Delta Airlines Informative - Skymiles bait and switch
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- There is a severe problem with Deltas online reservations. The follwing is a letter which I wrote to Delta:
I was going to book a flight, then use Skymiles to upgrade to first class. After spending quite some time on the web site, I found I had to call for an upgrade, which was not at all apparent...I just couldn't find a way to upgrade on the website. After calling I learned that not only may I not upgrade this particular flight on the website, but I can't upgrade on the phone either as I have the incorrect fare type. But even if I had the correct fare, this flight has no available seats left to upgrade. There is no where on your website where this information can be found prior to booking your flight.
I design web sites... this seems like a major flaw and I feel I was scammed by Delta. At least I believe there is a bait and switch going on. You inherently encourage customers to join Skymiles and to use them for free travel or upgrades. Only after calling I found that only fares booked in Y B or M can be upgraded to first class (Europe fares). It seems like such an easy thing to say on your site. Just a quick note that would say these fares are not available for first or business class upgrades. I also believe Delta's intent is to allow people to book fares on your web site. No travel services or travel providers to remunerate. Great idea, but very flawed in this case.
After calling to find the fares were not available, I asked where this was located on the web site. The agent said that was not his job (it's really bad when people pass the buck like that) and he would connect me to someone who works with the website. I was transferred and talked to a representative of Delta, Rod Taylor, who works on your web site. After much deliberation and even him agreeing with me, he finally said "as flawed as you think our web site is... it is what it is". I really don't think this is the answer anyone was looking for. He offered to upgrade my flights to the fare that would allow the first class upgrade for $2100 (gee thanks), but then Mr Taylor found out there were no seats available on these flights for an upgrade. Upgrading now seemed like a really dumb idea to me.
I have been a loyal Delta flyer for a number of years. Sometimes using Skymiles but also buying tickets. Now that Air Tran has moved into Charleston, I will be considering flying with them in the future. My goal was just to upgrade to first class on my Europe trip, not part the Red Sea. I was willing to even pay for the Skymiles, if needed. Delta needs to inform people better as they are booking flights. It really seems like such a simple concept, yet after talking with Mr Taylor, Delta still doesn't get it!