Delta makes a bad situation right

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by NYBanker, Aug 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    A few weeks ago, I was caught up in some bad weather-related delays during a trip I had booked with Delta.

    Chaos reigned at the east coast airport, and my flight was ultimately cancelled after about three hours of rolling delays.

    I completely understand weather - or at least understand that the havoc that it can bring to flight schedules - and do not hold carriers accountable in my mind for weather related troubles.

    What I do hold carriers accountable for is communication. In this case, DL did a terrible job of communicating statuses of flights. Among other things, several earlier flights had been removed from the airport flight listings, but hadn't left - and ultimately left after my flight was cancelled. They were also delayed ... So much so that many confirmed pax left. As a result, they had a few seats to clear standbys. Due to the lack of information, I was unaware of these flights. As a pm on a full y fare, I would have certainly cleared had I been able to get on the standby list. (Indeed, two FOs standing near me cleared.) The gate info screen at the gate that had this unlisted flight to New York indicated that the flight leaving from the gate was even a different flight than the one that was actually operating.

    In any event, due to the lack of information, I ended up spending an unscheduled night away. Of course, this was just a day trip, so I had no toilet articles or change of clothes.

    Once I was told it was hopeless for the evening, I grabbed a cap and headed to the Four Seasons. All in round trip cab and room (booked via FHR to get breakfast and dinner credit) came to a little less than $500.

    I wrote an old fashioned letter to DL to let them know about the ground staff communication - or lack thereof - and that their inability to accurately post flights forced me to spend the night. I asked DL to cover my hotel and ground transportation expenses. The rates at the Four Seasons are well above DL's normal rates of compensation - but tough luck - this is the way I travel for my own account, they can do the same when they jam me.

    I received a very nice letter from Delta today - with the check for the amount I asked for - and 20k bonus miles (which I didn't ask for).

    While I was certainly frustrated with how the evening played out, I at least spent a fairly comfortable night and reloaded on the 6am flight the next morning. While I was certainly on risk for the hotel expenses myself, I share this to highlight that a well articulated complaint from a high status flyer will get a generous reply from DL.

    Several people said to me, "they don't compensate in weather" situations. While there was weather, my issue was with the communication - clearly within DL's control.

    While I wish I got home that evening as planned, DL handled the situation more than fairly. This sort of response from their customer service department - while seldom necessary - keep me coming back.
  2. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I'm glad everything worked out for you. It has got to be tough getting stranded someplace without the essentials.
  3. Art234
    Original Member

    Art234 Milepoint Guide

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    I have had similar experiences with Delta in the past-they definitely go the extra mile.
    MSPeconomist and NYBanker like this.

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