Evan’s on the large side and wants to buy two adjoining seats, but Delta doesn’t seem to care whether or not he inconveniences other passengers. The airline won’t assign two seats to the same passenger name, and if he buys a second seat under a different name, it won’t necessarily adjoin the first. Delta also warned that “they will give [his] second seat away if they need it, even if [he] paid for it.” One agent thought he had a solution, but it was going to cost Evan $200 more than Delta’s online fares.
I’m a fat person, I fully admit it. So I decided to do what everyone says fat people should do and purchase a second seat from Delta Airlines for a flight I needed to NYC this fall. More room for me, happier seatmates, Delta can keep the extra meal and coke. Only, I can’t. For all this hullaballoo in the press about wanting fat people to buy another seat, the airlines make it impossible.
First of all, Delta doesn’t offer one shred of information about this topic on their website. So you’re left to guess what their official policy is, although in this article they say something about “offering the passenger the option of purchasing an additional seat. Um, how?
Here’s what happened to me. First, I try to order two tickets online, but it says tickets cannot be assigned the same name. So then I try to call customer services, where after many times on hold while he checks with another person, the agent said he could help me. Only he gave me a price of nearly double the online price. After I protested, he gave me several different prices, finally ending on one that was $200 more than what I was looking at in front of me online. I told him I’d have to think about it.
I called back and spoke to another customer service agent who tells me that it can be done, but I have to speak to the department who assists with online purchases and they can help me make my purchase. After one of the longest periods I have ever spent on hold, I spoke to yet another agent who told me that I could try putting in a middle initial on one of the names to purchase the two seats, however he said, just so I know, they will give my second seat away if they need it, even if I paid for it. At this point, I had spent 1.5 hours on the phone (most of it on hold) and I hung up in a rage.
I sent a complaint email, but I’ve heard nothing back.
Okay, I’m big. You can hate me for it if you want, it seems to be all the rage, but if I’m willing to pay double, what’s the problem? Why isn’t my money good enough? By not allowing me to purchase the tickets, and by making it very difficult to find information or use online services, it really amounts to discrimination. Shame on you, Delta.
Honestly, what do you expect from an airline that tells passengers with special needs to ask for “Complaint Resolution Officials?” You can try contacting Delta’s customer relations managers at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If they can’t help, call Delta C.E.O. Richard Anderson and tell him that you hope to one day sit next to him. His number is (404) 715-2600.