Delta Airlines Complaint - Delta Is Dishonest & Does Not Care About Its Customers
On Saturday February 27th- my partner and I were scheduled for an overnight flight on Delta Airlines #DL1768 from Kona, Hawaii to LAX leaving 9:30P Saturday, February 27th with arrival 5AM Sunday, February 28th. Our final destination was Minneapolis, Minnesota- with a 6:40AM connecting flight at LAX. Because of an airline error in fueling our aircraft- we had a 3 hour delay in leaving -thus missing our connecting flight. This error entailed Delta Airlines putting too much fuel in the aircraft- which according to them- affected our weight standards for lift off in Kona International. In addition to this error in fueling in Kona by Delta Airlines- we were rerouted to Honolulu International for additional fuel (for some reason we could lift off just fine from Honolulu International but not Kona International Airport). During the 3 hours we were on this aircraft- Delta’s crew and captain were unresponsive to our questions and concerns regarding connecting flights and they were quite frankly- dismissive of our concerns regarding our schedules when we asked about them. There was never an announcement on connecting gates or any care put into our connecting itineraries from the captain of the aircraft.
At approximately 12:15AM on Sunday- while sitting on the tarmac in Honolulu- my partner called Delta Airlines to move us from that 6:40AM flight to the 8AM flight leaving from LAX to Minneapolis International- as it looked like we would be able to make that time schedule with the current delay. We had a confirmed seating confirmation number on this flight- according to the Delta helpline representative we spoke to.
When we finally arrived at LAX at 7:40 Sunday morning– a Delta agent was not there to open the doors for our incoming flight- and no prior arrangements were made for passengers with connecting flights! Thus- we ended up sitting at the gate for another 10 minutes which was precious time- in making our 8AM Minneapolis connection in LAX. After getting off the flight DL1768- we arrived at the gate for our Minneapolis flight at 7:51AM- only to find that Delta Airlines had given our confirmed seats away to other standby passengers! The Delta gate agent tried to get us seated (and remove the standby passengers that had taken our confirmed seats) but was told the flight was leaving by her supervisor and that they would do nothing for us. Delta Airlines in LAX knew of our plane’s delay from Kona- and made no effort to hold the plane bound for Minneapolis for its passengers that had that connecting flight!
After the 8AM flight for Minneapolis left the gate- the gate agent told the group of us (there were about 50 people trying to find a way to the Twin Cities) that she would help us. However after 10 minutes she was summoned to another gate and we were informed that we needed to go to the Delta Help Desk in LAX to get rerouted to other flights. After waiting in line for 45 minutes- we were placed on a flight plan connecting through Salt Lake to Minneapolis and were given confirmed seating assignments but with no seat numbers attached to them for either of the legs of those flights. When we arrived at the LAX gate for our Salt Lake flight at 11:50AM- we were told that there were no seats available and that the flight was over-booked by 16 people. There would be no provision made for us due to Delta’s delay in our Kona flight- even though we had ‘confirmed’ seating assignments. The gate agent told us tersely that she would call our name if seats were to become available. After a very heated conversation, in which excuse after excuse was made as to our delay in Kona by Delta Airlines, we strong armed our seat assignments. In this instance, we felt Delta Airlines at their LAX help desk was willfully dishonest to us in telling us this Salt Lake flight was available- in essence to get us out from in front of them. After arriving in Salt Lake at 2PM that Sunday- we knew we would have the same situation as our Minneapolis flight and would need to fight for seats on that flight. This time we went over to the help desk and strongly requested seat assignments 2 hours prior to the gate opening for the 5PM flight- going over the gate agent’s head for that Minneapolis bound flight. After a conversation of explaining ourselves and trying to charm the customer service person into granting us seats- we received our ticketed seat assignments. Numbered tickets in hand- we arrived at the gate and found others- many over the age of 75- with ‘confirmed’ seating but with no seats available on the flight! The flight to Minneapolis was overbooked by 22 people! Again- in this instance-Delta was dishonest to these other individuals at LAX and booked them on flights that they knew were oversold! I feel that this is in direct violation of FAA regulations regarding the selling of tickets- and the contractual obligations to paying passengers. When it was all said and done- we arrived at our home destination 9.5 hours after what was scheduled- spending close to a total of 24 hours traveling.
While at help desks and gates in LAX and Salt Lake- Delta’s story to its staff was that due to the Tsunami in Hawaii- that there was no available fuel in Kona which in effect caused our delay. The Tsunami ‘all clear’ was called at 1:30PM Hawaii time Saturday, February 27th by the Hawaii Department of Emergency Management- our flight that Sunday was at 9:30PM. In addition to that- the only airport with cancelled flights that day was Hilo International on the other side of the island. We arrived at Kona International airport at 7PM and noticed our Delta plane was on the tarmac ready for boarding. If fuel was indeed an issue in Kona- why didn’t Delta Airlines taxi the flight to Honolulu to fill the aircraft in that time before take-off? The flights are less than hour each way from Kona & Honolulu. If a ‘full tank take-off’ was never possible from Kona- then this is outright fraud by Delta Airlines in selling tickets to passengers who expected a direct flight from Kona to LAX. We know from other United Airlines passengers that they took off with a full tank of fuel in Kona directly to LA with no incident- one half hour before our flight.
In summary- we were offered no compensation whatsoever due to Delta’s mishandling of the Kona leg of our flight plan. At numerous gates we saw other ticketed passengers offered up to $600 in cash to give up seats on the flights that were severely oversold. We missed our connections due to Delta Airlines’ errors and we were offered nothing but Tsunami, fuel and ‘communication error ‘excuses from various Delta Airlines employees. One of the Delta Airline attendants on our Minneapolis bound flight even told a senior couple with little flying experience that if they traveled all the time for business- that this was to be expected and that delays happen periodically –insinuating that we all were inexperienced simpleton travelers. I have family members that travel extensively for business- they nor I- are willing to accept poor service and a lack of accountability by Delta Airlines. That senior couple from Willmar, MN was also told to fly another airline by a Delta Flight attendant on our Minneapolis flight home if they did not like the delays and service they received from Delta. All of us in the Twin Cities certainly would fly another airline- if there was an ample choice of carriers and destinations out of Twin Cities International Airport! This was a Delta Airlines Vacation package made through a travel agent- my partner and I are seeking a refund of our airfare for that leg of our trip from Delta Vacations due to breach of contract.