A young girl, trying to make it to her dying father’s bedside. An old airline that can’t find your reservation. A $1200 ticket that is now a $2000 ticket. A prefabricated apology for only $50. These, are the Delta chronicles…
“My girlfriend and I got a call a week before Thanksgiving that her father was in the hospital and wasnt expected to live through the night. We immediately scrambled, packed and tried to catch the first flight out we could. A friend of ours offered to book the flight for us and attempted to do so online, but since the flight was not for him the online registration would not accept his reservation and forced him to call their booking number. Well he managed to get us flights for 5 PM that day at a cost of about $1200. An hour later he forwarded the confirmation and booking info to us.
We arrive at the airport and attempt to get on the flight, but the lady at the ticket counter cant find our reservation at first. Then after some poking around she finds the info, but it turns out the Delta employee on the phone earlier only set it as a “hold” and it still needed to be paid for. I called my friend and he assured me he had given them his CC info and had forwarded me the confirmation, which I kept trying to show the ticket lady, but she wouldn’t accept it. She wanted an additional $1200 from us in order to get on the flight.
We my friend calls back to the Delta number and tries to straighten out the situation. As it turns out 1 hour and 5 different Delta reservation attendants later he manages to get us another flight on a later plane but for $2000 now. Seems they lost his original booking and somehow couldn’t get us on the original plane, even though the lady at the counter was trying to help us and told us she could get us on that plane if we paid her there at the counter.
So due to their incompetence, we had to wait an additional 5 hours and take a red eye flight that got us to her father 4 hours later, AND pay an additional $700 dollars for the flight. We attempted to straighten this out with their customer service department and was offered $50 flight voucher for our inconvenience. INCONVENIENCE! that $50 only paid for one of our checked baggage to and from the original flight, not to mention the stress the additional 5 hours cost us wondering if we would make it to his bedside in time ( Which we did thank God! )
Also come to find out that Delta does not offer any bereavement flights anymore.
We have since fired off and additional letter to the CS department along with a few top execs. Hopefully someone in Delta will stand up for their customers and have a little compassion for the situation. If not, it looks like we along with our friends and family will be switching airlines on our future flight needs. I hear southwest doesnt charge for baggage, perhaps they would appreciate our business.”
Here is the correspondence between Delta and Mrs. P, Mac’s girlfriend:
“On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM, Customer Care
Dear Ms. P,
Thank you for your correspondence regarding the passing of someone who was special to you. On behalf of Delta, I am very sorry to learn about your loss and hope you will accept my deepest sympathy. As our customer, you are in the best position to point out areas that need attention. Our goal is to provide consistent and accurate information to our passengers at all times. I am truly sorry in this instance you did not receive the service you expected and should have received from one of our team members. Feedback like yours will help us improve our airport process and overall customer experience. Please know I will be sharing your comments with our Airport Customer Service leadership team for internal follow up.
As a gesture of goodwill, I have issued an Electronic Transportation Credit Voucher (etc) in the amount of $50.00. Please note the voucher number and associated Terms and Conditions will be arriving in a separate ma. Please keep the voucher number and the Terms and Conditions since the number is required for redemption. It is also important for me to mention that no charge is assessed for reservations confirmed online at delta.com.
Mrs. P, I hope I have been able to resolve any concerns you and your companion have about our service. Your business is important to us and given the opportunity of serving you in the future, I am confident Delta will not only meet but exceed your expectations.
Kevin M. Aston
Mrs. P wrote back:
Date: January 27, 2010 1:38:55 PM PST
To: Customer Care
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: SAN/Reply from Delta Air Lines – Customer Care (KMM31216375I120L0KM)
Dear Mr. Aston,
While I appreciate your condolences, I am afraid a $50.00 voucher does not compensate for the inconvenience and emotional distress this problem had compounded with on an already distressing situation. Fifty dollars barely covers the expense to check in baggage with your airways.
Please be reminded, because of a clerical error on Delta’s part, our tickets not only increased by roughly $750-ish (the original tickets were around $1200… the new ones came to right under $2000) we had waited at least 1.5 hours to even find out where/when the problem occurred (Delta’s employee being responsible) and an additional wait for that flight when, obviously, time was of the essence. I cannot even begin to convey exactly how much more distraught checking in was for me because of this, as well as the anxiety that mounted because, not only of the delay, but the drastic increase of price of the tickets. Tickets that I have had to reimburse/pay for…
I am not a person financially well off and the ticket prices were exorbitant enough because they were last minute. I would have hoped that the staff at Delta would have taken this into greater consideration on the pricing of the second tickets; at the very LEAST, Delta should have matched the price of the original tickets.
What I am trying to convey is, although I appreciate your attempt at compensation, the situation, in my opinion, has not been resolved satisfactorily. I hope the next attempt, if there is one and I hope there is, will restore my confidence in your airline and its’ values. I truly would hate to leave Delta for my travel needs but I will do so to find an airline that not only has good flight schedules, airplanes, pilots, etc. but an airline with quality of customer service, basic sense and compassion for their clientele.
I have enclosed the documents I received from Delta, including the original confirmation of the first tickets as well as the additional alternate tickets I had purchased. Please review these and notate the difference in flight times as well as the booking fees incurred.
Honestly, I do not feel that I am being unreasonable in my appeal. I look forward to your reply and hope this will be resolved.