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-   -   suggestions on what to do when traffic accident causes a missed flight? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles/1851460-suggestions-what-do-when-traffic-accident-causes-missed-flight.html)

LondonElite Jul 4, 17 11:38 am

It's just one of those things in life. It's nobody's fault and DL is obviously under no obligation to offer up free rebooking in those circumstances. Often airlines will, however, and it's nice to get an agent that can be accommodating in those circumstances. The only other suggestion is, as always, to have good travel insurance.

slidergirl Jul 4, 17 12:56 pm


Originally Posted by LondonElite (Post 28518943)
It's just one of those things in life. It's nobody's fault and DL is obviously under no obligation to offer up free rebooking in those circumstances. Often airlines will, however, and it's nice to get an agent that can be accommodating in those circumstances. The only other suggestion is, as always, to have good travel insurance.

Most people don't even think about trip insurance for a weekend trip, at least in the US...

OHDL1 Jul 4, 17 1:16 pm


Originally Posted by elevatorgeek (Post 28515485)
There is an unwritten rule called the "Flat Tire Rule" where they will usually place you on standby for the next flight out based on the circumstances.

It's actually a written rule. I'm sure that some RES or TA agents aren't aware of it...but, it does exist. Suggest they look it up internally. You need to show up at the airport or call within one hour of the flight departure. If the same booking class is available on the next flight you can SDC with fee waived. If class isn't available...standby...with priority C for the flight. After the last flight of the night...you get the first flight of the next day hopefully confirmed in your booking class or standby. (I've heard that some agents will just book you in whatever class to get you on your way....YMMV.)

Kevin AA Jul 4, 17 1:25 pm


Originally Posted by slidergirl (Post 28518909)
Not necessary information: how to talk to DL about missing a flight due to an hours-long traffic closure is pretty general and applicable to anyone, on the way to any airport. but, since you're nosey:

SLC. Only a daypack as carryon... Semi-truck crash and fire in Parleys Canyon, Interstate 80. Closed the road for over 4 hours. Traffic backed up all the way back up the canyon. No way to turn around/move. Guest departed hotel before the crash - crash happened while he was enroute. Please don't say they could have turned around or something else. I had friends who live down in SLC stuck in the same jam and couldn't get home for hours.

I'm not being nosey (that would be wanting to know what hotel you work for). I asked only because twice you mentioned the crash was in a canyon with no way to turn around, and in your initial post, you also wrote that the eastbound lanes are set higher on the hillside than the westbound lanes. Details like that with no indication of what airport, what state, not even what country, are not very helpful.

If I had to guess, I would have guessed SoCal because I know that can be a problem on I-15 over the mountain pass between Victorville and the L.A. basin. Another place where an interstate has opposing lanes of traffic at a different elevation because of terrain is I-81 in western Virginia, but that's a long way from the nearest airport with scheduled flights (ROA I suppose).

I've driven on I-80 that way, across Salt Lake City, then across the Bonneville Salt Flats and through Wendover UT/W. Wendover NV on the way to Elko NV.

Zorak Jul 4, 17 1:52 pm


Originally Posted by ashill (Post 28515986)
Gotta say, it's more helpful if posters actually skim the post instead of suggesting that the OP try what the OP said she already tried.

Sadly the same people who do this are unlikely to read your reply since they have already bestowed their wisdom on the thread :-/


Originally Posted by slidergirl (Post 28519200)
Most people don't even think about trip insurance for a weekend trip, at least in the US...

Well, then they accept the risks. Not judging, I would rarely buy it for such a trip either.

​​​​​If applicable, worth looking into whether a credit card used to book the trip provides any sort of coverage.

LondonElite Jul 4, 17 2:31 pm


Originally Posted by slidergirl (Post 28519200)
Most people don't even think about trip insurance for a weekend trip, at least in the US...

Anyone who travels a fair amount should buy annual travel insurance. My parents in law (who live in Canada) just had a doosey of an accident with hospital stays. Travel insurance is taking care of business.

ashill Jul 4, 17 2:47 pm


Originally Posted by LondonElite (Post 28519502)
Anyone who travels a fair amount should buy annual travel insurance. My parents in law (who live in Canada) just had a doosey of an accident with hospital stays. Travel insurance is taking care of business.

Well, Canadian health coverage doesn't typically cover out-of-country medical expenses, at least not at American costs. Good US health insurance, while it costs someone (either the employer or the policy holder) far more than Canadian insurance for comparable in-country coverage, does cover worldwide expenses. That's the cost that justifies annual travel insurance; covering last-minute airfare in a situation like this is small potatoes compared to an ICU stay in the US. (When I lived in Australia and in the future when I live in Canada, I had/will have annual travel insurance for that reason.) So if your health insurance doesn't cover you while traveling, travel insurance makes sense; if it does, self-insuring and hoping that you'll get on a flight sooner or later in a flat tire situation is more prudent for my travel needs and, I think, those of most Americans with good health insurance.

Personally, I have never in my life missed a flight and wished I had travel insurance, and I'm a cut-it-close traveler.

LondonElite Jul 4, 17 2:50 pm

The point was not necessarily about health care. Paying a small amount annually to take the worry out of hotel stays or misconnects or flat tires has, year after year, paid our for me. Ask my wife about the time her suitcase was delayed by three days on the way to Hawaii. Amex paid out ca $700 without much question.

VibeGuy Jul 4, 17 3:16 pm

The most important piece of advice here is to continue to the airport; barring something like it being the absolutely last flight of the day and you'll arrive after departure time or ticket counter closure. Wandering in at some point the next day is likely to result in a hearty "pack sand" for non-status travelers.

My best application of the flat-tire rule was when I watched the plane getting pushback after having to make a witness statement to the Nashville PD when a beloved 70s TV mom slapped the tar out of a hotel desk clerk in a drunken rage, then having an actual flat tire on the shuttle van to the airport.

MADPhil Jul 4, 17 3:29 pm


Originally Posted by slidergirl (Post 28517312)
I didn't think about trying to find the local DL number. I'll try to find and keep it at the desk!

I think this would be a useful thing to do. The airlines ask you to tell them asap if you will miss a flight and that, generally, a ticket will retain no value if not cancelled before the departure time. The only way to do this seems to be to call the airport, if they will give you a number.

Often1 Jul 4, 17 3:40 pm

The flat tire is now a policy, not a rule. No longer even mentioned in any way, shape or form in the COC and that is all that counts.

DL, just like most US carriers will generally rebook if it can under extenuating circumstances.

For this reason, the question regarding the airport and blocked highway was perfectly reasonable and given that OP came here for commercial advice to offer customers in the hospitality industry, her answer was unhelpful and inhospitable.

When the passenger was likely to miss his flight, the key is to call DL, advise that you won't make it and ask that a note be added to the PNR notes. Then, at the airport, address the issue.

Because it is not a fare rule for discounted tickets, this needs to be addressed at the airport. If there really was a massive blockage, DL and other carriers would have been aware of the issue and likely ready to make acommodations as passengers arrive. That is why asking OP to identify the location was a good question and the failure to answer a simple question makes this all quite suspicious.

Do not --- as the passenger's father did --- book a new ticket. Obtaining a goodwill refund will be very hard.

ashill Jul 4, 17 4:20 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 28519732)
Do not --- as the passenger's father did --- book a new ticket. Obtaining a goodwill refund will be very hard.

+1

It's always much, much harder to get money you've already, voluntarily, given to an airline back than it is to get a waiver/favor by them putting you standby on an airplane you aren't technically allowed on by the fare rules; their marginal cost for flying you standby is very small, whereas giving you cash they don't actually owe you by the rules is real money out of their pocket.

slidergirl Jul 5, 17 1:05 am


Originally Posted by Kevin AA (Post 28519290)
I'm not being nosey (that would be wanting to know what hotel you work for). I asked only because twice you mentioned the crash was in a canyon with no way to turn around, and in your initial post, you also wrote that the eastbound lanes are set higher on the hillside than the westbound lanes. Details like that with no indication of what airport, what state, not even what country, are not very helpful.

If I had to guess, I would have guessed SoCal because I know that can be a problem on I-15 over the mountain pass between Victorville and the L.A. basin. Another place where an interstate has opposing lanes of traffic at a different elevation because of terrain is I-81 in western Virginia, but that's a long way from the nearest airport with scheduled flights (ROA I suppose).

I've driven on I-80 that way, across Salt Lake City, then across the Bonneville Salt Flats and through Wendover UT/W. Wendover NV on the way to Elko NV.

I'm wondering why you thought to know what airport, state, etc., was relevant. I was asking what to do in a situation like what my guest had. It would have been anywhere. That's why I found it curious that you needed to know. I was hoping that, by giving what happened to my guest, it could be used for the common good of all FTers, not just a very specific occasion on a specific stretch of road going to a specific airport...

BTW, I-80 from SLC to Wendover is NOTHING like the stretch of I-80 from SLC to Evanston, WY. The accident had the semi totally stretched across all lanes, on fire. With our hot and dry temps right now, they did not want to risk fire igniting the land between the e/w lanes. The driver died in the fire.

kettle1 Jul 5, 17 1:47 am

Where is it stated in the CoC that DL currently has a "flat tire rule"? That has been gone for years. You can always look for a friendly DL agent to waive the rules, but that is the luck of the draw, not the rules. If you want protection, buy trip insurance.

Jeff767 Jul 5, 17 7:43 am

Delta will always reaccomodate a passenger in the situation posted. You need to go to the airport. I am not sure why the son did not call res himself. Having a third party call introduces issues even if it's the dad unless he was flying as a minor. With I80 closed for 4 hours the staff at the airport would be very aware of the situation.


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