Delta Plays Airport Roulette When Flying Into D.C.

On Sunday, Andy emailed us from his seat on Delta Flight 2744 from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., to let us know that he had no idea where his flight was going to land. The ticket he purchased said he was flying to Ronald Reagan National Airport, but Delta said it would all depend on whether they could beat their scheduled 10:19 arrival time and get there before the ten o’clock airport curfew–otherwise they’d have to land at Dulles. Strangely, they didn’t mention this 10 p.m. curfew to Andy before he bought the ticket.

I’m currently sitting on Delta Flight 2744 from MSP [Minneapolis Airport] to DCA [Ronald Reagan National Airport]. That’s where I thought it was going, anyway. And where I paid for it to go.

But in the gate area at MSP, word filtered back that the flight might not be going to DCA at all (the loudspeaker in the gate = broken, and they didn’t confirm this until we were on the plane). That’s because there’s apparently a 10pm curfew for planes of a certain size at DCA. My plane (which is of that certain size) was scheduled to land at 10:19, so if we don’t make up some time in the air (flight was not delayed), they are going to drop us at IAD [Dulles International Airport] instead. And they are not going to be able to tell us where the plane is landing until we’re almost there.

Again, there is nothing unique about this flight. They must run into this curfew every night (or at least every Sunday night). I paid to fly to DCA. If I’d wanted to fly to IAD, I would have done that (and paid less). They’re promising “ground transportation” from IAD to DCA, but I paid for a service that Delta had to have known they could very well be unable to deliver.

Well, at least Delta promised to pay for ground transportation if they ended up at the wrong airport. I guess that’s something. Oh wait! Andy wrote back:

They are landing at Dulles. And they just denied my request for a free drink.

[...]

They promised us a bus to get us from Dulles to Reagan. No bus. They gave us cab vouchers instead that didn’t quite cover the whole stretch to Reagan.

The gate agent at Dulles promised that if we called customer care we’d get compensated. But that number is not accepting calls “due to a high volume.”

Well, since it was after 10 p.m. by that point, you probably hit the Delta customer service curfew.