Delta Airlines Informative - Delta Fails To Deliver
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I am a schoolteacher in an inner-city school where more then 90% of our students receive free or reduced lunch. I arranged for an educational tour to Athens, Greece more then a year ago to allow the parents to come up with the $2400 for the tour. It was not easy but they did everything in their power to raise the money for their kids. The dream tour for my sixth and seventh graders (12 of them) was supposed to depart on July 6, 2006. At 5.30am the whole crew was at the airport ready to check in for our flight from San Diego to Atlanta where we were going to catch our connecting Delta flight to Athens. Dressed in their school uniform and very excited we sat at our departure gate, ready for a trip of a lifetime. All of a sudden an announcement over the intercom came through. Flight 1007 to Atlanta was cancelled as a result of mechanical problems. All the passengers booked on the flight had to line up to get re-booked on other airlines or on later Delta flights. For over 2 hours Donavan, a very helpful and patient guy tried to find my students and I a flight. Needless to say that by this time our connecting flight to Athens had already departed and we were still in San Diego. Now the wait. Myself and two other staff members had to keep these students entertained for the next seven hours before we could get a flight out to Atlanta. When we finally got to Atlanta we were put up in a nearby hotel. We were now leaving the next day at 5.30 in the evening. They gave us meal vouchers - $7 for each meal. Not a single meal cost $7 or less and I had to pay about $60 extra for each meal for the kids. Now what do you do with 12 middle schoolers for the whole day? I had to take them out in Atlanta. We had to take the metro and tickets cost me $66. We took them to visit Coke - Atlanta and here ticket cost over $150, all out of my pocket. Finally we got on a plane, but now we had to go to London Gatwick first and then to Athens. We arrived in Athens two days after our organized tour had started. My students thus missed 2 days of the tour they paid for in Athens. I called Delta Customer Service today and Shan the representative said that she could only offer each participant $100 of a next flight. What these students have missed in those 2 days is priceless, the inconvenience, having to call all parents and explain that we were still in the U.S. and then having to explain to them that they will not see everything that I promised them and they offer my students who are highly unlikely to fly anywhere soon a travel voucher is insulting. These kids were robbed of valuable learning on their tour, they deserve more then this. For some it was the first time on a plane - something they looked forward to - instead it was a nightmare trip. If there is one thing that I believe in as a teacher it is never to take away from a child’s education. Delta Airlines took away from my financially struggling students something that they will never be able to make up, and now they want to compensate them with something that they will never use. Shame on you ... these kids deserve better.