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Delta, Bad!!
Posted by on
This is a very long convo but I wanted to show the back and forth between myself and Delta

Just bad service

RE: Case Number 8257328

Thank you for your most recent communication expressing your continued
dissatisfaction with my response. On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I apologize that I have been unable to offer a satisfactory resolution. I also apologize that I misunderstood your original intent.

I am genuinely sorry it was necessary for you to write me again. I was
concerned that I missed the purpose of your original communication so I
reviewed your comments with my Supervisor. After a lengthy discussion,
there is no further action we will take regarding your experience. Again, I am sorry to disappoint you, as I understand this is not the answer you were expecting.

The gesture I extended was not meant to place a value on your experience; rather it was an attempt to make amends for your disappointment with our service. I also understand you would prefer Medallion Qualifying Miles instead of the 15,000 bonus miles that I added to your account. Please know that to protect the integrity of the SkyMiles program, We do not offer Medallion Qualifying Miles as a gesture for service failure. Respectfully, any additional
considerations would not be due. I am sorry to disappoint you, as I
understand this is not the answer you were expecting.

Again, Mr. King, I am sorry your travel was unsatisfactory. I hope in time you will provide us with another opportunity to restore your confidence.


Nancy Hansen
Coordinator, Customer Care
Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines

Northwest Airlines is now part of Delta Air Lines

Original Message Follows:

Ms Rutherford,

I understand that you only have limited power to rectify problems in service, but if you read my prior emails, my intent was not to get reimbursed for my travel expenses, but to bring the problems to your attention. It was you who asked for my travel receipts to possibly reimburse me. The only thing I asked for was that any mileage you can offer me go towards my MQM balance, which you have yet to acknowledge if it is possible.

In turn, because of the way I was treated by this airline, and the fact that you cannot offer me any kind of reparations for my inconvenience it discourages me from wanting to fly with Delta, when I do have many choices for travel out there. Just yesterday I booked a ticket on Delta and I'm considering changing to another airline.

Ms Rutherford, if other airlines like Continental making me a platinum member to match my Delta Status are willing to go an extra mile to earn my business and the one airline I have been loyal to is not willing to make amends for inadequate service, then why should I still be loyal to Delta.

It just how I genuinely feel

I still hope we can resolve this in some way, I'm open for suggestions

Thank you

On Thursday, October 29, 2009, at 08:09AM, "Customer Care Exchange"> wrote:

RE: Case Number 8257328

Thank you for writing and allowing me the opportunity to further review
your concerns regarding the service you received while checking in for your recent flight to Las Vegas. On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I am genuinely sorry you were dissatisfied with my first response.

I understand you feel I did not adequately address your concerns regarding the poor customer service you received when you checked in at JFK for the flight to Las Vegas. I was happy to review your comments again to see if there was something I missed.

Please know I understand why you wanted to share your concerns regarding your disappointing experiences. Your comments serve as an excellent reminder that the actions of our employees can make a significant difference in passenger preference. The emphasis at our airline is on caring, professional service--all of us at Delta must be dedicated to treating our customers as very special guests, just as we ourselves would want to be treated. I apologize that your experience at JFK did not live up to your expectations or ours.

In all candor, we know there is nothing we can say to erase your disappointment. Although we cannot release details about individual employees or disciplinary actions, I want to assure you that our leadership team at JFK will take appropriate steps regarding this incident.

The gestures we extended were not meant to place a value on your
experiences; rather they were an attempt on our part to make amends for
your disappointment with our service. Our records indicate that you ended your journey in Los Angeles. My understanding from your original email was that you rented a hotel room in Los Angeles and then rented a car to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I apologize that I misunderstood the situation. Respectfully, I can not reimburse you for prepaid car rental and hotel stays in Las Vegas. I am sorry to disappoint you, as I know this is not the answer you were expecting.

Additionally, I am also very sorry a Delta Sky Club is not available
for your use at Newark. I understand your disappointment as you just
purchased a new club membership. To clarify the record, we too were saddened when Continental chose to leave SkyTeam and move to the Star
Alliance. At that time, Continental also ended their alliance with Delta and the other SkyTeam members. I realize this change in alliances will have an impact on all our Sky Club members and I apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced as a result of this change.

Mr. King, you are a valued Platinum Medallion member and it is my hope that you find a way to give Delta another chance at earning your business and your trust. We are not perfect, and we are thankful to use feedback like yours to make our airline better, employee by employee, flight by flight. We feel that we are making good progress, and we humbly ask that you fly us again someday soon.


Rachel Rutherford
Coordinator, Customer Care
Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines

Northwest Airlines is now part of Delta Air Lines

Original Message Follows:
Ms Rutherford

You obviously misunderstood my situation and the severity of how I feel, and no, my concerns about service have not been satisfied. I never said I rented a hotel in Los Angeles or a Car to drive me to Las Vegas. Because of your supervisors mishandling of my flight to vegas and Delta not being able to get me to Vegas on the date I booked, I still had to pay for my hotel in vegas and my car rental because there was no advance notice to cancel the hotel and car. I still ended up paying $404.63, which is not a small amount of money due to one of your employees, who is supposed to be a supervisor not doing his job.

The only glimmer of light in this whole situation was Ms Pinto.

Concerning the bonus mile, I never asked for 5000 miles or the 15000 miles, although I appreciate the gesture, If they are not MQM miles they really don't mean anything to me and do not not make up for the mistreatment I received.

Ms Rutherford, I am finding out more and more that Deltas policies and changes do not meet my expectations and requirements. Delta just ended is partnership with Continental Airlines. In Sept I paid over $700 to join your Sky Club program. Now I fly out of Newark often, a major reason I joined Sky Club was to be able to use the Continental clubs at Newark. One month later you guys end your partnership with Continental,

so now I'm out of luck and can't uses the Continental clubs. Its these types of things that shed a bad light on your company.

I told this to Continental, would you like to know what they did about the situation. They made me a Platinum member for 2010 & 2011 under their new frequent flier program to match my status on Delta. That's the kind of customer service I expect from an airline I spend my money with.

Once again, I am writing this letter to let you know how a frequent flier of your airline really feels. I hope you see fit to make this situation right and to keep earning my business.

Thank You

On Tuesday, October 27, 2009, at 01:05PM, "Customer Care Exchange"> wrote:

RE: Case Number 8257328

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the service provided while traveling with us from Greensboro to Los Angeles and New York to Las
Vegas. On behalf of everyone at Delta Air Lines, I sincerely apologize for letting you down in so many ways.

Please know we appreciate your kind comments regarding the service
your received from Cynthia Pinto, one of our team members at the JFK ticket counter. We believe our employees are our most important assets, and
I am happy to learn that our agent exceeded your expectations. Please know I will be sharing your comments with our Airport Customer Service leadership team so this employee receives appropriate recognition, on your behalf. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful remarks.

I am truly sorry for the frustration you experienced when your plans
on September 19 were disrupted due to the delay of our flight 6567 for crew reasons. I also understand the disappointment and frustration you experienced when your connecting flight in Atlanta was not held. Please know that any decision to hold a flight for connecting passengers is made on a case-by-case basis. Respectfully, our team members at the gate are responsible for an on-time departure. Nevertheless, I understand your frustration with the delay and missing the connecting flight.

I also recognize the plane was still at the gate, the door was open, and the jetway was in place. At that point, the weight and balance most
likely had been calculated, and the Air Traffic Control (ATC) departure slot may have already been received by the Captain. Any delays at that point could cause us to lose our departure slot.

As our customer, you are in the best position to point out areas that need attention. I am sorry to learn our agents and supervisor in Atlanta were unable to find an acceptable alternate flight for you in a more timely manner. Our goal is to provide consistent and accurate information to our passengers at all times. I am truly sorry in this instance you did not receive the service you expected and should have received. Our records indicate that 5000 bonus miles were added to your frequent flier account as a sincere gesture of apology for this unfortunate incident.

I am truly sorry for the slow moving first class check in line you encountered at our ticket counter on September 26. Our goal is to assist passengers in the timeliest manner possible, and I apologize, again, that your experience was to the contrary.

We also appreciate your comments regarding the unsatisfactory customer service you encountered when you approached our Red Coat, Mr. Duncan, for assistance. After reading your remarks, I certainly understand why you wanted to bring this matter to our attention. I am also sorry for the delay locating the supervisor to approve the alternate flight. I am truly sorry you did not receive the service you expected and should have received, as we expect our employees to be helpful and professional at all times. I am so sorry your experience was to the contrary.

We know travelers need an airline they can count on, and I recognize how upsetting it is when plans are disrupted. Additionally, when delays of this type result in an overnight stay, we should have made every effort to provide you with meal and hotel accommodations. I am a bit confused, as I understood you rented a hotel room in Los Angeles and had to rent a car to go to Las Vegas. However, from the receipts you provided, I see you rented your car and in Las Vegas. Respectfully, I must decline your request to reimburse your hotel and rental car expense. We are sorry to disappoint you as I understand this is not the answer you
were expecting.

Mr. King, it is abundantly clear that your recent experiences flying with Delta were far from shining moments in airline travel and far from the level of service you had every right to expect. We want to respond to any service problems with improvements---not excuses. Please know a formal complaint has been recorded on your behalf and your letter has been shared with the Airport Customer Service leadership team for internal follow up.

In appreciation of your Platinum status and as a gesture of goodwill for the numerous service failures you experienced, I have added 15000
bonus miles to your frequent flier account. Please allow three business days for the miles to appear in your account.

Mr. King, I hope I have been able to resolve your concerns about our service. Your support as an esteemed SkyMiles Platinum Medallion member is important to Delta, our Connection Carriers, and SkyTeam partners.

We look forward to your continued patronage.


Rachel Rutherford
Coordinator, Customer Care
Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines

Northwest Airlines is now part of Delta Air Lines

Original Message Follows:

Lets see if this works

Please refer to Case Number 8257328

Thank you Ms Rutherford for your response.

You have restored my faith in that Delta is not just a big faceless company, but a company that cares about their customers.

Below is the information you asked for, although my letter wasn't intended to get reimbursed for the money I lost. My initial intention was to bring to your attention problems I have had in service and to alert you of how one of your supervisors was treating not only me, but other customers as well. I don't know how Delta investigates these types of situations, but in my opinion Mr Duncan from the JFK terminal really needs to be reprimanded. I do have one request if it is in your power. I really enjoy the menities that comes with being a platinum member in the sky miles program. I am going into my second year as a platinum member. I am
very close to becoming a new Diamond member. If you can help me out with
any MQM miles towards that membership would be greatly appreciated. If
not, then anything you can do would also be greatly appriciated.

Once again I appreciate your help and understanding.


Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino
3255 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Check-In: Saturday, September 26, 2009-03:00 PM
Check-Out: Monday, September 28, 2009-11:00 AM
Room 1:

om Subtotal: $300.00 (USD)
Taxes and Fees: $48.70 (USD)
Total Room Cost: $348.70 (USD)



McCarran Intl. Airport, LAS
Las Vegas, Nevada

Pick-up details
Sat, Sep 26, 2009 at 8:00PM

Dropoff details
Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 8:00PM

Car rental
Car daily rate: - Hotwire Hot Rate $16.95
Rental days: 2
Subtotal: $33.90
Tax recovery charges and fees: $22.03
Total price: $55.93
HotDollars and gift cards**: -$0.00
Total charges to your credit card $55.93

On Thursday, October 22, 2009, at 07:31AM, "Customer Care Exchange"> wrote:

RE: Case Number 8257328

Thank you for your prompt reply. I regret that I did not receive the receipts as I believe something on our side is blocking me. Can you proved the dollar amount that you had to spend for your
rental car and the hotel?

I apologize for the delay and the technical challenges we are encountering. I look forward to reviewing your concerns. Thank you for choosing Delta.


Rachel Rutherford
Coordinator, Customer Care
Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines

Northwest Airlines is now part of Delta Air Lines

Original Message Follows:

here you go again, I resent the receipt's

Please refer to Case Number 8257328

Thank you Ms Rutherford for your response. You have restored my faith in that Delta is not just a big faceless company, but a company that cares about their customers.

I will send you the 2 receipts you asked for, although my letter wasn't intended to get reimbursed for the money I lost. My initial intention was to bring to your attention problems I have had in service and to alert you of how one of your supervisors was treating not only me, but other customers as well. I don't know how Delta investigates these types of situations, but in my opinion Mr Duncan from the JFK terminal really needs to be reprimanded. I do have one request if it is in your power. I really enjoy the amenities that comes with being a platinum member in the sky miles program. I am going into my second year as a platinum member. I am very close to becoming a new Diamond member. If you can help me out with any

MQM miles, it would be greatly appreciated.

Once again I appreciate your help and understanding.

On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, at 07:58AM, "Customer Care Exchange"> wrote:

RE: Case Number 8257328

Thank you for writing about your recent flight experiences. On behalf of Delta Air Lines, we sincerely apologize for the numerous service failures you experienced on these trips. I am truly sorry for the incidents you described and would appreciate the opportunity to further review your concerns. In order to fully assess this matter, I will need the following information.

- Receipt for hotel and rental car. If a receipt is unavailable, you may provide a retailer's statement of the original cost and date of purchase, signed, and on business letterhead. If you will please reply to this email and refer to case 8257328, I will respond as quickly as possible.

Mr. King, as an esteemed SkyMiles Platinum Medallion member, you
are an integral part of our customer base and we are always interested in your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to write. We deeply value your business.


Rachel Rutherford
Coordinator, Customer Care
Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines

Northwest Airlines is now part of Delta Air Lines

Original Message Follows:


To whom it may concern:

I am a long time frequent flier with Delta. platinum medallion

Recently I have had two experiences on Delta to make me question
why I would still want to patronize this airline. I have had very satisfying service from Delta in the past, so I am writing this letter first to see if this will fall on deaf ears and second to see how customer service handles these complaints.

Situation 1

On 9/19 I was on a flight from Greensboro NC to Los Angeles LAX with a layover in Atlanta. Upon arrival to the Greensboro airport I find out that the outgoing flight is 40 minutes delayed. I asked at the counter why is the flight delayed. The lady tells me the flight is delayed because the crew is late. Nothing mechanical or nothing weather related. The plane is delayed because the crew is late. I then ask her about my connection. She tells me, don't worry, you will have plenty of time and they know you are coming. The Greensboro flight finally takes off. We land in ATL 25 minutes before my connection flight takes off. I run to the gate and get there 15 minutes before the flight is supposed to take off. The gate is empty and the doors are closed and no agent is in site. I look out the window and see the plane still there with its door still open. I stand there for 10 minutes and watch the plane leave 5 minutes early. Finally I go to the help desk and find out that the plane has left early and they have re booked me on a flight that leaves in 6 hours. After arguing with the lady on the phone she books me on the next flight out. Now I was originally in business class and she now books me in coach in a middle seat. When I realize this I then go to a red coat supervisor and explain to him my situation, he says he can't confirm me in business but he will put me at the top of the upgrade list with special priority, there are 4 seats so you will make it. I wait at the gate 15 minutes before the flight leaves I ask the agent and she tells me all the business seats are gone. I go back to a red coat and he pulls me to another gate to try to fix it. By the time he figures out he can't do anything the flight is now closed, so I miss that flight. He says he can't confirm a business seat until a late evening flight. I just walk away from him with no flight now. I end up calling the medallion desk who was not only able to book me on the next flight out but was able to confirm a business class seat.

Now my concerns with this whole ordeal is that

1. My flight was delayed because the crew was late, nothing mechanical and nothing weather related

2. If they knew they had passengers connecting to this flight that landed 25 minutes before the flight takes off why would they depart early

3. Why were there no agents at the gate, and I did find out there was only 1 agent loading a 767

4. Why did I have to talk to 4 people to finally get booked on a flight

Situation 2:

I had a flight booked on 9/26 from New York JFK to Las Vegas. Now I
repeatedly tried to check in online for this flight but could not. I was told by customer service that since I was upgraded I would have to check in at the airport. That has never happened to me before, but fine, I will check in at the airport. I arrive 1 hour before my flight. I walk in and ask the greeter where to check in, she directs me to the first class line. I am second in line. There is one agent working first class check in. 5 minutes pass, 10 minutes pass, 15 minutes pass and the line has not moved. I get out of line and walk up to the red coat supervisor whose last name is Duncan. I tell him, sir, I've been standing in line for 15-20 mins, my flight leaves in 40 minutes and the line has not moved. I'm going to miss my flight if someone doesn't help me. Can we get some help at the first class line. I couldn't believe what was said to me next. This man tells me that he doesn't like my attitude and have I ever heard that you get more with honey than you do with vinegar, and that he wasn't going to help me. I follow him back to his counter asking him to help me and he ignores me. This is supposed to be a supervisor. After standing in front of him he finally looks at my ticket and say you are to late, you just have to fly tomorrow, I say I can't fly tomorrow, I have an event I have to be at tonight, can you re book me even if I have to connect. He says no, I have to get back in line. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Now I fly Delta a lot and I have never heard anything like this before. He then just walks away. I go back to the greeter and ask for a supervisor.

Come to find out there is no other supervisor on duty. While I am explaining to the greeter what happened, another agent named Cynthia Pinto overhears what I am saying and pulls me to her counter and tried to help me, by this time its now 15 minutes before the flight leaves. She calls the gate and asks if I can gate check my bag, they say no, its to late. My first thought was why didn't the supervisor do that form the beginning. She then tried to rebook me on another flight, she finds a flight, but needs a supervisor to approve it. No supervisor is around, I end up missing the window for that flight. So now there are no more flights to Vegas.

I demand to see a supervisor above this red coat on duty. After waiting 20 minutes with the agent, she finally locates the head supervisor, a Mr Mohammed. Come to find out he is busy trying to check in people for another flight. I have to wait 20-30 more minutes until he is free.
I explain to him what happened, he offers me to book me for the
next day and a hotel to stay in, I just ask him to put me on a flight to Los Angeles. He books me on a flight to LA with a connection the next day to Las Vegas.

I end up in LA missing the last flight to Vegas and still having to pay for my hotel and rent a car because it was to late to cancel my travel arrangements.


1. How is a red coat supervisor able to speak to the customers disrespectfully and anyway he feels like

2. Why is a counter agent trying harder than a supervisor to satisfy a frequent flier customer

3. Why is there only 1 supervisor on duty at one of the biggest airports (JFK) in the country and it takes over an hour to get the head supervisor
It would be greatly appreciated to get some response to these matters.
Read 6 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Anonymous on 11/03/2009:
On behalf of Delta, who apparently is far too polite to tell you themselves, don't let the door hit you on the butt on your way out.
Ytropious on 11/03/2009:
I'm not reading through all that, I gave up about half way through once I saw that the OP is a flip flopper. First you say you "just wanted to bring it to their attention" then get angry when they don't offer you "reparations". WHICH IS IT? You obviously want something out of this so don't go around acting like you wanted nothing for emailing them. They gave you something (15,000 sky miles), it wasn't enough (you wanted some sort of premium miles instead) I really think you're just being greedy here, considering after trying to read through this complaint I still don't think anything you're complaining about is Delta's fault.

Situation 1
"Now I was originally in business class and she now books me in coach in a middle seat. " You ARGUED with the poor woman on the phone to put you on the next available flight, you aren't going to get business class you're going to get what they can give you. YOU have to compromise. It's either wait 6 hours and get your business class or get the next flight out and sit in coach.

Situation 2

There was a line of people ahead of you, probably in the same situation as you. YOU got out of line and demanded to be helped ahead of everyone else. The red coat doesn't like your attitude because you GAVE him attitude. There are other people who needed help before you, what makes you so special? Wait your turn.
Ytropious on 11/03/2009:
I'm sorry I read more and I had to comment again because you make it clear your intentions were to get something out of this. Here: "although my letter wasn't intended to get reimbursed for the money I lost. My initial intention was to bring to your attention problems I have had in service" THEN you try to pit Delta against Continental by telling them the free stuff they gave you and then you say this "If they are not MQM miles they really don't mean anything to me and do not not make up for the mistreatment I received." and "I hope you see fit to make this situation right and to keep earning my business." Yeah, you're just a greedy person OP. I have no sympathy for you and Delta has been nothing but apologetic in all their responses. Take the miles they gave you and be grateful.
Anonymous on 11/03/2009:
I am sure Delta will be ECSTATIC to not have to see you again.
jimworcs on 11/07/2009:
LadyScot, WRONG! Delta eventually rewarded the customer with a gift and apologised for their handling of this case. He has decided to remain a customer.
Anonymous on 11/07/2009:
Then Delta can blame themselves for feeding the monster.
Close commentsAdd reply
A moms nightmare
Posted by on
I sent this following letter to Delta by mail and eamils. I was thinking they would at least allow me to have my 10.00 back
I snet this lettter to Delat when I figured out that emails weren't getting it done. All they would do is thank me and say hope I had a good trip. Even after this letter I never heard a thing form them
To whom it may concernI wanted to share my experience with Delta Airlines with you.
It started in April when I bought tickets for my husband, daughter, granddaughter and myself to travel from Portland, Oregon to Norfolk Va. We were leaving on July 28 to attend my sons wedding. He is stationed in Virginia. On July 1st just before 10 am I received a phone call. It was a mom’s nightmare. My son was just in a motorcycle accident. I was told I needed to meet them at the hospital. I said I can't I live in Washington state. Most of the day is just a blur. The following day I spent on the phone with the trauma center. I had doctors calling me needing my OK to do surgery. I really should say surgeries. I received a lot of phone calls telling me all these things wrong. It just kept coming and coming. Broke jaw, cheek bones, orbits, thumb, leg, wrist, 3 bones in his foot, he can’t breathe, they have to do a Tracheotomy. They couldn’t find a vein so they needed a central line and it goes on and on. Call after call.
So I call Delta. I have 3 airline tickets already so I will just change the dates. I get told that I could change the dates BUT it would cost me about 1200.00 to change them. You have to be joking. Yes I had explained what was going on. $130.00 per ticket just to change a date?? I understand the airlines have been struggling but come on. OK well I don’t have 1200.00 to change these tickets so I hang up. OK I can talk to the Red Cross. They help active duty military. Oh wait I’m not my son is. But they tell me if I can figure something out let them know so they can help the next family. I leave there just not knowing what to do. OK I will go back to the airline. This time I will just cross the river to Oregon and go talk to a Delta Rep. I get there and stand in line. I wait my turn. I ask if there is a supervisor that may be I could speak with. The lady at the counter was super nice. I did need to explain what I needed. It’s pretty hard having to hear my self say all these things wrong with my son over & over. She told me to hang on and walk around the corner to a door. I stepped aside so other people could go. She came out from the door and said “She is on a conference call and would be right with me. 5 minutes go by and the lady goes back in & out and tells me again but says she will be out any minute. So I wait a while longer. What seemed to be for ever was only about another 5 minutes the lady at the counter comes in, comes back out and says she is on a call and it was going to be a very long time before the supervisor could come out and talk with me. So my 15-20 minute trip was for ???As I was leaving the lady at the counter called to me and asked me if I called customer care. I told her that was who told me it would cost me the extra money to change the tickets. She said no, not customer service but customer care. OK I didn’t know there is a difference. But I took the number anyway. After I returned home I tossed the number on the desk. Maybe a hour later I saw the number again and figured OK I will try it. Maybe the next person can be more help and maybe help me figure out what I could do.
Now I know I could have just gotten new tickets but I already had 3 I just needed to change the dates, as there was going to be no wedding. When I called I was very surprised to find that the lady on the other end was willing to help me. She changed the dates for all 3 of us. I was going to be able to get to my son.
We weren't able to sit together and that’s OK I understand we changed tickets. Even coming home we weren't able to be together. There was a man at the Norfolk Airport on our return that was very nice. He was even asking if there was anyone that wanted to catch another flight because you were over booked. I told him that we would stay behind if he could get us on our joining flight. He asked us to wait and he would check. Well we did and it was the last minute when he said he couldn’t get us to Atlanta in time. So because we waited so long to check in we weren't able to sit together.
But then we were doing what we should and we checked in on-line. We checked our bags in and then we get charged 40 for 2 bags and there was 3 of us plus the baby. We only had 2 carry-ons if you don’t count the baby. But anyway it just seems like the system should have just put a bag on each one of us not 2 on 1 and nothing on the other 2.
I haven’t been on a plane in years. It was about 30 for my husband and 22 for my daughter. She was very little the first time. Oh and by the way, when my son came home on leave in Dec he was held at the airport because an employee that was not helping at all. The result was my son missed his flight. We called and filed a complaint in for that one, but were told it was internal and we would not hear anything about it. But, that is a different story. People shouldn’t have to go through this. It doesn’t matter if its vacation or not. My family was going through so much at this time. My husband was so upset in Norfolk that I had to keep him calm so we wouldn’t get held back. I remember what happened to Michael when he got upset..So once I figured out about the baggage I called Delta because the charge was still pending. I did the email thing. It took days for a reply. I replied back only to receive the same email asking for a check number. I explained that since it took a week to hear something back I figured I was just out of luck. I sent another reply only to get another email wanting this number. Oh also telling me:
I hope I have been able to resolve any concerns you have about our service. Your business is important to us and given the opportunity of serving you in the future, I am confident Delta will not only meet but exceed your expectations. Once again I sent an email explaining a little more about what had happened. About 4 days later another email comes and once again they want a number that I have told them several times I don’t have. Guess what another email. They changed my name on it. They ask me for a number that I have already told them by now at least 5 times I didn’t have. And at the end of this one I am told: We appreciate the opportunity to review your concerns and hope your trip is pleasant in every respect. It wasn’t pleasant. It was a nightmare. The phone service was bad, most of the flight attendants can’t seem to smile, and sending comments and or concerns in form of emails is terrible, not to mention the flights are all overbooked causing problems for travelers.
Now I am sorry I guess I just needed to vent. We want to get back to Virginia soon to be with our kid. He is still in the hospital. It’s been 41 days. I just don’t know if Delta would be on the top of my airlines to use.
Read 14 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
lobo65 on 09/01/2009:
I've had bad experiences with Delta too, and it doesn't surprise me what happened to you. I'll never fly with them again if it can be avoided.
JR in Orlando on 09/01/2009:
With a non-refundable ticket, you must pay a change fee and any difference in the fare to get a different date. If you do not want the hassle, then buy refundable tickets. Delta was probably right to say the cost to change the date for three tickets was $1,200.00, but that's not what you paid. Delta helped you when it had no contractual obligation to do so.

So Delta waives $1,200.00 in fees and you complain about a $40.00 baggage fee? You should be thankful to Delta. I know for me, when something happens such as an accident or death, it is easy for me to take out my anger about the death on those around me. I become super sensitive and blame others unreasonably. Could this have happened to you where your transferred your anger about your son's accident to Delta? I am sorry for your son's accident, and how hard it must be for you. I just went to 3 of my friend's funerals in the last 3 weeks and it has wrung me out emotionally.
Eloise on 09/01/2009:
Delta changed your tickets free of charge, and your complaining?
Anonymous on 09/01/2009:
It sounds like they did you a favor and you should be posting a Delta compliment not complaint. They saved you $1200.
Ben There on 09/01/2009:
Did the hospital and ambulance give you services free of charge?
goduke on 09/01/2009:
I think Mom is trying to say that while she appreciates the end result, she wonders why Delta made it so hard to get there when she was in crisis. It's a valid question.
Anonymous on 09/01/2009:
Wow - OP pulled a switcheroo then switched back! I thought, "great, another complaint because some company wouldn't bend the rules for you because you are so special." THEN THEY DID BEND THE RULES! And I thought, "how cool, a switcheroo! She's going to say something nice about Delta." BUT THEN SHE DIDN'T AND SHE SPEWED SOME MORE. She switched back to being the unrational, "I am queen of the world so everyone lick my toes," STUPID consumer.

Question: If your son is stationed on a military base, why do they need to call you before fixing him up from his bike accident?
Mrs. V on 09/01/2009:
Mondo - Hospitals always call Next of Kin for authorizations. If they weren't able to reach any family members, they may they try a service persons commander.
Anonymous on 09/01/2009:
Thanks, Mrs. V. That just seems odd to me, that they would need permission to operate on an adult, especially one in a field where injury is not uncommon. But if that's the way it is.... Thanks for answering my question.
MRM on 09/01/2009:
Now I wonder if this accident was reported in my local newspaper.
Anonymous on 09/01/2009:
I tried looking it up, MRM, and I couldn't find it.
But then, there are tons of accidents that never make the news.
justthefacts on 09/08/2009:
To: Eloise and Justthefaxx

It seems like you two geniuses must like flying with Delta, have some sort of a common interest or just a bunch corporate loving bottom feeders.

Why don't you two read all the negative reviews this company has received over the years, no one needs to explain, to you two, in triplicate how much this is an issue. This problem lies with the people/animals who are employed by Delta, not the company per se. One day I HOPE you’ll be able experience such an unpleasant situation yourself.
Until then continue posting your ignorant thoughts and Interpretation of someone else’s aggravation.
Makarov417 on 08/12/2010:
Dear Frazzled Mom, I hope things all worked out for your son. I am writing only to help clarify The Red Cross aspect of your post. I have been a full-time Red Cross Emergency Military Services Casework Specialist for just over 4 years and understand why you were upset with the situation you described. The primary ARC function in situations of illness and injury is to help the service person obtain emergency leave to be by the side of their ill/injured family member. When it is the servcie person who is ill/injured The Dept. of Defense arranges for transportation of a couple of family members to meet the service person at a location of its choosing IF and ONLY if the injury is service related. Unfortunately The ARC has no power to interfere with the business policies of an airline, etc. In situations like this I personally will (with the clients permission) contact the airline, explain the situation and request they waive such charges and fees and....I usually succeed. But this is not something most ARC Caseworkes do and the final decision still ultimately rests with the airline. I hope this helps.
Makarov417 on 08/12/2010:
Regarding the mom having to authorize medical proceedures for her injured active-duty son. f he designated is mother in his military records as the person to make medical decisions when he is unable to act on his own behalf AND the injury did not occur in the line of duty or on a military installation where he is being treated in its military hosptal this is the correct procedure. If the service person was married one would normally have their partner play this role.
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Unprofessional and rude agents
Posted by on
I Have been the Delta preferred member from past 10 Years. I remember the time 9 years ago when you were greeted by very friendly Delta agent to the agents now who would not even say hello to you, just nod their head after you greet them. My recent experience with Delta has been a nightmare. My parents were flying to India from Atlanta airport On July 27, 2009 Flight
DL 0184 at 8:05pm. The reason they choose this flight because they are over 63 and did not wanted any connecting flights. They wanted straight flight to India.
By the way they always love to fly by Air India. I advice them to take Delta this time and not only that I also enrolled them in the so called sky mile program.( I am the Platinum member and so is my husband. well that does not mean anything to this Delta people anyway).

So we arrived at the airport at 5:30pm and were standing in the line at the check in counter from 5:50pm. My parents were finally able to check in at 7:23pm. Agent name Michael D was checking them in. They had four bags and were taking additional bag with them. Michael checked their four bag in and advice us it would be $200.00 for additional bag. My dad took out $200.00 for the additional bag to give to Michael. At that moment (7:33pm) Michael informs us my parents are going to miss their flight since it was too late. Passengers have already started boarding and there is no way for them to get into this flight. He told has very rudely we should have got to the airport 2hrs prior to our flight. Well we were standing in line right in front of them from 5:50pm, flight was for 8:05pm so technically we were 2 hrs prior to our flight time.

We told Michael we were two hours prior to our flight time and standing in the line from 5:50pm so how is it or fault for missing the flight. Michael kept arguing with us that we should have been on time at the Airport which is 2hrs prior to our flight time. When we argued and asked to see the camera to check since when we were standing in line on time another over smart agent informs us we should have been 4 to 5 hrs prior to our flight time. I demanded to show me where it says on website or anywhere else that passenger is supposed to be 4 to 5hrs early prior to their flight time, he walked away. Meanwhile Micheal kept telling us that were going to miss this flight They have closed all the door etc etc. I asked Michael to reschedule them for another flight which he refused too since that was the last flight.
OK I understand that part so I asked him for next day and he said you have to buy another ticket. That made us very very angry. I asked him if Delta would pay for their flight since it was not our fault for missing the flight he said no. He kept on saying we should have been on the time at the airport. I got very mad and asked him what part he did not understand. I asked him to check his security camera and he said no. OK My husband asked to speak to the supervisor and he called for one. It was getting late so I was frantically looking for Delta office or somebody to talk to. We asked to see if they would stop the plane since it was one stop destination. While trying to find Delta office or booth I saw a lady wearing Delta T Shirt so I explained her my situation and asked to see manager. She replies ” Well they called one for you. He should be here any minute. He is wearing red blazer so if you see one get him, she further said “I do not know which one I should call” and walked away.

I sported a guy in Red Blazer and told him he needs to hurry otherwise we will miss the flight. He took his own sweet time to get to our counter and when he did he was worse than Michael. Mr. Jose D is the worst supervisor ever. First thing he says” You people do not get here on time and than you miss flight, so what can I do”. We all screamed at him that we were on time check your camera. He still was being very rude and got my parents the seats number. He told us ” You did not even had seat number be glad I got you now. Since you have done this through travel agent its not our responsibility”. I could not believe my ears. Instead of apologizing he thought he did us a favor. Micheal had already checked our bags in so we had to get this flight otherwise we would loose our luggage.

My dad asked supervisor to let his extra bag go and was willing to pay $200.00 for additional bag. He refused saying “All the doors are closed”. My dad kept requesting him that ” Please Mr. Jose how can I leave my belonging here. Here is money for additional bag let us go”.Mr. Jose replied” It is not my problem you are travelling with excess luggage. You can give your daughter you bag to take back with her and stop talking and catch your plane otherwise you are going to miss it”. My dad again pleaded” Mr. Jose I am not sure what I have in that bag please here is $200.00 and let us check the bag in”. Mr Jose replies” Well you should know what you have in that bag since its your belonging and you packed it”. My dad argued he had 5 bags between him and my mom and has spread out everything so how can he tell what is in what bag. Jose the Idiot Supervisor with very poor communication skills kept on telling us you are going to miss the flight if you keep arguing with me over the bag. He further reminded us next time we are supposed to be on time.

It was 7:50pm by then. Since my parents Four bags were already in the plane they had to catch that flight. I am not kidding we all ran to catch the flight as if we our running for Olympics. Please bear in mind My parents are 63 and 66 and they had to run to clear security and catch train to get to their plane. My mother with bad knee almost had a panic attack.

I went to check with the Delta people to see if my parents were able to catch flight or not guess what. When I reached the counter Mr. Jose was telling other passengers about us. He was telling them how irresponsible we were etc etc. Seeing me he stopped and looked at me, I asked him if my parents were able to make it and he said well they had plenty of time they should. I asked him to asked the computer to see if they did for sure Mr. Jose Hesistate for a Minute than as if doing me a favour asked me last name and informed me that they already did 3o mints ago. I told him that s not the right person so he asked my dad’s first name and complained for having same last name like the other passengers. Another Delta agent standing next to him explained him that Desai’s are like Smiths very common last name. He did “huh” and than said in a very rude tone” ya they did”.

I am extremely disappointed with this airline. Every year the service is getting wost from bad. Being Platinum member this is very very disappointing and sad. I am never ever going to fly with delta. My family travel through Delta twice a year. Delta has lost all our family business. No wonder this airline is not doing well. Why don’t the agent understand customers are the reason why they are getting their pay check. All Mr. Jose should have done was try to help us rather than fighting us and showing their powers.

There are very good unemployed people. Delta should get rid off people like Jose and Michael who are ruining their name and reputation and hire Some good people who wants to work and not just collect their pay check.

I called this evening at around 5:00pm and was greeted by Mr. Eric Bastian who truly was walking example to great customer service. He apologize to me for my inconvenience and offered me $100.00 voucher or 5000 points.
I refused on both but I do appreciate him taking time to listen to my concerns and address that to his supervisor. People like Mr. Eric Bastian should be awarded for their professionalism and excellent customer service.
He was very patient and very professional. Reminded me of great Delta experiences decade ago. Its people like Mr. Eric who leaves up to that standards and People like Michael D and Jose G who has ruined Delta reputation. They should be fired.
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dan gordon on 07/28/2009:
I'm sorry I can't believe your saga of woe. I've never had to wait in line for two hrs, and if you were platinum why not just walk them up to that counter and explain. Why not give the bags to a skycap? Why not use the kiosks? How can you an experienced flyer just idly stand there until the gates are closing. Why wouldn't you know the bags have to be on board 45-60 minutes a head of time. I'm sorry your whole saga is beyond belief and not one of an experienced traveler. It is a well written novel but won't get any attention. The simple truth is you created the problem by just standing thereby two hrs.
skelly39 on 07/29/2009:
Great read, but I agree with you, dan gordon. I'm not an experienced traveler, but I wouldn't stand there like a dolt waiting for the wind to pick me up and take me where I needed to go. Sometimes you just have to take a little initiative.
Anonymous on 07/29/2009:
This guy was given the runaround by several people at Delta. It is their responsibility to get you through their line as quickly as possible, even if that means more people at check-in working. Someone at Delta even told him they should have been there 4-5 hours ahead. I have never, ever heard of anyone having to be that early for any flight. That in itself is ridiculous.

I was in a line at Vancouver, BC last January. The line was so long (at least 200 people) that we were letting people go in front of us that had earlier flights. There were 2 people working the check-in! This was not Delta, but I can totally understand how this happened and it's not fun.

Rinky, glad to hear that you were able to finally speak to someone that cared and was professional. These are always the employees that stand out. Some people just should not be allowed to work customer service areas. Plain and simple. As for Delta, I have heard so many complaints about them that they would be my last choice when flying. Thanks for the review.
Anonymous on 07/29/2009:
dan, You cannot use skycap or kiosk on an international flight. The agent needs to input passport information before the system lets you check in. Two hours before departure is the recommended time for a domestic flight. An international flight should be 3 hours prior to departure. They were late!!!
PepperElf on 07/29/2009:
I remember once showing up 2 hours early and the line through security was insane. It was at least an hour... I lost track of time.

I was just glad I didn't miss my flight
dan gordon on 07/29/2009:
the OP said they were Platinum. Delta would have had a special line for there elite customers. Even if it were her parents they wouldn't treat you badly as an elite. She needs to take some responsibility.
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Delta Ruining Northwest
Posted by on
ORANGE COUNTY AIRPORT, CALIFORNIA -- I wondered how long it would take delta to ruin what was, arguably, the country’s best airline. Unfortunately, it took much less time then I had anticipated when I booked what will be my last flight on delta/Northwest.

I booked a flight on for myself, my wife, and my sister-in-law from Oregon, Wisconsin to John Wayne airport in California. We were scheduled to depart Oregon on February 26, 2009. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans so we were rescheduled on the same flights on the 27th. Lucky for us, I was able to deal with Northwest people and everything was taken care of with a simple phone call. It was the level of service I had grown accustomed to from Northwest over the past ten years.

Contrast that with the “frig you” attitude I experienced from the delta bunch of ignorant, non-professional, idiots in Orange County when we tried to return on March 3, 2009. It is difficult to express in words how horrific that experience was for me and others. I’ll start with my arrival at the airport. We drove by the terminal the first time and, we thought, had missed the Northwest sign. On the second pass, my brother-in-law said that the sign must have fallen down but he had traveled on Northwest from Orange County many times so he dropped us off at the south end of the terminal.

I dragged our checked baggage into the terminal and still was not able to find the Northwest counter. I asked a TSA person and was told that I had to go to the north end of the terminal and check my baggage at delta. So I lugged the baggage down to the delta area. When I got there I found three lines, none with any markings. I asked a person in line 1 what it was. He informed me it was for delta frequent fliers. He said if I was checked in I could get in the line next to him and use the kiosk to check my bags. Now by this time the line had gotten longer so I slepped the bags out to the curb and got in line for curbside baggage check (as suggested on my online check in). I worked my way to the front of the line only to be told that since I was a “Northwest person”, I could not use curbside baggage check!

Just an aside. There NO SIGNS anywhere providing any information (more on this later).

By this time I had been at the airport for 45-minutes and had accomplished absolutely nothing. Hauled the bags back inside and, seeing it was very likely I would miss my flight, I sent my wife and her sister ahead and told them not to worry about me if I did not get on the plane. So I am back in the line and one of the delta baggage witches asks if anyone is on the 6:45 to Atlanta. Several people raised their hands and they were brought to the front of the line. When I asked about the 6:45 to Minnie, I was told they had to take care of the Atlanta (translate “delta”) flight first.

I finally get up to a kiosk and after several attempts I ask the delta service witch for assistance. She tells me I am too late to check my bags and proceeded to “explain” to me I needed to be at the airport in time to check my bags. I told her I was there on time but there are not any signs outside telling me where to go to check my bags. She then told the first of many lies that I would hear from various delta folk in the course of the morning. She said the airport would not allow them to install a sign. (I just got off the phone with the airport administration office and was told they were not aware there was not a sign and they would under no circumstances forbid an airline from posting a sign).

The next step in the folly was when a delta warlock came over and told me I was in the wrong line as the Northwest system does not talk to the delta system and only one kiosk (the one in the last of the three lines) was where I had to go to check my bags. So once again I move to yet my fourth line and wait my turn. I make it to “next in line” and a little oriental delta witch appears and says she “knows a secret way” to make the delta kiosk work so she grabs my boarding pass and runs off. While this is going on, three other people use the kiosk I could have been using, to check their bags. At that point the little witch returns and “so sorry, I can’t get it”.

At that time I told them they could keep the damn bags I was going to try to catch my flight. After clearing security I did an OJ, running to my gate, shoes and jacket in hand. As I approached the gate, I saw the plane was still at the gate and the door to the jet way was open. I handed my boarding pass the delta gate witch and she said ”The flight is closed.” By now three of my fellow passengers were at the gate as well. Despite our pleadings, she refused to even call the plane. Incidentally, the plane remained at the gate for another 11 minutes (I timed it).

I then asked about getting rebooked. After another fifteen minutes the CS witch got me rebooked on the 3:50PM flight arriving in Oregon at midnight. When I asked her if that was the best she could do, she replied (here comes another lie) “Yes. I’m sorry I even checked all of the other airlines.” So I went, put on my shoes and got a cup of coffee. Then I thought, why should I believe that witch? I am a Northwest person and she is a delta witch who could not care less about a Northwest flier.

So as I walked back towards my original gate (gate 3) I noticed that United had a flight to O’Hare just starting to board at gate 5. I asked the United Angel if there was room on the flight and could I make any connections to Oregon. She checked and said yes there were seats and she could get me on a flight to Oregon arriving in Oregon at 4PM. I had to go back to the delta witch to get my ticket and she presented yet another lie when she said that flight did not come up on her earlier search. She was SO surprised when she found it this time. She issued the tickets and I was off in the Friendly Skies.

I arrived in Oregon on time and then set about getting a handle on my baggage. A wonderful Northwest baggage agent in Oregon took care of everything in a professional and cheerful manner. It is a shame that people like her are going to all be replaced by the brown booted, uncaring delta androids.

I want to thank Northwest for hundreds of thousands of miles of professional, courteous, and above and beyond service. It is sad to know I have flown my last flight on my favorite airline. My future travel will be on United, American, Midwest, or Southwest. I will NEVER, EVER set foot in a plane operated by the androids. In fact, I will use every means I can find; the internet, blogs, letters to editors, and networking to do my part to warn people of the hideous service (or lack of service) they can expect from the androids at delta.
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bargod on 03/06/2009:
Great post, nothing beats a good story filled with Witchs,Warlocks and Andrioids. I thourghly enjoyed it.
Anonymous on 03/06/2009:
I can't comment on how Delta may have changed NWA, but I can tell you with certainty they were NEVER the best airline, they weren't ever a very good airline.
I used to travel for business, and learned early on that I would probably have a problem if NWA was in the itinerary. The final blow was they day, while waiting for my flight at the gate, I watched them unload all the baggage from a 757 by heaving it out the side hatch of the plane onto the tarmac. One after another I watched the luggage burst and spill, and when I pointed it out to the gate agent, he just shrugged and asked what I wanted him to do.
I wrote a letter to the president with details. Some weeks later I actually received a lengthy reply from him in which he detailed the employees who had been reprimanded or fired. (the gate agent!) He assured me that it was an isolated incident and had been addressed and would never happen again.
Two weeks later, on the evening news they showed the videos of the baggage handlers (at the same airport) who were using shipped packages to play basketball.

If you think this was the best airline, you haven't travelled much.
Anonymous on 03/06/2009:
I remember a long-ago, similar (60 Minutes?) piece where hidden cameras filmed baggage handlers in action. Jumping up and down on packages marked "fragile", tossing hardside luggage onto the ramp to see if it would break open (when it did, they pilfered through it like savages).
BokiBean on 03/06/2009:
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Anonymous on 03/06/2009: was so FUNNY (since it was not my baggage). One handler would throw the suitcase onto the ramp. If it broke open, all of the other handlers raced to it to rifle through the contents and danced away holding up their 'prize'. It looked like starving people finding a broken open rice bag.
bargod on 03/06/2009:
So true, I worked briefly as a baggage rat and for the most part they were good guys, but there was a couple chowderheads that delighted in tossing around anything with the word "fragile" on it. And those bag indentifiers that people attach to their luggage kiss those goodbye. They loved to rip them off and toss them in a big pile.
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Memorial Day Nightmare!!
Posted by on
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I am writing this letter after taking 7 days of agonizing attempts to gather the energy to write Delta Airlines. Writing this letter is one of the most difficult things that I’ve had to do because it requires time, energy, resources, and re-visit to the horrible day and chain of events that exhausted me while leaving me depleted emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

On Memorial Day, and a monumental day it will always be, I was prevented from completing my travel route to Costa Rica where I would serve teaching yoga to adults and children at a retreat center outside of Puerto Viejo. It had been a long journey prior to the 23 hour lay over in Atlanta. Life re-arrangements were required to make this expedition possible. From resigning from my post, spending over a thousand dollars for necessities, to the stress of having to sublease my house, to explaining and helping my 10 year old son understand that he will not be able to reach his mother for the entire summer.

Having arrived in Atlanta, to discover that the hotel that I booked (through which should have been 2 miles away from the airport according to their website and booking agent was actually over 26 miles from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, demanding additional expenses when shuttles between airports and hotels are normally free.

Waking up well ahead of time the morning of Memorial Day to be ready for the shuttle bus (which I confirmed the night before arrived 20 minutes after every hour), I soon learned that a reservations was needed. No thanks to the Atlanta Shuttle driver who never informed me of that one piece of information and the Hyatt Regency’s hotel’s employees who failed as well. What I learned was that the holiday threw everyone off and that normal working days required no reservations.

Meanwhile, my luggage had spent the night at Atlanta Hartfield’s Airport without my prior knowledge. I was wrong to assume that my suitcases would go to San Juan, Costa Rica since it was my final destination. And no thanks to your ticket agent who did not advise me or inform me as a passenger of Delta Airlines. (All travelers are not created equally.)

I did arrive at the airport 1 hour and 15 minutes early. The signs indicated that international flights needed 60 minutes of check-in time – at the very least. I have never been in line at an airport whereby passengers with the most immediate departure time were not taken care of immediately. There were other angry, frustrated passengers in line who left later than I but refused to allow me to step forward. In addition, the screaming and “down talk” from your employee was nerve wrecking and frankly crude and far away from what quality customer service should represent and symbolize.

Given the fact that the airline industry has declined drastically and that the homeland security laws are an added burden to the comfort and safety of paying passengers, I have never seen such horrific and poor customer service organization and support from any other airline as I have seen with Delta Airlines. Your airlines ruined my summer job/vacation and refused to put me on the next flight to San Juan without demanding a $450.00 change/cancellation fee that was well hidden when I purchased my ticket. It was my understanding and according to the written terms that I would need to pay a $100 fee in the event that I cancelled or changed my reservations.

When I called the reservations line to book for the next flight, I was advised of the $100 dollar fee and was told that given my circumstances it would be wise to ask to speak with a supervisor at the airport counter. Again, no $450 fee that includes the $100 fee was mentioned by the reservations sales rep. I was prepared to pay the $100.00 fee but not $450.00. Doing so would have caused my mortgage check to bounce as well as other financial disruptions on my home front. What an inconvenience! Not everyone can afford to pay astronomical unexpected charges that are slapped on to travelers for the sake of profit and gain. Where does compassion, respect, consideration and a positive approach to customers come in with Delta Airlines? I have yet to see it.

What is even more disturbing is that this is not the first time I have had a horrible experience with Delta Airlines. Returning from Liberia, Costa Rica 4 years ago left a very sour and bitter after taste during my return trip to the US via Delta. And please know that I have bitten myself for forgetting the ordeal and going back to after all that happened. In a nutshell the flight crew during my return trip was insensitive and downright rude. Traveling with me was my (then 6 year old) son. We sat a row or two after the first class cabin and in economy. The bathroom closest was in first class. My son and I needed to use the rest room urgently. Stretched in the back was a long line to the other bathroom. It would only make sense to use the nearest rest room but this effort was met with resistance by a flight attendant who so brusquely tried to prevent my child and I from using the lavatory. I know that many flight attendants have no children and thus the maternal instinct may be in delay mode but who in their right heart and mind would prevent a mother and child from utilizing the toilet on a plane that is thousands of miles high in the sky. I was prepared to return to my seat and have my son piss right on the floor. Why would a simply attempt to answer nature’s call create a disaster in the air?

How did I forget that ordeal, I keep asking myself? But the biggest question that keeps coming up is WHY did I forget? Did I need to re-affirm, re-confirm that over the years Delta Airlines has only gotten worse and that there are others who need to know and become more informed consumers in order to make choices that support and dignify their rights as humans.

As a consumer, as one who was a passenger of your aircraft I speak up so that my pain, my frustration, my anger, my disgust over the experience that I had on Memorial day will not be forgotten, will not eat me away inside as such experiences have resulted in the stress related diseases and imbalances that human unnecessarily endure.

In addition, it is WE, the people, the passengers, the consumers who are mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, sisters, brothers who make Delta Airlines possible. What is an airline or a business without passengers and customers? It is our collective dollars that fuel your planes and pay your employees. Shouldn’t it matter that we, the passengers and customers are treated with care, respect - knowing that it really is a partnership? Partners treat each other with respect. If one partner is primarily focused on financial gain then the relationship is a one-way street to a dead end.

The damages I have suffered are all encompassing. The breakdown at the airport counter would only indicate a peak in my experience. I am still emotionally and mentally distraught and have sunk into depression as a result of this ordeal and prevention of carrying out my summer plans. I have receipts of the money I had to spend to make this trip possible. The damages and suffering I continue to endure are economical, physical, emotional and mental. Having re-awakened the ordeal from 4 years ago, it has been even more strenuous for me mind, body, heart and soul.

My summer job & vacation was destroyed by Delta Airlines. But I was not the only one that was inconvenienced as a result of the cancellation of my trip. The nature and yoga retreat center has been inconvenienced by my absence, the sub-renter of my house has inconvenienced; I have spend over $2,000.00 towards making this trip happen and only to have lost it all.

I started off blindly with trust and faith in Delta airlines, even after the less than humane treatment of my child and I during the last return trip from Costa Rica in the summer of 2004. I trusted Delta Airlines for the second time and all I got in return was a ticket agent supervisor saying… “So what are you going to do, when you leave this counter you loose the value of the entire ticket?” After taking three deep breaths, I was left with the only choice - to return to Washington, DC my point of origin and where I live.
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BobJohn on 06/03/2008:
You did have a very bad ordeal but I feel a lot of this had to do with poor planning on your part.
- you should have found where the hotel was located, not take a 3rd party online agency to tell you
- you should have called the hotel to verify if they did indeed have a free shuttle and what times it ran when you would have been there (not every hotel does have a shuttle)
- regardless of what Delta's website says, "bags must be checked in 60 minutes before departure" for international flights, you should have anticipated that you would wait in line longer than 15 minutes (you had to be at the checkin counter 60 minutes before departure, not in line)

$2,000 is a lot of money to lose but get a grip, meditate, and move on.
spiderman2 on 06/03/2008:
Are you dramatic much?
samtheman on 06/03/2008:
I agree with BobJohn's comments. This was a very bad ordeal for you, but I think you must live in a vacuum. You arrived at the airport 1hr and 15 minutes early for an international flight! I arrive at least 2 hrs early for flights within CONUS. And then you expected those in line to give up their places because you were late. Yes, the travel system can be frustrating when dealing with airline employees and TSA personnel, etc., but travellers like you also exacerbate the travel experience by expecting everyone to make amends for your improper planning.
yoke on 06/03/2008:
What did Delta do wrong?
Ponie on 06/03/2008:
Your tome would have done Dostoyevsky proud! What's your problem? Couldn't get certified as a yoga instructor in the U.S.? Yes, I've heard anyone can hang a shingle in Costa Rica. This may come as a shock, but you are not the center of the universe nor does the world revolve around you.
smeat75 on 06/03/2008:
You were late for your flight. You should be at the airport in line for check-in at least two hours before an international flight and I am always there three hours ahead.
Also, coach passengers are never allowed to use the first class lavatories on any flight. First class/business class passengers have paid several times more than coach class for the very reason not to be disturbed by economy class passengers and their children.
You have no one to blame for any of this but yourself.
Doe3001 on 06/03/2008:
" discover that the hotel that I booked (through which should have been 2 miles away from the airport according to their website and booking agent was actually over 26 miles from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport.......

NOt a surpirse: belongs to EXPEDIA that is scamming travelers in many ways. (Read my profile to learn more)
Ben There on 06/03/2008:
I have a feeling that you are not the most focused traveler... First off, the big city in Costa Rica is San JOSE, not San JUAN.

There are no Hyatt Regency's listed on by the Atlanta Airport. There are two Hyatt Places listed as near the airport, but the Hyatt Regency is listed as a downtown hotel.

If you have an pre-planned overnight stop built into your itinerary, the airline will give you your bag back for the evening. Think about it - most people want to have access to their stuff if they are in a hotel, and business travelers spend one night in cities all the time. Just because you didn't feel like hauling your stuff around meant that Delta was going to babysit your luggage.

You also blame the holiday shuttle schedule on the driver not informing you of it. Why didn't you stop to think "hey, they whole country is shut down tomorrow... Maybe I should ask about the shuttle van".

Lastly, your comment about flight attendants having delayed motherly insticts is so crazy. Many many of them have kids... This is not the 1960s and Coffee, Tea or Me is LONG GONE. The crew was just doing their jobs by having you return to coach...
familytravel on 06/04/2008:
75 minutes is not nearly early enough for an international flight. Sure, 60 minutes may be the minimum, but come should have realized that at major airports like ATL, it is common knowledge that you need to be there two hours early. In fact, smart travellers get there as early as three hours in advance, so they're prepared for delays at the check-in counter, etc. The lavatory issue: The lavatory in the first class cabin is reserved for those passengers in the first class cabin, AKA: the people who paid more than you did for their ticket. The flight attendant was doing his/her job. The world does not revolve around you. Delays, and mistakes happen every single day in airports. Next time do your research on your hotels and quit blaming others for your mistakes. Okay you had a bad experience.....but life must go on.
DebraJ on 06/14/2008:
Sadly, most of the problems you experienced related to poor planning on your part. I too used to rely on, and so forth. Those sites are not reliable in terms of information.

For example: I book a hotel room for a stay in Seattle. Travelocity said the hotel was in Seattle. The hotel was actually in Tacoma, which was a 30 minute and $35.00 drive from Seattle.

Book hotel rooms directly and WHEN you book ask about their shuttle service. If they don't have a shuttle service, make a reservation with an airport shuttle service in that city.

As for the bathroom incident, first class customers stupidly pay higher prices not to deal with economy class people. Delta staff can't upset their 1st class customers for an economy class customer.

Anyway, unfortunately, when you travel---you have to plan each detail down to the millisecond. I do this and get very stressed and still have unexpected things happen. Also, if you MUST be to a destination by a certain date or something negative will happen to you, make sure you plan the trip for at least 2 days ahead of the date you need to be there.

I have to say that my experiences with Delta have been nothing but good. I hear others complain about Delta, but whenever I have had a Delta issue I was confident it would be handled well. One time, I missed my flight due to the plane not arriving on time. Delta gave ALL of us, food vouchers and placed us at a Miami hotel for whenever we wanted the next flight. I decided to have my flight the next day so that I could see some of Miami. I got to do this for free.

On other instances when my plane was late, Delta had the next plane wait on us. The only bad airline experiences I have had have usually been some other airline other than Delta.

I do hear, however, that Southwest apparently is the best of all of them.
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Worst Airline Experience Ever
Posted by on
AUSTIN, TENNESSEE -- I have been traveling for over 20 years and this was my worst trip ever.

Using, I bought a round-trip ticket from Austin, Texas to Nice, France departing March 8th, returning March 12th. I was to attend a conference in Monaco that began on the 10th. Our company was to make a presentation on the morning of the 11th.

Frankly, the problems began as soon as I arrived at the Austin airport to check in about two hours before my flight was scheduled to depart. There had been a series of winter storms on the east coast that had caused delays and cancellations of many Delta flights. I fully understand that weather delays are out of the control of the airline but the manner that the Austin staff handled the situation left something to be desired.

There were at least 200 customers, with baggage, lined up at the check-in counters with a total of three Delta agents on duty. The self-service kiosks were not functioning so each passenger had to be checked-in one at a time.

Several times during the wait Delta agents would call for passengers from a particular flight to get out of line and form a special line as that flight was going to depart soon. Often they would not finish with that group before calling another flight number and creating another line. Many passengers missed flights although they were at the airport long before the flights departed.

There was only one agent looking after international bookings and I waited over 90 minutes before checking in. At check-in I was advised that my flight was delayed 45 minutes and I went through security for the first time.

When I arrived at the gate there no aircraft and there were no agents to be seen. The original departure time was displayed on the gate kiosk.

Over the next several hours the flight was delayed by another 30-45 minutes. During this period no announcements were made by the Delta agents.

The first communication was that the flight had been canceled and we were told to go back through security to the ticket counter to get re-booked. The gate agents refused to answer any questions at this time. I along with the other 90 passengers returned to the ticket counter chaos. Once in line we were advised that the flight had not been canceled and we were told to hurry to the gate. I was in the process of taking off my shoes for the security screening when a Delta agent told everybody the flight had been canceled and we needed to get back in the check-in line.

Once in line we were advised that the flight had not been canceled and we were told to hurry to the gate.

I went through security again and proceed to the gate.

At this point I waited at the gate to speak to an agent, I explained that I had a flight to Nice (DL83) scheduled for 6:55pm and wanted to know if I could expect to make that flight as I did not want to travel to JFK and get stranded. The agent (Moses) advised me that all the flights were delayed and if my current flight was to leave when they thought it would I could make the connection. He also booked me on an Air France flight (Delta code share) to Paris, Charles de Gaulle International Airport, but he advised me that he could not confirm my connection back to Nice the following day. I was provided with an “interrupted travel” itinerary showing confirmed seats on both DL 83 and DL 8603 (operated by AF 009). I was told that I would have to check-in again when I arrived at JFK for the Paris flight.

At some point the flight was canceled again, I went out through security to the check-in counter to be told flight had not been canceled and we were told to return to the gate.

My 11:10AM flight departed at 5:24 PM arriving at 6:58PM. There was no gate available for our flight and it was over an hour later before I was off the aircraft and into the terminal.

By this point my original flight to Nice had left but at that point I did not care very much as I believed had a seat on the flight to Paris.

I was wrong.

When I went to the Delta Customer Service Counter at 8:20 PM to check-in they had a problem with my reservation. The agent said that I had a seat on the flight but he could not get it to print my boarding card. He then called over a Lead Agent (Robert A) who worked on my reservation, assisted by a Customer Services Supervisor (Vas) and telephone support from the “International Desk” for over an hour.

The problem was that the system had attempted to book me a flight from Paris to Nice but for some reason it could not confirm the seat, that issue also prevented the agents from printing my boarding card. When they tried to re-book me the system “lost” my reservation and gave up my seat on the Paris flight as it was wait-listed.

The Delta Agents at JFK, in particular Robert A, were fantastic and found me a local hotel room and gave me meal vouchers. Other customers with international connections who had flown with me from Austin were not offered any assistance in getting hotels. They acknowledged the fact that I was not going to be able to make the flight because of Delta Airlines was unable to print my boarding documents, even though I had a confirmed seat on that flight, up to the point the system lost the seat. The Air France flight did not depart until 12:45AM four hours after I tried to check in.

As I said earlier, I recognize that weather delays are out of the control of the airline but everything that happens from this point on in my story is completely the fault of Delta Airlines.

I was booked on a Delta flight to Gatwick the following day with a connection on British Airways to Nice.

The next day, March 9th, I went to the airport early to check-in. After waiting for 55 minutes, I checked-in. I asked where my bags were and was told that due to the many delays from yesterday, they were doing their best to route bags correctly but most likely my luggage was not going to be on the flight with me.

I then boarded DL1 bound for Gatwick.

I never made it to Gatwick as the flight was diverted to Brussels due to weather issues in the UK.

As soon as we were on the ground in Brussels I called the local Delta Ticket Office to find out what my options were. I was advised to get off the aircraft as there was a connection to Nice at 12:45PM. I was also told that I should not proceed to Gatwick as due to the many delays there were no flights to anywhere on the European continent or back to the US for several days.

I asked one of the flight attendants if I would be permitted to disembark the aircraft, she replied that she would check and get back to me. I never saw her again. I asked another flight attendant who referred me to yet another flight attendant who said that we would not be allowed to get off the aircraft as we would not be able to “clear immigration”. A cabin announcement was made to this effect.

After waiting on the ground for two hours, many other passengers also indicated they wanted go get off the aircraft. Many, like me, had final destinations in Europe, including a party of 8-10 first-class passengers who also wanted to get to Nice.

I had the opportunity to speak with a local Delta employee and asked her why we could not get off the aircraft.

She had a very different story. The issue was not immigration, but baggage. She was unaware that some passengers wanted to get off and offered a solution: If you did not have checked baggage you could get off the aircraft. She took the record locator information and baggage tag numbers for several passengers and went to the terminal to confirm that we did not have bags on the aircraft.

When she returned, I was advised that my checked bag was at Air France, Charles de Gaulle International Airport having arrived that morning on AF009. My bag made the flight I was not able to board.

Several other passengers and I were taken by bus to the terminal. By the time I had gone through immigration, found my way to the Delta ticket counter and waited to be re-booked my flight to Nice had left. This was a full four hours after I first spoke to the Delta staff and asked to be let off the aircraft.

The recovery plan was to fly to Rome with connection back to Nice. The first segment was flown on an Alitalia Airlines code share operated by Brussels Airlines. The Rome-Nice flight was operated by Alitalia.

I had a pleasant flight but we were delayed in landing and I only had about twenty minutes to make the Nice flight upon arrival in Rome. Accompanied by another Delta passenger from DL1, I ran to the gate and arrived six minutes before the scheduled departure.

I have been travelling on business for over 25 years, including many trips on third-world airlines and what happened next is something I will always remember.

The gate agent told us to “run-run” to the aircraft. So we did. The aircraft was on an old-style gate that had several swing-away jet-ways. When we reached the aircraft they were just beginning to close the door. I called to an Alitalia employee who was standing at the jet-way controls. He said nothing and just looked at us. The flight was operated by a DC9 and the pilots were visible through the cockpit windows. I managed to get the Captains attention and he opened the direct vision window and asked what was going on.
I said we wanted to get on the aircraft and he told the Alitalia employee to open the door.

The Alitalia employee then said, in English, that we need to get off the moving portion of the jet-way. We backed up and he then pulled the jet-way off the aircraft and advised the ground crew to push the aircraft back. The aircraft entry door was fully open.
The Captain just shrugged his shoulders as the aircraft was pushed back from the gate leaving 3 passengers on the bridge. At this point the gate agent who had taken our boarding cards and told us to run appeared on the jet-way and got into a heated argument with the jet-bridge operator. She then asked us to follow her to the ticket counter.

At the ticket counter my traveling companion tried to explain what had happened. We were asked to wait until another employee arrived. Soon a woman approached and introduced herself as the “Alitalia Manager”. We explained what occurred at the gate, and after she spoke to the gate agent, she turned to me and said in perfect English, in no uncertain terms, that in her opinion we were not Alitalia passengers, we had never boarder an Alitalia flight and regardless of what may, or may not, have happened at the gate we were wasting her time and if we did not leave she was going to call the police. Without another word, she turned and walked away as fast as one can in a tight skirt and stiletto heels.

I went to the Delta Airlines counter but it was closed. I called the local number and spoke to a pleasant lady who said she could not help me but she did connect me to the Delta Reservations office in London where I was connected to Mr. Miguel Garcia.

I explained my situation to Mr. Garcia and his response was mind-boggling. He absolutely refused to assist me with onward airline bookings, hotel reservations or alternate travel arrangements. He said that from the moment I got off the aircraft in Brussels; I was no longer a Delta Airlines passenger. He spent considerable time quoting me IATA policy and regulations and concluded that I needed to be “more assertive” with the Alitalia staff.

At this point, once again accompanied by another Delta passenger from DL1, I walked to the train station and bought a very expensive overnight train ticket to Nice.

While waiting for the train, I placed a long-distance call to Delta Baggage Services in Atlanta. I waited 47 minutes before I was able to speak to an agent.

After explaining my situation, the first words the agent, Barbara, said was: “I can’t help you”. She said I needed to open a claim at the Delta baggage office when I reached my final destination.

After some explanations that I was never going to get to my final destination, the Nice Airport, as I was about to board a train, and I knew exactly where my luggage was, she very reluctantly agreed to send a message to Air France CDG requesting my bag be sent on to Delta in Nice.

I then boarded the train and had a pleasant trip to Nice. For reasons that were never quite made clear to me the train stopped at the French boarder and we were put on a local commuter train. Fortunately, this train stopped in Monte Carlo and I got off, hailed a taxi and walked into my hotel at 9:15 am, basically three days after I walked into the Austin Airport to board my original flight.

I had a shower, put on some clean clothes I had and much to the surprise of my colleagues, I made it to the conference in time for the presentation.

Later that day I called Delta in Nice to try to find my luggage. I spoke to Olivier Tisseraud who took my information and said he would call me right back. True to his word, less than an hour later, Olivier called to say my bag had arrived earlier in the day from CDG and as he understood I had some difficulties in getting to Monaco he had put my bag on the helicopter shuttle and it would be arriving soon at my hotel. It did. Whatever Barbara had done had worked, but if I had not been “assertive” with her she would not have done anything and my bag might still be in Paris today.

During this entire ordeal I maintained my composure and above all sense of humor. At no time did I get angry or raise my voice as I know it does not do anybody any good.

I did not begin to get irritated until I returned to the US and contacted Delta Customer Care.

I was given a telephone number for Customer Care at the airport. When I called I was told the very best Delta could offer me was a $200 travel voucher. Ironically I was waiting at a gate at the time and passengers were being offered a $400 voucher if they would wait 6 hours for a later flight that day.

I asked or be connected to a manager or supervisor but was told that was impossible. I asked for contact name of the overall person at Delta responsible for Customer Care. I was informed that person is Ms. Daiquiri Gleaves. I then tried to contact Ms. Gleaves but it appears she does not have a direct line, voice mail or any method of direct communication with the customers she is responsible to care for. I was however connected to a person who identified herself to me as Susan Browne, who said she worked in the Executive Offices.

After I told her my story, I requested compensation for the out of pocket expenses I incurred as a result of Delta Airlines service failures. Ms. Browne indicated she would be able to “meet you half way” (her exact words) with respect to the expenses, providing I had receipts. She also offered me 20,000 SkyMiles as a goodwill gesture.
She provided me with her fax number and I asked for the correct spelling of her name and she replied “Browne with and E”. I then faxed the receipts to her.

Later that day; I received a form-letter e-mail from “Brenda Brown”, Manager Customer Care. It stated that I had had problems with Delta Connection partner, Comair and offered me a $200 travel voucher or a credit of 20,000 SkyMiles.

I then called Delta again and asked to speak to “Susan Browne” but was told that no person of that name worked there. I then asked for “Brenda Brown” and was connected to the same individual I had spoken to earlier that day,

Is it Delta policy for managers in the Customer Care department to use false names when communicating with customers?

When I asked Ms Brown why she had rescinded her original offer with respect to reimbursement of my expenses she denied ever making the offer. When I challenged her on that statement, asking why she requested me to send in the receipts, she became defensive and belligerent.

Due to Delta Airlines spectacular failures to deliver the transportation services I paid for, I incurred over $1000 in out of pocket expenses.

Over and over I was told that Delta’s only responsibility is to “rebook you on the first available flight to your destination”.

Not only did Delta not get me to my final destination, at some point in the process Delta Airlines stopped trying.

For this I am offered a $200 voucher?

The attitude of the Delta "Customer Care" department shows a lot about the overall value the company gives to it's customers: NONE!

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User Replies:
bargod on 04/15/2008:
All that I can say is Wow! how you maintained your composer threw out all that is amazing. You should be comended. I'm pretty sure I would have been in an Italian prison somewhere after that jetway pulled back.
Hugh_Jorgen on 04/15/2008:
Alitalia is rumored to be on the verge of filing for bankruptcy and shutting down - now I can understand why.
Ben There on 04/19/2008:
That trip sounds just horrible - I feel for you. I have noticed that the Skyteam airlines are much less likely to help each others customers out than those on Oneworld and Star.
Bad Service Buster on 05/23/2008:
What a mess! What Delta offered you after this disaster is a joke. When a company treats you badly you must never ever use them again - and you must always tell everyone you know - even the media- how badly you were treated. This has to stop! I once had a huge problem with British Airways and threw a fit (OK, I sent them a detailed letter) and they mailed me a check (not a voucher - real money) for more than $1,000. Because of this, I will fly with them again. Delta needs to do the same.
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What Do You Mean We Cannot Board? Customer Service Regarding Boarding
Posted by on
VANCOUVER YVR -- On December 23rd, 2007, my husband, 11-year old son and I arrived at Vancouver International Airport to fly aboard Delta to Puerto Vallarta (our first Christmas away from home).

I attempted to check-in from a kiosk at 4:50 am (our flight was to depart at 6:00 a.m.) and I could not gain access to Delta. I tried several other kiosks, with no success.

We stood in line at the Delta counter for 15 - 20 minutes while the one clerk spoke with two travellers. Upon arriving at the Delta counter, I submitted all my information and was stopped in my tracks when the clerk said, "You can't board - you're late!"

"What are you talking about? What time is it?"

"It's 5:12 am and you were to be here two hours prior to departure"

I initially thought she was kidding with me and I said "Oh come now - we've already been waiting in line for 20 minutes, and I know the two hour suggestion is for international flights. We're only going to Mexico."

She returned my passport and information and said, "You're too late, we can't risk you delaying our flight because of custom's line-ups. You will have to rebook another flight. Here's the phone number for Delta". She then turned and busied herself with paperwork.

When it sunk in she was serious, I started to cry in disbelief. My husband was still in denial and stood there, waiting for her to hustle and attempt to resolve whatever issue she had with our tickets.

I sat down to regroup, remembered that I had confirmed my flight in November after they contacted me about a change ( and I had ordered and paid for the tickets in August). So I confidently reapproached the counter (after all a confirmed flight is like a golden Willy Wonka ticket, right?) Wrong!

She simply stressed between gritted teeth, "You were too late for your flight. I'm sorry but those are the rules. You will have to phone Delta as we do not have an office at Vancouver Airport."

My poor eleven-year-old was so upset he attempted to talk to the counter lady (while Dad was on hold and Mom was on computer) and she shoo'ed him away from the counter when he cryingly asked her 'What we should do'? ("I already gave your mother the phone number.") Then he became more upset when the Delta clerk leaned over to a new clerk, whom had just arrived, and they both burst out laughing. I had to assure him they weren't laughing at him (but how do I know?).

In short, Delta's Reservations line (in Ontario) kept my husband on hold for 20 minutes, offered him a 'maybe' flight on the 24th or the 25th but it would cost an additional $1000.00. They also told him there were no available flights leaving on the 23rd.

All during his wait-time on the telephone with Delta Airlines, I was surfing and noted not only were there flights advertised for that day but lots for the next day - why weren't they accommodating us? Why were they implying that seats were next to impossible to find?

Then it clicked. My husband point blank asked the Delta phone representative - "Are you telling me that Delta's 6:00 am flight does NOT have three bottoms planted in OUR three prepaid seats? Are you telling me that if people ARE in our seats - they haven't paid, again, for those prepaid seats? Or are you confirming that right there are three empty seats on the 6:00 am flight because I am obviously talking with you on the phone and Delta didn't think my family could clear customs? The phone rep wouldn't confirm or deny this statement. Meanwhile, the flight still hadn't left Vancouver. (Talk about feeling powerless.)

We went to American Airlines (who kindly suggested we ensure Delta didn't go ahead and sell our return flight seats - good thing as the Delta clerk had to scramble to get those seats back for us.) I purchased three one-way tickets to Puerto Vallarta from an efficient and sympathetic AA clerk who made a point of walking over to the Delta counter to tell the clerk what we had been forced to resort to (meanwhile our original 6:00 am flight still hadn't departed.)

We flew one way (very expensive) via American Airlines. It took us exactly 12 minutes to clear customs. While we were waiting for our flight, an American Airlines clerk paged us up to the counter to inform us that Delta phoned and had offered each one of us $445.00 in vouchers for the 'inconvenience'. Delta's personnel didn't have time to bring the vouchers to us personally as they felt they wouldn't reach us before the AA flight left. They would leave the vouchers with Delta.

(Hmm, I briefly thought. Maybe they aren't totally heartless even though they have made travel appear totally unappealing to my son.)

When we returned from Mexico, I inquired at the Vancouver Delta counter about some vouchers left for us. Suddenly I had grown an extra eye and spoke gibberish because nobody at Delta had ever heard of me or knew what vouchers I was referring to.

It's going on two months, and we have still not heard anything from them.

I am presently giving them one last week (until February 27th) before releasing the complete information to the media and requesting legal assistance. I'm sure Delta doesn't care - we are merely a drop in the bucket to them.

Yet I have to question - Can they do this? Can an airline refuse a passenger to board (without proper cause) because of tentative Customs' volume? Can Delta NOT refund or reimburse paid money when they are to blame? Isn't this Fraud or Theft? I have travelled for years and have never experienced anything like this.

Sadly, Delta tacked on another $2400.00 to a previously reasonable five day trip to Mexico.

Any help and/or advice readers of this complaint can offer would be greatly appreciated. Please and thank you!
Resolution Update 03/16/2008:
Delta responded to my complaint and resolved the issue completely.
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User Replies:
Principissa on 02/20/2008:
Technically you were late. The posted times of 90 minutes for domestic and 3 hours for international are not a joke, they are serious, if you do not show up on time, they will not let you board, plain and simple. You arrived at the airport at 4:50, the flight was at 6, and yes Mexico is international, you are going from another country to another country. You don't need passports and customs declarations to fly from a US state to another US state. Don't blame the airline for poor planning on your part. Had you followed the posted times for domestic and international flights you would have been able to go about your vacation as planned.
ejack053824 on 02/20/2008:
An airline can deny you boarding if you arrive late or whatever reason they can come up with. I've seen people denied boarding for just being a complete jerk! Just follow Principissa advice and you won't go wrong on your next vacation.
bigboxworker on 02/20/2008:
Delta did not tack on an extra 2400 dollars to your trip. YOU tacked that on for being late. And as for those vouchers? You expected Delta to hold on to them for a week when they were kind enough to give it to you in the first place when you're not even entitled to them?

And no, Delta does not have to refund or reimburse you. You should read the fine print when you purchase your ticket; certain tickets are non-refundable, and you're certainly not entitled to reimbursement because you FAILED to follow boarding rules that EVERY airline in the WORLD enforces.
wgaguy1984 on 02/20/2008:
Yep, your fault. 70 minutes isn't even enough for a domestic flight, and "just Mexico" is still international. You can't blame them for your failure to meet the rules; rule which, I'm quite sure, are made explicit if you take the time to read them.
Anonymous on 02/20/2008:
Dang, tough crowd!
Miss Misery on 02/21/2008:
I see that you all are in agreement, but need to know why and I question where all of this is written.
I am hardly a new traveller, yet I am not completely experienced. The furthest I've been is Hong Kong and I certainly didn't arrive three hours before departure, nor was I told to.
Where does everyone get their travel information? Is there a secret code to the sky that I have missed? I have never thought to arrive three hours prior to a flight - then again, I avoid travelling during July and August so I could imagine a necessity. Two hours was always sufficient so perhaps I am not travelling enough. I've never have missed a flight, or delayed one. Even now, it was the flight that chose to miss me.
I have read and re-read every page sent to me with my purchase.
Same for my cancellation insurance that I always purchase because tickets are non refundable. Again - nowhere is arrival- for-departure time mentioned as a factor I have read Delta's online passenger information which dictates passenger arrival 30 minutes prior to departure time for domestic and 60 minutes beyond (and the page had been updated January 2006.)
And where did I write that I 'expected' Delta to deliver something to us - They alerted us to the vouchers (otherwise we never even considered the possibility) Why page us to pick up our vouchers as they could not deliver them personally?
Finally, where are you all pulling these numbers from 70, 120, 90 minutes? This is a serious quesetion.
An aside... what is the point of ticket confirmation?
Isn't there something a tad wrong with re-selling prepaid, confirmed seats BEFORE at least one boarding call? Do you all really believe this is completely acceptable?
All I can say is I didn't miss anything, nor was I late for anything. The plane was sitting there, with no one boarded, during the majority of my wait time. You may have stereotypical images of travellers rushing through airports yelling, "Wait... hold that flight". Those images annoy me as well as they come across as selfish, time-takers.
This was not our scenario. So where does this "you deserve it" approach originate?
I think we've all become so accustomed to high airline prices, no food, uncomfortable seating and little competition that we actually have become apathetic to service.
There's an obvious consensus in this group that my family should have to pay $2400 because... we were available for our flight? Seriously, what else did we do? What official rule did we break?
If you firmly believe this three hour arrival-for-departure rule, why not write that on our tickets? (Better yet, put this down as the departure time).I believe one to two hours before departure is more than enough time. The only poor planning on my part was not being aware there weren't any check-in kiosks for Delta. I thought they were a bigger company.
Call me a cynic but there's something amiss here.
With that being said - thank you all for your comments. It was a learning experience for me and you can guarantee I won't be assuming much regarding ticket purchase and confirmations.

PleasedAsPunch on 02/21/2008:
This was a terribly unfortunate experience for you (and your son, especially, being so young and impressionable). I had a bad international experience (different airline) and the cutomer service was horrible, at best, as well. We were left to fend for ourselves after a flight was cancelled, and I know exactly how you feel: COMPLETELY HELPLESS.
At least you learned a valuable lesson. Bad experiences are the best lesson teachers.
"Customer Service" and "Common Courtesy" are of a dying art. You are right, humans are complacent. Not that it's going to make you feel any better, but, you are not alone, just more vocal. Let us know, if you choose to take legal action, how you make out... Perhaps a rebellion is in order.
Principissa on 02/21/2008:
The posted travel times are listed on Delta's website, the airport website, the TSA website, printed on your tickets, and they are posted on signs at the airport. And if you book over the phone the representatives tell you more than once what time you should show up. Delta owes you nothing. You thought the signs were a joke and that the rules didn't apply to you. Whether you knew them or not, it wouldn't have hurt to ask. Sorry, you aren't entitled to anything. Plan better next time.
Ben There on 02/21/2008:
For international flights you are supposed to have your luggage checked and boarding pass in hand at least 1 hour before the flight with no exceptions. Long lines at check in are just like heavy traffic on the way to the airport - you must plan for it yourself. Airlines used to make exceptions to late travelers all the time (I was often one of them), and people starting showing up late assuming that they would be the exception. Also, late luggage was getting caught up in TSA security and arriving at the plane really late causing a delay or the luggage would miss the flight creating a liability for the carrier who would then have to deliver the luggage at the destination even though the airlines have no control over how fast the government agency processes luggage. The same customers that the airline did a favor for would then file a complaint.

Instead of asking "Where does everyone get their travel information", why don't you ask yourself "how did everyone else manage to make it on the plane and I did not". Read the airline website and check in online next time - it will save you a lot of money and hassle.
GothicSmurf on 02/21/2008:
I've never been to Hong Kong and I know the rules of traveling. Heck, even state to state I show up 2 hours early. I'd rather sit around the terminal and know that I'm there on time than to cut it close and miss the flight.
chris513 on 02/21/2008:
Have to agree w/ all of the other check-in for Mexico (which is me, I have waited 8 hours at the US/Mexico border) is at least two hours...if you have any questions about check-in times, baggage restrictions on international flights, the airline you are flying on directly. Also, to ensure that you do not get screwed over by getting misadvised, ask them to "document the record" with what you have spoken w/ them about. Hope this helps.
sunshine619 on 02/21/2008:
I understand why you would be upset, obviously you have a vacation planned and want all to go smooth. I'm sure she could have been a little nicer and got you on the plane. However Mexico is certainly a different country, thus your flight IS international, and international time rules would apply.
Anonymous on 02/21/2008:
What were you thinking? If I laid out all that money for a trip, I would be darned sure that I was there EARLY, not to mention on time.
"and I know the two hour suggestion is for international flights. We're only going to Mexico." Guess what? That's international.
familytravel on 02/22/2008:
Unfortunately, policy for a Delta *international* flight is to arrive at the airport and check-in approximately 90-120 minutes before the scheduled take-off time. If I paid all that money for a big trip, I would have gotten there earlier. And if I was taking an international trip, I would get there REALLY early.
Miss Misery on 02/23/2008:
I realize it is difficult to represent ourselves fully when posting online, but I feel many readers viewed me as being irresponsible or flippant. I didn't mean to imply this.
Yes, my comment to the clerk '... just to Mexico' appears (rightfully) incorrect, especially given a flight to Mexico IS an international flight. However, it wouldn't be fair for me to conveniently omit my inaccuracies while explaining my complaint. I wanted readers to have a sense of what was said. (I know I was incorrect and didn't need that pointed out - that wasn't my feedback request.) Then again, it sure did show that you all read posts thoroughly - boy, do you ever!
I did need to hear if you regarded my suspicions regarding Delta's refusal being based upon our seats having been resold.
Readers focused on everything they believed I did 'wrong' - poor planning, poor timing, poor wording, yet no one responded to Delta's potential pocketing of two fares while only servicing one customer.
I guess I am still wondering - Can Delta NOT refund or reimburse paid money when they are to blame? (Blame meaning THEY made the decision to not service my family, not whether I was there within 48 minutes or 120 minutes). Isn't this Fraud or Theft?
Temporarily, put aside whether you feel I 'deserved' this response - Just tell me if you believe Delta's response is legal?
Thanks again to everyone who commented. The posts were were an eye opener.
Miss Misery on 02/23/2008:
family traveller wrote :
"Unfortunately, policy for a Delta *international* flight is to arrive at the airport and check-in approximately 90-120 minutes before the scheduled take-off time."
I believe Delta's 'policy' (as outlined on Delta's site) states "30 minutes for domestic and 60 minutes for international.
Where did you get your information from?
Miss Misery on 02/23/2008:
Principissa wrote: "The posted travel times are listed on Delta's website, the airport website, the TSA website, printed on your tickets, and they are posted on signs at the airport. ... Delta owes you nothing. You thought the signs were a joke and that the rules didn't apply to you..."

*I have the Delta posted signs: 30 minutes domestic and 60 minutes international,
* there are NO suggested arrival times posted on my tickets,
* Vancouver Airport does NOT have passenger arrival times posted all over the airport.
I did NOT state that I considered anything (least of all these non-existent signs) a 'joke', not did I ever state the rules didn't apply to me

I DID think the clerk was joking regarding her 'You can't board" comment as it is not uncommon for clerks to have some fun with clients, passengers when it is slow at the counter...

Just hoped to clarify that
Aerocave on 02/23/2008:
I checked the times on Delta's website (because I was curious) and you are states that you must be "Checked IN" 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic and 60 minutes for international...but unfortunately you did cut it way too close...But I have to say, I can understand why you were so upset...Its just the way it is today. You would have thought the Desk Clerk would have made every attempt to accommodate you and your family--and 10 years ago or so--this would have happened. I remember a time (about 1993) when I was flying home from college I "stayed up" a little too late and when I woke up, had no time to get to the airport. The airport I was flying out of was very small--at a larger airport I'm sure this would not have happened, but I got there with about 1-2 minutes to spare before departure--my friend ran to the gate and (You didn't have to be a ticketed passenger then) the people at the gate held the plane for me. I even had checked bags--the desk clerk put them on the plane himself to ensure they made it...Sounds like a made up story, but it is true.
I guess what I am saying is, everyone always says "post 9-11", but I really think it is a combination of post 9-11 AND the continued loss of "the human factor" that so many corportations are leaving out of their customer service and policies.
Jeffro569 on 06/01/2009:
The problem as I see it is the airlines list these times merely as a "suggestion". Well a suggestion is no basis to deny me boarding a refuse a refund. Look, if TSA requires travelers to check in 60 minutes early by law, why not just say that?!?? My agent also failed to inform me and I plan on seeking restitution from them as well.
Allen on 06/22/2013:
Here is the deal: Legally Delta was in the right to deny you boarding. I work for United Airlines and I will give you a little back ground information about what happens behind the scenes. --- Starting with a domestic flight, you have to present yourself at the boarding gate at 20 minutes before departure on a domestic flight or your seats are subject to cancellation. A small regional planes holds 50 people, a small mainline plane holds more than 100. Count on every seat being full. So you must allow yourself the time to get to the airport, stand in a line at the ticket counter (if you are checking a bag) and the time to get through security. Remember if you are at an airport that has 4 or 5 airlines, which most do there could be 500 people going through security in an hour period of time. If you are traveling international, there are documents which need to be verified by the airline. If you are an a U.S. citizen traveling between Canada to Mexico, the processing can even be more complicated. Once you make it through the airline process, then you do have to deal with customs/immigration. Who knows what the proximity is from the counter to the checkpoints to customs to the gate. The check-in times are just minimum recommended check-in times. Think about it, if you go to the grocery store, it is difficult to get through the check out lane in 20 minutes and you are just buying food. How do you think it is reasonable to have a family with children complete the entire process required to travel in such a short period of time.

Now for the behind the scenes part: --- Flights are full, so the boarding process on a narrow body mainline jet begins 40 to 45 minutes before departure. If the plane is scheduled to depart at 2PM, the flight should start boarding at 115PM. At 20 minutes before departure it may be necessary for the airline to start taking seats away from passenger not at the gate so they can get families traveling with children seated together, get the little babies traveling on a lap in a row that has more than three oxygen masks in the overhead pane, clear the stand by passengers, obtain any final weather paperwork for the pilots, and print out a long list of paperwork for the flight attendants so they know the special needs customers, special meals, which grandma needs a wheelchair on arrival, etc.

All of this must happen in 10 minutes so that this information can be given to the flight crew and the weight and balance can be completed, all the overhead doors closed, all the butts are in the seats buckled up, and so the flight attendants can tell 25 people to turn off their phones because even though the phones don't interfere with the navigational equipment, it is still a Federal Law they be turned off. If this is done by the book, it is still a challenge to get the plane out on time. The goal is to close that jetway door 15 minutes before departure on a domestic flight and the aircraft door ten minutes before departure. If these times are not met, then the risk of a delay is huge. You may think, well it will just be a couple of minutes. Five minutes of a delay can result is the plane being given a completely different routing or missing a wheels up time depending where the plane is going. Even if a five minute delay results in the plane arriving five minutes late at the next destination, if the ground time is only an hour or less at the next destination, this could result in a further delay. By the end of the day, that five minutes in the morning has turned in to an hour or longer in the evening which can result in crew rest delays for the next day causing longer delays. Where does it all stop. Unfortunately for you , it stops with you.

Delta could have been more compassionate but I think they were teaching you a lesson. They could have booked you on their next available flight without charging you but that could have been day(s) away. Delta could have refunded your ticket as they probably did put a stand by in your seats but they are not obligated to do that as you have a contract with Delta for that discounted seat. You may have paid a couple thousand dollars but there were probably people that paid more for one seat on that plane than you did for the entire family and that is no joke. Delta in no way should pay to re-route you on another airline when the problem was caused by you. I bet you won't fly Delta again, and that is unfortunate for them. However, I bet you never show up late again at the airport. In this case, you were control of your own destiny.

Travel today is frustrating. I have worked nearly 30 years in this business. In the good old days, our planes were 50% full, the seats were bigger, you were treated to a meal, and flying was a luxury. The agents and flight attendants were much more polite as were the customers. Customers flew in their Sunday clothes and life was good. Today, it is cheaper to fly than to take a bus and half the travelers dress and act like those who should be on a bus. Post 911, the security measures are horrible because they need to be to protect you. Flying is nothing more than mass public transportation and for that there is a price.

Good luck to you!
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Reasons To Not Fly Delta
Posted by on
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I haven't flown Delta years and now I regret coming back to Delta. My flight to Palm Beach, Florida from Phoenix, AZ was delayed 5 hours in Atlanta because the planes landing gear 'locked' light was not functional. This was flight #1412 on Tue Jan 29. They attempted to repair it and have us in the air in no time, which turned into a full blown repair, which turned into unrepairable and put us on the next flight out. I lost 5 hours, but these things happen. A week later, I arrive at PBI airport, board my flight back to Phoenix. This is flight 1578 on Mon Feb 4 scheduled to leave at 7pm. They hold the plane on the ground for 40 minutes, filling up the empty seats with passengers from a cancelled flight to LGA. Now, my connecting flight to Phoenix is at 9:30, flight 1605 Gate E06, and we land and I rush off the plane and race to my gate only to discover the gate has been changed and is now A19, so I rush to that gate, I see the plane is still on the ground, I present my ticket, I am out of breath, my arms and legs hurt from hauling my luggage for a half mile across the Atlanta airport and they tell me the plane door is closed and I cannot board. In the mean time, the new yorkers, who my plane was delayed for, have a flight leaving at 9:40 at the gate right next door to where we arrived. They all make their connection. I was told to go to the ticket counter to get a ticket to the next flight out of Phoenix, which I am told is 12 hours away.

This is unacceptable as I have a dentist appointment that I will be billed for if I do not appear. I am given a discount coupon to stay at a local hotel. I am not prepared to stay over night. I am a businessman and I have work to get done and now Delta is stealing 12 more hours of my time on top of the five they already took without my permission.

Delta could have held the connecting flight to phoenix for five minutes, just as they held my initial flight for the passengers of the cancelled Delta flight to LGA. Clearly this is discrimination. Those on the cancelled flight were given preferential treatment and caused an artificial delay created by Delta which has turned my schedule upside down and is costing me more than you can imagine! The lady 'Nicole', a large black woman, started to tell me my flight was delayed due to weather. I explained to her the flight was held so Delta could fill all the seats with passengers from the cancelled flight and the weather was fine. She says Delta never holds flights for other passengers. I explained I was on the plane and I saw beautiful weather and saw passengers board after the doors of the plane were scheduled to be closed for a full forty minutes. She continued to provoke me and suggest I write in if I don't like and insisted weather was the cause of the delay. I asked for a supervisor immediately. Eventually I was given a complimentary hotel room, but I am still not in Phoenix. I can understand a delay of a couple hours once in a while, but this has effected me on each leg of my trip coming and going. How will Delta reimburse me for the 17 hours I have now wasted because Delta did not keep their commitment with me? I am requesting reimbursement also for my missed appointment, which was scheduled a FULL DAY after I was to arrive in Phoenix.

They replied:
Thank you for your e-mail describing the problem you experienced.
Your time is valuable, and operating on schedule is equally important to us. However, in the process of operating scheduled service over many different routes each day, occasional mechanical malfunctions, adverse weather, and other interruptions to routine performance plans are unavoidable. These are situations faced by all airlines and no air carrier can guarantee that all flights will depart or arrive on schedule. Nevertheless, we are sorry you were inconvenienced.

We regret we did not meet your expectations on this occasion, and I can understand your frustration and disappointment. However, we hope you will understand that we do not reimburse the expenses you requested and must respectfully decline your request.

Please accept our apology for the unfavorable impression you received in this instance. We appreciate your selection of Delta and will always consider it a privilege to be of service.
Online Customer Support Desk

Then I replied:

I find your response unacceptable and will be sharing this story with the listeners of my radio talk show each weekday throughout the rest of this month. I'll be sure that all of our nationwide and worldwide listeners know that it took Delta 33 hours to get me from Phoenix to Palm Beach and did not offer an explanation as to why New York passengers were given preferential treatment that caused an excessive delay.

Please cancel my Sky Miles account immediately, as I will never fly Delta again. I am also going to share this story everyday this month on my nationwide radio broadcast so my listeners can decide for themselves if they want to risk repeating my experience should they choose to fly Delta.

Please forward this message on to your superiors and I will forward it on to your PR company personally.

Delta Air Lines Corporate Communications
Richard H Anderson, Chief Executive Officer
Kent Landers
Director External Communications (US)
Betsy Talton
General Manager National Media Relations
Anthony Black
Senior Manager Regional Media Relations
Susan Chana Elliott
Senior Manager Regional Media Relations
Katie Connell
Senior Manager Lifestyle/Leisure Media Relations

And they repied:

We are very concerned about the unfortunate situation you described.
Flying with Delta should be enjoyable, and I am sorry for any role we may have played which caused your travel experience to be otherwise. The inconvenience you experienced does not support our goal of providing a high level of service and value to our customers. Customer service is very important to us, and we are working hard to transform our company.

According to the rules of the program, the credit earned in your SkyMiles account will remain active until December 31, 2010. SkyMiles will not expire as long as there is qualifying activity at least once every two years. Within two years of inactivity with a zero balance the account will be closed.
We value the relationship you have with Delta Air Lines and would be delighted to have another chance to restore your trust and confidence in our service.
Online Customer Support Desk

And I replied:

Please be aware that I am reporting this abusive cancellation and delay of planes to the FAA. The four flights I booked were all about half-full.
But after Delta manipulated the planes, 3 of the 4 planes were packed without a single seat. The financial reasons for this are obvious, but on the 3rd flight, it was reported in the Delta computer system that the flight was delayed due to weather, rather than the truth that the flight was delayed to make room for other passengers. That delayed the plane by more than 40 minutes and resulted with me arguing with a Delta Customer Service rep named Nicole who insisted the flight was delayed due to weather because that’s what her computer said. When I corrected her why the flight was delayed, her response was "I'm just telling you what my computer says." And my response was "I'm just telling you the real reason" and her response was "Well, that's my computer says" and my response was "well, I was actually on the plane and I know exactly why it was delayed" at which point another customer service rep offered to step in and Nicole said to her, "Oh no, I got this one." As if I was challenging her to fisticuffs! I asked to speak with a supervisor before the computer system mis-information was recognized.

Clearly the FAA has rules about this and I am going to do my best to ensure these questionable business practices of cancelling and delaying fights by 12 hours just to fill a plane to capacity at the inconvenience of the passengers are brought to the attention of the FAA and my entire listening audience.
I have a cancelled dental appointment and an extra day of covered parking and a full day of lost work, all resulting from this artificially created delay practiced by your company to fill planes to capacity.
I know Delta will never do this to me again, because I will never fly Delta again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
I look forward to your next boilerplate reply.

Final response from Delta:

Thank you for your most recent e-mail. We regret your continued displeasure with our previous "boilerplate" responses.
However, we appreciate your feedback and encourage you to forward any additional comments to our corporate offices at the address below:
Delta Air Lines
Customer Care
P.O. Box 20980
Atlanta, GA 30320-2980
Thank you for the opportunity to give this matter our final review. Any additional correspondence via e-mail will be kept on file.

Online Customer Support Desk

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User Replies:
GothicSmurf on 02/06/2008:
Is it discrimination because they told you NO?
jktshff1 on 02/07/2008:
Sorry, but stuff happens.
Looks like you are wasting a lot more of your time corresponding with the airlines.
Just drop it.
Principissa on 02/07/2008:
It was not discrimination. Did anyone tell you that you can't get on that flight because your hair is gray or because you are wearing shorts? No does not equal rude or discrimination or racism.
Hugh_Jorgen on 02/07/2008:
You claim to be a frequent flier but you are this bent out of shape over a fairly ordinary delay? Your plane might have been delayed 40 minutes on the ground because of a weather hold somewhere else in the southeastern US. You have no way of knowing. Delta did the best they could for you considering the circumstances.
Aerocave on 02/07/2008:
I think you should just take a bus next time. If you are the type of person to go through all of this for, as Hugh said, a fairly ordinary delay, I wouldn't want you flying on my airline. Delta is probably better off.
...if the bus averages about 90 mph, you could probably make it from Phoenix to Palm Beach in about 32 hours!
Ponie on 02/07/2008:
Who won?
seriously? on 06/21/2008:
Weather issues often have to do with a completely different city than where you are looking out the windows... Perhaps there was bad weather somewhere that you would be flying THROUGH? "I'd rather be on the ground wishing I were in the air than in the air wishing I were on the ground".
SGTSAVAGE on 07/13/2008:
My wife's flight was canceled "due to weather" this evening at 8:30 after the last train and bus left for our home. They offered to rebook her tomorrow at 1230 pm after here conference is partially now over - thus limited the value of this trip. says there is no DC delay because of weather and flights are running on time. Airlines can blame anything on weather today and get by with it but they did offer a discount coupon for a hotel room. They don't say how much -10% or whatever. It looks like that they should have called the house if there were going to be severe weather delays - so that we would have never made the useless 100 mile round trip to the airport - that now includes about $10 in tolls and a 2.5 hour round trip altogether. Don't they have all the phone numbers that could be sent out immediately to warn people. There was no need for her to wait 3 hours after the flight should have left for them to finally decide that they had too much of a weather problem. Can't pilots double check weather warnings and make informed decisions especially when the flight of the weather is generally known in a short period of time.
SGTSAVAGE on 07/13/2008:
My wife's flight was canceled "due to weather" this evening at 8:30 after the last train and bus left for our home. They offered to rebook her tomorrow at 1230 pm after here conference is partially now over - thus limited the value of this trip. says there is no DC delay because of weather and flights are running on time. Airlines can blame anything on weather today and get by with it but they did offer a discount coupon for a hotel room. They don't say how much -10% or whatever. It looks like that they should have called the house if there were going to be severe weather delays - so that we would have never made the useless 100 mile round trip to the airport - that now includes about $10 in tolls and a 2.5 hour round trip altogether. Don't they have all the phone numbers that could be sent out immediately to warn people. There was no need for her to wait 3 hours after the flight should have left for them to finally decide that they had too much of a weather problem. Can't pilots double check weather warnings and make informed decisions especially when the flight of the weather is generally known ahead for a short period of time.
SGTSAVAGE on 07/13/2008:
My wife's flight was canceled "due to weather" this evening at 8:30 after the last train and bus left for our home. They offered to rebook her tomorrow at 1230 pm after here conference is partially now over - thus limited the value of this trip. says there is no DC delay because of weather and flights are running on time. Airlines can blame anything on weather today and get by with it but they did offer a discount coupon for a hotel room. They don't say how much -10% or whatever. It looks like that they should have called the house if there were going to be severe weather delays - so that we would have never made the useless 100 mile round trip to the airport - that now includes about $10 in tolls and a 2.5 hour round trip altogether. Don't they have all the phone numbers that could be sent out immediately to warn people. There was no need for her to wait 3 hours after the flight should have left for them to finally decide that they had too much of a weather problem. Can't pilots double check weather warnings and make informed decisions especially when the flight of the weather is generally known ahead for a short period of time.
jktshff1 on 07/13/2008:
Because of the recent comment, I came back to this. Got to question.
If your dentist is late getting to your appointment, does he deduct $ for your time? My Doctor once charged me for a missed appointment and I understand that, but the next time he was late for me, when I sent the bill in, it was MINUS a bill for my waiting time with an explanation and the question did he see someone else during my appointed time.
He credited the charge. He told me he got a laugh out of my response to his charges.
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Posted by on
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Here is the letter I sent to Delta Airlines...good luck getting someone to respond if something similar happens to you.


We recently had a very frustrating and disappointing experience with your airline that we feel should addressed by your management team and compensation should be issued for the inconvenience caused by Delta Airlines and your employees.

On January 19, 2006, we made travel arrangements for a dream vacation to Italy from San Diego (Delta Airlines Record Locator: PIP5ZE). We were traveling to Rome to run in a marathon and also enjoy vacation time in Rome, Florence and Venice. We planned early and even made are reservations two months in advance. As you can imagine this is a costly and long flight and an important element to this trip was being able to obtain appropriate seats for this type of travel. We selected our seat assignments when we purchased the tickets and everything appeared to process correctly.

A few weeks before the trip we decided to re-verify the details of our travel plans to ensure there would be no unnecessary surprises during our trip. The only issue we found was with your airline. When I looked at the Delta website I noticed we no longer had seat assignments. I immediately called your customer service department and was told not to worry that it is your policy to not assign seats on international flights. I found this questionable since we also did not have seat assignments for the domestic segment of our trip. In addition, we had also purchased tickets for four additional people traveling with our group from another city and they were assigned seats on each segment of the trip. When I questioned your representative I was told that they could not help me since it was company policy and that we would need to arrive early at the airport to obtain our seats. I called a few days before the trip to verify this again and was told a very similar story.

We arrived at the airport well in advance of our flight’s scheduled departure but discovered that your agent in San Diego could only help with our seat assignments for the San Diego to Atlanta flight. It appeared that your customer service agent had provided misinformation and as a result the only seats available were the extremely uncomfortable middle seats and we could not even sit together. Although we had not started the trip off pleasantly there was still hope because we would arrive in Atlanta early for our flight to Rome and we would have plenty of time to take care of obtaining appropriate seating for the international segment of the trip. When we arrived in Atlanta we were directed to one of your customer service stations and after waiting in a long line for about 20 minutes we were referred to the customer service station in the international terminal. Once there we waited in an even longer line only to be told (with tremendous attitude) that they did not handle this type of request and that we needed to quickly go to the gate because they had already started assigning seats.

Naturally we rushed to the gate only to find that no agent was there yet so we waited and waited. Since we were under the impression that Delta’s policy was to not issue seat assignments on international flights in advance we were not concerned since there was only one other person in front of us. You can imagine our surprise and dismay when the agent started processing the seat requests and we were told the only seats left were the uncomfortable middle seats. This was unacceptable to us. If we had made the travel arrangements at the last minute we would gladly had taken what was available. We planned this trip with your airlines well in advance and at the time of purchase we were assigned appropriate seats for this type of travel. We even followed the seating assignment process as directed by your Delta Airline employees.

We requested to speak to a manager at the gate and we were told there was no manager available to talk to us and besides there was nothing that could be done. We were then handed a Delta Airlines survey and told if we had something to say we needed to fill it out and mail it in to the service department. If we could have found just one employee in San Diego or Atlanta that cared enough about us and our situation to simply listen to our story we would not be writing this letter today. Honestly, there was not one Delta employee that day that showed any empathy or concern towards our travel plight.

I had to use my cell phone to call your customer service center and speak to a manager over the phone (which was about a 30 minute call so I can’t even imagine how much that will cost). He did take the time to listen to my issue and was at least honest enough to admit there was a processing error in our travel record that caused the original seat assignments to fail. It was something about a plane type change and our seat assignments should have been worked manually but no employee got to the work so it never happened (I’m sure you have notes in your customer records and you can verify all of the details in this letter). As a result, the plane was over sold and we fell into a bucket where we could not be assigned a seat because the seat assignments are cut-off at a certain occupancy level and the remaining seats are used by the agents for some type of flexibility during check-in. Again, I would assume this makes sense to Delta Airlines since I was told that was your policy by one of your managers.

I can assure you this was not from lack of planning on our part and I am now pretty sure it is definitely NOT your policy to NOT issue seat assignments on international flights. Your employees directly lied to us about your policy instead of addressing the actual issue. This error was a result of poor processes and lack of employee ownership within Delta Airlines and one where we, the customers, should not have been penalized.

We paid you money well in advance to handle our reservations as agreed when the tickets were purchased. Moreover, we had a contract with Delta Airlines. You had an obligation to reserve and hold our seats, even if there was a process failure on the part of Delta Airlines. You failed to deliver on your end of the agreement. Therefore, as compensation for an extremely frustrating experience, we would like you to provide us with two international tickets to any location we choose to be used in the next year. Nothing can compensate us for turning our once in a lifetime dream vacation into a vacation nightmare, but we want to ensure that you think seriously about your commitments to customers. Treating them badly, directly lying to them and poor internal processes will only bring you bad publicity and loss of business. I realize you are probably heading towards closing the doors forever but customer service is the basic for any business and it is a critical element to remaining in business. I used to fly Delta Airlines at least twice a month from Dallas to Atlanta for years in the mid 90’s. I honestly thought there was not a better airline out there anywhere. What happened?
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 05/10/2006:
Did you get to your destination?
Anonymous on 05/11/2006:
I had the same problems with Delta when they were our contract carrier a few years ago, looks like nothing has changed. I would get an E-Ticket receipt with a seat assignment then go online and pick a better seat but once I got my boarding pass at the Airport it would never be the same. I could write a book of complaints I have with all facets of air travel.
Traveling Teen on 06/20/2006:
OK so they made a mistake but that happens, it was just bad luck. You aren't the only one who has had this happen to. So like chill. At least you got there. Honestly you don't deserve two free international tickets because this stuff happens and it was just bad luck. Lol it happened to me too but you don't see my going all beserk about it.
familytravel on 07/06/2006:
IT WAS A MISTAKE! OK, what's more important to you. Delta got you to your destination and you had a good trip, so settle down. Yes, I know, sometimes it's hard not to sit next to your companion on the plane. But come on, it's just a seat. At least they didn't do something more horrible like bump one of you.
joebarone on 07/30/2006:
did you know that once the flight has taken off you can switch seats with whoever you'd like? yup, that would have saved you a lot of frustration...its just a plane ride. at least you didn't get bumped off the flight or lost your luggage. these sort of problems happen with any airline, not just Delta
Chatoune on 08/06/2006:
I sympathize with you.I am tired of hearing people say that you should just accept things as they are. I edited DELTA AIRLINES NUMBER 1'S WORST AIRLINE (if you care to read it), and I can tell you that there was absolutely no sympathy, courtesy or any savoir faire or business etiquette on their part. I do believe that certain companies should just go out of business, and knowing full well that Delta is well on its way in bankruptcy, doesn't surprise me, and justifies their conduct.Sorry, guys, THE CUSTOMER IS STILL KING!
No comment on 09/12/2013:
Yes customer service should be #1 you get what you get
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Flight 6558 cancelled over snowstorm in New York - Delta still liable
Posted on
I had confirmed reservations for an international flight on Delta to Toronto via New York JFK on 10th February 2010. At 9.00 P.M. on February 9th 2010, I received an automated telephone call from Delta that my flight next morning was cancelled. I immediately checked Delta’s website which confirmed that my flight was cancelled. No reason was given for the cancellation either in Delta’s telephone call or on its website. I sought to contact Delta’s 24 hour telephone line but was unable to get an answer except for a recording saying that all agents were busy. At 1.00 A.M. on February 10th 2010 I purchased a new ticket on another airline at a cost of US$737 directly to Toronto which was more than three times the cost of my original Delta flight of $211 which was booked months earlier. Apparently there was a problem in New York but flights not connecting in New York were not affected. At about 2.00 A.M. on February 10th 2010 I e-mailed Delta to say that I had booked on another airline. Delta e-mailed back to say that they could not deal with my email for another 2 to 3 days.

There followed this email correspondence:
(1) February 10th Delta Customer Support emailed to ask for more details
(2) February 15th I emailed Delta to say that when they cancelled their flight I purchased a new ticket on another airline for $737 and requested reimbursement
(3) February 16th Delta Customer Support emailed to say that “during irregular operations” they put passengers on the next available Delta flight or they rebook passengers on another carrier but since they did not handle the rebooking, they could not reimburse the airfare
(4) February 17th I emailed Delta to say that since all I heard from the airline that its flight was cancelled without giving any reason, it was contractually obligated to get me to Toronto even if that meant booking me on another airline
(5) February 21st Delta Customer Support emailed to say that the first leg of my flight, the one into JFK was not cancelled, but the second leg JFK to Toronto was cancelled because of a snowstorm in New York. Delta offered to refund the $211 for the original ticket, but not the $737 for the new ticket.
(6) February 21st I emailed Delta to say a refund of the fare I paid to them would not be adequate because of the increased price of the ticket which I had to pay on the date of travel and I threatened to take it to Court
(7) February 24th Delta Customer Support emailed to say that Delta was sorry for my disappointment and hoped that I will still make Delta the airline of my choice
(8) February 24th I emailed to say that I was not in the least disappointed but that I wanted the compensation that I was legally entitled to.

I proceeded to file a claim in court. Delta filed a Defence referring to its terms and conditions available on its website to the effect that in the event of a cancellation the passenger’s remedy is for a refund of his fare. I replied to state that those terms and conditions were not brought to my attention when I booked the ticket. Delta’s Defence filed in court had appended to it the said terms and conditions which were about 80 pages long. Delta retained a firm of prominent Attorneys to defend the case. There followed some correspondence between me and Delta’s Attorneys. From the start once the case was filed, Delta was willing to reimburse all my expenses, but they wanted to settle without a judgment of the Court and if I agreed they would give me $500 in travel vouchers in addition to reimbursing my expenses. This offer increased to $650 in vouchers during the correspondence. When the case was called in Court I appeared in person and Delta was represented by two Attorneys and Delta conceded and agreed to reimburse the $737 ticket, court costs and the cost of telephone calls I had made to relatives in Toronto on the night of February 9th 2010, and the Court entered judgment against Delta by consent.

Court costs were $80 and this is the most I would have had to pay if I had lost. I did not agree to the $650 in travel vouchers in return for forgoing the entry of a judgment against Delta. A judgment entered on the record of a court is a public document that can serve as a precedent, and another person similarly circumstanced with a case against Delta can use it to persuade another Court. Delta refused to settle before litigation had commenced and so I considered a judgment of the Court was appropriate.
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Ben There on 08/22/2010:
I personally am not sure that this will change anything - if everyone starts suing over flights cancelled by weather then airlines are just going to make you read every word before you buy a ticket - you already have to agree that you have.

It is pretty common knowledge that airlines are not responsible for the weather and if your flight gets cancelled then the airline is supposed to rebook you. I wonder if their phone system was not overwhelmed when you called was the reason they gave in.
Ytropious on 08/22/2010:
They only caved to get you off their back. I'm surprised the old "officer I didn't see the stop sign" offense worked. By purchasing the ticket, you automatically agreed to their terms and conditions whether you read them or not.
rockfishing on 08/22/2010:
Was it worth god knows how many hours you spend getting the additional $500 difference?
tnchuck100 on 08/22/2010:
It would appear that if Delta had been upfront with the details of the cancellation at the onset this entire fiasco may have been avoided.
Ben There on 08/22/2010: actually has a pretty nifty area that allows you to rebook flights when yours is cancelled. All you have to do is select the option that is best for you. It also lets you pick a flight on another date.
Anonymous on 08/22/2010:
wow I cannot believe this guy actually look them to court. I would have agreed with Delta. Youre entitled to your money back that you paid Delta. I mean seriously. Its not Deltas fault there was a snow storm. anyway, Id consider yourself lucky you got that much money back.
Anonymous on 08/22/2010:
Thank you all for your comments. It was only some time later that I discovered that it was a snowstorm on the Eastern seaboard and the airports in New York allowed flights to land, but not to take off until the storm was over. In response to BenThere, no doubt thousands of travelers were affected and this may have led to the lines and website being swamped. The website did tell me I could rebook free of charge, but when I tried I somehow did not succeed. TNChuck you hit it on the head - had I known it was weather with some estimate of when flights were likely to resume I may have waited it out and not gone ahead and re-booked myself. But passengers do not design websites or decide how many phone lines to have and the onus is on the airline to decide how much resources to spend on providing answers to customers in cases of flight cancellation.

But it is within the experience of most travelers that in cases of airline delay, you get little or no explanation from the airline and when you can find an airline agent around or behind a counter they are unhelpful if not hostile in dealing with inquiries. The airline is not responsible for the snowstorm, but having collected money to provide a service, they must keep on updating the stranded passengers about reasons for the delay. In my correspondence with Delta's Attorneys I brought to their attention a 2004 case decided in Texas, "Lee v American Airlines" where a Federal Court found the airline liable for not telling the passenger the reason for the delay.

To rockfishing who said that this was not worth the many hours I spent, the emails took a few minutes each, the correspondence took a few hours in all and done at my computer at home and the Court hearing took a few minutes while Delta's Attorneys told the Judge that they were consenting to judgment against Delta. I did spend about half hour sitting while I waited for my case to call. And to Prince-Caesar who thought I was lucky to get that much money, remember Delta was even willing to give me an additional $650 in vouchers to have this settled before the case was called so that the judgment will not be entered on the records of the court. But if you think Delta was in the right, and bearing in mind that Delta was eventually willing to allow a judgment to be entered against it by consent, maybe you may be in a position to offer some pointers to Delta's legal department.

Ytropioius, this is not like a stop sign. Delta's terms and conditions were 80 pages long and annexed to their Defence, and as I told their Attorneys, no Judge would expect that a passenger buying a ticket would stop to read an 80 page document. It is more like if you drove into a town, someone handed you an 80 page manual tell you all the stops, and the police expected you to rely on that manual to know where the stops were. No court would fine you if the information was in an 80 page document. Stop signs are right on the spot and uaually in red.

Delta needs to get its act together and:
(1) Ensure that passengers are given accurate information for the reasons for flight cancellations/delay
(2) Ensure that the important parts of their terms and conditions are brought home to the passenger when he books and not simply say that an 80 page document is available to be opened and read on its website.
rockfishing on 08/22/2010:
I did not say it was not worth the time you put into this issue, I asked was it worth the time you put into this issue. Big difference. Was it? I had a flight with Southwest from Philly to Chicago roundtrip that storm that was cancelled. I had to jump in the car and drive. It sure wasn't the airline's fault it snowed. Sometimes you just have do, what you have to due to get where you are going.
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