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Old Jan 2, 13, 8:44 am   #1
 
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Delta Cargo Pet Debacle - what to do?

I was moving permanently from Phoenix to Rochester, NY and needed to ship a cat so that she was out of the house before the movers showed up and I drove cross country with the car.

I contacted Delta Cargo a week in advance to make a reservation. It took 2 different calls (the first person was not knowledgable about the minimum connect times) but I managed to get a confirmed booking (with a reference number) for a Sunday evening redeye thru Atlanta that would show up around 11AM in Rochester. Perfect!

I got all my documentation together, had all the required exams and hardware, and set out to the cargo office at the directed 2+ hours in advance of the flight. Here's where it all falls apart.

The Delta Cargo office was closed, and in fact closes at 4PM on Sunday. I called the Diamond desk to ask what to do and was told (after a consultation with a supervisor) to simply take the cat to the passenger terminal and they would handle it there. Slight inconvenience, but it seemed reasonable.

Got to the passenger terminal and went thru successive rounds of frustration. The agent had no idea what to do. The Red Coat (further proving that they are pretty much a useless waste of money) had no idea what to do. The Ramp Supervisor understood the dilemma and at least tried to find the paperwork necessary to book the pet shipment. All TEN (10) agents who were idling standing around had no idea what to d.

In the end, they refused to take the pet. I explained that I was physically moving the next morning, that Delta had taken the booking and I had a reference number to prove it. Refusing to honor it was not an option for me as it would delay the movers and cost me money. Still nothing but blank stares and hollow apologies.

I had to go back in the morning to the cargo office and do it all over again. I'm livid that Delta Cargo could be so incompetant as to take a shipping request and issue a reference number without telling me that the office would be closed at the time I was to drop it off. But then again... it is Delta... of the infamously broken reservation systems and fubar'd skypesos award calendar.

My question: it's all still Delta, it all eventually rolls uphill to Richard Anderson, what is the best way to pursue this issue with any hope of getting acknowledgement of the error and a sincere apology? I dont want Skypesos, I already have 800K of the useless things.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 8:53 am   #2
 
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Wait - so what happened with the cat. Did it make it to Roc safely?

Welcome to WNY and our >2 feet of snow and single digit temperatures (last night was a rare occurrence, allegedly).

I can't help with the rest of the post, but as a Rochesterian I wanted to say greetings and welcome.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 8:56 am   #3
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So how does a lack of information about DL cargo's operating hours (on a weekend) equal the (terrible) award calendar?

Was it not possible for the cat to travel with someone in the cabin?!
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Old Jan 2, 13, 9:09 am   #4
 
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Not to take away from your story, but, I had a kinda sorta similar thing happen with DL Cargo....

I was flying PIT/NYC - overnight stopover - then to Europe. I realized on the plane to NYC that I forgot my passport. It was over a weekend, so FedEx wasn't an option. My office mgr took the passport to DL Cargo at PIT. PIT Cargo assured me that the passport would be delivered to the EWR ticket counter (for $82~).

When the passport arrived, they told me to pick it up at DL Cargo at EWR. I told them that I absolutely could not get to DL Cargo, as I was taking the bus from NYC. They told me there was nothing they could do - - The passport could NOT be delivered to the ticket counter.

I hate to admit it, but, I pulled an absolutely livid DM DYKWIA with EWR Cargo! It took a few hours of phone calls and supv. approvals, but, they got it done and my passport was waiting for me in the safe at the EWR ticket counter.

Delta Cargo simply doesn't have their act together.

Of course, this is not anywhere nearly as bad as a live animal - - I'm a cat lover - hava bunch of them!

Good luck, and let us know what happens!

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Old Jan 2, 13, 9:19 am   #5
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For the passport, doesn't DL have some sort of an express air document service (NW did) where one takes an envelope to the ticket/check in (special services?) counter and then you retrieve it at the counter of the receiving airport? This would have been much more convenient than doing the cargo shipment, although I'm not sure how the price would compare.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 9:24 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
For the passport, doesn't DL have some sort of an express air document service (NW did) where one takes an envelope to the ticket/check in (special services?) counter and then you retrieve it at the counter of the receiving airport? This would have been much more convenient than doing the cargo shipment, although I'm not sure how the price would compare.
I called one of the DL employees at PIT who knows me, and he told me that I had to use DL Cargo.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 9:52 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
For the passport, doesn't DL have some sort of an express air document service (NW did) where one takes an envelope to the ticket/check in (special services?) counter and then you retrieve it at the counter of the receiving airport? This would have been much more convenient than doing the cargo shipment, although I'm not sure how the price would compare.
It's the Delta DASH service. I've used it in the past and passenger counter service was available (and there was appropriate signage). Now, delivery and pickup are stated to be at the cargo facility (but nothing said about outside hours service).

And the OP should check the Note at the bottom of that page which seems to (partially) cover the situation.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 9:59 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharaoh View Post
It's the Delta DASH service. I've used it in the past and passenger counter service was available (and there was appropriate signage). Now, delivery and pickup are stated to be at the cargo facility (but nothing said about outside hours service).
Yes, I believe I remember seeing "DASH" on the box my passport came in, but it had to originate at Cargo. But they assured me that it would go to the ticket counter, and it was addressed as such, but obviously, someone doesn't know the rules.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 11:09 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwoman View Post
So how does a lack of information about DL cargo's operating hours (on a weekend) equal the (terrible) award calendar?
Actually, I think the OP was saying that the lack of info on cargo office operating hours is consistent with DL's inability to program a functioning award calendar (not the same "equals"). But I'll give you credit for over-interpretation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwoman View Post
Was it not possible for the cat to travel with someone in the cabin?!
Two possibilities come to mind:
  1. OP is single (not all cat-owners are in a relationship), or
  2. the OP asked all the pax at check-in if they would be willing to take the cat with them onboard, but unfortunately none of them were connecting to ROC through ATL
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Old Jan 2, 13, 11:18 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mAAine_flyer View Post
Two possibilities come to mind:
  1. OP is single (not all cat-owners are in a relationship)
I might hazard a guess that in fact most cat owners (and especially multi-cat owners!) are not in relationships (sorry to cat owners in relationships...)
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Old Jan 2, 13, 11:19 am   #11
 
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Delta has its DASH service, Northwest had "VIP (Very Important Package)" service.

Back in the days of NWA, VIP was MUCH more user friendly. You could even book and ship VIP packages at a NWA checkin kiosk, and it would create a tag at using the bag tag printer for the agent to affix to the package.

Delta has come a long way from where DASH was a few years ago, but they have nothing like VIP. Delta Cargo just launched a new website recently however, which is a big leap over the old one.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 11:46 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mAAine_flyer View Post
Actually, I think the OP was saying that the lack of info on cargo office operating hours is consistent with DL's inability to program a functioning award calendar (not the same "equals").
www.deltacargo.com has facility operating hours listed pretty clearly. Here are the facility hours for PHX:
http://www.deltacargo.com/WorldwideFacilities/PHX.aspx

The Delta cargo agent on the phone should have been able to let the OP know when the PHX office would be open to accept shipments - there is no excuse for that.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 11:46 am   #13
 
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Once again I see that it is all the OP's fault. Everyone has criticism or silly humor and no one has offered a reasonable reply to Jeff's problem.

I think he indicated that the cat was going alone to ROC, so there wasn't anyone to take it on board. In this day and age, we don't ask strangers to take things on a plane.

At my little airport, pets are checked in and shipped at the passenger checkin counter (there is no cargo terminal). Odds are that the Counter Rep does double or triple duty as GA, cargo agent, and/or baggage handler. They seem to know how to manage all these jobs. I guess that is one advantage of flying out of PODUNK.

Jeff, my advice is to write a concise letter expressing your concern and describing your experience (very short and to the point), and send it to Richard Anderson. He won't see it, but it will get to the right person eventually. Be patient. It will take weeks to get a reply. Might be good to say that you don't want any SM thrown at you--all you want is a sincere apology and for them to fix the system.
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Old Jan 2, 13, 11:51 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davetravels View Post

When the passport arrived, they told me to pick it up at DL Cargo at EWR. I told them that I absolutely could not get to DL Cargo, as I was taking the bus from NYC. They told me there was nothing they could do - - The passport could NOT be delivered to the ticket counter.

Did anyone suggesting taking a cab over to Delta cargo from wherever the bus dropped you off? Shouldn't have been that expensive or time consuming.

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Old Jan 2, 13, 12:04 pm   #15
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I had a friend with a similar pet issue. After DL confirmed the pet in the cargo hold, international airline tickets were issued. About a week after that, DL "unconfirmed" the pet (too heavy). DL already had the weight information before the confirmed the pet. What a mess it was to get things straightened out. Unfortunately DL and pets don't mix very well.
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