Our Delta Nightmare. On March 24th, 2010 my wife, and son, were traveling from Orlando, Florida to Moscow, Russia on Delta airlines. They had connecting flights in Atlanta and New York city (JFK). Below is a chronological list of what transpired that day that culminated in an aborted trip, a berated wife, and a traumatized family.
At 8:00 am on 3/24/10 my family departed Orlando for Atlanta aboard flight #1304. At 10:00 am they arrived in Atlanta safely and made their way to the proper gate for the connecting flight to New York (JFK). At 11:30 am Delta personnel informed my wife and son that flight #166 had been canceled and that they would not be able to fly to JFK in time to catch flight #30 and that they would have to fly to LaGuardia (New York) and take a taxi (courtesy of Delta) to JFK (they assured us that they would make it to JFK in plenty of time to make flight #30 to Moscow).
At 11:40 am they departed Atlanta aboard flight #1778 to LaGuardia. At approximately 3:00 pm they arrived at LaGuardia (I was in constant contact with my wife and I informed her to go to the baggage area to claim her bags for the taxi ride. She did not locate her bags). I informed my wife to go to the nearest Delta personnel in the baggage area and report her bags missing. She did so, and they informed her to go to JFK in a taxi and not to worry about the bags.
They left for JFK via taxi. At 3:30 pm they arrived at JFK. At approximately 3:50 pm they arrived at terminal 3 gate 7. I informed my wife to speak with Delta personnel at the gate ** and report that her bags had not been located due to a Delta mix-up. ** informs my wife to wait until 5:05 pm and come back to speak with her about her bags. My wife informed me of that via cell phone. I immediately called Delta customer service 800-212-1212 and spoke with a ** about our predicament. (my family could not risk continuing to Moscow without baggage)
At 5:00 pm I was on my home phone with Delta customer service and my wife via my cell phone when ** informed my wife that she could not locate her bags. Delta personnel informed me to tell my wife to speak with a Delta manager and to get the name of the Delta person at the gate. My wife informed ** of the request ** became agitated (I was listening in horror) and said, “If you want my name, I'll give it to you”. She could not locate the baggage still.
At approximately 5:20 pm Delta manager ** (we know his first name only) came to assist my wife regarding locating the bags. He could not locate them either. (I was still speaking with customer service on my home phone). At 5:25 pm flight #30 departed JFK en route to Moscow without my wife and son on board. Delta still had no idea where their bags were.
My wife and son were charged for a ticket back to Orlando and Delta refused to refund our money. I immediately called Delta customer service back to inquire about a refund and a flight back to Orlando courtesy of Delta. While in the process, Delta personnel (unnamed) provided my wife with two (2) vouchers for $649.62. I was informed of that fact at a later time and was infuriated as Delta should have refunded the entire amount of the trip ($1,726) and flown my family home. I informed Delta customer service that I would NEVER fly Delta again and that the vouchers were useless to me, and that I wanted a full refund.
They basically told me that I was out of luck. Over the next two days I attempted to speak with Delta customer service and Corporate Delta customer service. I have a list of the names and numbers of the people that I spoke with. However, this information is irrelevant as they all stated the same thing, “no full refund”. Remember, my bags were still missing as of March 25 midday.
As of April 7th, 2010, I spoke with ** at Delta Corporate customer service, I was unable to obtain a any cash refund from Delta. All that I was able to obtain were the aforementioned vouchers that are worthless to me. Parenthetically, my bags were located and returned to me 3 ½ days (Saturday March 27th, 2010) afterwards for the first one, and 6 days for the second one (Tuesday March 30th, 2010) for the second one.
This is proof positive that Delta had no idea where our bags were and that they caused my wife to miss her flight to Russia. Remember, my wife and son were not traveling to Moscow as a final destination and that they could not continue and wait in Moscow for their bags to be located. They were traveling to another city (about 1000 miles north east of Moscow) and had a train ticket for this travel already in hand.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- We started our trip from Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA to Delhi, India via Amsterdam. Each one of us has American Passport, and were carrying OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card. It was our understanding that it was all we needed to travel to India. Our travel documents were fully verified by the Delta Staff at Fort Lauderdale airport (American Passport and OCI card for each of us). We took the fight to Atlanta, and then a connecting flight to Amsterdam.
After the security check at Amsterdam airport, we were denied to board the plane and were sent to KLM Transfer desk. The gentlemen at the transfer desk told us the kids need to get Indian Visa from the local Indian Embassy in Amsterdam. We were completely shocked as the documents were fully checked at the start of our journey by Delta staff at Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Anyhow, we had no choice, so we rushed to the Indian Embassy, got the Visa done and rushed back to the airport. You can imagine the state of a person traveling with his family with two kids, stuck in middle of unknown place trying to get whatever was instructed. Anyhow, after reaching back to Amsterdam airport, the KLM staff told us that the next day's only KLM flight to Delhi was fully booked. We were then sent to Paris, where we had to spend the night since our connecting flight to Delhi was next day (04-Jul-2013).
All of this nightmare for us could have avoided if we were stopped at the starting airport (Fort Lauderdale) only, which is where we live. Going into an unknown country, and running from one place to the other with the family is an unforgettable experience. I lost my one day of work, and my family lost one day of vacation, not to mention the trauma that kids had to go through. I also wanted to mention a point for Delta staff training. The immigration officer at Delhi airport told us that they the OCI card for each one of us was enough to get the entry to India even If the so called sticker wasn't available.
To add to the adventure, none of our 7 checked-in bags arrived to the final destination (Delhi) with us, though we were told at Paris airport that they will be on the same flight AF 226. So here I am waiting with my family inside the airport, and then the relatives waiting outside the airport.
But the saddest thing is that it has been three weeks and I have left feedback at Delta.com three times with no response from them.
MEMPHIS TO PHILLY FLIGHT #4506 ON 12/21/12, PENNSYLVANIA -- We were fortunate to have ** as the sole flight attendant on the above flight from Memphis to Philly. ** service is to be commended. Not only did she handle a full flight of passengers who were in varying degrees of happy/sad or cold/hot, ** did her best to make every passenger have a wonderful flying experience. We had crying babies on the flight that she was helpful in soothing and several passengers were not feeling well.
I had a cup of coffee thrown on me from the child who was in the seat behind me and ** attended to me right away, making sure that I was not hurt from the hot coffee (I was not) and then obtained a can of club soda so that I could get most of the stain out of my clothing. She was so very pleasant during our entire journey and it's not often you see that these days, esp. during the busy holiday period. ** has a wonderful smile and friendly personality that makes her uniquely qualified to be a flight attendant. She certainly was compliment by many other passengers, but in case they did not write a message of thanks, I wanted to do that for them, as well as for myself.
I do not have occasion to fly very often and the last few times when I used Delta I was very impressed at the level of service they have perfected. Delta is a great airline and the flight attendants are the first and only points of contacts the public sees. It's nice to know that people like ** enjoy what they do and interact with the passengers in a helpful manner. She wishes us all a very happy holiday, which brought a smile to all of us as we were deplaning.
Please extend my sincere thanks to ** for a pleasant flight experience. She brightened my holiday and is one of the reasons I will fly Delta again in the future. In her own way, ** "sold" the Delta experience to us. I'm sure she was doing the job she was hired to do, but how many people do you know who purposely go out of their way not to do a good job or to help another human being? It's a sad commentary, but it's true. So when we see a flight attendant like **, we are reminded that there are many good people in the world who make a difference every day. ** is one of those people. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL DELTA EMPLOYEES!
NORFLOK -- Norfolk to Detroit ran late, missing our connecting flight! Put us on a flight that was supposed to leave at 6:00 pm to connect with our Moline flight! Got delayed till 8:00pm, put us on another flight because air conditioner could not be fixed! Other flight supposed to leave at 6:30, didn't end up leaving till 7:30 no reasons given, just people boarding slow! Our flight from Detroit to Moline was supposed to leave at 7:00 last flight to Moline from Detroit that night. Got to Min Mn at 6:30,7:30 our time in Moline, 10 min to make it to the farthest gate away from wear we landed! over a mile! told boarding people to call gate 14 and tell them we were on our way.
(We actually pushed people back into their seats on the plan because they had all missed their connecting flight anyway.) So we said Moline coming through and made a scene, god bless the rest of the passengers, they said go Moline go! I was screaming we only had 10 min to get to our gate. The flight attendant told us to run'. Now I am a 50 year old woman, and don't run in flip flops too often, but I did that night. My toes were literally bleeding when I got to the gate.
We told boarding people to call ahead and let them know we were on our way! As we got there the plan was pulling away from the loading shoot! My daughter and I were screaming to stop it and let us on! Of course the only flight of the whole day that left 5 min early actually on time! Thanks for waiting. All of this was due to Delta, slow boarding, crew not ready to go, problems with planes. Rerouting us 5 times! After arguing for about 1/2 hr we received hotel vouchers and eating vouchers to be fair. Then it was time to pick up our luggage, guess what it was already at Moline! No clean clothes! No nothing.
By this time it is 9:30 pm I am very tired and very upset! I honestly know why people freak out at airports now! My daughter said that we should just rent a car and go home! I agreed totally! I did NOT want to get on a plane again! We rented a car that cost us $250 to get from Min MN to Moline. It took us 7 hrs of straight driving, but we made it home! 14 hrs later. I missed work, I have never had that kind of problem on any other airline! I will NEVER fly Delta again! Also all the people from Delta that we asked questions to were VERY VERY RUDE!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Thursday, July 19, 2012 - Delta Airlines Flight 2371 - Minneapolis to Sacramento. I was in seat 38C which is a 3 seat row. Seats A & B were occupied by two young girls under 10 whose parent had paid for them to be escorted by the airline. Being on the aisle seat, I had to get up 6 or more times inflight so the oldest could go to the bathroom. The youngest girl would periodically get up in her seat and start hitting her sister. They were active the entire flight. It wasn't the airlines that dealt with these two children it was me.
I paid for my seat not to babysit two children. I am appalled that the parents of these 2 would subject their girls to flying alone. If you must be divorced at least live in the same state. I never could figure where these two girls started their flight because of the jet noise in the back of the plane. If your children are alone, you do not know who is sitting by them. In the case of these two young girls, they had a nice 75 year old grandmother who tried to be patient with them.
They said it was okay for them to fly alone because they were "brave"! How would you feel in a big airplane 200+ people without anyone you knew. I finally told the girls that since their Mom was not here, I was going to be Mom for the rest of the flight. The stewardess thanked me for my patience at the end of the flight. Big deal because my flight was ruined. I'm hoping some parent that does this will think twice the next time before they do this. It is not fair to the other passengers or your children. You are hoping the stewardess is going to be entertaining your children. Guess what, she is responsible for 200 other people also.
CHICAGO, NEW YORK -- Hello,
So after being stuck at the airport and going though scanning again at the Chicago O'hare because my lotion was. 02 ounces over requirement and since they threw it out I thought it be a nice idea to write a complaint / informative review about Tsa and there ever changing rules. To begin never fly Chicago O'hare there Tsa check in is a joke since back in new York laguardia airport they wanted me to toss my eye wash which was over. 2 ounces and had to talk to the manager to let me pack it away, so today I had to throw out lotion but Tsa does not get the last laugh. Like a fool the Tsa agent who clearly just started this job didn't know that my three options are not limited, but I am not going to stand here and argue a pointless point. So I just asked for his name and not thinking he gave it to me!! So this Tsa agent may be doing your job which has like really dumb rules like really will the plane lose altitude if my lotion is not within the limits of flying? And will my eye wash become a terrorist threat if it's not the requirements? I love flying but do not like flying Delta or going though Tsa agents no matter what I do there is always some additional screening I got to go through well if this particular agent will someday come across this complaint, I want to say thanks for giving me your name so I can write about you, and to all the people who don't like this review I don't give a damn, if I want to vent about it I will.
Now back to bathe and body works to replace the lotion I just bought less than four days ago.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I made Delta flight reservations 4 months in advance to visit friends for a long weekend over the summer. The night before, I was notified by e-mail that my flight had been cancelled. I was given a phone number to call and rebook. The Delta representative I spoke with had limited English and I had great difficulty understanding her. I explained that since the flight was cancelled I also needed to change my car rental and asked if I could speak to a supervisor. I was placed on hold for 20 minutes and eventually hung up.
I tentatively rebooked the flight online for the same time the following day. I then called Budget Rental car and explained my situation; that instead of needing an economy car for 4 days I would now only be needing it for 3 days (the car return date and time were unchanged). They said if I did that my car rental cost would increase from $171 to $322! I then called Delta back and was placed on hold again. Eventually I spoke to someone (with limited English) who said she could not help me with my car rental problem, even though that problem only arose because Delta cancelled my original flight.
The following morning I called Delta again and spoke with a supervisor. She also told me she could not help me with the rental car, but agreed to refund the cost of the airfare.
I don't think a customer should be penalized and have to pay more for a trip if an airline cancels a flight. The very least Delta should have done was offer to make up the difference in the car rental or given me a travel voucher. Also, Delta should have contacted me directly by phone with a human representative who could have handled the situation from the beginning, instead of me having to call and be placed on hold. I am very disappointed in the customer service that I received from Delta (or failed to receive) and that I was not able to take a trip I had been looking forward to for months.
I also filed a complaint with the Atlanta Better Business Bureau and with the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- We flew from Colorado Springs to Fort Meyers, through Atlanta, and back through Minneapolis. Or were supposed to do so. Our flight out was fine. Our flight back, however, was not fine.
We could not do the on line check in for our return, because we do not travel with a laptop, and Delta does not allow telephone check in like at least some other airlines. So, we got to the airport hours early because we had not yet checked in. Customer service from the start of the day to the finish was miserable.
When we checked in, we found our "confirmed" seats on the first leg of the flight had been changed, and our "confirmed" seats on the second leg of the flight would be assigned at the gate. We were assured, however, that the seats had probably already been assigned; we did not need to be concerned.
At the gate for the first leg of the flight, the agent told us they had changed planes. and she would correct our seats. She failed to do so, and did not even have the courtesy to tell us. On the plane, rather than being apologetic, the flight attendant was rude.
When we got to the gate in Minneapolis, we were told we had been bumped from the plane. The plane had been down-graded from 70 plus passengers to 50. We were completely clear we would not voluntarily give up our seats. We were told we had no choice in the matter: We could not fly on our "confirmed" flight. We could fly to Denver or wait until the next day and maybe get a flight home. Or perhaps we could get to Colorado Springs through another state, but that was not a guarantee. Once in Denver, we would be on our own. No refund. No Denver to Colorado Springs flight through another airline (An agent even tried to tell us no such flights exist!), even though Delta cancelled the trip they guaranteed us. No ground transportation from Denver to home.
So, with bad or worse choices, still clear we were not okay with giving up our seats, we took the Denver flight. We had little time to decide, and were warned there were only a couple of seats left. My husband had to ask the agent to make sure our luggage went on the correct plane.
To make matters even worse, the agent at the next desk told us they had the gall to put the change in Delta records as voluntary. That raised my anger to fury. Did we get Delta dollars? Yes. Will we use them?
NEW YORK, NEW YORK --
Nirit XXXXX, PhD
Northbrook, IL 60062
February 6, 2012
To: Delta Air Lines
Dear Sir or Madam:
I have recently flown with Delta Airline from New York John F Kennedy to Tel Aviv, Israel. The first flight, Delta 268, took 10 hrs and 45 min to complete. The second flight, Delta 269, from Tel Aviv to JFK, took 12 hrs and 5 min to complete.
In the first flight, an evening flight, my individual overhead reading light did not work. As I heavily depend on reading to occupy my time throughout these long flights, I have mentioned the problem to the flight attendant. She suggested I would switch places with my neighbor. As we discovered that his overhead reading light was not working as well, she provided me a small flashlight. This solution was very uncomfortable, but I understood that unpredictable things could happen.
On the second flight, a 12hrs long flight, my overhead reading light did not work. Again! Although this times it was not my sole problem. The whole left section of the airplane was electrically dead. Not only we were unable to use the overhead light system, but the audio (for movies or music) was disabled as well. A 12 hrs flight without the ability to read, watch a movie, or listen to music. As it was a night flight, the airplane was completely dark. Again, the flight attendant was distributing tiny flashlights to passengers.
When towards the end of the second flight I talked to the crew and expressed my frustrations, they did not seem surprised. I could tell it was not the first time they encountered disabled equipment. They said I was right to feel frustrated and suggested I would write this letter.
I hope, I really hope, that my safety was not compromised in these 2 aforementioned flights. My comfort and well being definitely were.
To resolve this problem, I first suggest that you put extra effort in maintaining your airplanes. Second, I would like to be compensated for half of the fee I paid for these flights. Indeed, I was able to get to Israel and back, so I do not ask for full reimbursement. Nevertheless, there are basic standards and assumptions attached to each overseas flight. Delta did not measure up to those standards.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I have been a satisfied customer of your company for many years and this is the first time I have encountered a problem. If you need to contact me, you can be reached at xxx=xxx=xxxx
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 hotels.com) 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.