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ADVICE Needed: Delta says "We can't honor our own SkyClub 1-Day Passes"

ADVICE Needed: Delta says "We can't honor our own SkyClub 1-Day Passes"

Old Jan 16, 14, 6:01 pm
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Unhappy ADVICE Needed: Delta says "We can't honor our own SkyClub 1-Day Passes"

Quick background...

My mother was flying by herself TPE-HNL-PDX on Hawaiian, not DL, since DL was charging $500 more for a roundtrip. My father and I decided to buy her a DL SkyClub 1-Day pass, allowing her some rest during her 5-hour layover in HNL. Normally we get in through my dad's GM status on an int'l itinerary.

Bought the pass on 1/1 with my AMEX Platinum. No access to a printer, so I "printed" the pass, but saved it as a PDF through the print function and my mom printed it out the next day. Note: the PDF pass is identical to the printed one. Also saved the receipt and confirmation just in case. I specifically did not put my name on the pass so my mother could use it.

Mom lands in HNL, goes to the SkyClub with the pass in hand, dragons are confused... They said "This looks like a photocopy," but my mom explained that I had bought it for her for that purpose and they let her in while they checked on it.

Mom is settled in the SkyClub, and then an agent comes back and asks her to leave, because she "doesn't have the original pass." She's quite embarrassed, and calls me to ask me what went wrong. I'm not sure either, because the pass is original, with barcode, value, date purchased, expiration date, and all. I forward her the receipt and confirmation--agents check on it and deny access once again. Mother is now embarrassed beyond belief and sobbing in the concourse.

I hop on the phone with Customer Care with a (very sweet) lady (with a British-accent!) and she investigates, and after ~25 minutes can't understand why they won't let her in.

I asked for a supervisor, who also verified the pass had not been used, its purchase date, etc. She couldn't figure out why HNL wouldn't let my mother in. She did not know what else to do, given "you have followed all the procedures and guidelines we have outlined... I don't know what's wrong and I'm terribly sorry. I guess we can't honor our own 1-Day SkyClub passes." She offered me a refund of the $50 and 4,000 SkyPesos, which I accepted. She also gave me the direct line of the HNL SkyClub.

Called HNL SkyClub and spoke with their supervisor Anna, who was also sweet, and explained the situation. She said that my mother "didn't have an original," and even with the receipt and confirmation, they couldn't "scan" the barcode. They wouldn't accept the paper pass, and weren't able to scan the code on her iPhone either. They also refused to print out the receipt/confirmation to try scanning that barcode, saying "we don't have the technology to do that, unfortunately."

I confirmed the details of the pass and the incident, and she apologized profusely and asked if my mother would like to come back; she could guest my mother in, saying that she had nothing to be embarrassed of... Unfortunately my mother was already at her HA gate and boarding started in 30 minutes, and she told me she never wanted to return to the HNL SC ever again anyways. I declined the offer and said thank you. She also offered to guest our family in next time we are in HNL, though I will have to wait and see if that happens.

Long story short, the 1 agent and the supervisor at Customer Care and the supervisor at HNL SC were SO nice and understanding... But NOBODY addressed why the pass couldn't work--NOBODY knew why!

The only thing that really bothers me is how embarrassed my mother was (to the point of tears) after they asked her to leave the SkyClub. She doesn't drink, doesn't fancy SkyClub snacks; she just wanted to rest a little after a 10 hour flight, prepping for another 6 hour flight. It's a sad day that $50 won't get you that either.

What do you guys think? Thoughts...? I was so frustrated beyond belief at Delta--treating my mother like that. Then again, maybe I'm biased because it's my mother.

Any advice for next time? I guess SkyClub passes don't work how they should. Disappointing and embarrassing.

EDIT:

Here is the original pass... I took a screenshot of the PDF and then invalidated it for obvious reasons. As you can see.. the pass DL generated has a clear barcode and expiration date, but the Terms and Conditions are kinda fuzzy, even though I used their own "print" function...



Last edited by bj27; Jan 18, 14 at 7:59 pm
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Old Jan 16, 14, 6:26 pm
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Frontline folks who are tasked with both taking care of customers and protecting the company assets (not letting just anyone in) are in a rough spot.

Still, even if this smelled funny...once she was just sitting there, was it really worth the effort to throw her out.

Not much you can do at this point. You could try to talk to some higher ups at Delta, but they are probably more excited that somebody got kicked out of their precious club.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 6:34 pm
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The HNL staff is hit or miss. I've encountered one very good agent (I don't remember his name) and the others are nothing to really speak of. Once I had a long layover at HNL and checked into the Skyclub with no problem. I went out into the city for a while and then returned. The new agent didn't think I was 21 for some reason (DL should start testing their agents math skills) and didn't want to let me in. I asked if she'd like me to call the medallion line and get the issue resolved. She then said "oh you're right, December birthdays always throw me off". I just gave her a ... look and went on in. It sounds like your mother may have unfortunately been dealing with this same agent.

Last edited by Canarsie; Jan 17, 14 at 2:12 pm Reason: Yes, seriously — that is blocked, as it is a bypass of the profanity filter.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
Frontline folks who are tasked with both taking care of customers and protecting the company assets (not letting just anyone in) are in a rough spot.

Still, even if this smelled funny...once she was just sitting there, was it really worth the effort to throw her out.

Not much you can do at this point. You could try to talk to some higher ups at Delta, but they are probably more excited that somebody got kicked out of their precious club.
That was my thought: was it really worth the embarrassment to throw her out? They did ask for the receipt and confirmation; she left the club and out into the garden area to call me and get the information. Returning to the SC after being kicked out is embarrassing enough... Then to be denied after returning with aforementioned requested information. Rubbed me in the wrong way, extremely.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 6:55 pm
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I think the agents actions were despicable.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 7:10 pm
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Ive never bought a 1 day pass online so i could be wrong, but if they are like any other barcode I've ever seen....they usually have the numerical code under it to be punched in manually if the scanner does not work. It shouldnt really be a problem to enter the code to prove its valid.

Side question: Are the barcodes unique on all the 1 day passes? IE: Could someone in theory buy one, and keep photoshopping to change the date and re-print it over and over? My guess is thats what the agent thought but seems like a HUGE leap on their part to refuse access without any proof.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by xolinlevh View Post
Ive never bought a 1 day pass online so i could be wrong, but if they are like any other barcode I've ever seen....they usually have the numerical code under it to be punched in manually if the scanner does not work. It shouldnt really be a problem to enter the code to prove its valid.

Side question: Are the barcodes unique on all the 1 day passes? IE: Could someone in theory buy one, and keep photoshopping to change the date and re-print it over and over? My guess is thats what the agent thought but seems like a HUGE leap on their part to refuse access without any proof.
The pass had a barcode, but no numbers. The only number is the "confirmation" code, which is actually issued like a ticket, beginning with 006-. That number only showed up on the receipt page.

I think the barcodes are unique, though I could be wrong.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by xolinlevh View Post
Ive never bought a 1 day pass online so i could be wrong, but if they are like any other barcode I've ever seen....they usually have the numerical code under it to be punched in manually if the scanner does not work. It shouldnt really be a problem to enter the code to prove its valid.

Side question: Are the barcodes unique on all the 1 day passes? IE: Could someone in theory buy one, and keep photoshopping to change the date and re-print it over and over? My guess is thats what the agent thought but seems like a HUGE leap on their part to refuse access without any proof.
Could be the same reason some FAs freak out when you show them a PDF of a HOOU. I've been able to use electronic ones many times, but two weeks ago, I showed a FA my PDF HOOU and she got wide-eyed, huffed and puffed, and looked at me like I had just asked her to kill someone. She then proceeded to hold up the Y beverage service by spending 5 minutes pointing and hollering and calling over another FA and showing me her fancy little card-reader device and putting on this big show about how they can't scan electronic HOOU coupons and how "there's no way I could know if you had already used it on another flight; I mean, it's not like I'm accusing you of doing that or anything. But theoretically, what's to stop you?" I tried to just wave her off when she first declined to honor it and was in the process of putting my earphones back in when she went off on this tirade. To quote the OP, who quoted the agent, "I guess we just don't have the technology."
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Old Jan 16, 14, 10:32 pm
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Something similar happened with a pass I gave to a friend who was returning home after months of being away. It was an uphill battle but eventually got a refund
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Old Jan 16, 14, 10:55 pm
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Originally Posted by brocklee9000 View Post
Could be the same reason some FAs freak out when you show them a PDF of a HOOU. I've been able to use electronic ones many times, but two weeks ago, I showed a FA my PDF HOOU and she got wide-eyed, huffed and puffed, and looked at me like I had just asked her to kill someone. She then proceeded to hold up the Y beverage service by spending 5 minutes pointing and hollering and calling over another FA and showing me her fancy little card-reader device and putting on this big show about how they can't scan electronic HOOU coupons and how "there's no way I could know if you had already used it on another flight; I mean, it's not like I'm accusing you of doing that or anything. But theoretically, what's to stop you?" I tried to just wave her off when she first declined to honor it and was in the process of putting my earphones back in when she went off on this tirade. To quote the OP, who quoted the agent, "I guess we just don't have the technology."
In that sort of situation I just smile and say "ok, [insert FA name]" and after landing ask them to accompany me out to the gate and page a redcoat. I did this once on DCA-ATL when the flight attendant in F went on a power trip and insisted we all had to put our seats up and turn off electronic devices at initial descent. That is not required until the aircraft has descended through 10,000 ft. Always comply in the air since you technically have to follow that "obey all crew member instructions" rule. It's much better to take care of it on the ground.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
In that sort of situation I just smile and say "ok, [insert FA name]" and after landing ask them to accompany me out to the gate and page a redcoat. I did this once on DCA-ATL when the flight attendant in F went on a power trip and insisted we all had to put our seats up and turn off electronic devices at initial descent. That is not required until the aircraft has descended through 10,000 ft. Always comply in the air since you technically have to follow that "obey all crew member instructions" rule. It's much better to take care of it on the ground.
Wow, and they actually followed you out there? Way to go! ^ Not for the sake of being snarky, but at least to find official clarification. This FA went on to say things like "There's no way to scan it, the device can only read credit cards. It can scan a barcode off your phone, and there's no place to input the numeric code. When you give us a paper coupon, we collect it and give you a drink or snackbox, and blah blah blah (she went off on some tangent about their "policy" for collecting HOOU, but she went around in circles, sort of sounded like she was making it up, and at a point or two I'm pretty sure I could have pointed out places she contradicted herself; but alas, I can't remember her exact words)."

In this particular instance, I doubt I would have gone to the gate and gotten a redcoat; also, it was a domestic 763 full of passengers like myself who, after a long day of travel and dealing with crowded airports full of delayed and cancelled passengers, just wanted to get home. Now for something more substantial, like compelling an entire aircraft to stow things and return seats prematurely, that's a bit different. I'll definitely keep that in mind, if I encounter something significant in the future.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by brocklee9000 View Post
Wow, and they actually followed you out there? Way to go! ^
Yes, she willingly followed me up to the gate. Maybe she thought I was going to take her to dinner. If she had refused to follow me then at least I knew where I could tell the redcoat where they could fine her. haha
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Old Jan 16, 14, 11:56 pm
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There's only one DL lounge I've ever been in where I'd refer to the agents as "Dragons" (common UA terminology) and that is without a doubt HNL
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Old Jan 17, 14, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by Vuelos View Post
There's only one DL lounge I've ever been in where I'd refer to the agents as "Dragons" (common UA terminology) and that is without a doubt HNL
I agree... To an extent. I've been hit or miss. The agents usually are friendly, but are dragons nonetheless. In a nice way

EDIT: this was definitely a miss. Way off target.
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Old Jan 17, 14, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by brocklee9000 View Post
To quote the OP, who quoted the agent, "I guess we just don't have the technology."
DL's tagline: Delta Air Lines: I guess we just don't have the technology
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