Delta Service Rant

Old Nov 30, 15, 9:49 pm
  #1  
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Delta Service Rant

I sent this to the DL complaint line, but felt compelled to share it with our FlyerTalk community.

> Starting with flight 1401 in SEA. As is now customary, Delta GAs did not clear FC upgrades until after announcing premium boarding. I'm not sure how this is acceptable, but it happens with regular frequency lately.

> The FA on the first flight was nice, but didn't manage to check on the first class passengers for over an hour. No water, nothing.

> As the computer predicted two hours before our flight even departed SEA, we land around 9:28p in DTW. DL1398 departs at 9:43p. We finally arrive at the gate and the door is open around 9:37 or 9:38. There's a Porsche on the tarmac and a greeter inside the jet bridge but she isn't waiting to help me.

> I briskly proceed from A4 to A23. They've already closed the door. Apparently enough of us arrive that they feel compelled to open it again (perhaps some quick which way will cost more calculations - there is no connection in DCA at 11p, so it seems silly not to delay the plane another 5 minutes for the sake of 5 to 10 passengers). They've given away my seat in 1D to a FA (I assume deadheading) but somehow manage to get it back (I tell her it's my seat once I board). Gate agents put a bag tag on my bag because they say all the bins are full. I even asked the FAs as I board and they say the same thing so I leave it in the jet bridge. After grabbing a two items from my laptop bag, I go to stow it as I'm in the first row. I check the bins and there's plenty of room to fit not only my laptop bag but also my roll aboard and other bags as well. To my dismay someone already took my bag to the belly of the plane.

DL knew our plane was coming in late and that there were several passengers who could make the flight with a minimum delay (most or all actually arrived at the departure gate before scheduled departure time). FAs blatantly lied to my face about space in the overhead bins or were just clueless. Perhaps both.

Delta you should be ashamed. All of this is unacceptable. Having experienced many flight delays intentionally waiting for other pax with all doors open, you have gone above and beyond to infuriate your "best" customers who pay the $15,000 minimum in tickets every year and fly relentlessly around the world.
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Old Nov 30, 15, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
I sent this to the DL complaint line, but felt compelled to share it with our FlyerTalk community.

> Starting with flight 1401 in SEA. As is now customary, Delta GAs did not clear FC upgrades until after announcing premium boarding. I'm not sure how this is acceptable, but it happens with regular frequency lately.

> The FA on the first flight was nice, but didn't manage to check on the first class passengers for over an hour. No water, nothing.

> As the computer predicted two hours before our flight even departed SEA, we land around 9:28p in DTW. DL1398 departs at 9:43p. We finally arrive at the gate and the door is open around 9:37 or 9:38. There's a Porsche on the tarmac and a greeter inside the jet bridge but she isn't waiting to help me.

> I briskly proceed from A4 to A23. They've already closed the door. Apparently enough of us arrive that they feel compelled to open it again (perhaps some quick which way will cost more calculations - there is no connection in DCA at 11p, so it seems silly not to delay the plane another 5 minutes for the sake of 5 to 10 passengers). They've given away my seat in 1D to a FA (I assume deadheading) but somehow manage to get it back (I tell her it's my seat once I board). Gate agents put a bag tag on my bag because they say all the bins are full. I even asked the FAs as I board and they say the same thing so I leave it in the jet bridge. After grabbing a two items from my laptop bag, I go to stow it as I'm in the first row. I check the bins and there's plenty of room to fit not only my laptop bag but also my roll aboard and other bags as well. To my dismay someone already took my bag to the belly of the plane.

DL knew our plane was coming in late and that there were several passengers who could make the flight with a minimum delay (most or all actually arrived at the departure gate before scheduled departure time). FAs blatantly lied to my face about space in the overhead bins or were just clueless. Perhaps both.

Delta you should be ashamed. All of this is unacceptable. Having experienced many flight delays intentionally waiting for other pax with all doors open, you have gone above and beyond to infuriate your "best" customers who pay the $15,000 minimum in tickets every year and fly relentlessly around the world.
Why ask if there is space. You are in FC!!! Space is reserved for you. If the bins are full, it's the FAs problem, not yours. You have to know how to receive service--don't ask, demand. FAs know ppl who should receive good service, it's those who demand it, not those who meekly ask for accommodation even though they are booked into FC.

You did pay for this FC ticket right?
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Old Nov 30, 15, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by ATLawyer View Post
Why ask if there is space. You are in FC!!! Space is reserved for you. If the bins are full, it's the FAs problem, not yours.
Some DTW gate agents are terrible in this respect. Last year I had a close connection at DTW and was the last one to board, my carry-on bag was tagged in spite of my protesting, when I got on I saw that there was plenty of overhead space, I put my luggage in there, the GA followed me to close out the flight, the GA and FA conferred, the FA took out my carry-on "because it was tagged" and it had to travel in the hold. I complained to Delta about this absolutely Kafkaesque charade that delayed the plane by another 10 minutes, and they threw miles at me with an apology.
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Old Nov 30, 15, 11:12 pm
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Yeah, I've had almost the same thing happen--certainly the boarding PREM before clearing UGs. Last week on DL1240 SEA-ATL the front lav was broken and FA made a HUGE deal about using the rear lav (739) and that no one could be in the aisle to attempt to use the lavs while carts were in the aisle. She made this announcement 3x. Also, no PDB (because of the lav) and was at least 45 min in the air before service.
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Old Nov 30, 15, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by PHXflier View Post
the FA took out my carry-on "because it was tagged" and it had to travel in the hold.
I boarded an RJ a coupl'a years ago with a pink tagged bag. The FA saw the tag, and told me it had to be checked. I told her that the GA specifically moved me to a seat with an open seat next to me, so I could put it under the seat. She RAISED HER VOICE to me, and said, that, if it had a pink tag on it - - IT HAD TO BE CHECKED!!!

I simply, stepped back onto the jetway - - yanked off the pink tag - - and boarded the flight. She didn't say A WORD!!!

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Old Nov 30, 15, 11:27 pm
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Unfortunate you had a bad experience.

On clearing upgrades after F starts boarding... Mainline domestic flights begin boarding F at D-35. GAs are 'supposed to' wait until D-35 to clear gate upgrades and standby customers.

Upgrades and standby customers cleared before D-35 (F boarding time) is technically a courtesy. Would you rather they clear upgrades 1 hour before departure, and if you're a medallion who checks in within an hour, then no upgrade for you?
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Old Nov 30, 15, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Widgets View Post
Mainline domestic flights begin boarding F at D-35.
I thought the larger planes started boarding at D-40.
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Old Nov 30, 15, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by PHXflier View Post
Some DTW gate agents are terrible in this respect. Last year I had a close connection at DTW and was the last one to board, my carry-on bag was tagged in spite of my protesting, when I got on I saw that there was plenty of overhead space, I put my luggage in there, the GA followed me to close out the flight, the GA and FA conferred, the FA took out my carry-on "because it was tagged" and it had to travel in the hold. I complained to Delta about this absolutely Kafkaesque charade that delayed the plane by another 10 minutes, and they threw miles at me with an apology.
Why didn't you just rip the tag off? I doubt the GA would have gone through the trouble of printing another tag at that point (although I guess they could have taken it and done something more malicious like mis-tag it or leave it on th jetway or worse, call the police on you).
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Old Nov 30, 15, 11:43 pm
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
I thought the larger planes started boarding at D-40.
A330, 747, 777 board D-45 (domestic)

MD88/90, A319/320, 737, 757, 767, Compass E170/175 board D-35

CRJ700/900 and all Delta Connection JFK departures board D-30

CRJ200, E145, and Shuttle E170/175 board D-25

Boarding can start earlier with FA approval. Their approval usually depends on how lazy/union-loving they are
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Old Dec 1, 15, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
Why didn't you just rip the tag off? I doubt the GA would have gone through the trouble of printing another tag at that point (although I guess they could have taken it and done something more malicious like mis-tag it or leave it on th jetway or worse, call the police on you).
To be honest I did not think for a moment that they would have the audacity of taking the bag out of the overhead and off the plane. However, in this kind of cases I have learned to not argue too much and to rather note down the (first) names on their uniforms and to inform Delta of unfortunate incidents that were very customer-unfriendly. I do not know whether there are any consequences for one-time missteps, but I suppose that negative comments from multiple sides will have an effect.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 9:12 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Miniflyer View Post
... Last week on DL1240 SEA-ATL the front lav was broken and FA made a HUGE deal about using the rear lav (739) and that no one could be in the aisle to attempt to use the lavs while carts were in the aisle. She made this announcement 3x. Also, no PDB (because of the lav) and was at least 45 min in the air before service.
similar scenario on the redeye 739 back in July, although the problem with the lav appeared midway through boarding ... the captain and the lead FA canvassed the F pax about "Would you rather wait 2 hours for maintenance or use the lavs in the back?" and got 20 of 20 saying "Let's get out of here"
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Old Dec 1, 15, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
I sent this to the DL complaint line, but felt compelled to share it with our FlyerTalk community.

> Starting with flight 1401 in SEA. As is now customary, Delta GAs did not clear FC upgrades until after announcing premium boarding. I'm not sure how this is acceptable, but it happens with regular frequency lately.

> The FA on the first flight was nice, but didn't manage to check on the first class passengers for over an hour. No water, nothing.

> As the computer predicted two hours before our flight even departed SEA, we land around 9:28p in DTW. DL1398 departs at 9:43p. We finally arrive at the gate and the door is open around 9:37 or 9:38. There's a Porsche on the tarmac and a greeter inside the jet bridge but she isn't waiting to help me.

> I briskly proceed from A4 to A23. They've already closed the door. Apparently enough of us arrive that they feel compelled to open it again (perhaps some quick which way will cost more calculations - there is no connection in DCA at 11p, so it seems silly not to delay the plane another 5 minutes for the sake of 5 to 10 passengers). They've given away my seat in 1D to a FA (I assume deadheading) but somehow manage to get it back (I tell her it's my seat once I board). Gate agents put a bag tag on my bag because they say all the bins are full. I even asked the FAs as I board and they say the same thing so I leave it in the jet bridge. After grabbing a two items from my laptop bag, I go to stow it as I'm in the first row. I check the bins and there's plenty of room to fit not only my laptop bag but also my roll aboard and other bags as well. To my dismay someone already took my bag to the belly of the plane.

DL knew our plane was coming in late and that there were several passengers who could make the flight with a minimum delay (most or all actually arrived at the departure gate before scheduled departure time). FAs blatantly lied to my face about space in the overhead bins or were just clueless. Perhaps both.

Delta you should be ashamed. All of this is unacceptable. Having experienced many flight delays intentionally waiting for other pax with all doors open, you have gone above and beyond to infuriate your "best" customers who pay the $15,000 minimum in tickets every year and fly relentlessly around the world.
This post comes off as a little entitled. The only actual issues I see are the pink tag frustration and the slow service in first class, and those are relatively minor (the pink tag complaint especially, considering the fact that the boarding door had been reopened and the flight was already delayed). Going in order:

1) WFBF. With the reserved overhead space in first class, I'm a little bit perplexed as to why being able to board in PREM is so important to you, but if it is that important, then feel free to buy first class tickets going forward, and you won't have to wait for the upgrade to clear.

2) If true, then a valid complaint. FAs should be more attentive. I fly up front all the time and have never run into a FA who was that inattentive, but it's certainly possible that it could happen, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

3) The Porsche is a rare specialty perk, not something to be relied on to make tight connections. For all you know, there could have been someone of much higher status than you trying to make an equally tight connection, and the Porsche was for him/her.

4) I know that .... happens sometimes, but it's the nature of the beast with air travel. I'm actually surprised they re-opened the boarding door for 5-10 passengers, as that delayed a lot more than ten passengers, albeit only by a little.

5) Of course they sat someone else up front. They had closed the boarding door. Once they reopened, you got your seat back, so I'm confused as to why you're complaining about this. That's also why the bins were closed.

6) The FAs were probably unaware that you were sitting in first class, so they didn't know you had reserved space. Also, on the whole, the amount of delay time incurred by having to check bags after passengers search all over for overhead bins far outweighs the inconvenience of occasionally having passengers check a bag that they could have carried on, so I don't really have an issue with the FAs failing on the side of being overly cautious, especially in this special case where they had already delayed the flight to meet the needs of you and a handful of other passengers.

7) $15k yearly spend does not make you one of their "best" customers. $15k is a meaningless blip on the DL accounting radar. A rounding error, if you will.

8) And this is really the most important point, none of this experience is something you wouldn't run into on any other airline in the world. Running an airline is difficult. Nothing in this entire experience you've relayed is "unacceptable." The fact that DL got you and your bag to your final destination despite a delay is more than you could say for most airlines. Good luck in your quest for a utopian air travel experience though. Do come back and comment on this thread if you find it anywhere.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by Seattlite View Post
> As the computer predicted two hours before our flight even departed SEA, we land around 9:28p in DTW. DL1398 departs at 9:43p. We finally arrive at the gate and the door is open around 9:37 or 9:38. There's a Porsche on the tarmac and a greeter inside the jet bridge but she isn't waiting to help me.

Having experienced many flight delays intentionally waiting for other pax with all doors open, you have gone above and beyond to infuriate your "best" customers who pay the $15,000 minimum in tickets every year and fly relentlessly around the world.
I had over $30K spend the last few years and no one is picking me up in a Porsche.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by BOSTransplant View Post
... $15k yearly spend does not make you one of their "best" customers. $15k is a meaningless blip on the DL accounting radar. A rounding error, if you will. ...
apparently $30k is as well ...
Originally Posted by dilbertsdaddy View Post
I had over $30K spend the last few years and no one is picking me up in a Porsche.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by BOSTransplant View Post
This post comes off as a little entitled. The only actual issues I see are the pink tag frustration and the slow service in first class, and those are relatively minor.
+1. I reread the OP a few times to find the "unacceptable" actions that would make DL "ashamed". Were there some elements that were annoying? Absolutely. But overall this came down to slow service and an issue that arose due to a late inbound flight.
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