), The next day his flight to Atlanta was on time, then in Atlanta the next flight was Delayed for an hour and half again NOT TO WEATHER, Putting him home EVEN LATER! Then today they called and delayed the flight an hour and a half to leave, we get to the airport on time to find out they changed it back to its regular time.... and it was boarding when he got there and they would not let him on. He even played the voice mail for them. They informed us that is not their problem. Even though he did not have any bags to check. Then We had to pay over 400.00 for another ticket... and he got DELAYED over an hour n Memphis.... AGAIN not due to weather. Just not got to Savanna where his classmate BLESS HIM, picked him up at the air port for the hour drive back to their hotels... (which is where his original ticket was meant to land), so he did not have to rent a car. They have to be up at 5am! GO DELTA! All the delays were due to MAINTENANCE ISSUES.... I want to fly in a safe plane but ... if you have that many issues .,... maybe you should be inspected and have a better customer service program. My husband is a Supervisory Special Agent ... he knows many others thanks to this weekend... none of them will be approving flights through Delta for Employees anymore... that is .... more than you can imagine in employees. Fantastic how people stand together. My kids my 8 and 4 months had not seen their daddy in 6 weeks. Do you know how much a baby changes in 6 weeks. I had to tell my son that even though Daddy bought the tickets weeks before that he could not make it home Friday night. I had to sit here while my son BUSTED into tears wanting to know why daddy did not come home and if it was because of him. We had to rearrange our entire weekend. It was beyond an horrible experience. To know so many others were effected. Some trying to get to their homes that had been hit by F4 tornadoes to see if anything was left. We spent good HARD earned money to see each other for just a few days. Delta ruined it and expected 175.00 in voucher to be used with their company to cover it. A 27.00 food voucher only redeemable in the Atlanta air port, and the voucher to cover the taxi... enough ... I think not.
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trmn8r on 05/31/2011:
So your husband was traveling on personal business, and all the discussion of his high position is a threat for all the damage that will be caused by "word".

We read many complaints like this. Personally, I don't see "word" on the impact of one person's delayed flights having any effect. I haven't flown in several years, but I remember well having flights changed, be late, etc. It's part of flying.

You can examine the contract of carriage to see if the compensation they gave is out of line. Obviously it doesn't meet your expectations, and in any event you can choose a different carrier next time.
PepperElf on 05/31/2011:
Out of curiosity how "high" do you mean?

I can understand if you don't want to reveal his identity if say his position is unique (like POTUS, or SECNAV) but if it's just a generic rank that should be OK to post?

azRider on 05/31/2011:
The great thing about America is that it does not matter who you are. Airlines will be delayed no matter what your status is. I don't think if you ran up to the tower and said, 'My Husband is Prime Minster of California!' it will help or not. if the plane is late, its late. sometimes wishing that planes could travel faster than 600 MPH is great, but they can only go as fast as they are built to handle. Sometimes planes need to be worked on when the pilot requests a check, sometimes they get backed up in line to take off. myself, I'd rather be happy they are doing some maintenance on the plane when they have to, rather than just say, 'next time it lands we'll take a look'. I know everyone is in a rush now days, but some delays just happen. I'm not sure what the destruction of places hit by tornadoes has to do with your comment, you sound like your complaining about your long weekend getting messed up then you throw that out F5 damage like your trying to get to Joplin. but it sounds to me like your just upset for a holiday missed. if so using the destruction of peoples homes to qualify your late plane and missed weekend is bad taste. in fact, maybe that is why there were delays and maintenance issues, that is people trying to get to hard hit areas to help in recovery and not having a long weekend with the family. pulling the "I'm a bigshot" sign does not work for me, and I'm guessing it did not work for the airline either.
MRM on 05/31/2011:
Much power to your husband who can get a new vehicle every year so that theres no maintenance invloved. With the aircraft theres maintenance to keep you flying.
DebtorBasher on 05/31/2011:
I'm sure if this was a business trip, you will be reimbursed for the $400.00 ticket. If your husband is concerned about missing the kids grow up, the best advice for him would be to find a job that won't take him out on business trips away from home. Otherwise, it's the job/career he decided to take, knowing he will be spending time away from home.
Nohandle on 05/31/2011:
Amen azRider.
jktshff1 on 05/31/2011:
Methinks complaining here is better than complaining to your hubby. What does he have to say about it?
James_236 on 06/01/2011:
I don't think it's fair to treat high Federal employees like this, especially a Special Agent. I'm sure 007 gets better treatment than that
PepperElf on 06/01/2011:
That's because 007 doesn't fly coach. It wouldn't look right with his suit.
clutzycook on 06/01/2011:
007 probably has his own plane :)
jktshff1 on 06/01/2011:
Yea James 236, I think all federal employees should ride as excess baggage.
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Terrible Vegas Vacation
Posted by on
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- My fiancé and I were on a flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas on May 13, 2011. I purchased a headset from the flight attendant for what I thought would be $2.00 but actually turned out to be $372.00. This was the beginning of a terrible vacation. Due to the overcharge, I was unable to rent a car, pay for my hotel, and basically enjoy all the perks of Las Vegas because my money/checking account was tied up due to Delta's error. Because of this, Bank of America had to freeze my account and I was unable to access cash because my debit card was frozen and I could not withdraw it from a branch because it was Saturday and the banks were closed! When I spoke to first spoke with Delta, I was told I would receive 2 call backs, one from the 1-800 number and one from the counter at the Las Vegas airport. That did not happen. When I called back Sunday, I spoke with Brent of Tampa. He told me there would be nothing they can do until I provide them with the document number to trace the charge. Well because the charge came in over the weekend, it was pending until the beginning of the week when it posted so I was unable to provide the number because there was no number yet associated with the charge. By Monday morning I was livid! I spoke with the rudest person from you Salt Lake City office, Paul, and was told there was nothing Delta can do; I would need to contact my bank and they will handle the refund. That was it; I instantly came to the conclusion that I will NEVER fly Delta again. I took my flight back to Atlanta and Tuesday morning I called your corporate number and spoke with Edith. She was very apologetic and helpful but still I am unsatisfied. She issued me case number: #10356970 and a $125 credit for another flight. Wednesay morning I check my account and nothing has happened. I call back your corporate customer service line to check the status of my case and the woman I speak with says I have yet to issue proof of the charge. I tell her I emailed it in yesterday and would she like me to fax it in.

I ask for her fax number and ask her to please have Edith, the woman I was speaking on Tuesday, give me a call back once she received it. She says sure and begins to end the call. I quickly stop her so she can confirm my telephone number, and believe it or not she has the WRONG telephone number. She reads out 4-0-4--7-1-5-2-6-0-0. I want to scream, that it Delta's corporate offices telephone number not my telephone number. She says 'oops, my bad; can I have you number please?' This is completely unacceptable. My vacation was ruined! I could not enjoy anything because I had no access to cash! I had to take public transportation because my card was declined for my rental car reservation. My RESERVED birthday dinner for my fiancé and friends was unable to happen because I had no funds. And all I get as an apology is a $125 credit? No! That is not right. I spent over $600 for our tickets to Las Vegas with Delta and because one of your flight attendants was careless and charged me $370 over the price of a $2 headset which in turn locked up my banking account, I am supposed to just accept this and move on. My big birthday bash for my fiancé was RUINED!

I am utterly and completely dissatisfied with what happened and believe that Delta needs to rectify this situation immediately and a $125 travel credit is an insult. Not to mention as of this time, 5/18/2011 at 10:33 am EST, I have yet to be refunded for the overcharge of the headset! The lack of professionalism from you first line customer service is beyond me and some definite re-training is needed.

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FlShopper on 05/19/2011:
I've never used a card on a plane...did they give you a receipt? I would imagine that whatever they used to process a payment would allow them to cancel it as well?
Anyway, it sounds like a nightmare. I hope you get it straightened out asap!
Ytropious on 05/19/2011:

Also you only have one card? This is where credit cards come in handy folks.
ChuhBaca on 05/19/2011:
Yes, that is completely unacceptable. This is the kind of story I wish could be broadcast for everyone to hear! Delta needs to own up to the consequences of their actions and the snowball effect it created.

I almost had a similar experience with my account being locked up over the weekend while in Vegas. Fortunately, I had the backup credit card. It also taught me to notify my bank that I will be using my card out of town, before I go on vacation.
DebtorBasher on 05/19/2011:
I never used a credit or debit card on a plane before, never knew you could. So, I'm wondering what is the process for this? I would think they either scan your card and you have to enter your PIN, in which case the amount would show for your approval before the transaction is completed. Or if they take your card and charge it, they would bring you a receipt to sign which would have the amount on it.
ajaynejr on 05/23/2011:
Yet another problem with debit cards compared with credit cards.
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Rude and Unhelpful flight supervisor and Delta tickets politics.
Posted by on
I was flying from Norfolk to Atlanta on Feb 6.I had such an unfortunate experience that I want to share.
As I am not from Virginia, I don't know the city much. I went to Newport news instead of Norfolk and the Delta customer there told me to go to Norfolk. I rushed to Norfolk and I got 170 dollar speeding ticket with court fees. I then hurried to the airport. I left the check in baggage with my friend and told him to send it later as I did not want to miss the flight. I immediately got the boarding pass and ran and ran to the gate.
The passengers were still checking in the flight but the front gate was closed.
Flight supervisor was called and she said she can't help with this flight. I explained my situation to the other Delta employee and she called the supervisor again. I told them that it's the last flight and if I miss this, I can't make to little rock tonight. the same flight supervisor said that she would talk to me soon but didn't not listen to what I said. I am a physician and had 13 sick patients to see in the morning which I didn't wanted to miss. I was here for a job interview and had to rush back the next morning.
As the flight departed(which was by the way not for 15 min while I was standing outside looking for it to go), the supervisor came. I told my story and how important it was for me to reach little rock. she said she would help and while she was booking next flight, she realized that it was the last flight. She immediately booked my next flight and She asked me to rush at Atlanta airport and try to catch my connecting flight. the layover time was 6 min and Atlanta being the busiest airport, I don't know how did she even say that? Why would she even give me false help and wrong suggestions when it was not possible.
I told her that when Delta flights get delayed many times, we customers don't say anything. we realize that it happens and we try to be as co operative as we can.
She had no empathy to me and refused to give me her name.
After this episode, I called my friend who suggested that there was actually US airways which was flying at 7.45 pm and would reach little Rock at night. I suggested that she can try talking to US airways which she again refused. she suggested that if wanted I can book flight with them now.( well I am 28 yrs old and I can think that much.) she could have helped me in at least 10 different ways but I saw no empathy, help or even at least listening to the customer.
When I asked what if I lose the connecting flight, she suggested that the next flight be booked tomorrow morning but I have to make my own night arrangements.
I was heart broken and felt immensely sad, helpless( for myself and my patients).

Here is the worst part. My flight reached Atlanta actually 30 min early and the flight attendant in the flight was very helpful and she tried her best to help me out. She even let me to get out of the flight first and suggested me to tell the Delta service agent that my connecting flight is 30 min away and that I have made it to the airport and will be coming soon. I did so and the agent told me not to worry. Now when I went there to board this flight and I was 15 min early, this gate was CLOSED TOO. And it was 15 min early and I asked what was the problem for which the supervisor there said he will talk soon. I was accompanied by 3 more customers there and when I asked their story, they said they were given the wrong gate.(You can verify this if you want to by looking into the customers who got canceled that flight). Now while the flight had not still left, I asked the supervisor why would he not let us board the flight?He said he can't do it and we have to stay overnight and carry the next morning flight. .When I repeatedly asked him what's the problem now, HE SAID THAT OUR SEATS ARE ALREADY SOLD AND ACTUALLY THERE ARE NO SEATS AVAILABLE.. How ridiculous and unprofessional is that?
He also read me the report saying that it was already explained to me at norfolk and the issue is resoled.
The supervisor probably knew that I would complain and she possibly did everything she can to protect herself and did everything she can to protect herself and defensive.
He did give me a free overnight stay but I am so not satisfied with Delta.
I sincerely ask for little more better service from Delta and please take this as a feedback. I would please ask for the supervisors reply to at least realize what I went through and how could the situation been handled better.
She was arrogant, impatient and extremely unhelpful and rude. not to mention, she immediately ran away from the scene in 5 min.
I am telling my horror story to all my friends and will try to post this in all the forums and Internet just to make customers realize that we as a customers should not keep quiet if we find any faults from the flight side. It probably has created lot of mistrust which is such an unfortunate event.
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Ben There on 02/08/2011:
The departure time is when the plane is actually supposed to leave the gate, not when the last passengers are supposed to get on board. 15 minutes before a flight, weights need to be calculated, standby passengers cleared, the passenger manifest must be sent to the appropriate people, bags have to be loaded, etc...

While I can appreciate how frustrating it is to see you plane still at the gate and not allowed on as I have been there myself, re-opening a flight so close to departure time most likely means the plane will be delayed as standby passengers have to be removed, new manifest created, etc...

I am impressed that they comped you a hotel night, since they were in no way responsible for making you miss the first flight.

Just out of curiosity, if you have a patient with a 10am appointment, do you expect them to walk in the door at 10am or do they have to get there early to fill out paperwork, get copies of insurance, have the nurse record the temp, weight, etc...
Anonymous on 02/08/2011:
Ben There + 10
Anonymous on 02/08/2011:
Ben, your last sentence is spot on.
Anonymous on 02/08/2011:
It's not Delta's fault you went to the wrong airport. It surely isn't Delta's fault you got a speeding ticket. It wasn't Delta's fault you showed up for your flight late. It sounds like they tried to help you as best as they could.

Your best bet is take the time to research where you are traveling, know what airport your flight is, and not exceed the speed limit getting there.
trmn8r on 02/08/2011:
I don't believe the airline did anything wrong here. I'd be pleasantly surprised that they gave me a voucher for lodging in this situation.
clutzycook on 02/09/2011:
Sorry Doc, but I think this falls under the category of "stuff happens." You accidentally went to the wrong airport which delayed you, got a speeding ticket, which delayed you further, then missed your flight. It's amazing that Delta helped you as much as they did. They could have just shrugged their shoulders and said "tough cookies."
PepperElf on 02/09/2011:
ben +++
Starlord on 02/09/2011:
Try watching a few episodes of 'Airline,' and see how airlines, especially Southwest treat people, and your story would make an entire episode. They make the rules, so if you question them, they turn nasty and have you removed for having the audacity to question them. In your case, the airline did nothing wrong, and they tried to help you more than I have ever heard any airline doing.
Anonymous on 02/09/2011:
Starlord, that was an excellent show.
PepperElf on 02/09/2011:
is it bad for me to also be thinking....

that a doctor who confuses Norfolk International (ORF) with Patrick Henry Field (PHF) might not be one that I want prescribing my medications...?

MRM on 02/09/2011:
I hope he doesn't practice in Norfolk,VA.
jktshff1 on 02/09/2011:
2nd Pepper
Solumina on 02/09/2011:
It sounds like you don't understand that Norfolk and Newport News are not part of the same city. I could understand if you were in a city with multiple airports or something but ORF and PHF are nowhere near each other, Newport News and Norfolk aren't even adjacent cities.
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Delta ticketing agents frighteningly incompetent and rude
Posted by on
Here's my experience with just trying BOOK a frigging flight with this brain dead airline. I was using points from a credit card that had to be transferred over to my Delta frequent flier account so my family and me could fly on my miles. I called a month ahead of time to do so.
The first nimrod I got was overseas with a thick accent and a fake American name. After numerous attempts to make myself understood he told me I would need 80,000 miles total to qualify for seats. Made the reservation and called my Credit card company and they immediately transferred the miles over. Simple yes? Wrong. The genius in Delhi, Calcutta or whatever third world backwater was wrong. It was 80,000 miles PER SEAT. Luckily, I called Delta just before I lost my seats and found this out. The next agent I spoke to Jason was a rocket scientist in OHIO. He reassured me that he would extend the deadline on my reservation for two more days until the additional miles came in.
Jumpy now, I called the next day, a day BEFORE the new deadline, and got Jenny in the US who told me that my reservation had been canceled because it was past the deadline. Smoke coming out of my ears I said, "Your agent assured me that he would extend the deadline and you're telling me now that my reservation GONE? I called a MONTH in advance for these flights. These times and dates are non-negotiable. We have to be in Atlanta on a certain day for a certain event. " "Well let me see what I can do for you, click, click, click, okay I found your itinerary and I've re-booked those flights. You can go on and see them there." She promises to send me an email confirming this. Problem solved, right? WRONG! I never get an email confirming this conversation. Not trusting anything this pathetic excuse for a company tells me, I check my reservation on their website and, sure enough, Jenny screwed up my return flight booking it A MONTH LATER than my original one.
Head... about... to.... explode, I call Delta and get Carol who sounds like a dude. Either that or she's smoked so much that she’s got a voice that could strip paint. I make my frustration and displeasure with Delta plain to Carol who is -- how should I put it -- an unsympathetic witch with the listening skills of Glenn Beck. She starts stonewalling, tells me I'm being unreasonable and that it's not a big deal. "NOT A BIG DEAL?" I've had to make four, count ‘em; four phone calls to make a simple fight reservation and each time YOU GUYS have nearly screwed me. How is that not a big deal? Finally, I get my return flight sorted out with yet another reservation, and ask her to send me an email confirming this. She refuses, telling me they don't send emails unless the ticket is paid for. I point out that the first guy in outsourced hell already sent me one and Jenny said she would (Although she never did) Carol still refuses and then has the nerve to tell me I'm acting unreasonable. So, I make her stay on the line while I go their website to confirm she did what she said. She had. After promises to stay in touch, we say our tearful goodbyes.

As of now, I'm holding a reservation on the dates I want but Delta has not processed the miles my credit card company has transferred over. I still may lose this reservation and again, bear in mind, this is me planning a trip A MONTH in advance. Does it really have to this hard?
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dan gordon on 01/07/2011:
if the anger in your writing is any indication of how you come across on the phone, your lucky you got any action at all.
msnanny on 01/07/2011:
I was thinking the same thing dan. Very condescending attitude toward everybody.
momsey on 01/07/2011:
True. Overall, I think the OP has a valid complaint, but it's hard to really get through all of the nonsense (thick accent, sounds like a man, rocket scientist, etc.)
trmn8r on 01/07/2011:
Dan_Gordon -> As I was reading, I was wondering the same thing. The OP sounds very critical of the people he was dealing with, not just the process. Yes, there were miscommunications and oversights, but you should remain respectful. I hope he did so.
ontario_girl on 01/07/2011:
I agree with the frustration the OP must have been experiencing but if the OP gave me the same attitude on the phone that he displayed in this post, he would have been lucky to stay on the line with me. I would have hung up after the first ignorant comment.
Ben There on 01/07/2011:
Next time go to and go through the motions of booking a Skymiles reward ticket - it is just like booking a regular ticket, but you tick the " Book SkyMiles Award Ticket" box. It will show you the number of miles you need on the dates you want. I am not sure if lets you hold mileage itineraries like other airlines, but that might also be an option.

I do want to mention that 80,000 miles per person is a huge amount of miles for a domestic ticket... You must be paying a premium as lower level of miles must be sold out. Assuming you are buying 2 tickets, the same 160,000 miles could get much farther - in fact, if you book early enough it could get you one business class ticket anywhere in the world... If regular tickets are just $200-$300 dollars a ticket, it would make a lot more sense to purchase these tickets to Atlanta with a credit card and use the 160K to fly business class somewhere far away. International biz class normally cost you $2,000 to $10,000 out of pocket per person, but can be had with miles from 60K to 150K miles round trip.
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"Held Hostage" by Delta for 16 Days in Johannesburg!
Posted by on
Dear Sir / Madam,

One can understand that it sometimes can be difficult to get a seat on a plane, more so during peak travelling times, flying on a Delta Buddy Pass, on a standby basis….

That being said and done, our first attempt to get on our Delta flight (Flight DL201) from Johannesburg back to Atlanta was on December 10, 2010.

Needless to say, after having checked in at 15H45, as was required, we were told to return to the particular check-in counter at 19H00. That we did, and stood around until 20H20, when the flight departed. At no stage were we advised that no seats were available….. The people working for Delta at the check-in counters simply closed up their workstations, and disappeared…. No word of what the situation entailed – i.e. no seats available, the plane has departed, or to come back and try again the following night! Nada, Zilch!

The above events were repeated for the following 6 nights, no seats, no explanation, nothing….. That was when I felt I had come to the point that I felt I was owed an explanation by the people in the Delta Ticketing booth….

At all times I remained polite (in fact, my wife who is a multi-media producer, has all on video), and during my conversation with the staff in the ticketing booth, it became clear that they did not work for Delta Airlines, they were merely subcontracted by Delta, and in fact worked for a company called Swissport.

That was when I demanded to speak to their supervisor – if they had such a person - and it then transpired that Delta had in fact only one employee / manager, a person with the name of [snip]. I demanded to speak to him, but was advised that he had already left and gone home… I demanded that they call him at home, which they did.

Keith, the manager of Delta Airlines at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, was not at all interested in my questions, particularly when I asked him about another standby couple who had offered their seats to myself and my wife, when they learnt that we had been stuck for more than a week, not being able to get on a Delta flight… and when I pointed out to him that there were in fact 22 seats available on the plane, he simply said that Delta’s first priority was to load extra cargo, instead of standby passengers (Non-Revenue Passengers, as standby passengers are known to Delta) as that was financially the most logical thing for Delta to do.

He then simply hung up the phone on me – the last thing one would expect from a Delta employee, but then, alas, perhaps understandable in the Africa context where very little accountability can be expected!

About 5 minutes later, three different couples who were also on buddy-passes and on the same priority rating, offered their seats to us, as that was their first attempt, and they by then knew that we were now trying for 6 nights to get on the plane! The check-in people simply refused to allocate that particular couple’s tickets to us, or to any other of the other standby passengers for that matter!

One particular couple - who were then indeed allocated two seats - were so annoyed that Delta would not pass on their seats to long waiting standby passengers, that they then simply refused to get on the plane, and cancelled their boarding passes….. Regardless of that, Delta would not issue those particular seats to ANY of the waiting standby passengers!!!

That being said and done, we simply went back to the ticketing office, to have us again placed on the standby waiting list for the following night…. That was the night of 18 December….

Every night the same thing happened….

Some passengers did a trip to South Africa for 10 days, only to be stuck at O. R. Tambo for the same number of days! (Personally, we have been trying to get on the Delta flight for 14 days now!) – This all is nothing but a clear example of an abuse of power!

But then also – the total breakdown in security!

One particular passenger who lucked out and was given a boarding pass, called us again when we had returned to the hotel, after another unsuccessful attempt to get on the flight! She had cleared customs, was cleared by security personnel, and got on the plane, only to find that someone was sitting in her allocated seat! She called a flight attendant, and it then became clear that the boarding pass given to her at check-in was in the name of another person, and not in her name! Needless to say, she was then again promptly escorted off the plane, and nobody was held accountable or even questioned about the breakdown in security!!!

On December 23, we tried again to get on the flight, with no luck, regardless that we were told earlier in the week that the 23rd is wide open, with many seats available, and that the 23rd was THE day to get on the flight on a stand-by passenger basis!

It became clear when passengers started checking in that there were 22 seats available in business class, and 94 in economy class…. Guess what – only 2 passengers on standby were allowed to board the plane!!!!

Again we were fed the nonsense that the number of standby passengers allowed to fly was subject to the amount of cargo to be taken on, which was UTTER NONSENSE! That became clear when one retired Delta pilot, (also on standby – but on a higher priority of course!) explained to us that the cargo story fed to us was nonsense…. According to him, if a flight has an 8 PM departure, the cargo would already have been loaded on the plane by 4 pm !!!!

According to the same pilot, the issue was only about the inefficiency of the agents booking in passengers and issuing boarding passes…. We checked, and sure as hell – THAT was indeed the problem!!!

It took a minimum of 4 hours for inefficient staff to issue boarding passes to all passengers… (Again, they are not employed by Delta Airlines, but are subcontracted from a company called Swissport – hence the fact that they have no incentive to work faster or more efficient!)

• Look at this now…. This same retired pilot, when he SAW that Delta would not board a standby passenger with a sick baby in her arms, then went and BOUGHT the lady and her baby a ticket out of his own pocket, just so that she could get on the flight, and get her baby home! Shame on Delta!!!!

A couple of “non-revs”, as standby passengers are known and described by Delta, killed time by comparing how long it took other airlines to issue boarding passes to their waiting passengers…. Believe it or not, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and BA took an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes to board their passengers! – Compared to Delta’s FOUR hours!!!!

• So the story given by Delta that the weather, cargo / passenger ratio etc. was the determining factor as to how many standby passengers were allowed to board is plain poppy cock!

• It simply boils down to this – the captain on the plane has a departure time deadline, otherwise he gets dinged - and when it comes close to his scheduled departure time, he simply has the aircraft doors closed and proceeds to depart…. Which means - To hell with whom still needs to board – even if it is a passenger with a fully paid ticket – not just the standby-passengers!

• So these are the simple facts – but Delta will not acknowledge the problems are 99% to be blamed on inefficient people employed on a subcontract basis – as that will not be the Political Correct thing to do!!!! – so they blame it on totally irrelevant factors like weather and cargo!! (If that was indeed the case, why do other airlines not have the same problems!!!!??)

Just look at the message BELOW sent to me by Rob Kight - Vice President – Compensation, Benefits and Services - Delta Air Lines, Inc.

How DARE they THREATEN passengers like this!!!!! – Please read the message below!!

(Received by me, when a good friend of mine, Dan Marx of Santa Barbara, contacted Delta in order to try help getting us on a flight!) – Totally bloody preposterous!!! (It is not like “non-revs” are flying for free – standby passengers still pay around 50% of an economy class ticket!

Threatening one to have the flight privileges of the person who gave us the standby ticket is so egregiously inhumane, and corporate crap! (And amounts to blackmailing!)

On Christmas Eve, we were told that DELTA had a total embargo on standby passengers, meaning we were again stuck for the night at the airport, and could only HOPE to get on a flight on CHRISTMAS DAY!!!

On Christmas Day - Day 16 of trying to get on a Delta Flight, we again went to the airport at 3 PM, to have ourselves listed on the standby-list. One particular employee named Quentin, (his name tag described him as a flight controller) - told us to come back to see him (not another agent!) at 7PM, when it was the cut-off time to check in. He apparently had received word that the Captain on flight DL201 had decided to allow all 14 stand-by passengers to board the flight!

At last! – After 16 attempts go get on a Delta flight!

We were advised that we were to take up seats as indicated on our boarding passes, but that we were to be moved to the business class section after takeoff, when the plane reached cruising altitude.

We did so when told to move seats, only to be faced by disgruntled and irritated flight attendants, when we were seated….. As it was, they were already mad at having to work on Christmas Day, and then got even more disgruntled when the section which was supposed to be clear of any passengers, were now filled by the “non-revs” the Captain allowed to board!

(The flight attendants were rude and unfriendly, and one could almost feel that the food and drinks were just about thrown at you!)

So, there it is – Our 16 day ordeal with Delta Airlines – with whom I will never fly again, and an airline I will not recommend to any of my clients going on an African Safari.

Louis van Tonder
African Safari Connection
16,475 Indian Ruins Road
Prescott, AZ 86305
United States of America

From: Bailey, Raewyn [mailto:Raewyn.] On Behalf Of Kight, Rob
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 10:21 AM
To: ''; ''
Cc: Cantarutti, Perry
Subject: Buddy Pass Rider

Thank you for your letter concerning your recent Buddy Pass experience.

As you know, the Buddy Pass program is a privilege extended to Delta employees. Buddy Pass riders should only correspond with the Delta employee/retiree who provided them the pass for information about the Buddy Pass program or to share any concerns about a travel experience – whether recent or in progress. The Delta employee/retiree is responsible for ensuring that those with whom he chooses to share that privilege are familiar with how the program works and for addressing with Delta any concerns with a particular trip.

We have asked Patricia Knight, the Delta retiree who gave you the Buddy Pass, to follow up with you on your concerns. If she is unable to answer your questions, she is welcome to contact Delta to have the issue resolved. In the future, the Delta employee/retiree should be your first and only line of contact when issues arise around your use of a Buddy Pass on Delta. Additional correspondence to Delta from you concerning your travels on Buddy Passes could result in the Delta retiree’s Buddy Passes being revoked.


Rob Kight
Vice President – Compensation, Benefits and Services
Delta Air Lines, Inc.

From: dmarx1 []
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 10:21 AM
To: richard.; perry.; edward.; glen.; vinay.; tim.
Subject: FW: Louis and Terri - Stuck in Africa
Delta team:

Is this the way your airline and/or its partners work??

If you can give a friend a bit of help, it would be appreciated.

Best regards,


Daniel R. Marx, Ph. D.
Vice President, Marketing
Burg Consulting Corporation
2339 Vista Del Campo
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: (805) 895-7932
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User Replies:
MDSasquatch on 12/28/2010:
Given a choice, I always fly Southwest; when they are unavailable, I choose Delta. Both airlines have always treated me very well.

Did you consider purchasing a ticket on any of the 15 days you were "stuck"?
Ben There on 12/28/2010:
Your concerns should be with the person who gave you the buddy pass. Flying from South Africa during December can be hard even if you want to pay for a ticket as seats are at a premium. Your friend should have warned you.

I would not be surprised if Delta yanks the privileges of traveling for free from your friend.
Slimjim on 12/28/2010:
Well he did say in so many words, if you don't stop bothering us first on this, we will revoke buddy pass privileges with the retiree.
I do know this, buddy passes are like one of those things airlines seem to begrudge offering at all and make very clear they don't want hassles over doing so.
Still, considering what the poster went through, they shouldn't offer them if the hassle level to use one becomes this ridiculous.
Ben There on 12/28/2010:
The hassles come when you try to travel at peak times and the travelers are not informed by the pass givers. Not only is Christmas a crazy busy time, but it is also Summer in Cape Town. The OP chose to risk standby travel at the busiest time of the year. Had the OP waited till a slower travel time all would have gone well.
jktshff1 on 12/28/2010:
Get the names and personal info off of this.
Obsfucation on 12/28/2010:
This is a tough way to learn that a Buddy Pass is worth every cent that you paid for it.
momsey on 12/28/2010:
I don't see any threats in the Delta employee's email. Apparently, a buddy pass means you're flying for free because you're friends with a Delta retiree. It appears that the way those passes are handled is through the retiree. You're flying for free, they don't want to hear complaints from you.

I understand your frustration with trying to get home, but I also wonder, as MDS did, if you tried to purchase tickets to get yourself out of SA.

When you get something for free, you have to accept what comes to you. If you don't like it, you are welcome to pay for the service.
Ben There on 12/28/2010:
Buddy passes are not 100% free because you still have to pay taxes and fees, but they can still be a lot cheaper than regular tickets.

I just did a quick search and it looks like the going rate for Johannesburg to Atlanta tomorrow is over $2300 one way, and looking at the seat map there is only 1 seat left.
Anonymous on 12/28/2010:
All airlines call standby passengers on buddy passes 'non revenue,' not just Delta. It simply means that you don't have a pre-paid confirmed seat
clutzycook on 12/28/2010:
I think that after a couple of days if I were that desperate to get home, I would have just sucked it up and paid the couple grand for a seat.
Nohandle on 12/28/2010:
I had a family member fly "Buddy Pass" once. A pilot friend had offered it to him and the family member was delighted. Only when he been bumped numerous times at a terminal decided he in the future would pay for a ticket. He just sat there waiting for his name to be called. He expected nothing for free and received just that. Some folks luck up and others learn what it's all about.
Maria on 03/03/2013:
Never go on them. Shop around you can get paying ticket for almost the same price. Just not worth the hassle.
Dan on 12/04/2013:
On long distance flights, the aircraft often does reach its weight capacity due to cargo. We've missed flights from the South Pacific because the cargo hold was loaded with tuna. Pass riding is for those with great patience and available time.
Desmo on 12/28/2013:
Expecting peak season Nordstrom service at a Walmart price. Ain't going to happen.
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Vacation Ruined... Delta Does Nearly Nothing.
Posted by on
ALTANTA, GEORGIA -- On Saturday October 2, 2010, I left Sarasota, Fl on Delta Flight 2348 to Atlanta, GA. I was then supposed to continue to Paris, France, on Delta Flight 274 and continue to Genoa, Italy on Delta Flight 5843 with a final destination arrival time of 5:20pm on Sunday October 3, 2010. With an on-time departure from Sarasota, we actually arrived about 20 minutes early into Atlanta, GA. While this was the case, we could not reach our gate because another Delta aircraft was at our assigned gate.

After sitting on the runway until almost 8:30 PM, we finally reached a gate and unloaded from the aircraft. I immediately made contact with the agent at the gate and told her to let my other flight know that I was there and would be at the gate soon. She confirmed and I started running to the gate. I arrived at the gate at 8:35. There were still five to seven people in front of me to board the plane and an irate gentleman at the ticket counter. The Delta representative at the gate took my ticket and passport, scanned my ticket, and was in motion to scan my passport.

The other Delta representative at the ticket counter said “He (referring to me) didn’t get here early enough; he can’t get on the plane.” In the meantime, the gentleman at the counter that did not originally have an assigned seat on the plane was allowed on the plane and I was bumped. I was directed to a Delta special services counter and the door to the gate was closed.

At the counter, I was told that the soonest I could leave was the next day. I was schedule for Delta flight 130 at 4:40PM to Munich and then Continental Flight 5486 to Genoa at 11:00 AM on Monday October 4, 2010. I was also told that Delta was only going to give me a discounted rate at a hotel because the rescheduled flight was not Delta’s fault; it was air traffic controls fault. While waiting on the hotel shuttle, I called the Delta, explained the situation and the representative said it wasn’t Delta’s fault, it was due to in climate weather in the area. If clear skies and on a starry night is in climate weather for a Delta aircraft, I don’t feel comfortable riding in one. After continuing the conversation, the representative said he would give me a $50 flight credit. At this point in time, I am still paying for a hotel room in
Atlanta. I have to pay for might night missed in Genoa, and I lose a full day’s work. In my luggage was also two boxes of brochures that were going to be used for the sales of boats at the Genoa International Boat Show. Without these brochures, the company’s full line cannot be shown to customers and sales are missed.

Finally arriving to the hotel at 12:20AM on Sunday October 3, 2010, I get a room. The room was dirty and the bed wasn’t even made. The hotel that Delta recommended had a nice lobby but the room was awful. I was put in another room. At 3:30AM, I received a notice from Expedia saying that I needed to contact the company immediately pertaining to my flight. At that time, I called Expedia and they informed me that the flight from Munich to Genoa was overbooked and I was only on the standby list for the flight. While even more frustrated with the situation, I tried to sleep for a while and returned to the airport to sort out the matter.

At the same special services counter from the day before, I asked about my flight and told them I wanted a guaranteed flight and did not want to be on standby. After checking my reservation, the Delta representative was baffled at her findings telling me that she did not have access to the Continental flight information but the flight was in conjunction with an airline that Delta is not even supposed to book with. Once again, I was rescheduled on a new set of flights. This time, I was scheduled on Delta Flight AF681 to Paris at 5:50 PM on Sunday October 3, 2010 and Delta flight AF5847 to Genoa at 9:55 AM.

Delta Flight Af681 to Paris left on time and landed on time. The connection to Genoa, AF5847, left on time also. While in the air, the captain explained that we were circling the Genoa airport because of storms, and we were number 6 in line to land. We were expected to land in about 30minutes. About 15 minutes pasted and the captain came on again saying that the airport was now closed due to flooding, and we would be landing in Nice, France. Upon arrival, I proceeded to baggage claim and received none of the three pieces of luggage I checked. I reported my delayed luggage and proceeded to the provided bus to Genoa. When we got to the bus, the driver told us that there was to be no
eating or drinking on his bus. We would arrive in Genoa in three to three and a half hours, and we could eat then. About five hours into the ride, yes five, a girl appearing to be in her early teens asked the driver to unlock the bathroom so she could use it. He denied her request and she sat down. About 20 minutes later she returned and was denied again. Immediately her father stepped in along with other passengers on the bus and demanded that the restroom be unlocked. We were sitting still in traffic and there was no reason the driver couldn’t do it. After a small uproar, he gave in. On his way to unlock the door, he yelled to the passengers to not take advantage of the
toilet because he didn’t want to have to empty it and clean it. After six and a half hours of travel, the driver exited the highway and dropped all of the passengers and their luggage off at an abandoned gas station that had several beggars at time just inside of Genoa. I tried to get the driver to let me use his phone or give information at least. He resisted, slammed the bus door and drove away. Now, Delta has dropped me off in an unsafe environment, in pouring rain, in a foreign country, with a foreign language, without any official of the country seeing my passport. Immediately, the number of beggars grew and so did my uncertainty. I, along with a group of other passengers, got together and began walking toward hotel Novotel. The front desk at Novotel was nice enough to call a cab for me. After waiting an hour, a cab arrived. I was taken to the hotel where I was supposed to meet my colleague, Bristol Hotel Palace.

Upon arrival at the hotel, I called my hotel, Hotel Alexander, and was told that my reservations had been sold. I did notify them before leaving the USA that my flight had been moved to the following day to keep my reservation. Since the airport was closed, they didn’t think that I was going to arrive and sold my reservation. Luckily, another person from my company was staying at another hotel and took a different airline. I stayed at the Bristol Hotel where he was and got a room for the night. Before going to bed, I called and had the information for my delayed luggage changed and confirmed.

The next day and the days following, I called from my hotel, Bristol Hotel, checking on the luggage. The lost baggage line had no information on the luggage. My final day in Genoa, I received an email from Hotel Alexander saying that they had my luggage. I called from my hotel and they said I needed to give them 1500 Euros to release my luggage. Of course, I do not speak Italian, and they only spoke very broken English. I told them I was not paying the fee but I need my luggage. They hung up on me three times and demanded the money. I called Delta (actually Air France) and the representative said that it
was their mistake and the airline would pick up the luggage and bring it to Hotel Bristol. The entire day passed and I didn’t receive the luggage. I finally called and went to Hotel Alexander myself to get the luggage. Strangely enough there was a representative there that could speak perfect English and demand the 1500 Euros. After arguing and bartering for over 30minutes, I had to pay 270 Euros to get my luggage. At this point, I was surrounded by 4 large men yelling at me in Italian; I felt I had to pay or I wasn’t going to leave there in good health or well-being. This is another dangerous situation that Delta and its partners forced me to be in.

Delta offered me 19000 skymiles. What a joke. A refund of the entire trip, a refund of the money I paid to get the luggage back, refund for the clothing and laundering I had to do, and a refund for the extra $255 worth of luggage I checked is what I should get.
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User Replies:
James_236 on 10/16/2010:
You should take Delta to Small Claims court. This story about air traffic control and weather sounds like nonsense. The burden will be on Delta to prove these things and even if they can it is still not a Defence. What applies is the Montreal Convention which provides for strict liability up to certain limits. You should get back not only your full fare and expenses but also something for the inconvenience and your wasted time. Delta only puts up a front when you complain but once they reach in court they fold up. Take a look at a review about how Delta gave in when taken to court when their flight was cancelled because of a snow storm
Anonymous on 10/16/2010:
I agree that you should seek payment from Delta for many of the things that happened to you. Keep up your protest with them. Hopefully you'll be reimbursed and compensated for their lousy service.
Ben There on 10/16/2010:
What happened with Delta is not fun, but can happen on any airline. I would be much more happy with Hotel Alexander - not only did they give away your room, but then they tried to extort you for over $2,000 just to get something that already belonged to you. I don't see how that is Delta's fault at all.
Anonymous on 10/16/2010:
Ben, it sounds like Delta delivered the luggage to the wrong hotel, probably neglecting to note the change of hotels on their records.
Ben There on 10/17/2010:
Sing, this is one of those times where international travel problems get tricky. While Delta was most likely responsible for the bag being delayed, Air France was the airline that carried both the OP and the delayed bags to Italy, so they are the ones that were responsible for sending the bags out to the delivery company.

To add an extra layer of complexity to this issue, airlines hand over delayed bags to courier companies to deliver delayed bags, and the delivery company was the one who technically gave the bags to the wrong hotel - Its like Delta delivered a bag to Air France who delivered a bag to FedEx who sent the bag to the wrong place, but instead of FedEx it is a local delivery company that no one even knows to point fingers at.

Maybe Air France passed on the change of hotel address to the delivery company or maybe they didn't, but Hotel Alexander NEVER should have extorted the OP for over $2000 to get his or her bag, especially since the hotel re-sold the room the OP reserved. That is nothing more than thievery. Someone along the chain screwed up by not changing the hotel name on the delayed bag, but this nasty hotel was the one that chose to penalize the OP by charging an enormous amount of money to claim the bags. If you ask me, that is horrible.
Traveling Terry on 11/27/2010:
This site is full of Delta apologists. This sounds like a typical Delta experience to me and there is no excuse for it.
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Unresponsive/ Useless Customer Service on Baggage Claim
Posted by on
Back in October 2009 I returned from a trip with my husband to find my baggage damaged beyond repair. I immediately took it to the customer service area and filed a damaged report with the agent. Since then here is a recap of the 8 months of run around I have got from Delta Airlines....always promising a check is in the mail or to call me back...I have received neither and now am out luggage too.

06/01/2010 2:04pm – Contacted Delta again today, have not received anything in the mail and wanted to confirm where the case stood. On hold for 18 minutes then spoke with Thelma. Ask for an update on case #7443XXX. She sees nothing in regards to my claim under that #. I also gave her the claim # from Miriam Herrin’s email Delta File H8615XX. She can’t get into that file so she is seeing if she can find someone that can. Going to transfer to another department, I should hear something within the next few days.

05/21/2010 8:25am – As of today still no call from Delta Corporate or no response to the email sent on 04/27/2010. Spoke to Jason he told me that the case was completed it is case # 74432XXX and the check should be sent within 10 days.

05/11/2010 12:32pm – Contacted the 800# & spoke to Sherry. She told me there was nothing in the system about my claim. She said she would email corporate and they would contact me. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she refused saying they couldn’t do anything for me and the only way they could contact them was via email (that they didn’t have a phone number for them). I asked when I could expect a call and she said she really didn’t know.
04/29/2010 10:10AM– Contacted the 800# & spoke to Donna. I gave her the background and she informed me that the claims are not handled in Augusta any further they are handled in ATL. She did see in the system that the claim was approved on 04/26/2010 for the full amount and if I haven’t received a check within 10 days to call back.
04/28/2010 was at the Des Moines Airport and spoke to an agent about the email and showed them the damage report the agent filed and they said that should be sufficient and to contact the 800# again.

04/27/2010 Received an email today stating that because I didn’t file my claim within 21 days that they would not process it? I responded asking to have it re-evaluated because the agent at the airport filed the claim on 10/19/2009.

“April 27, 2010
Dear Ms. Hanke,
Thank you for the additional information concerning your damaged bag. After further review of our files, we are unable to locate any record of your loss prior to your letter on February 8, 2010.
The airlines consider claims which are presented in writing within twenty-one days from the date of travel. Because your letter failed to meet this requirement, we respectfully decline to honor your claim. However, if you have insurance coverage that will provide for payment, we will be glad to cooperate with your insurance company in their investigation.
We will reconsider the matter if you can furnish any proof that your claim was submitted within the specified time limit.
Miriam Herrin
Claims Manager
Customer Care Baggage Claims”

04/13/2010 I received an email from Delta stating they did receive my fax and will be expediting it for processing.
03/23/2010 Received an email from Customer Care asking me to refax the claim to 404-677-3097 attn: JSM Ref # 10874087 – Faxed at 3:40pm
03/16/2010 8:00am Re-faxed to claim report to Delta
03/15/2010 1:39pm spoke to Angela. She asked for the File # I gave her OMANW126XX from the damage report. She doesn’t show receipt of the fax? Asked me to refax it again.

02/05/2010 Faxed document
Sent 01/27/2010:
This is the second email I have sent to this website: the first on 01/18/2010 with NO response given! I think this is unfair that now the airline has not paid me a dime & taken my suitcase!
Sent 01/18/2010:
Good morning, I am writing today because I feel I am out of options and don’t know where else to go. On October 19, 2009 my husband and I were returning from vacationing in Mexico. When we returned to the Omaha, NE airport we found our bag to be broke. I took it to the service counter and he opened it looked at it and filed a claim which he gave me a copy of the damage report. He told me since we live in Des Moines and needed to get our stuff from the suitcase before we turn it in we could do so in Des Moines. On Sunday, October 25th I went to the Des Moines airport with the claim form and bag and they asked if they could exchange it for one they had there. I had recently purchased the bag for $240.00 and still had the receipts and the bags that were at the airport didn’t compare. The customer service representative told me since the bag was less than 6 months old they could give me a full refund of 100% ($240.00). She took my receipts and bags wrote on the damage report 6 month $240.00 and told me I would have a check in 4-6 weeks. That time passed and I had not heard anything so I called the 800# she gave to me on 12/08/09. I was asked to call back later that day because the systems were down. I then called on 12/14 and spoke to Sherry she told me there was no claim in the system and she took my number and was going to have someone contact me. That NEVER happened! On 12/23/09 I contact the 800# again and spoke to Vickie she told me the claim was closed and a check was sent. She gave me file # 7443XXX. On 01/18/2010 I had still not received a check so I called the 800# again and spoke with Annette. She told me to call Corporate at 404-714-7101 and press option 2 but then told me they would be closed today so I would have to call back. I asked her to verify that a check was sent because I had received the run around so much. With her looking into it she told me that that claim was closed in February? I was confused because I didn’t file this claim until October? She looked into it further and that claim # was for a delayed flight where we were stuck in Orlando so they gave everyone $100 vouchers, not for my baggage. She said I would have to resubmit a claim because they have no record of this claim and to go on line and find the form. Well I guess I could do that but the Customer Service Rep in the Des Moines airport took all of my receipts, luggage, etc? I don’t know where to go with this. It was not a cheap bag costing me $240.00 and I am really disappointed with the run around I have been receiving. Can you please help me get this figured out or direct me where to go to? This is going on 12 weeks or run around and I think that is unacceptable. Thanks!
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Ryan84 on 06/23/2010:
Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590
Phone: 202-366-2220
TTY: 202-366-0511

Report Delta to this agency. Call and tell them you have reported them too.
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Animals get better treatment
Posted by on
On 3/13/10, during the recent windstorms, my family and I flew from Nassau to LaGuardia, NY and were to connect to Detroit on Delta airlines. The plane was delayed before take-off for 20 minutes to take on extra fuel the pilot indicated. Little did the unwary passengers know the airport was closed in New York and the pilot wanted to be ready to circle the airport for some time. This fact was only revealed to the passengers mid-flight. We were told there were high winds in New York and the airport was only intermittently open for short periods of time. The pilot informed us that it was unlikely we would be able to land in New York and suggested we may be re-routed to Pittsburgh. Nothing else was relayed to the passengers until we had circled LaGuardia for almost two hours. At this point the pilot told the passengers that we were not going to land in New York, as the airport was still closed and now low on fuel we had to be re-routed immediately to another airport. The airport we were sent to was Harrisburg, PA (apparently a charming town - I had plenty of time to read their tourist literature while there). Unknown to any of the passengers until we were on the ground, the Harrisburg airport was only equipped to accept commuter jets and not a jet of our size. We waited on the tarmac for approx. one and a half hours while we were told someone was coming in from home to determine how to unload the aircraft. We finally disembarked about 9:30pm, approximately 8 hours since our departure. Most of the passengers had not eaten since breakfast and were starving and no special effort was made by the airline to feed us. There were no open restaurants in the Harrisburg airport. We were told that we were going to overnight in Harrisburg and try to get to LaGuardia the next day. We were told that no one could unload our bags and they would stay in the belly of the aircraft overnight. Delta made arrangements for all of the passengers to stay at a nearby Best Western. I informed to flight crew and the ticketing agent I waited in line about an hour to see that both my wife and I had medicine in our luggage that we needed. We were told that retrieving our luggage was impossible and we were repeatedly chastised by Delta personnel that we should have packed our medicine in our carry on luggage, implying that the problem was due to our poor foresight and not their fault The fact of the matter was that we had medicine at home and assumed that if our luggage were lost we would be O. K. Little did we imagine that we would be mishandled not our luggage.
Once we arrived at the ticket agent's desk we were told that there were no flights to Detroit, our final destination, they were all over booked. If we went back to New York there were no flights and if we tried to fly direct from Harrisburg there were no flights. They refused to take the time to see if we could be re-routed through another city like Cincinnati or Atlanta. I understand that by this time it was late and the ticket agent was probably tired and there were many other passengers to help, however, I was shocked when her response to our plight was to say, "here's the 800 #, try to find a flight by calling the number." I felt as though the airline had dropped us in a strange city with little prospect of getting home, no luggage, no medicine, and no food and essentially abandoned us with nothing more than a phone number. The story didn't end there. We went to the Best Western where the kitchen staff was trying to close and luckily we and several of the other passengers were able to order pizza delivery, some, but definitely not all of the passengers were able to get food from the hotel restaurant. I repeatedly called the 800# only to get a busy signal. Finally after midnight I got through and waited for another 30 minutes for someone to answer the phone. They told me there were two seats on a 7:30am flight and another two seats on a 4:30pm flight. I explained that we were traveling with our daughter and her college friend and we were uncomfortable with splitting up, to which the person on the other end of the line responded, "that's what we have take it or leave it, if you don't take it someone else will and you'll have no flight." We reluctantly made the reservation. It was now about 1:00am and the night we switched to daylight savings, so were going to loose an additional hour. So at 5:30 am with virtually no sleep, we all went back to the airport. A ticket agent did look for our bags but was unable to find them and I appreciate at least one person working for Delta who seemed to care for our predicament. We sent our daughter and roommate to Detroit. We tried unsuccessfully to go standby and waited in the airport another 9 hours for the next flight. Since we don't live in Detroit but had driven to the airport our daughter and friend had to wait in Detroit for us to get there 9 hours after them, sleeping on benches in the airport until we arrived.
In summary, we left Nassau to fly to an airport that was closed. No one but the flight crew knew this. Second we circled the airport in New York with a "land at LaGuardia at all costs attitude," until we ran out of fuel and had to be re-directed to an airport that could not accommodate us. All of this could have easily been avoided. We could have been told that the airport on New York was likely closed prior to our departure. When the plane arrived in New York and the airport was closed Delta could have immediately re-routed us to a suitable airport rather than circling until we ran low on fuel. Certainly, they could have cared more about our welfare during the ordeal.
Unfortunately, no significant effort was made by Delta to ensure that we were fed. No significant effort was made by Delta to help us get to our ultimate destination. "Do the best you can" and "take it or leave it" was their attitude. No significant effort was made until morning to get our medicine. I am a practicing physician in Michigan and if any of my colleagues or I made "seat of the pants" decisions about our patients welfare that in retrospect were as poorly made we wouldn't be in practice very long. I am amazed that airlines, which must deal with this sort of problem on a regular basis apparently have very few guiding principles and policies to help them, instead it is just the luck of the draw where you go and how you're treated. Hopefully the airlines can learn something from our experience. The airlines seem to think that if they get you to your destination in one piece, no matter how long that takes they did their job. In medicine if we say to patients at the end of a procedure, you’re procedure was done and you’re alive, that is rarely adequate consolation to them. People want to be and deserve to be treated with dignity.

Sincerely, Keith Getz
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goduke on 03/25/2010:
Delta doesn't make the decisions about whether they are going to fly to a particular airport. The plane is told "the airport is open intermittently, take off and go yonder." If the airport opens up and they can land, great. If the airport stays closed, that have to take other actions. I can pretty much guarantee that the prevailing authorities felt positive that LaGuardia would be able to let the plane land, or they wouldn't have put it in the air. It's possible that the storm strengthened unexpectedly, or didn't move off as the weather boys predicted. That seems to happen a lot in the northeast, I've noticed.

Consequently, there wasn't really anything for Delta to tell you before you took off. At that point, the plan was to land at LaGauardia. Weather issues cause havoc for airlines, and this storm was a whopper.

Granted, they should have been better about trying to find an alternative in Harrisburg to get you to Detroit City. However, as a physician, you should know that it's important to keep your medicine on you when travelling in case there is an unfortunate even, such as this one.
momsey on 03/25/2010:
Sounds like a pretty terrible situation, and I'm sure Delta could have handled it better from a customer service angle. But, I live in North Jersey, and I can tell you that this was the worst and most unexpected storm we've had in years. I don't think anyone expected it to be as bad or last as long as it did. The crew doesn't want to be circling the airport any more than you do, and they can't make a decision of "we're not going" if there is a possibility that they can land.

Definitely always keep your medication with you, no matter what. As you found out, things happen.

Again, sounds like a really bad experience and I would not have wanted to be in that situation but Mother Nature is a *bleep* sometimes!
MDSasquatch on 03/25/2010:
I flew Southwest out of Burbank two years ago; our flight was delayed because of high winds. The solution was to take some of the heavy people off of the plane and empty most of the fuel. All of this was so the airplane could clear the mountains at the end of the runway. After departing the Burbank Airport, we flew ten minutes to another airport to take on fuel before continuing to Las Vegas. The entire process took almost 3 extra hours

BUT, I am still alive, the airplane didn't crash into the mountains and I eventually made it home. My point is this: when airlines put safety before convenience, sometimes the situation seems confusing and slow.

The alternative is that the airline tries to land in inclimate weather and things get far worse than a few extra hours on the tarmac.
Anonymous on 03/25/2010:
This is just a typical story of being inconvenienced by weather that the airline didn't cause. Perils of air travel. By the way, of course you should have put your medication in your carry-on.
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Delta Is Dishonest & Does Not Care About Its Customers
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On Saturday February 27th- my partner and I were scheduled for an overnight flight on Delta Airlines #DL1768 from Kona, Hawaii to LAX leaving 9:30P Saturday, February 27th with arrival 5AM Sunday, February 28th. Our final destination was Minneapolis, Minnesota- with a 6:40AM connecting flight at LAX. Because of an airline error in fueling our aircraft- we had a 3 hour delay in leaving -thus missing our connecting flight. This error entailed Delta Airlines putting too much fuel in the aircraft- which according to them- affected our weight standards for lift off in Kona International. In addition to this error in fueling in Kona by Delta Airlines- we were rerouted to Honolulu International for additional fuel (for some reason we could lift off just fine from Honolulu International but not Kona International Airport). During the 3 hours we were on this aircraft- Delta’s crew and captain were unresponsive to our questions and concerns regarding connecting flights and they were quite frankly- dismissive of our concerns regarding our schedules when we asked about them. There was never an announcement on connecting gates or any care put into our connecting itineraries from the captain of the aircraft.
At approximately 12:15AM on Sunday- while sitting on the tarmac in Honolulu- my partner called Delta Airlines to move us from that 6:40AM flight to the 8AM flight leaving from LAX to Minneapolis International- as it looked like we would be able to make that time schedule with the current delay. We had a confirmed seating confirmation number on this flight- according to the Delta helpline representative we spoke to.
When we finally arrived at LAX at 7:40 Sunday morning– a Delta agent was not there to open the doors for our incoming flight- and no prior arrangements were made for passengers with connecting flights! Thus- we ended up sitting at the gate for another 10 minutes which was precious time- in making our 8AM Minneapolis connection in LAX. After getting off the flight DL1768- we arrived at the gate for our Minneapolis flight at 7:51AM- only to find that Delta Airlines had given our confirmed seats away to other standby passengers! The Delta gate agent tried to get us seated (and remove the standby passengers that had taken our confirmed seats) but was told the flight was leaving by her supervisor and that they would do nothing for us. Delta Airlines in LAX knew of our plane’s delay from Kona- and made no effort to hold the plane bound for Minneapolis for its passengers that had that connecting flight!
After the 8AM flight for Minneapolis left the gate- the gate agent told the group of us (there were about 50 people trying to find a way to the Twin Cities) that she would help us. However after 10 minutes she was summoned to another gate and we were informed that we needed to go to the Delta Help Desk in LAX to get rerouted to other flights. After waiting in line for 45 minutes- we were placed on a flight plan connecting through Salt Lake to Minneapolis and were given confirmed seating assignments but with no seat numbers attached to them for either of the legs of those flights. When we arrived at the LAX gate for our Salt Lake flight at 11:50AM- we were told that there were no seats available and that the flight was over-booked by 16 people. There would be no provision made for us due to Delta’s delay in our Kona flight- even though we had ‘confirmed’ seating assignments. The gate agent told us tersely that she would call our name if seats were to become available. After a very heated conversation, in which excuse after excuse was made as to our delay in Kona by Delta Airlines, we strong armed our seat assignments. In this instance, we felt Delta Airlines at their LAX help desk was willfully dishonest to us in telling us this Salt Lake flight was available- in essence to get us out from in front of them. After arriving in Salt Lake at 2PM that Sunday- we knew we would have the same situation as our Minneapolis flight and would need to fight for seats on that flight. This time we went over to the help desk and strongly requested seat assignments 2 hours prior to the gate opening for the 5PM flight- going over the gate agent’s head for that Minneapolis bound flight. After a conversation of explaining ourselves and trying to charm the customer service person into granting us seats- we received our ticketed seat assignments. Numbered tickets in hand- we arrived at the gate and found others- many over the age of 75- with ‘confirmed’ seating but with no seats available on the flight! The flight to Minneapolis was overbooked by 22 people! Again- in this instance-Delta was dishonest to these other individuals at LAX and booked them on flights that they knew were oversold! I feel that this is in direct violation of FAA regulations regarding the selling of tickets- and the contractual obligations to paying passengers. When it was all said and done- we arrived at our home destination 9.5 hours after what was scheduled- spending close to a total of 24 hours traveling.
While at help desks and gates in LAX and Salt Lake- Delta’s story to its staff was that due to the Tsunami in Hawaii- that there was no available fuel in Kona which in effect caused our delay. The Tsunami ‘all clear’ was called at 1:30PM Hawaii time Saturday, February 27th by the Hawaii Department of Emergency Management- our flight that Sunday was at 9:30PM. In addition to that- the only airport with cancelled flights that day was Hilo International on the other side of the island. We arrived at Kona International airport at 7PM and noticed our Delta plane was on the tarmac ready for boarding. If fuel was indeed an issue in Kona- why didn’t Delta Airlines taxi the flight to Honolulu to fill the aircraft in that time before take-off? The flights are less than hour each way from Kona & Honolulu. If a ‘full tank take-off’ was never possible from Kona- then this is outright fraud by Delta Airlines in selling tickets to passengers who expected a direct flight from Kona to LAX. We know from other United Airlines passengers that they took off with a full tank of fuel in Kona directly to LA with no incident- one half hour before our flight.
In summary- we were offered no compensation whatsoever due to Delta’s mishandling of the Kona leg of our flight plan. At numerous gates we saw other ticketed passengers offered up to $600 in cash to give up seats on the flights that were severely oversold. We missed our connections due to Delta Airlines’ errors and we were offered nothing but Tsunami, fuel and ‘communication error ‘excuses from various Delta Airlines employees. One of the Delta Airline attendants on our Minneapolis bound flight even told a senior couple with little flying experience that if they traveled all the time for business- that this was to be expected and that delays happen periodically –insinuating that we all were inexperienced simpleton travelers. I have family members that travel extensively for business- they nor I- are willing to accept poor service and a lack of accountability by Delta Airlines. That senior couple from Willmar, MN was also told to fly another airline by a Delta Flight attendant on our Minneapolis flight home if they did not like the delays and service they received from Delta. All of us in the Twin Cities certainly would fly another airline- if there was an ample choice of carriers and destinations out of Twin Cities International Airport! This was a Delta Airlines Vacation package made through a travel agent- my partner and I are seeking a refund of our airfare for that leg of our trip from Delta Vacations due to breach of contract.
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My wife and I -- world travelers visiting families of three kids around the world -- have gone through considerable

physical challenges and anguish last week -- never experienced earlier. We are wondering if we could expect a response that

would reinstate our trust in your airline.

We travel so often that I joke with friends my wife does her laundry at airport rest rooms. Before drying it on the baggage


We were due to shuttle from BWI to JFK, Feb. 9, to catch an evening flight to Budapest, Hungary. All went fine at first.

We were due to fly out in between two snow storms.

When I checked about my routine vegetarian meal (replacing special sea-food option) I was even queried regarding my

dairy or non-dairy preference. How nice!

Then all hell broke loose.

Alex, to whom we talked, told us the BWI was closed due to (yet non-existent snow storm. Because a plane had just took

off and the storm was not due before well after we were in JFK.)

The snow storm was used as an excuse. Apparently because Delta did not have a plane ready to take out scheduled

passengers. Or used them to shuttle passengers from further west, according to our private information.

Alex sugested to book us on an Air-France flight to Charles de Galle in Paris and then proceed to Budapest. We were in

a hurry to begin a four-day vacation in Hungary's capital, paid for by our daughter -- a concert pianist.

Trying to reach the Dulles airport, given the cost and the time for taking a likely 3 hour trip through mushy snow (piled by

a previous storm), was time-wise, financially and mentally not acceptable to these two senior citizens.. Especially the prospect of

lugging heavy bags across treacherous snow puddles.

So we figured out a way to reach New York by alternative ways. Alex confirmed our original take-off plan from JFK.

When asked about compensation for the paid for but unused Baltimore-JFK airfares. he suggested we reach JFK not later than 4

P.M. Feb.9 and contact the check-in Delta manager.

How much would that be? -- I asked. We need to count our pennies.

-- I can't tell you exacly -- he said -- but they will work that out there (Was he trying just to send us down the river?)

-- Okay, fine, thank you! -- I said.

My wife and I did reach JFK Delta well before 4 P.M. after changing several road vehicles (four to be exact). Lumbering

around our hefty bags in and out (hardly a piece of cake for this 77-year old guy).

However, once I mentioned to the mnageress what Alex had suggested -- the response was brief and curt. Delta NEVER

compensates passengers for weather-caused concellations. I was told. And dismissed.. -- Company policy -- she added.

My daughter had booked us in Budapest, February 10-14 in a modest hotel. Extra travel expenses involved in shuttling

ourselves between Baltimore and JFK badly decimated our funds prepared for a relatively decent enjoyment of our first visit there.

(Of course we shall never mention this incident to our kind and caring daughter, Tamara.)

Who had previously remarked, off-handedly, that she was compensated with $400.oo by the United, for similar

inconviences. Involving extra efforts to make it possible for her to perform major concerts in a series which started in Chicago and

continued with the Carnegie Hall full house concert with the Chicago Symphony orchestra on the last day of January. She was

playing during celebrations honoring THE major French composer and conductor. For his 85th birthday.

And not only that. The UNITED put her in the business class as a way of apology. Spreading the image of a

passenger-caring company. HUH!

Now, of course, she is an extremely successful and attractive pianist performing around the world.

I have spent 36 years as a chief of bureau of a major American wire agency. All I can do is share my experience with peer

travellers. Practicing now whatever scribing skills remain in my pen. Get a few laughs.

On a lighter note, I do hope the recession comes to an end soon. So I can revert to my special, sea-food diet.

As we were served dinner aboard -- there was no special meal for me.

-- Did you talk to Holly? -- an air Hostess challenged me over my complaint.

-- Holly? Hollie? Howlie? By Golly! And who might Hollie be, please?

-- She works in the opposite alley up there!

-- Oh! Is that so? So I should go chase her there?

Usually stewardesses come with a sheet to check my seat and serve me upfront. But on all other airlines.

Somehow I was loath to confront the stern-looking Holly. Golly. Whoever.

Because I already had a kind of a beef with her.

-- GET BACK TO YOUR SEAT! Never bothering to get up -- the strict lady had instructed me. There were no air

turbulence. Not out of the plane so seat belts were no mandatory except as a recommendation.

I had ventured across the aisle of the semi-empty cabin to the left windows. To bid my customary farewell to the

receding lights of Halifax, Labrador. The fishing villages in Nova Scotia. An old sentimental fool, you may call me.

This could always be my final time.

The second time she bawled me out, from afar, seeing me approaching her, was when I sought to protest unsolicited

but continuous blaring on the PA. The noise being what some young people claim was music. But much too loud.

She told me I had to wait this out. After the tape runs its course.

-- Why, is that the choice of the automatic pilot? -- I tried to lighten the atmosphere. She never smiled and ordered me

back. Still she decided other passengers were due an apology.

I settled for pasta. Not bad, to be honest. Though not on my recommended dietary regime.

The moral is clear: I shall now need to think twice before booking tickets.

We never stay more than two months at a time. Because we do need to keep traveling helping out with our five

grandkids. Our three children dutifully paying our fares.

There you go. You like my story. The amusing part? Instructional? I am considering sharing it and/or publishing it?
Get a few laughs.


Ivan Stefanovic
Nada Stefanovic

09 Feb 10 TUESDAY


If you decide to contact me you can reach me here:

Ivan I. Stefanovic
5801, Kipling Court
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
Tel 410 433 4026


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User Replies:
Starlord on 02/16/2010:
Airlines cannot control the weather. Also, the airlines do not determine whether to fly or not to fly due to inclement weather, that is determined by the FAA, IIRC. You think because your daughter is a concert pianist, they will move heaven and earth to fly you when no one else can fly. You seem to think you know more about weather than the Weather Bureau. Weather forecasting is not an exact science. Predictions of when a snow storm, rainstorm or other weather front will hit is an educated guess, that is all. I once had to shovel 6 inches of partly cloudy out of my driveway, do you think if I had had M3C I would have posted a complaint? Of course not.
Anonymous on 02/16/2010:
This review was a little long. I agree with Starlord. Also, airlines cannot lie about why a flight is delayed or cancelled.
MissMae on 02/16/2010:
Dear Sir, when I read customer complaints such as yours, I toss them aside, never to be responded to...after I've had a good chuckle. My point? When writing any company, leave out the grandiose fillers and the drama. Make it short and to the point, with only necessary details, and be respectful. You are no better or worse than any other person on this planet. It's best to remember that...especially when you want your concerns to be addressed.
goduke on 02/16/2010:
I remember watching the news after this last blast of weather, and the said that the effect upon the airline industry due to the delays/cancellations from the combined storms was worse than what happened on 9/11. Kind of amazing to think about.
dan gordon on 02/16/2010:
my god you write a novel. No one is going to pay for your 'misfortune'. Even for old people with a concert pianist daughter no less. Sorry but every one got stuck during the storm.
Nohandle on 02/16/2010:
Actually nacence (Ivan) I did enjoy your story. It indeed was amusing and instructional. Please tell another. This one compares nicely with working on my income tax returns for the past two days.
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