Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Delta Airlines Sucks

Until my last trip back home, I never had an opinion on which airlines(s) I liked or disliked. That has changed...I now have an opinion. I don't like Delta and I won't be flying with them ever again.

Just because I'm feeling snarky, here's the text from an email I sent to Delta Airlines' Customer Service department (ContactUs.Delta@delta.com, if anyone ever needs it) last night.
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Good evening. I'm writing with a complaint about our recent Delta flights (Flight Confirmation Number removed), as listed below. Please note, these are the original flights that we BOOKED, not the flights we actually flew.

--DECEMBER 1, 2012
-Flight 1233 out of Norfolk, VA, Depart 12:10 PM , Arrive 2:02 PM (ATL)
-Flight 5068, Depart 3:10 PM, Arrive 4:22 PM (CID)

--DECEMBER 8, 2012
-Flight 4144 out of Cedar Rapids, IA, Depart 10:15 AM, Arrive 12:57 AM (DTW)
-Flight 116, Depart 1:35 PM, Arrive 3:39 PM (ATL)
-Flight 1012, Depart 4:35 PM, Arrive 6:19 PM (ORF)

On 12/01/12, our flight from Norfolk, VA was delayed for 50 minutes because of an electrical issue with the first class bathroom. (The bathroom light wouldn't turn off.) That delay in departure made us miss our flight from Atlanta to Cedar Rapids. Priceline was able to automatically re-route us from Atlanta to Chicago to Cedar Rapids. Somehow, our one checked bag didn't actually leave Atlanta with us, and arrived the next day when we were in Waterloo. To ensure that we actually got it, my husband drove 120 miles, round trip, back to Cedar Rapids because there wasn't anyone available in Marion, IA to have it delivered to. We also had to go shopping for some essentials to tide us over.

On 12/08/12, again, we were delayed in our departure from Cedar Rapids because of de-icing and washing of the plane. The plane was there at the gate, two hours before the scheduled take off time, but no one bothered to de-ice it before then. The crew waited until the time the plane was scheduled to take off. Again, we were 50 minutes late in taking off from Cedar Rapids, which made us miss another flight in Detroit. Again, Priceline was able to reroute us, with an 8 hour layover in Detroit to take us straight to Norfolk., At this point in our trip, we had two checked bags. The larger of the two actually arrived in Norfolk BEFORE we did, and we had to find someone in the Delta baggage office to release the bag to us. The smaller bag was delivered to our home in Norfolk today.

The numbers from our baggage tag were:
[removed]

Almost no part of our trip went according to what we scheduled, because of time management and baggage issues on Delta's behalf. For what it's worth, we spent about $50 to replace items that we needed from our first lost piece of luggage from 12/01/12. I want the three checked baggage fees that we paid ($75) reimbursed to us. We paid by credit card on Priceline's website.

What is Delta going to do about this? 
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I really thought this was going to be a cut and dried thing to resolve.

I actually got a response back today.
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Thank you for writing about your recent flight experience.  On behalf of Delta Air Lines and our Delta Connection carrier, Pinnacle Airlines, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you experienced due to the irregular operation of our flight, rebooking option received and for your delayed baggage.

I understand the frustration you experienced when your plans were disrupted due to the delay of our flights for mechanical reasons.  I am truly sorry your travel was adversely affected.  It is concerning to know that both your outbound as well as return flights were irregular in their operation.  Further, I realize the inconvenience you were caused with your baggage.  Like you, we certainly wish that instances of mishandled bags never occurred.  I can only imagine your disappointment when your bags were delivered the next day and you had to buy essential items.  However, I need to decline your refund request. I apologize as I understand that this was not the answer you were anticipating.

Also, I realize your disappointment with the alternate arrangements provided during our flight irregularity.  Be assured our goal is to route our passengers to their destination in a timely manner and with the least disruption possible.  Your comments regarding the handling of your disrupted travel have received close attention. 

Therefore, as a gesture of apology for the flight delay, I have issued two Electronic Transportation Credit Vouchers (eTCVs) in the amount of $75.00 each.   Please note the voucher numbers and associated Terms and Conditions will be arriving in a separate email within 24 hours.  I encourage you to add Delta Air Lines to your receiver list so the voucher documents are not misdirected to your spam folder.  Please keep the voucher numbers and the Terms and Conditions since the numbers are required for redemption.  It is also important to mention that there is no Direct Ticketing fee for reservations confirmed online at delta.com.

Ms. Kelly, I thank you for the opportunity to address the inconvenience you experienced due to the delay of our flights.  As a valued Delta customer, your future business is important to us, and I hope you will continue to choose Delta for your air travel needs.

Sincerely,
Sylvia M. Thomas
Coordinator, Corporate Customer Care
Delta Air Lines
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Vouchers for future flights? I don't think so. I emailed Sylvia back and told her I didn't want $150 worth of vouchers for future flights. I wanted $75 credited back to me because of their fuck ups and that I won't be flying with Delta again. (I had flown on Delta in May to get back to Iowa when Shane's mom passed without any problems and on stand by. The way home was a whole other story and I tried for 1 1/2 days to get on a Delta flight. I finally had to buy a one way ticket on United to get back here.)
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Thank you for expressing your concern regarding the Transportation Credit Voucher issued to you. On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I appreciate the opportunity to review your request.

I am truly sorry you were dissatisfied with the Electronic Transportation Credit Voucher (eTCV) provided.  The gesture extended was not meant to place a value on your experience; rather it was an attempt to make amends for your disappointment with our service.  I once again apologize for your delayed baggage and the difficulties you encountered.

Respectfully, additional consideration and the refund of the baggage fee would not be due.  I apologize, as I understand this is not the answer you were hoping to receive.

Ms. Kelly, I know your request differed from what I have provided and trust you will understand our position.  Your business is important to us and given the opportunity of serving you in the future, I am confident Delta will not only meet but exceed your expectations.

Sincerely,
Sylvia M. Thomas
Coordinator, Corporate Customer Care
Delta Air Lines

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Seriously, that last sentence makes me want to retch. "Your business is important to us and given the opportunity of serving you in the future, I am confident Delta will not only meet but exceed your expectations." Please. Hell, I've flown to Honduras and to Vietnam, and I never lost any freaking luggage on either of those trips. But I fly from Virginia to Iowa and bags get lost both ways.

I actually had a flight attendant get nasty with me at one point when I used the bathroom on the plane while people were boarding. The bathroom hadn't been closed and we were sitting in the back of the plane anyway.

From now on, my husband and I decided we are going to split our packing: half of my things go into his bag and vice versa. 

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