Friday, November 21, 2014

Delta Airlines: hell on the air

Customer Service in the US is getting from bad to worse. With airlines they take advantage of the defenseless passengers to abuse them or us and to get away with crime. If you lose a flight because you get late to the airport of if you want to change your flight they charge you and they charge you for your bags, if your are overweight and in some airlines they charge you to select a seat or for your carry on. Your rights ended in the hands of incompetent airline personnel.

One of the worst airline in terms of “Customer Service” is Delta Airlines. With them I had the most terrible experience traveling in my 25 years of intense traveling for work. I travel every week and customer service from all the airlines is bad but never like the one provided by Delta.

On November 21, 2014, I called Delta Customer service Case# 15150057 and I reported that due to the mechanical failure and incompetence of the airline I suffered terrible experience and I lost US $ 278.38 (because the hotel due to No-Show charged me with the first night of the two rooms). After one hour at the phone, they didn’t provide a suitable or acceptable solution for my claim. They not even care about a problem that they have in their system.

When I asked for a supervisor, delta agent on the phone, by the name “Sherry”, told me that she was the last resource at the airline. I asked several times for a supervisor and she denied my request.

So I filled a claim at the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation and I will continue with the only way that a citizen has to protect our rights, denouncing and using social media against abusive corporations.

Airline: Delta Airlines
Ticket Number: 00675043938993
Flight 981 Boston-Atlanta-Bogota, November 16, 2014
Flight 1750 Atlanta-JFK, November 16, 2014

My flight from Boston to Atlanta (981) (Nov. 16) was delayed due to mechanical reasons for 2 hours and 10 minutes. I had a connection from Atlanta to Bogota in the 981 flight.

When I asked at the gate worried because I couldn’t’ make the connection, Delta’s personnel told me that since it was the same code and flight I was OK. According to them the flight was the same, the same arrival and departure gate. I asked if they were sure and if not I would need and alternate flight, “no problem” according to them. So I took the flight 2 hours late and when I arrived to Atlanta my flight to Colombia/Bogota was gone because they used a different plane and at a different door. When I asked what happen the people at the gate told me that the flight was gone (5 minutes earlier) and that I needed to rebook.

I tried to rebook my flight and I went to Delta rebooking desk at the airport and one of Delta’s agents by the name E.J., she was extremely rude, began to look for alternatives and I waited for 58 minutes for her to “modify” my reservation so I could take the next flight to New York and then overnight to Bogota. She was extremely inefficient, called several times to a Delta phone number for codes and because she couldn’t fix the reservation, and at the end she told me that she solved all and printed a “useless” boarding pass to JFK and a receipt. When I went to the gate A33 to catch 1750 flight, at the gate they told that my boarding pass was useless, and they made me wait on the side because they were busy dealing with the boarding process. Because I began to get worry about my problem they decided to try to solve my problem (passing the case from one person to another).

THE PROBLEM was that according to Delta system I was a THRU PASSANGER, and they cannot overrule that (for the system I was in my way to Bogota in Flight 981). So I spent terrible times at the gate for more than 45 minutes with no solution, after they closed the gate they received a call from “global” telling them that they fixed the problem; just because a person who was traveling with me to Bogota stopped the plane I made the flight at the last minute (after they even closed the gate).

No excuses, nobody cares and the inefficient customer service and Delta system affected me big. I lost my meeting there in Bogota that night, I had to flight overnight and arrived to Bogota 6 am on November 17 (17-18 hours traveling time), I had problems with the connections in Colombia and the Hotel in Bogota charged me US $ 280 for the no show on the night of November 16nd.

I only traveled to Colombia for business for 48 hours so the delay and the terrible behavior from Delta affected my plans there. I was late, exhausted and in pain when I finally arrived to Colombia.

Part II

Flight 980 Bogota – Boston (Bog-Atl-Bos) November 19

And they did it again, Delta has a terrible problem in its system when it classified passengers as THRU PASSANGER (same flight from BOG-ATL-Bos), in my return flight when I tried to board with the portion of my flight from Atlanta to Boston, even when in Bogota they gave me a boarding pass with my seat assigned (according with what I reserved weeks ago)(24 C) FLIGHT 980, November 19, at the gate they told me that I didn’t have a reservation because somebody mess with my reservation in Bogota, so after waiting again without knowing the outcome they just gave me a piece of paper with the numbers 28 B or 43 A wrote with a pen (center and then as a "big" favour they sit me at the back of the plane in a window, not the aisle that I reserved).  So why they let me get into the plane if according to the system I didn’t have a reservation?.

I have a medicated condition with my back that requires for me to stand up from time to time to deal with the extreme pain, so that is why I only travel in aisle seats and I try to avoid overnight flights.

My alternatives (even when I made my reservation on time and check in on time) just take the center or window seat or wait for another plane (deal with the pain or wait forever to return home). Luckily this flight had 2 seats available if not I would have to wait again in Atlanta due to Delta incompetence and a glitch that you have in your reservation/check in system.

So far this RT flight has been the most terrible travel experience, and I have been traveling almost every week for the last 25 years.

When I was connecting in Atlanta, I knowing the problem in the system, I tried to call to delta to prevent this problem in Atlanta but the person from Customer service told me that he cannot do anything until the trip ends.

When I called “Customer Service” the airline just showed their lack of interest for their clients. So, they have a problem in their reservation/check-in system and they just don't care?

I sent an also a web-complaint to the Airline (Case Number 14294589) but no answer so far.

They believe that they can get away with everything because nobody complains, but it is time to stop that.

Instead of paying for the lost that they caused me, Delta opted for abusing its power.

So they prefer to losing a customer than to provide a decent Customer Service, it is Delta choice, mine will be to take my business to another airline and give away to my family the 100k+ accumulated miles this year.

And of course continue with my claim with my Congressperson and Senator as well as with the SENATE SUBCOMITTEE ON AVIATION OPERATIONS SAFETY AND SECURITY and the HOUSE AVIATION SUBCOMMITTEE.

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