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 30 minutes. 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 30 minutes, 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.
We arrived at our home airport (GEG) to travel to my mother-in-law's funeral (BUF) on 7/14/2010 to find there was a huge line of people that were being re-ticketed due to severe weather in MSP. We totally understand that Delta has no control over the weather so we pleasantly allowed the attendant to re-ticket us from GEG to SEA later that night (on Alaska Air) and then take a red-eye flight to PHL and then on to upstate NY on US Airways the next day.
When we arrived back at the airport later that evening (with plenty of time to check bags and get through security for our flight to SEA) the Alaska agent said she couldn't issue us boarding passes because the Delta attendant hadn't re-ticketed us properly and she would have to get a Delta employee to fix the problem. She tried to call the Delta customer service phone line but discovered (as I had earlier in the week) that the recording there says "due to the high volume of calls we are experiencing at this time, we are unable to help you...click". Yes click, not “your hold time will be long, can we call you back?” just disconnect.
Anyway, she immediately called the Delta counter and found no one there. She then paged them to call her which they did in a few minutes. They said they would come over with new vouchers immediately. We waited for nearly 45 minutes for the Delta employee to bring over the new vouchers which then gave us a very narrow margin to catch our plane and we ended up running through the airport to do so.
So after 12 hours of being in airports we had made it 300 miles. In SEA we had to have the US Airways agent issue boarding passes for PHL. When they started to do so they realized the Delta employee had written us 2 vouchers for the PHL to ELM flight and none for the SEA to PHL flight.
We then had to leave our daughter with our carry on luggage, trek all the way out of security and find a Delta counter where after waiting in line we were told they couldn't help us and we had to go to a "Customer Care" counter. We did this and they did re-write the vouchers but we then had to go back through security, find our daughter and the gate and once again had a very narrow margin to catch the flight. The flight from PHL to ELM was uneventful.
Then on our return trip today (BUF to MSP to GEG) which had not been altered in any way from our original reservation, we waited in line curb-side for about 15 minutes only to be told he couldn't issue boarding passes but he couldn't tell why, we would have to go inside. We then went inside where there was a huge line and after waiting another 15 minutes or so were told by the agent (who by the way acted like it was our fault!) that she needed a ticket number in order to issued the boarding passes. I had a confirmation number and the itinerary but apparently these were not good enough.
After another 10+ minutes on the phone she was able to obtain a ticket number and issue our boarding passes. At this point the agent's demeanor changed to a little more friendly and she did walk us up to the front of the security line but once again we found ourselves running through the airport to catch our flight because the gate agent said they wouldn't hold the flight for us even though the inability to issue the boarding passes was a Delta error and not our tardiness.
We did make the flight although I have no idea how and thought we were home free- just one more flight from MSP to GEG and we'd be home. We had our boarding passes for the flight and did not anticipate any other problems...wrong! At the gate when the agent took our boarding passes to scan them she says there's a problem and we can't get on the flight. Are you kidding me? Eventually she did solve the problem and we arrived home on time but the way we were treated while in the stressful state we were in, having just lost my husband's mother and having paid nearly $2500.00 for 3 tickets to the east coast was simply not acceptable.
Again, we totally understand that Delta has no control over the weather (although I must throw in that I did check the FAA website in Minneapolis while we were waiting to be re-ticketed and they showed less than 15-minute delays due to weather).
However, due to two Delta employee errors we were caused an unbelievable amount of extra stress that was absolutely unnecessary and, quite frankly could have caused my husband to have a break- down given the incredible amount of stress he was under anyway due to his mother's death. It is simply not acceptable that we paid triple the amount per ticket as other passengers on the same flights and got treated so poorly.
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 **. Ask for an update on case # **. She sees nothing in regards to my claim under that #. I also gave her the claim # from ** email Delta File **. 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 ** he told me that the case was completed it is case # ** and the check should be sent within 10 days. 05/11/2010 12:32pm - Contacted the 800# & spoke to **. 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 **. 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.
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 ** - Faxed at 3:40pm. 03/16/2010 8:00am Re-faxed to claim report to Delta. 03/15/2010 1:39pm spoke to **. She asked for the File # I gave her ** 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 ** 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 ** she told me the claim was closed and a check was sent. She gave me file # **. On 01/18/2010 I had still not received a check so I called the 800# again and spoke with **. 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!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- We took a trip to Cancun. We flew from Louisville to Cincy then to Cancun no problem.. on the flights back we flew Cancun to Atlanta and Atlanta to Louisville. At Atlanta (there were six of us on this trip-3 couples) everyone checked their bags at customs no problem. One of the girls that I was with had to tell the people who checked our bags to put her luggage on the belt 3 times!! When he finally did he laughed and heaved her bag 2 feet in the air!
Once we got to Louisville we waited and waited for her bag to come through and it never did- we heard a man say that all the bags that were coming were already here... It was about 1130 and night and she was furious! We went to the desk and she didn't even have to tell them her name - they KNEW who she was because they had already checked the name of the luggage they had with them... when they said her name they brought her a piece of luggage that RESEMBLED hers but was completely demolished... I mean- metal reinforcements sticking out of the luggage, clothes hanging out, flip flops missing, pockets completely dangling from the bag.
The only thing that kept her bag together was a Rainbow strap to help her identify her bag on the belt. She bought a Chi straightener for like $100... crushed... mangled... She bought 2 new bikinis from Victoria's Secret (you KNOW how much they were...) her fave had the strap completely removed from the part that goes over the breast and the underwire was showing... I mean... the luggage was half the size as it was when she checked it in... We have pictures... tons of them.
All Delta could say was, "Sorry... you can list 8 things that were in the bag and we'll have your money to you within 7-8 day." They did bring her a Swiss Army piece of luggage which was pretty nice... but she had nearly $1200 worth of work clothes, jewelry and shoes in there... It's only been a couple of days so we don't know how its going to turn out... Louisville Airport kept saying they received the luggage like that - they didn't do it, that's how it came to them. The luggage literally looked like it had been run over and dragged down the runway. BUT BEWARE!!! THIS COULD HAVE BEEN YOU!!!
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 lose 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.
Delta is unable to assure me that we will be sitting with our children on our flight. Despite booking our flights 6 months ago and repeatedly trying to obtain seat assignments both by phone and online, Delta has stated repeatedly that they do not guarantee that we will be seated beside our children. I have been able to obtain seat assignments for the 3 other legs of our journey, however this leg will be assigned at the airport. This would be acceptable, but Delta told me that all the other passengers got their seat assignments when they booked their tickets as I should have done.
No matter how many times I've told them that seat assignment has never been possible, they still claim that my lack of seat assignment on this flight is my fault because I must have done it wrong. What is very irritating is that my worry and concern expressed to Delta was met with rudeness from all but one of the agents I spoke to at Delta. The supervisor was the worst, she yelled loudly at me constantly on the phone telling me to be quiet, stop talking while she told me for the umpteenth time that my lack of seat assignment was my fault.
When she finished yelling at me, I got a chance to speak. After 3 words, she jumped right in and started yelling again. I asked her if I could finish my sentence, but she yelled at me and said she knew what I was going to say. It became pointless to continue with her. I confirmed with Expedia that I wasn't crazy regarding the seat assignments and it not being "my fault", which it wasn't.
They called Delta for me and contrary to what the Supervisor had told me, everyone on the flight was getting their seat assignments at the airport. Had I been told this during the first of about 5 phone aggravating calls to Delta, then I would have accepted that as reasonable, however to be told all the seats were assigned and I might not be sitting with my children was ridiculous!!
I swore I'd never fly Delta again 2 years ago after we sat onboard while they shook the plane back and forth on the runway to get the fuel gauge to read right, then have the flight was cancelled, told to go to a hotel for 4 hours at 2 a.m., my parents standing in Orlando reading the monitor that said we had arrived there, but actually we were still in Atlanta. We asked the gate agent if we could have a blanket and she told me to "go get that old coat over in the corner." Her co-worker was visibly annoyed at his boss on the phone and then he threw the phone across the desk when he was told he had to announce that the flight was cancelled.
Myself and my 2 young children slept in an empty airport.. no airport train running, heat turned off (freezing), no luggage and just a janitor with a vacuum for company. When we did finally get the $450.00 flight vouchers, the conditions of their use made it virtually impossible to use them.... and who would want to anyway.
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.
After reading many of the reviews, this one pales in comparison but I felt compelled to write it due to the continued lack of customer care/service that has been provided by this airline and to show that no matter what the situation is, this airline has not been successful with the handling of baggage.
My wife and I are into our 4th day of what was supposed to be our vacation, but due to the airlines not having delivered her bag, we have had to alter our plans. We flew into our destination city on a Saturday (it's now Tuesday) and my wife has not received her bag. We were first advised at the destination airport that her bag would be on the next flight in and they would contact her.
To date, she has not received one call and/or email from the airline as to where her bag is. Instead, I have spent the last 4 days on the phone trying to obtain some USEFUL information. Yesterday I was able to verify (and this was only due to the extra effort of two Delta employees) that my wife's bag was located in the departure city. I was advised that a rush delivery would be placed on it and it would be sent out on the next available flight. Since then, there have been more than one flight and her bag still remains in the departure city.
The customer care/service has for the most part been a contradiction of terms as this airline has provided very little if any at all. The personnel who you speak with at the baggage center are for the most part not understanding/compassionate to customers' issues/concerns. To add to that, you (the customer) are not able to contact the baggage centers at airports directly makes things that much more frustrating. They have been quick to issue to customary "I'm sorry" line, but have never asked if there was anything they could do due to the situation we are in or an offer of any compensation.
I have been advised that my wife could purchase clothes and she would be compensated. When asked how much she would be allotted, I've heard form "what's reasonable" to "$50". And to receive that information, I had to ask them. An employee at the baggage center advised me that sometimes the bags are not scanned, although this is a violation of airline policy. That was reassuring to hear.
All I have been attempting to do is receive an answer as to when my wife's bag will be delivered since its location has been confirmed. There have been no responses to my emails, no returned phone calls (as advised would be by the airline) and no follow-up information provided online.
All of this is a continuation of how this airline has been terrible with not only the handling and/or delivery of baggage, attempts to locate and deliver the baggage when located, but with the providing of information to customers about their bags. They are consistent with the collection of baggage fees and ensure that any and all fees are in fact collected prior to taking your bag, but what can happen from then on only Lord knows.
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 carousels.
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.
**, 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.
** suggested 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. ** 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 exactly," 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 manageress what ** had suggested -- the response was brief and curt. Delta NEVER compensates passengers for weather-caused cancellations. 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, **)
Who had previously remarked, off-handedly, that she was compensated with $400.00 by the United, for similar inconveniences. 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 travelers. 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 **?" an air Hostess challenged me over my complaint. "**? By Golly! And who might ** 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 **. 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.
This is not to complain about the less than sincere service in flight (though one stewardess was genuinely excellent), or the terrible organisation at Louisville departures counters (1 girl working flat out to service 6 counters, result 15 min check in), or the late take offs with no explanation, or the outdated film viewing facilities I've experienced on 3 of my four flights Europe-US. What annoys me this time is that my luggage was lost going to the US, and was returned to me... 22 days later, ten days after my return.
After repeated contacts, no one answering telephones, no success trying online to find my luggage through the online tracking system, extensive correspondence. Finally I was informed after nine days that my luggage had been found. I requested they do not send it to the US as I was flying back the next day. Guess... Yes, they sent it to the US, then asked me if I knew where it was!!!
Then for another week they could not find the luggage with the by now usual unsuccessful mails and tracking system. At this point I filed a claim for lost luggage with all the necessary details. On the claim for it states that receipts to back up any claim are needed only for items costing more than 250 USD. Two days later my luggage miraculously again resurfaced and was being sent to me. Everything arrived intact and fine, but then I requested compensation for some of the items I bought (just 330 USD, suitcase, underwear, jeans, fleece, t-shirts, socks and a few other items to keep me going 10 days).
At this point the process became very complex and receipts were requested for every purchase, even though for lost luggage claims not needed. I did point out I was not claiming for all items purchased, only for those I would not have normally purchased, and did not leave in the US for my next trip, and that they must know by the list that it is very reasonable for the time period I was covering. But no, no discussion, no offer, nothing helpful or reasonable at all, just NO.
Very poor attitude for an airline that forced me to spend much of my time and money trying to trace my luggage, to buy clothes for ten days, return to Europe and still be told they did not know where my things were! I hasten to add, not the first time my luggage has been lost by Delta, and had it arrived while I was in the US no issues, but arriving after my return, getting lost twice, being asked by them if I know where my luggage is... I'm sorry, but that is very poor and a poor advert for Delta. I certainly will, from now on, rather pay more and fly a better airline.
I'm not even going to get into how well you are NOT looked after when missing your connection even though it was a Delta issue... But that was last year... Adding to catalog of a dissatisfied customer. The moral is... Don't fly Delta (3 out of 4 experiences negative now), and if your luggage goes astray, prepare like a Defense Lawyer, as just the claim form is worthy of one.