[Note: Sandals has already responded to the post, expressed sympathy, and reached out to Autumn. We've removed their name from the headline to more accurately focus the blame on Delta, which is the company really behind the problems.] We get that Delta employees just flat out hate their jobs at this point—that would explain the surly flight attendants on my last Delta flight, at any rate—but why would you take that out on newlyweds, who have their whole lives to be disappointed and deserve that one week of happiness at the start? The least you could do, angry Delta employees, is try to help out after your employer utterly fails to deliver the passengers anywhere near their destination. No, a dingy one-night stay in a hotel room in NYC is not the same as a week in Antigua.
Sometimes newlyweds can be hard to please, but after reading Autumn’s story below, we think she and her husband made every effort possible to salvage the vacation after being delayed, ignored, and treated rudely by Delta and Sandals Resort. To their credit, they still had a good time. That doesn’t make Delta’s behavior or Sandals’ lack of communication more forgivable, however.
After planning my wedding for over a year, I was so excited to be able to leave all of the stress behind and enjoy a seven day, all-inclusive honeymoon to Antigua. I spent hours researching the internet for the perfect destination, and my husband and I could not wait! However, we hardly realized the stress that we would be under as we arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport on July 20th.
Our Delta flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00 A.M from PIT. However, a flight attendant came up to us approximately thirty minutes before the flight was to leave, and told us to go to a different gate. When we tried to ask why, she was rude and condescending. Eventually, we were able to find another Delta employee who could give us an answer. It seemed as though our flight was going to be delayed because Delta did not do the preventative maintenance on our plane the night before. Therefore, our flight never actually boarded until 6:30 A.M. Once on the plane, there were maintenance crews walking up and down the aisle, and needless to say, it didn’t exactly project a safe atmosphere. Another honeymoon couple was aboard our flight, and they also verbalized their concern that we might miss our connection at JFK in New York City. The flight attendant told us there was nothing that they could do.
Once we arrived at JFK, we all ran to the gate to hopefully catch our flight to Antigua. However, the Delta representative informed us that we missed our flight and acted like it was our fault. At this point, I was not stressed, as I figured we could board another flight later in the day. However, I was shocked to find out that there wasn’t another flight to Antigua until Thursday! The Delta representatives basically did not know what to do with us and told us we could stay in NYC until then, and then “maybe” get on the Thursday flight as a standby.
Finally the Delta Supervisor, Florence Howard, came over to assist us. She told us the only other option was to fly out the next day on another carrier and have to pay $250 each.
At this point, over three hours had passed, and I was stressing out. My husband finally decided to call Sandals Resort and see if there was anything they could do, since we booked both flight and hotel through them. The Sandals Representative suggested that we consider another resort. I suggested St. Lucia, but was saddened when they said that all of the rooms were booked. Finally, I said how about Jamaica. My husband was able to transfer our honeymoon to Sandals Montego Bay, and also change the dates from Monday to Monday, to Tuesday to Tuesday.
The only thing Delta did at this time was give us a voucher for a hotel room for the night, $7.00 meal vouchers, and first class upgrades. My husband and I decided to make the best of it, and went on our way to claim our luggage. When we got to the luggage claim, the workers said that they didn’t know where our luggage was and that perhaps it would make it onto our flight to Jamaica. I still was okay at this point, so we took the shuttle and headed to the hotel. Once we opened the door to our hotel, I was surprised to see how dingy everything was. We didn’t even want to sleep there. What a way to spend our first night of our honeymoon! However, my husband and I headed down to the city, determined to have a good time.
The next morning, we arrived back at JFK and went immediately to the first class desk to get our tickets. The Delta representative, Patricia R., rudely asked if we were at the correct desk, and then grabbed out tickets from us. She then told us that we didn’t have seats on the plane, that basically the tickets we had in our hands were not good. She mumbled a few things under her breath, before printing us out new tickets. Once aboard the flight, it was absolutely wonderful. The flight attendants knew what happened and served us champagne, and also gave us a bottle of wine to take with us. However, our stress level was about to go up as we arrived at the Montego Bay Airport.
We got to the Sandals greeting station to find that we once again did not have reservations. They looked up my husbands name, my name, and my maiden name, and could not find any reservation in Jamaica or Antigua for that matter. After sitting in the Sandals room for over forty-five minutes, we were told to go outside and get onto a bus. I had no idea where we were going and when I asked for details, all I was told was that we were going to Sandals Whitehouse. I asked if I could see a brochure, and they had nothing to give me and kept telling me to go outside. I was very upset at this point, because I knew how much we paid for our honeymoon to Antigua, and I had never even heard of Sandals Whitehouse.
Our trip to Sandals Whitehouse ended up turning out great, but I still feel a sense of disappointment because we didn’t go where we had planned to. I have tried to call countless times to both Delta and Sandals to see what they could do to help resolve the situation, yet I have not heard back at all. I would like to know if I am owed money back since we believe we over paid. I don’t believe it was our fault we missed our honeymoon, nor do I understand where our reservations to Sandals were.
Autumn, you can try emailing Delta at the addresses below, but we don’t know if any of them still work. You can also try contacting Delta via Twitter, but it looks like they don’t really get into the whole “actively monitoring our brand mention on Twitter” thing judging by the infrequency of their posts there. As for reaching Sandals, if anyone has any contact information that could help Autumn out, please post it below (or email it to us if it needs to stay confidential).
UPDATE: Hey everyone, go easy on the OP and her honeymoon status—I am the one who implied that honeymooners of all travelers should be treated well. She never said or implied that she deserved more than other passengers.