It was a terrible day for rock music in Detroit, Hanukkah-themed and otherwise, when Delta staff forced musician Dave Schneider to check his vintage Gibson guitar as luggage and it got caught in a service elevator. The instrument wasn’t destroyed beyond repair, but the repairs were going to cost an estimated $2,000. Then there was a rock miracle. Gibson, the iconic company that made his guitar half a century ago, offered an amazing opportunity: they could offer him not just a factory tour and a 50th anniversary replica of a similar model, but also repair his damaged guitar for free.
Musician Dave Schneider of hockey-themed rock band The Zambonis and Hanukkah-themed band The LeeVees usually carries his guitar on when flying to a gig. You know, so baggage handlers don’t get their paws on it, he can keep an eye on it, and did I mention the part where he doesn’t trust baggage handlers with expensive musical instruments? [More]
Although both sides were playing coy as recently as a week ago, those with their eyes on the sky business saw this Delta Air Lines/Virgin Atlantic hook-up coming. And as of this morning, they’ve done it — those crazy kids have done it: Delta purchased a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for a cool $360 million, creating a new joint venture between the two companies. [More]
Singapore Airlines is in the mood to shed a little weight in the form of its 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, and it seems Delta Air Lines is among the suitors lining up to try to talk the company into handing that nice little slice over. Whoever gets this hunk of the company will gain access to some pretty sweet slots at London’s Heathrow airport. [More]
Not wanting to become the Dave Carroll of the classical music world, solo cellist Lynn Harrell purchases a second seat for his cello when they travel together. This should keep everyone happy. The airline sells an extra seat to a very quiet and compliant passenger, and Harrell racks up extra frequent flyer miles that he can put toward future travel for his cello. Delta isn’t happy, though: they’ve kicked him out of their frequent-flyer program and banned him from it forever. His crime? Accruing the frequent-flyer miles that the airline granted to his cello.
Seann got on a Delta plane with only a carry-on, and was told that he would need to gate-check his bag. That was the last time he ever saw it. The tag he was supposed to receive never materialized, and neither did his backpack. This would be tolerable if he had just been toting a carry-on full of clothes, but the gate-checked bag happened to be his backpack, stuffed with his laptop, video camera, and other valuable items filled with tasty data.
Patrick wanted off the plane. The overloaded Delta flight sat on the runway for more than an hour. He had the privilege of sitting in the exit row next to a very drunk man who was probably more likely to collapse on the emergency exit door than to be capable of opening it. When te flight attendant wouldn’t pay attention, he tried to contact Delta customer service and PR via e-mail for help. Some kind of help. When the flight attendants finally let a few people off the plane so it could take off, Patrick wasn’t one of the lucky few. Neither was Drunky McSeatmate.
We know bird strikes are a terrible inconvenience to planes, but what about a gang of marauding bees? So maybe they weren’t exactly marauding, but a beekeeper did have to be called in at Pittsburgh International Airport on Wednesday night to dislodge a swarm of honeybees that took to buzzing about on a plane’s wings. Quite annoying, as the plane was about to take off for New York.
Customers used to flying with Delta Air Lines’ regional carrier Comair, beware — the airline is shutting down the Cincinnati-based subsidiary at the end of September, as it’s switching to bigger jets that aren’t as expensive to fly. Most of Comair’s employees are in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Two passengers got a mouthful of something horrifying when they bit into sandwiches served aboard Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the U.S. this weekend — sewing needles stuck in the meat. The FBI is now investigating the incidents, which involved needles found in sandwiches on four separate flights.
A Delta flight heading to Madrid out of New York was sent back to the gate at JFK last night after a passenger reported “strange wiring” in the bathroom. After investigating the find, law enforcement officials found no explosives. A U.S. Marshal was on the plane at the time.
Consumerist reader Jacob had planned to ask his girlfriend for her hand in marriage mid-flight during their recent trip from Tel Aviv to Memphis. But thanks to a terribly rude flight attendant, those plans were almost grounded.
For almost two decades, Southwest airlines has sat comfortably atop the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual survey of air carriers. But not only did Southwest’s numbers slip a bit in the new list, it also ceded the lead to JetBlue.
What’s the best site for finding airfares? How do I score free upgrades? Will anyone actually try to call my bluff when I claim a bogus bereavement fare? No one is better suited to answer these questions than an experienced flight reservation agent.
A longtime skycap for Delta Airlines at Seattle-Tacoma Airport appeared in an ad pushing for living-wage jobs for airport workers. The ad was produced by Working Washington, a coalition pushing for fair wages and benefits, and highlighted the low pay that workers tasked with keeping air travel clean and pleasant receive. Contract workers at that airport receive an average of $9.70 an hour. In a move that we’re sure is entirely coincidental, only three workers weren’t hired by the new contractor when Delta switched to a new one recently. The man who appeared in the ad is one of them.
l don’t know a lot about the sport of pole vaulting, but I do know one thing — having a pole to vault with is the first step toward victory. A college athlete claims Delta Air Lines cost her an All-American title by losing her poles, for which she’d paid $200 in oversize baggage fees to check on her flight.
You might already have suspected that the reason why you engage in a fierce, almost Hunger Gamesesque competition to stow your carry-on is because no one wants to pay to check bags. That free-for-all has resulted in U.S. airlines making less money off baggage fees for the first time since they started assessing them.