Delta - Very helpful on an award ticket issue w/Schedule Chg

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by NYBanker, May 29, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Too few posts are about carriers doing the right thing. Delta really came through for me today.

    I'm heading to the Persian Gulf for the Christmas holidays this year with my family. I booked FOUR low-miles business class award tickets using my DL miles to travel from JFK to the Gulf via CDG over Christmas. ("SkyPesos" my a-double-s! ;) ) Both flights were operated by AF.

    When I made the booking, the connection time was only 75 minutes. This was a little tighter than I'd like, but good enough I figured. Then, AF made a schedule change on the flight from JFK-CDG, tightening the connection down to 65 minutes. Uh oh.

    Interestingly, DL's intl-intl connection time at CDG is 75 minutes; AF's is only 60. It seemed I was caught in a gap between two carriers' connection minimums. Travelling with the kids over the holidays, I wasn't in the market to chance a missed connection.

    Delta's website said that the flights were too close, and that I should try to change them. I called DL, and agent at the Medallion line said she couldn't help me, because the time change was too slight. I pointed out that the DL website said "you may miss your flight" in red letters, or something of the sort, but she said since there was no award inventory on the earlier flight, she couldn't help me anyway. (In a schedule change situation, availability for any seat in your cabin is generally all that matters, not your particular ticketing class.)

    Rather than debate the issue with the telephone rep, knowing I had plenty of time, I put pen to paper and wrote a letter. (Or, in this case, booted up Microsoft Word.)

    Earlier today (three business days after I mailed my letter in), Delta both called and emailed - apologizing for the difficultly - and said they'd "work it out to get [me] on the earlier flight." They said it may take up to two days, but they'd be back to me.

    Upon a review of the itinerary today online, it appeared that they moved me to the specific earlier flight that I wanted. I called SMS to confirm that all the changes were made. The agent said there were a lot of notes to read in my PNR, and asked for "a few minutes" so she could refresh. The agent came back and said they had moved my flights, but wanted to speak with me to be 100% sure of my wish to change before they re-issued the ticket (apparently a written, signed request wasn't enough!). I confirmed the change and the tickets were issued on the spot. I already have new ticket numbers/etc.

    While it was disappointing to have to write in on such a matter, I was very pleased with how they handled this ultimately. I suspect I could have asked for a supervisor on the phone, but the 20 minutes it took me to pen the letter was probably far less than what I would have had to have spent on the phone escalating the matter.

    In fairness, because it was a permitted connection by the operating carrier, DL probably could have held firm. Instead, someone empowered looked at the situation and made a reasonable customer-friendly decision - and implemented it within hours.

    I really appreciate DL delivering this outcome.
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Wow. Congrats on four BE award tickets and well done on getting them changed the way you wanted with little fuss ultimately.

    I like to make sure to fill out complimentary feedback forms when service has been exceptional and I like to sometimes tell the employee that I plan to do so (and then follow up).
     
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  3. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I'm not sure what is most most impressive, 4 B/E award tickets being available on the same flights, how helpful Delta was in resolving the issue, or the fact you wrote them a letter. However, I am very glad it worked out for you.
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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  5. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Awesome. I'm actually trying to figure out how to cancel an award that had several schedule changes that just made it unfixable. Just found a better routing on *A using UA miles. Don't want to pay $150 to DL to get my miles back. Maybe a letter will help.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Whenever there are significant schedule changes, you are entitled to a refund, with no fees. It should be possible to call to do this.
     
  7. Stils

    Stils Silver Member

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    They changed my schedule on a flight I want to change anyways. Unfortunately it only changed by about 40 minutes so I'm stuck with it or I have to pony up the $150. I'll probably live with it.
     
  8. Stils

    Stils Silver Member

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    I also had a VERY good customer service experience this year over the phone but I couldn't remember the person's name to write a letter. I did hit up Delta's facebook page but obviously nothing gets back to the person who was awesome for me.
    I had an emergency the night before a flight and had to delay my flight a day. She took care of everything, didn't charge me, and was very kind. It made an otherwise really bad situation a little bit better. I really wish my brain hadn't been doing a million things at once so I could have given some good feedback for her!
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If the flights are in the future, you could wait and hope for another schedule change. Or try to explain how the 40 minutes makes a big difference to you, such as unavailability of public transportation to the airport for a very early departure.
     
  10. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    You seem to get a lot of traction writing letters. Something I will remember for my next encounter.
     
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  11. zshanlon

    zshanlon Silver Member

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    I think as a country we decided on calling it the Arabian Gulf for now to piss Iran off.
     
  12. rookie10

    rookie10 Silver Member

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    One thing I would like to add is that @Delta on Twitter is also a great resource, especially for time sensitive matters. I have used them several times and they have gone out of the way to resolve my issues. Who knows maybe the OP could have had the same results with a tweet. Nice to hear some positive comments for Delta.
     
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  13. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I have used @DeltaAssist as well a few times. I have nothing but good things to say about their help. However, in some cases 140 characters isn't enough to communicate easily with.
     
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  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    +1

    +1 They are good for simpler things, not complex cross-carrier matters.
     
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  15. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    By far, well written, old fashioned letters are the best way to get attention on complex, not time sensitive matters with all of the carriers.
     
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  16. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I booked an award ticket for my dad LAX-MSP-CDG-BOM-CDG-LAX a while back in DL J/AF J at the low level for 120K. Unfortunately, his dates changed, so I had to cancel it and book a UA award on SQ one-way and buy a ticket the other.

    A few weeks back, there was a 9.5-hour layover in MSP that got schedule-changed to 10h, so more than I had before, but not by much. Still, I called up the Medallion desk to request to cancel it. Took less than 2 minutes, and they waived the $150 fee without me asking.

    How does that TV ad go? "Rules don't overrule common sense." I've been meaning to ditch DL for AA to test out the waters (since I only fly enough to make mid-tier+ elite on one carrier) but it's hard when they keep doing the right thing.
     

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