PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- During my flight back home after a long trip the flight attendant had a breakdown and start crying in the seat behind me. She was telling the story to people in the plane and she was very loud and using inappropriate words. Her issue wasn't a real tragedy like a family member dying, she was crying over something irrelevant and it was really really upsetting for the people that were around her.
The very next day I contacted Delta customer service to complain about their poor quality and lack of oversight on their employees (someone in the crew could have asked her to stop or take her to the back - away from the customers). But all they had to said was. "I'm sorry that happened". I was really disappointed of their poor customer service and vague apology.
Our Delta Nightmare. On March 24th, 2010 my wife, and son, were traveling from Orlando, Florida to Moscow, Russia on Delta airlines. They had connecting flights in Atlanta and New York city (JFK). Below is a chronological list of what transpired that day that culminated in an aborted trip, a berated wife, and a traumatized family.
At 8:00 am on 3/24/10 my family departed Orlando for Atlanta aboard flight #1304. At 10:00 am they arrived in Atlanta safely and made their way to the proper gate for the connecting flight to New York (JFK). At 11:30 am Delta personnel informed my wife and son that flight #166 had been canceled and that they would not be able to fly to JFK in time to catch flight #30 and that they would have to fly to LaGuardia (New York) and take a taxi (courtesy of Delta) to JFK (they assured us that they would make it to JFK in plenty of time to make flight #30 to Moscow).
At 11:40 am they departed Atlanta aboard flight #1778 to LaGuardia. At approximately 3:00 pm they arrived at LaGuardia (I was in constant contact with my wife and I informed her to go to the baggage area to claim her bags for the taxi ride. She did not locate her bags). I informed my wife to go to the nearest Delta personnel in the baggage area and report her bags missing. She did so, and they informed her to go to JFK in a taxi and not to worry about the bags.
They left for JFK via taxi. At 3:30 pm they arrived at JFK. At approximately 3:50 pm they arrived at terminal 3 gate 7. I informed my wife to speak with Delta personnel at the gate ** and report that her bags had not been located due to a Delta mix-up. ** informs my wife to wait until 5:05 pm and come back to speak with her about her bags. My wife informed me of that via cell phone. I immediately called Delta customer service 800-212-1212 and spoke with a ** about our predicament. (my family could not risk continuing to Moscow without baggage)
At 5:00 pm I was on my home phone with Delta customer service and my wife via my cell phone when ** informed my wife that she could not locate her bags. Delta personnel informed me to tell my wife to speak with a Delta manager and to get the name of the Delta person at the gate. My wife informed ** of the request ** became agitated (I was listening in horror) and said, “If you want my name, I'll give it to you”. She could not locate the baggage still.
At approximately 5:20 pm Delta manager ** (we know his first name only) came to assist my wife regarding locating the bags. He could not locate them either. (I was still speaking with customer service on my home phone). At 5:25 pm flight #30 departed JFK en route to Moscow without my wife and son on board. Delta still had no idea where their bags were.
My wife and son were charged for a ticket back to Orlando and Delta refused to refund our money. I immediately called Delta customer service back to inquire about a refund and a flight back to Orlando courtesy of Delta. While in the process, Delta personnel (unnamed) provided my wife with two (2) vouchers for $649.62. I was informed of that fact at a later time and was infuriated as Delta should have refunded the entire amount of the trip ($1,726) and flown my family home. I informed Delta customer service that I would NEVER fly Delta again and that the vouchers were useless to me, and that I wanted a full refund.
They basically told me that I was out of luck. Over the next two days I attempted to speak with Delta customer service and Corporate Delta customer service. I have a list of the names and numbers of the people that I spoke with. However, this information is irrelevant as they all stated the same thing, “no full refund”. Remember, my bags were still missing as of March 25 midday.
As of April 7th, 2010, I spoke with ** at Delta Corporate customer service, I was unable to obtain a any cash refund from Delta. All that I was able to obtain were the aforementioned vouchers that are worthless to me. Parenthetically, my bags were located and returned to me 3 ½ days (Saturday March 27th, 2010) afterwards for the first one, and 6 days for the second one (Tuesday March 30th, 2010) for the second one.
This is proof positive that Delta had no idea where our bags were and that they caused my wife to miss her flight to Russia. Remember, my wife and son were not traveling to Moscow as a final destination and that they could not continue and wait in Moscow for their bags to be located. They were traveling to another city (about 1000 miles north east of Moscow) and had a train ticket for this travel already in hand.
ATLANTA GEOTGIA -- The following letter that I sent, complaining to Delta, will explain our problem: Please pardon my having to contact you directly, but no one else at Delta (at least so far) has gotten back to my issue. We have a young Scottish boy who is the Delta ticket holder, ticket # **) who came to visit our church (he's 19 years old and will soon be the new choir director at our church ) and when he came into the U.S., the Immigration Dept. only allowed him 30 days to visit, and yet his pre-paid return ticket was for 90 days later. This naturally necessitated his having to change his ticket.
The travel agent in London changed his departure date and charged him $561.00 which obviously being young he simply didn't have this extra money, so I got the money together for him, and subsequently when the time for his departure came, we took him to the Knoxville, TN airport. He arrived at the air port at 4:20 on 3/24/2014 and went to check in. While he was in-line at 4:300, someone of your staff came to him and said that he would have to take another flight as that one was leaving early.
We later found out that what they had really done was to insinuate that he had something that they would only call “questionable in his pocket without saying exactly what it was that he had in his pocket (I would respectfully remind you: WITHOUT STATING EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS THAT HE WAS ALLEGED TO HAVE IN HIS POCKET). Of course, it turned out to only be some American coins that he had forgotten were in his pocket.
If you yourself were to see this fine young man then you would know (common sense would tell you) that this is not the sort of person who would intentionally carry something “questionable” on a plane. It is obvious to anyone who should meet ** that he is a very clean-cut, honorable young lad.
So being the very polite and humble young man that he is, he simply "Thanked" them, thinking that they would put him on a later flight (remember, he was told nothing except that he would have to take a later flight). He then called me when I was in-route to my home in Knoxville, TN, and he told me what happened.
Now, today when we contacted the travel agent in London to book his alternative flight they tell the poor boy (I mean "poor" literally as in orphan) that he may have to pay for a new ticket. I called the British Embassy and told them what happened, and they suggested that I contact you folks directly, for as of 3/26/2014 his thirty day stay approval by customs is cancelled, and he will be in violation of U.S. law. I hope you folks still have a heart and can do something to help this young man get home, after all he not only bought a ticket but paid an $561.00 extension as well. He simply has no money with which to purchase another expensive ticket.
Anyway, it was very arbitrary and clearly unfair in the way that your personnel handled this matter at the airport. I mean, if he truly had something “questionable” in his pocket, then why it was not specified in order to be documented as to exactly what it was that he had. They simply told the travel agent that it was “questionable,” whatever that might mean. If he did indeed have some thing “questionable” then why was he not arrested and detained.
I should think something really “questionable” would be important enough especially if you are going to take some one's money for a ticket then deny him the right to that ticket that you would have to document for legal purposes exactly what it was that he had that should cause you to deny his constitutional rights. I think any reasonable person would agree with this as being truly a mistake on Delta's part.
The way to correct that mistake and end this matter is to give him the ticket which he has legally paid for. I hope that you who are reading this email can see the mistake that has been made here and will rectify the situation without delay. Again, this matter has forced him to violate U.S. Immigration law. Please, he needs his ticket immediately so that he can get back home to Scotland.
Also, Delta has sent his bags, which were already loaded, to Detroit. I just hope Delta will do the tight thing here so that this matter can be resolved and this fine young minister can get home, as well as preventing us from pursuing other, more constitutionally legal courses of action. Thank you.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- This complaint was met with the typical Bureaucratic talk around and no reconciliation whatsoever despite several emails back and forth with Delta's customer service department. I was basically told that they have the right to not allow anyone from boarding their planes for any reason. That is pretty sad after having to pay thousands of dollars for their services and then be denied access for the services you paid for because one of their employees has a problem with you.
My flight experience from AUH to PIT on 25 July 2013. First of all, I was not able to obtain a boarding pass for my Paris to PIT flight even my bags were checked all the way from AUH to PIT. This was a huge inconvenience, but not the reason for my complaint. After departing AUH and my layover in AMS I arrived to Paris and after walking around the airport terminals for a while I finally found the proper check in counter for my flight to PIT.
The First Delta Representative I encountered was extremely rude. I had just completed about 15 hours of travel and on my 2nd layover and was very tired. I told him that finding the right ticket counter had been very difficult; he replied that it wasn't his problem. This upset me as I imagine it would anyone under normal circumstances, let alone after traveling for so long and not having enough sleep.
After his rude and discourteous response, I proceeded to the counter to complete my check in so I could get my boarding pass and complete my long journey home. When the boarding pass was being handed to me, a Delta supervisor came over and said I had not completed the security screening and needed to go back in the check in line. I asked him if he could just complete the security questions there as I had already finish checking in and was about to receive me boarding pass. I also told him about the rude Delta Rep I had encountered and the fact he did not ask me any questions and allowed me to walk on to the counter.
He argued with me and made me go back to the line. I went back and they asked me if I had packed my own bags, etc (This was quite pointless as I had already checked my bags in AUH all the way to PIT and only had my carry on with me at the time). The supervisor and Delta Rep also kept asking me about my association with the US Military and information pertaining to my job. I answered the questions regarding security but not about my association with the US military or my job as these should not have any bearing for me to fly.
After the questioning I was then escorted back to the counter to get my boarding pass which now bore the dreaded SSSS on it. They had labeled me as a security risk and I was treated as a criminal/terrorist the rest of the time I was in France. They kept asking if I was US military and what my job was at each point I was stopped to be checked. I felt like I was being targeted because of my association with the US military.
They also searched my carry on and frisked me at every possible point on the way to the plane. I was journeying home for my sons 2nd birthday party and to attend a family Reunion that weekend as I work overseas in support of the military. I subsequently missed my sons birthday party as I was denied boarding on my scheduled flight even after being thoroughly searched as the Captain had been told I was a security risk and told them not to let me board the plane.
They waited till the plane was boarding to deny me access and embarrassed me in front of the other passengers. After the flight departed I was told I had to pay an additional $1666.13 USD in order to fly on the next days flight and if I didn't pay they would cancel my returning flights as well. I also had to purchase a hotel room for the night.
This is outrageous. Then upon finally arriving to PIT, after my sons birthday party, my checked baggage just happened to get 'lost'. It was lost until the day I left PIT and continued on my journey to Indonesia, the Philippines and then back to Abu Dhabi. It was obvious that after my experience with the Delta Reps in Paris that my luggage was lost in spite. It's too much of a coincidence to have not been on purpose. I have been traveling for years. I have visited over 50 countries and flown several airlines and this is by far the worst experience I have ever encountered.
I know that I will be made out to be the bad guy from the workers there in Paris as I was alone and have no witnesses on my behalf, but I know I was treated incredibly unfairly and targeted because of my association with the US military. I was subject to less than hospitable treatment and suffered undue stress as well as undue expenses. Most importantly I missed out on a day with my family and my son's 2nd birthday party. I only get to see my family once every 6 months for a couple of weeks and each day is very precious.
Delta's criminal behavior. My 15 year old daughter (minor flying by her self) in potential danger. I bought non stop flight tickets for my daughter, paid more, to make sure she will have no extra trouble. Her trip was stressful enough: Dallas to NY JFK; NY JFK to Moscow Russia, then on the way back Moscow to NY JFK; NY JFK to Dallas. My daughter very bright person, she had flown before, so I decide to let her navigate between her gates and flights by her self.
On the way to Russia her flight from Dallas was late, so she missed her connection and Delta had rescheduled her for another flight that leaves 3 hours later and runs by Russian Airline. So my daughter had to run from her gate she arrived from Dallas to the gate of her original flight to Russia and Delta representatives closed door right in front of her face, stating she is 2 min. late. Then they sent her to her previous gate, to change her flight, then she had to stay in line to change her ticket, so Delta booked her on Aeroflot (Russian airline) flight.
By the time they gave her new flight information, she had only 1 hour to run to new gate and get checked in. That was her trip to Russia. I thought it was bad, but I was wrong!!! On the way back, Delta canceled her connection flight to Dallas and re-booked her on flight with 2 connections (NY, Wash, Atlanta, Dallas) and they changed date for next evening. My daughter outside of the security (because she had to clear custom) with all her luggage, even bag that was checked in in JFK Airport by her self for another 26 hours, after flying form Russia (flight 10 hours).
I made 7 calls to Delta, had to wait for at list 25 minutes. Delta told me they booked my daughter to American Airline, they gave me confirmation number and also they said: Tell your daughter to go to AA and give them confirmation code. When my daughter with all those bags got there AA representative told her, Delta never booked her on this flight and now they don't have available seats. My daughter was running around asking for help, but Delta representatives at the airport, was ignoring her, when I asked her to give them her cell phone, so I can explain the situation, they refused to talk to me.
It took me 7 hours to try to get her on any flight to Dallas, but it wasn't successful. Finely they got her on flight to JFK to LA to Dallas ha-ha-ha!!!! But it made me feel little better, at list she is not on a street in strange town. Now she is on the way to LA and her flight is running late, so I am worry she is not going to make her connection to Dallas, but at list her baggage checked in and hopefully it will make easier to run between gates in LA.
It would be funny story, if it wouldn't be so sad. Why did I pay more for non stop flight from NY to Dallas? Why no one is responsible for this situation? Why my daughter have to spend night on a street in NY or fly all over the country to get home? Delta you are bunch of criminals!!!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- My fiance and I were on a flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas on May 13, 2011. I purchased a headset from the flight attendant for what I thought would be $2.00 but actually turned out to be $372.00.This was the beginning of a terrible vacation. Due to the overcharge, I was unable to rent a car, pay for my hotel, and basically enjoy all the perks of Las Vegas because my money/checking account was tied up due to Delta's error. Because of this, Bank of America had to freeze my account and I was unable to access cash because my debit card was frozen and I could not withdraw it from a branch because it was Saturday and the banks were closed!
When I first spoke with Delta, I was told I would receive 2 call backs, one from the 1-800 number and one from the counter at the Las Vegas airport. That did not happen. When I called back Sunday, I spoke with Brent of Tampa. He told me there would be nothing they can do until I provide them with the document number to trace the charge. Well, because the charge came in over the weekend, it was pending until the beginning of the week when it posted so I was unable to provide the number because there was no number yet associated with the charge.
By Monday morning I was livid! I spoke with the rudest person from your Salt Lake City office, Paul, and was told there was nothing Delta can do. I would need to contact my bank and they will handle the refund. That was it. I instantly came to the conclusion that I will NEVER fly Delta again. I took my flight back to Atlanta and Tuesday morning, I called your corporate number and spoke with Edith. She was very apologetic and helpful but still I am unsatisfied. She issued me case number: #** and a $125 credit for another flight. Wednesday morning, I check my account and nothing has happened.
I call back your corporate customer service line to check the status of my case and the woman I speak with says I have yet to issue proof of the charge. I tell her I emailed it in yesterday and would she like me to fax it in. I ask for her fax number and ask her to please have Edith, the woman I was speaking on Tuesday, give me a call back once she received it. She says sure and begins to end the call. I quickly stop her so she can confirm my telephone number and believe it or not, she has the WRONG telephone number. She reads out 4047152600. I want to scream. That is Delta's corporate office's telephone number not my telephone number.
She says "Oops, my bad. Can I have you number please?" This is completely unacceptable. My vacation was ruined! I could not enjoy anything because I had no access to cash! I had to take public transportation because my card was declined for my rental car reservation. My RESERVED birthday dinner for my fiance and friends was unable to happen because I had no funds. And all I get as an apology is a $125 credit? No! That is not right.
I spent over $600 for our tickets to Las Vegas with Delta and because one of your flight attendants was careless and charged me $370 over the price of a $2 headset which in turn locked up my banking account, I am supposed to just accept this and move on. My big birthday bash for my fiance was RUINED!
I am utterly and completely dissatisfied with what happened and believe that Delta needs to rectify this situation immediately. And a $125 travel credit is an insult. Not to mention as of this time, 5/18/2011 at 10:33 am EST, I have yet to be refunded for the overcharge of the headset! The lack of professionalism from you first line customer service is beyond me and some definite retraining is needed.
I was flying from Norfolk to Atlanta on Feb 6. I had such an unfortunate experience that I want to share. As I am not from Virginia, I don't know the city much. I went to Newport News instead of Norfolk and the Delta customer there told me to go to Norfolk. I rushed to Norfolk and I got 170 dollar speeding ticket with court fees. I then hurried to the airport. I left the check in baggage with my friend and told him to send it later as I did not want to miss the flight. I immediately got the boarding pass and ran and ran to the gate. The passengers were still checking in the flight but the front gate was closed.
Flight supervisor was called and she said she can't help with this flight. I explained my situation to the other Delta employee and she called the supervisor again. I told them that it's the last flight and if I miss this, I can't make to Little Rock tonight. The same flight supervisor said that she would talk to me soon but didn't not listen to what I said. I am a physician and had 13 sick patients to see in the morning which I didn't wanted to miss. I was here for a job interview and had to rush back the next morning. As the flight departed (which was by the way not for 15 min while I was standing outside looking for it to go), the supervisor came.
I told my story and how important it was for me to reach little rock. She said she would help and while she was booking next flight, she realized that it was the last flight. She immediately booked my next flight and she asked me to rush at Atlanta airport and try to catch my connecting flight. The layover time was 6 min and Atlanta being the busiest airport, I don't know how did she even say that? Why would she even give me false help and wrong suggestions when it was not possible. I told her that when Delta flights get delayed many times, we customers don't say anything. We realize that it happens and we try to be as cooperative as we can.
She had no empathy to me and refused to give me her name. After this episode, I called my friend who suggested that there was actually US Airways which was flying at 7:45 pm and would reach Little Rock at night. I suggested that she can try talking to US Airways which she again refused. She suggested that if wanted I can book flight with them now. (well I am 28 yrs old and I can think that much.) She could have helped me in at least 10 different ways but I saw no empathy, help or even at least listening to the customer.
When I asked what if I lose the connecting flight, she suggested that the next flight be booked tomorrow morning but I have to make my own night arrangements. I was heartbroken and felt immensely sad, helpless( for myself and my patients). Here is the worst part. My flight reached Atlanta actually 30 min early and the flight attendant in the flight was very helpful and she tried her best to help me out. She even let me to get out of the flight first and suggested me to tell the Delta service agent that my connecting flight is 30 min away and that I have made it to the airport and will be coming soon. I did so and the agent told me not to worry.
Now when I went there to board this flight and I was 15 min early, this gate was CLOSED TOO and it was 15 min early. And I asked what was the problem for which the supervisor there said he will talk soon. I was accompanied by 3 more customers there and when I asked their story, they said they were given the wrong gate. (You can verify this if you want to by looking into the customers who got canceled that flight). Now while the flight had not still left, I asked the supervisor why would he not let us board the flight? He said he can't do it and we have to stay overnight and carry the next morning flight.
When I repeatedly asked him what's the problem now, HE SAID THAT OUR SEATS ARE ALREADY SOLD AND ACTUALLY THERE ARE NO SEATS AVAILABLE. How ridiculous and unprofessional is that? He also read me the report saying that it was already explained to me at Norfolk and the issue is resolved. The supervisor probably knew that I would complain and she possibly did everything she can to protect herself and did everything she can to protect herself and defensive. He did give me a free overnight stay but I am so not satisfied with Delta.
I sincerely ask for little more better service from Delta and please take this as a feedback. I would please ask for the supervisor's reply to at least realize what I went through and how could the situation been handled better. She was arrogant, impatient and extremely unhelpful and rude. Not to mention, she immediately ran away from the scene in 5 min. I am telling my horror story to all my friends and will try to post this in all the forums and internet just to make customers realize that we as a customers should not keep quiet if we find any faults from the flight side. It probably has created lot of mistrust which is such an unfortunate event.
Here's my experience with just trying BOOK a frigging flight with this brain dead airline. I was using points from a credit card that had to be transferred over to my Delta frequent flier account so my family and me could fly on my miles. I called a month ahead of time to do so. The first nimrod I got was overseas with a thick accent and a fake American name. After numerous attempts to make myself understood he told me I would need 80,000 miles total to qualify for seats. Made the reservation and called my Credit card company and they immediately transferred the miles over. Simple yes? Wrong. The genius in Delhi, Calcutta or whatever third world backwater was wrong.
It was 80,000 miles PER SEAT. Luckily, I called Delta just before I lost my seats and found this out. The next agent I spoke to Jason was a rocket scientist in OHIO. He reassured me that he would extend the deadline on my reservation for two more days until the additional miles came in. Jumpy now, I called the next day, a day BEFORE the new deadline, and got Jenny in the US who told me that my reservation had been canceled because it was past the deadline. Smoke coming out of my ears I said, "Your agent assured me that he would extend the deadline and you're telling me now that my reservation GONE? I called a MONTH in advance for these flights.
These times and dates are non-negotiable. We have to be in Atlanta on a certain day for a certain event. "Well let me see what I can do for you, click, click, click, okay I found your itinerary and I've re-booked those flights. You can go on Delta.com and see them there." She promises to send me an email confirming this. Problem solved, right? WRONG! I never get an email confirming this conversation. Not trusting anything this pathetic excuse for a company tells me, I check my reservation on their website and, sure enough, Jenny screwed up my return flight booking it A MONTH LATER than my original one.
Head... about... to... explode, I call Delta and get Carol who sounds like a dude. Either that or she's smoked so much that she's got a voice that could strip paint. I make my frustration and displeasure with Delta plain to Carol who is - how should I put it - an unsympathetic witch with the listening skills of Glenn Beck. She starts stonewalling, tells me I'm being unreasonable and that it's not a big deal. "NOT A BIG DEAL?" "I've had to make four, count ‘em; four phone calls to make a simple fight reservation and each time YOU GUYS have nearly screwed me. How is that not a big deal?"
Finally, I get my return flight sorted out with yet another reservation, and ask her to send me an email confirming this. She refuses, telling me they don't send emails unless the ticket is paid for. I point out that the first guy in outsourced hell already sent me one and Jenny said she would (Although she never did). Carol still refuses and then has the nerve to tell me I'm acting unreasonable. So, I make her stay on the line while I go their website to confirm she did what she said. She had. After promises to stay in touch, we say our tearful goodbyes.
As of now, I'm holding a reservation on the dates I want but Delta has not processed the miles my credit card company has transferred over. I still may lose this reservation and again, bear in mind, this is me planning a trip A MONTH in advance. Does it really have to this hard?
One can understand that it sometimes can be difficult to get a seat on a plane, more so during peak travelling times, flying on a Delta Buddy Pass, on a standby basis. That being said and done, our first attempt to get on our Delta flight (Flight DL201) from Johannesburg back to Atlanta was on December 10, 2010.
Needless to say, after having checked in at 15H45, as was required, we were told to return to the particular check-in counter at 19H00. That we did, and stood around until 20H20, when the flight departed. At no stage were we advised that no seats were available.. The people working for Delta at the check-in counters simply closed up their workstations, and disappeared. No word of what the situation entailed i.e. no seats available, the plane has departed, or to come back and try again the following night! Nada, Zilch!
The above events were repeated for the following 6 nights, no seats, no explanation, nothing.. That was when I felt I had come to the point that I felt I was owed an explanation by the people in the Delta Ticketing booth. At all times I remained polite (in fact, my wife who is a multi-media producer, has all on video), and during my conversation with the staff in the ticketing booth, it became clear that they did not work for Delta Airlines, they were merely subcontracted by Delta, and in fact worked for a company called Swissport.
That was when I demanded to speak to their supervisor if they had such a person - and it then transpired that Delta had in fact only one employee / manager, a person with the name of **. I demanded to speak to him, but was advised that he had already left and gone home. I demanded that they call him at home, which they did.
** the manager of Delta Airlines at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, was not at all interested in my questions, particularly when I asked him about another standby couple who had offered their seats to myself and my wife, when they learnt that we had been stuck for more than a week, not being able to get on a Delta flight and when I pointed out to him that there were in fact 22 seats available on the plane, he simply said that Delta's first priority was to load extra cargo, instead of standby passengers (Non-Revenue Passengers, as standby passengers are known to Delta) as that was financially the most logical thing for Delta to do.
He then simply hung up the phone on me the last thing one would expect from a Delta employee, but then, alas, perhaps understandable in the Africa context where very little accountability can be expected! About 5 minutes later, three different couples who were also on buddy-passes and on the same priority rating, offered their seats to us, as that was their first attempt, and they by then knew that we were now trying for 6 nights to get on the plane! The check-in people simply refused to allocate that particular couple's tickets to us, or to any other of the other standby passengers for that matter!
One particular couple - who were then indeed allocated two seats - were so annoyed that Delta would not pass on their seats to long waiting standby passengers, that they then simply refused to get on the plane, and cancelled their boarding passes.. Regardless of that, Delta would not issue those particular seats to ANY of the waiting standby passengers!!!
That being said and done, we simply went back to the ticketing office, to have us again placed on the standby waiting list for the following night. That was the night of 18 December. Every night the same thing happened. Some passengers did a trip to South Africa for 10 days, only to be stuck at O. R. Tambo for the same number of days! (Personally, we have been trying to get on the Delta flight for 14 days now!) This all is nothing but a clear example of an abuse of power! But then also the total breakdown in security!
One particular passenger who lucked out and was given a boarding pass, called us again when we had returned to the hotel, after another unsuccessful attempt to get on the flight! She had cleared customs, was cleared by security personnel, and got on the plane, only to find that someone was sitting in her allocated seat! She called a flight attendant, and it then became clear that the boarding pass given to her at check-in was in the name of another person, and not in her name! Needless to say, she was then again promptly escorted off the plane, and nobody was held accountable or even questioned about the breakdown in security!!!
On December 23, we tried again to get on the flight, with no luck, regardless that we were told earlier in the week that the 23rd is wide open, with many seats available, and that the 23rd was THE day to get on the flight on a stand-by passenger basis! It became clear when passengers started checking in that there were 22 seats available in business class, and 94 in economy class. Guess what only 2 passengers on standby were allowed to board the plane!!!
Again we were fed the nonsense that the number of standby passengers allowed to fly was subject to the amount of cargo to be taken on, which was UTTER NONSENSE! That became clear when one retired Delta pilot, (also on standby but on a higher priority of course!) explained to us that the cargo story fed to us was nonsense. According to him, if a flight has an 8 PM departure, the cargo would already have been loaded on the plane by 4 pm!!!
According to the same pilot, the issue was only about the inefficiency of the agents booking in passengers and issuing boarding passes. We checked, and sure as hell THAT was indeed the problem!!! It took a minimum of 4 hours for inefficient staff to issue boarding passes to all passengers. (Again, they are not employed by Delta Airlines, but are subcontracted from a company called Swissport. Hence the fact that they have no incentive to work faster or more efficient!)
Look at this now. This same retired pilot, when he SAW that Delta would not board a standby passenger with a sick baby in her arms, then went and BOUGHT the lady and her baby a ticket out of his own pocket, just so that she could get on the flight, and get her baby home! Shame on Delta!!! A couple of non-revs, as standby passengers are known and described by Delta, killed time by comparing how long it took other airlines to issue boarding passes to their waiting passengers. Believe it or not, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and BA took an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes to board their passengers! Compared to Delta's FOUR hours!!!
So the story given by Delta that the weather, cargo / passenger ratio etc. was the determining factor as to how many standby passengers were allowed to board is plain poppy cock! It simply boils down to this the captain on the plane has a departure time deadline, otherwise he gets dinged - and when it comes close to his scheduled departure time, he simply has the aircraft doors closed and proceeds to depart. Which means - To hell with whom still needs to board even if it is a passenger with a fully paid ticket not just the standby-passengers!
So these are the simple facts but Delta will not acknowledge the problems are 99% to be blamed on inefficient people employed on a subcontract basis as that will not be the Political Correct thing to do!!! So they blame it on totally irrelevant factors like weather and cargo!! (If that was indeed the case, why do other airlines not have the same problems!!!??)
Totally bloody preposterous!!! (It is not like non-revs are flying for free - standby passengers still pay around 50% of an economy class ticket! Threatening one to have the flight privileges of the person who gave us the standby ticket is so egregiously inhumane, and corporate crap! (And amounts to blackmailing!) On Christmas Eve, we were told that DELTA had a total embargo on standby passengers, meaning we were again stuck for the night at the airport, and could only HOPE to get on a flight on CHRISTMAS DAY!!!
On Christmas Day - Day 16 of trying to get on a Delta Flight, we again went to the airport at 3 PM, to have ourselves listed on the standby-list. One particular employee named **, (his name tag described him as a flight controller) - told us to come back to see him (not another agent!) at 7PM, when it was the cut-off time to check in. He apparently had received word that the Captain on flight DL201 had decided to allow all 14 stand-by passengers to board the flight! At last! After 16 attempts go get on a Delta flight!
We were advised that we were to take up seats as indicated on our boarding passes, but that we were to be moved to the business class section after takeoff, when the plane reached cruising altitude. We did so when told to move seats, only to be faced by disgruntled and irritated flight attendants, when we were seated.. As it was, they were already mad at having to work on Christmas Day, and then got even more disgruntled when the section which was supposed to be clear of any passengers, were now filled by the non-revs the Captain allowed to board!
(The flight attendants were rude and unfriendly, and one could almost feel that the food and drinks were just about thrown at you!) So, there it is our 16 day ordeal with Delta Airlines with whom I will never fly again, and an airline I will not recommend to any of my clients going on an African Safari.