Delta Airlines Complaint - Nightmare flight with Delta ..... Xmas 2009
January 6th 2010
Richard H. Anderson
Chief Executive Officer
Delta Air Lines, Inc.
P. O. Box 20706
Atlanta, Georgia 30320-6001
Re: December 23rd 2009 flight #1297 JFK, New York to Atlanta
Dear Mr. Anderson,
I hope you had an enjoyable holiday and all the best to you for 2010. Unfortunately my wife and I had our worst flight experience with Delta airlines on our recent holiday trip to Barbados.
We purchased a flight online on June 12th 2009 for our trip to Barbados with Delta confirmation #XXXXXXX. The first leg of the flight was flight #1297 departing JFK, New York for Atlanta at 6:00am. We were then supposed to connect with Delta flight # 659 departing Atlanta for Barbados at 9:40am. We arrived at the Delta counter at JFK around 3:45am and after checking in our luggage with our customer service agent we were told to proceed through TSA security and to the Delta gate where our seats would be assigned. Upon arrival at the Delta gate we were then told that the flight had in fact been severely overbooked and that were no longer any assigned seats. After about a frustrating hour and a half of limited communication from the Delta service manager at the gate a large group of about thirty passengers including my wife and I were all informed that we would not be seated on flight #1297 from JFK to Atlanta. For us this was very frustrating as we had bought our tickets six months in advance and had tried unsuccessfully to confirm our seats over the last few months with your customer service agents. We had been told that our seats would be assigned at check-in at the JFK airport on Dec 23rd.
Close to 7:00am on Dec 23rd we were finally told by one of your customer service agents at the JFK counter that we would be refunded for the portion of our flight down to Barbados as our delay to Barbados was greater than the acceptable timeframe stipulated by airline rules. We would however be on our own to find an alternative carrier to Barbados. We were also told that our flight back up from Barbados would however remain intact with Delta. This was a most startling proposal as it was two days before Christmas and we were basically left to find a flight down to Barbados which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. After several frantic calls to numerous of your competitor airlines we were able to miraculously find the last two seats on a JetBlue flight #871 down to Barbados leaving that same morning at 8:30am. The two last minute JetBlue flight basically cost the same as the one-way ticket refund that we received from Delta for the cancellation of our seats to Barbados.
We informed your Delta customer service agent at the JFK gate that we would be taking the 8:30am JetBlue flight. He informed us that Delta would still take our checked-in luggage down to Barbados on their flight # 1297 as that flight was taking off. We were told by your customer service agent that we would be able to collect our luggage upon our arrival in Barbados on the JetBlue flight that was scheduled to arrive later that same day.
We arrived in Barbados later that same day on JetBlue. Unfortunately our luggage didn’t arrive on the Delta flight as promised from earlier that morning. When we asked the Delta agent in Barbados about our luggage they informed us that we had to talk to JetBlue about our missing luggage even though Delta indicated they would deliver our luggage to Barbados. Of course the JetBlue agent could not understand the rational why they would be responsible for luggage we never checked in with their airline and which Delta had indicated was on a flight connecting out of JFK, New York through Atlanta to Barbados. At this point we were now stuck in Barbados with no luggage and limited effective assistance from the local Delta customer service representative. Later on that night (December 23rd) I sent Delta Online Support an email message indicating that our four pieces of luggage had been lost. I got an email response that same night indicating that we could expect a response in three to four days!!!!!!!!!!! (See the attached email)
The next morning December 24th I called Delta’s 800-number and I was told that our bags were left in Atlanta and that they would be forwarded down to Barbados via Puerto Rico around 11:30pm on an American Airlines flight. I called later that same day to confirm our luggage had made the flight going through Puerto Rico and I was told by XXXXX XXXXX one of your customer service agents that our luggage was now being sent back to JFK, New York instead as Delta had no evidence that we had indeed arrived in Barbados. I explained to XXXXX XXXXX that I was indeed Mr. XXXXXXXXX and that I was currently stranded in Barbados without any clothing and toiletries. XXXXX XXXXX indicated we would now receive our luggage upon our return to New York from vacation in Barbados. In addition she also indicated that we would not get any reimbursement to purchase emergency clothing nor toiletries while stranded in Barbados. I think our call with XXXXX XXXXX was recorded so you can verify this exasperating conversation with your customer service agent who obviously didn’t grasp the concept of customer service. On Dec 24th we spent about $450 on emergency clothing and toiletries as the local Barbadians had explained to us that the island celebrates Boxing Day on Dec 26th. Most stores in Barbados would therefore be closed for an extended weekend from the Thursday (Christmas Day) until the following Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On Friday December 26th we finally got a surprise call from Delta that our luggage had arrived in Barbados. At that point we had not only spent several hundred dollars on emergency clothing and toiletries but we had also incurred a large international telephone call bill trying in vain to resolve and track our luggage with your customer service agents back in the USA.
The trip got worst on our way back. There was there a one hour departure delay on our connecting Delta flight #488 out of Port-of-Spain in Trinidad to JFK, New York on Jan 2nd. In addition when our luggage arrived at JFK, New York two pieces of our luggage were badly damaged. On December 3rd I filed two damaged luggage claims #XXXXXXXXX and # XXXXXXXXX. Upon filing these two claims I was told I now have to find a FedEx office to ship the damaged luggage back to your facility in Carrollton in Texas. This is just another inconvenience for us relating to this already horrible trip experience with your airline.
I apologize for the length of this letter but I think you can sense we are highly annoyed with this extremely poor level of service that we received from Delta. I did a quick scan of the internet tonight to determine whether they were any online websites we could also post a copy of this letter on so that we could expose a wider swath of your current and potential customers to our recent trip experience. We found the following websites:
• http://delta-airlines. pissedconsumer.com/
Upon browsing these websites it appears this poor level of customer service has also been experienced by several other customers of your airline. I’ll spend some time over the upcoming weekend to make sure I post this letter on these online websites and with the relevant identifying personal information redacted. Delta has been a disappointing service provider for this recent trip. You are very aware that word of mouth is vital to companies such as yours operating in an industry that is very competitive. My wife and I will also make sure that we share this Delta flight experience with as many friends, family and colleagues that we come across over the upcoming months.
At this point we are merely asking for some compensation to recoup the money we spent on emergency clothing and toiletries in Barbados and to recover the cost of the lengthy international telephone calls we made to Delta’s customer service bureau in the USA from Barbados as we tracked our missing luggage. I think you’ll agree that some reimbursement would be a small gesture of goodwill as your airline almost ruined our fond memories of Barbados.
If you have any additional questions I can be reached at XXX XXX XXXX.
c. c: Stephen E. Gorman, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer