Delta Airlines Complaint - Delta Is Not "Pet Friendly"
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I am a loyal Delta Air Lines customer. I consider myself a savvy traveler; it is rare that I check a bag. I have usually one personal item and my laptop bag that is placed under the seat in front of me. My laptop bag often weighs more than my rollerboard because of the computer and other personal items.
A couple months ago, I planned a trip that is coming up over Easter weekend in April. When I made the reservation on line, I intended to take my 3 year old Chihuahua with me. I called the 800 number on the back of my Gold Medallion card to speak with a customer care representative. I explained that I planned to travel with my 3 year old, 5lb Chihuahua, and asked what else needed to be done to arrange this. My intention is to carry on my dog, in an approved carrier, and a rollerboard, thus being fully in compliance with baggage regulations. The representative informed me that the fee for an “In Cabin Pet” was $150, each way. I asked when the price had changed and why the fee was so expensive. She then told me that I would pay the fee at the ticket counter and they may or may not charge me $150 or I may even be charged less, or not at all, depending on the ticket agent. She advised that a note was in my record that I would be traveling with an animal. Needless to say the call ended and I still had no answers.
As my trip draws near, I decided to seek additional information. Early this week, I sent an email to customer service via delta.com to see what I could find out about the policy and fee. I received a very curt response that I find totally unacceptable. I sent a response back and what I received from another representative was lengthy but uncaring and it was meaningless. As a customer and a Gold Medallion member, I feel that my loyalty to Delta is not reciprocated. I am speechless as to why such an excessive fee for an “In Cabin Pet” would be charged to customers that have their animals confined in a carrier and will place them under the seat. What is the justification for $150 each way? My pet is 5lbs when my laptop carry on bag is usually double or triple that weight. My pet and pets of other Delta customers, will not receive “service” or special treatment from airline personnel. As a matter of fact, most of the time customers that travel with pets do not disrupt other customers around them and the crew either does not notice or certainly does not provide anything additional. Please help me understand the logic here, I am at a loss!
Due to my travel destinations, I see many families on the airplane. Lap children, under the age of 2, and weighing X amount are allowed to ride on their parents LAP with no additional fee. Does that child get passed over for a drink and a peanut or cookie? I think not. Bottom line, if I were traveling with a child rather than a dog, (that I consider to be my child by the way) I would pay no fee. It’s really not a “fee”, it’s a penalty to those of us that love our animals, treat them like children, and want them to travel with us.
This policy has affected my loyalty to Delta. I live in Atlanta so there is no way I can say I won’t fly the air line any longer but I will consider other options before booking my business or pleasure travel with Delta because of this situation. When the fee was $30 or $50, or whatever it was, that was silly but tolerable. With the difficult economic times your customers and your airline are facing, I think you would want to keep the loyal customers that you have. Your “In Cabin Pet Policy” is ridiculous, unjustified, penalizing, and unnecessary. I won’t even mention Pets as Cargo or Pets as Checked Baggage!
I have shared this information with PETA and the Humane Society of The United States and requested that they look into the Delta Air Lines pet policies as well as the policies of the other airlines. I am also a Humane Society volunteer and I will share this information with other members, volunteers, and adoptive parents.
The resolution that I would like to see is a reduced fee for your loyal customers and an acknowledgment by Delta, that you have customers that love their pets like children and want them to travel with them in a way that is not an economic penalty that rivals the cost of a regular ticket.