Delta Screws Man Out Of Family Trip, Business Conference, WSJ Interview, And Two Flights

Wow, the folks at Delta really must hate the creative director behind and star of those UPS whiteboard commercials, Andy Azula. On the open letter he published today, he notes that he’s a frequent-flyer with Platinum status on Delta, and until this past June one of their “biggest fans.” Then Delta forced him, his wife, and his twin seven-year-olds to wait 13 hours in the Richmond, VA airport, while their luggage remained trapped on a plane that was forever “almost fixed.”

You can read the full letter here, but here’s the gist of how Andy’s Delta experience went:

You see, our flight was delayed due to a mechanical problem on our plane. Over the course of the next 13 hours we sat in the terminal at Richmond as flight after flight after flight all departed on time to Atlanta. Except, of course, ours. An entire airplane full of people – all of whom had gotten up early to catch the first flight of the day – watched helplessly as every other plane departed incident-free.

And since our bags were on the plane (we had all already been seated, before we were asked to de-board) we couldn’t even get our luggage off the plane and go home. Also, we kept being told our plane was almost fixed.

I took the initiative at noon to book us on the 5pm flight to Atlanta. I called Delta (five times in fact – you can check) to confirm and re-reconfirm again. I was continually reassured that my family had guaranteed seats on that 5pm flight. I was, in fact, on the phone with you as the Delta employees at the gate refused to give us our seats – on a flight we had already been confirmed on. And I never even heard an “I’m sorry.”

Consequently, I missed a few things in Atlanta: The Direct Marketing Association’s conference – of which I was the guest speaker. It was a paid event and the DMA was understandably shocked, mortified and embarrassed by the situation. They had to offer refunds to all their attendees.

I also missed my Wall Street Journal interview.

I also missed my meeting.

What’s worse, he said, was that his children spent the day crying and stressed out, wondering why they couldn’t go see their grandparents or go back home. Do you think these kids will want to be Delta customers in the future (provided Delta is around)?

I had to promise my children that I would not make them fly on an airplane anytime soon. They used to LOVE to fly. They simply cannot understand why things are so unfair.

The good news is, Delta has lost thousands of dollars in what are most likely business-class flights from Andy for the time being. Maybe competing airlines can provide some minimum of customer service and keep his business for the rest of 2009 and beyond.

Since returning on June 21st, I have flown 5 round trip flights to Las Vegas, Atlanta and New York. None of those flights have been on Delta.

I am now prepping my travels for the next three months, which include multiple flights to Los Angeles, St Louis, New York, Orlando, London, Berlin, Singapore and Shanghai.

In fact, I am literally flying MORE than I ever have in my life!

But until I receive some sort of apology, I will continue to adjust my schedule to avoid Delta.

“Letter to Delta” [AndyAzula.blogspot.com]