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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)

Readynow Jul 5, 17 8:17 am

FYI....here is a link to local news.

reportshttp://fox13now.com/2017/07/02/westb...-burning-semi/

Pharaoh Jul 5, 17 8:18 am


Originally Posted by kettle1 (Post 28521028)
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.

It may not be a part of the passenger contract (CoC) but OHDL1 implied it's in some sort of procedure manual:

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. ...

makeUturn Jul 5, 17 10:02 am


Originally Posted by VibeGuy (Post 28519655)
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.

Seems there should be another rule for that situation. I suspect I know which TV mom that was. Was she in town hosting a TV cooking show?

Ledfish Jul 5, 17 10:13 am


Originally Posted by Jeff767 (Post 28521821)
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.

Yep, they probably dealt with quite a few people that encountered exactly the same because of this accident.

slidergirl Jul 5, 17 1:20 pm


Originally Posted by Jeff767 (Post 28521821)
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.

The dad and the son were trying. Son had his cell - it had spotty service and the battery was an issue. They were just trying every way possible to get assistance.

btonkid12345 Jul 5, 17 1:22 pm


Originally Posted by Ledfish (Post 28522464)
Yep, they probably dealt with quite a few people that encountered exactly the same because of this accident.

OP - this is exactly why you should always go to the airport - local agents have the local knowledge. But you are asking them nicely for help - you should never demand anything from them when it is not their fault that the passenger is late.

For a similar situation in the future: call in before departure and inform them of the delay. Specifically ask the agent to leave a note in the record of the issue, so the airport can verify you called before departure.

Never ever buy a new ticket. It will be impossible to refund the old one. Nicely work with them, and they will usually find a way to make the existing reservation work.

The son you refer to probably could have flown out that night. Many others may have been late for flights or not shown up (like he did), and they could have cleared him onto one of these flights that same night at the gate, off the standby list. Again, airport agents can scan flights for misconnects or availability and work with the passenger.

Finally, forget the idea of getting a local number to call. They won't give it out (I've gotten the LAX number once because of a serious DL issue that was their fault - and after that 1 call, they told me to forget the number and never call it again LOL). There is a reason all phone traffic is diverted to reservations - the airport agents are there to help passengers at the airport. It wouldn't even make sense for them to rebook you over the phone, even if you had the local number, because they won't know what flights you can actually make until the passenger physically presents themselves at the airport!

slidergirl Jul 5, 17 9:25 pm


Originally Posted by btonkid12345 (Post 28523336)
OP - this is exactly why you should always go to the airport - local agents have the local knowledge. But you are asking them nicely for help - you should never demand anything from them when it is not their fault that the passenger is late.

For a similar situation in the future: call in before departure and inform them of the delay. Specifically ask the agent to leave a note in the record of the issue, so the airport can verify you called before departure.

Never ever buy a new ticket. It will be impossible to refund the old one. Nicely work with them, and they will usually find a way to make the existing reservation work.

The son you refer to probably could have flown out that night. Many others may have been late for flights or not shown up (like he did), and they could have cleared him onto one of these flights that same night at the gate, off the standby list. Again, airport agents can scan flights for misconnects or availability and work with the passenger.

Finally, forget the idea of getting a local number to call. They won't give it out (I've gotten the LAX number once because of a serious DL issue that was their fault - and after that 1 call, they told me to forget the number and never call it again LOL). There is a reason all phone traffic is diverted to reservations - the airport agents are there to help passengers at the airport. It wouldn't even make sense for them to rebook you over the phone, even if you had the local number, because they won't know what flights you can actually make until the passenger physically presents themselves at the airport!

Sorry, but badly wrong here. Son could not have flown out that night - no other flights to his destination. He did call as soon as he had cell service when he was stuck. He also called his dad to let him know what was happening. No reason to get to the airport when they would have gotten there after the last flight to anywhere that night. Airports do shut down, you know... After getting numerous replies that they were out of luck (except for the dropped call), they felt they had no recourse. How do you know they were not nice and polite when speaking to the phone agents. So, please don't lecture me about this. What started as a nice request for what they could do has degraded into another nasty thread. To those that actually offered good info, thank you.

Oh, another tanker accident late this afternoon at almost the same spot. Traffic backed up again.

Moderator: as no one is offering anything substantive anymore, feel free to shut down this one...

Kevin AA Jul 6, 17 1:08 am


Originally Posted by slidergirl (Post 28524877)
Sorry, but badly wrong here. Son could not have flown out that night - no other flights to his destination. He did call as soon as he had cell service when he was stuck. He also called his dad to let him know what was happening. No reason to get to the airport when they would have gotten there after the last flight to anywhere that night. Airports do shut down, you know... After getting numerous replies that they were out of luck (except for the dropped call), they felt they had no recourse. How do you know they were not nice and polite when speaking to the phone agents. So, please don't lecture me about this. What started as a nice request for what they could do has degraded into another nasty thread. To those that actually offered good info, thank you.

Oh, another tanker accident late this afternoon at almost the same spot. Traffic backed up again.

Moderator: as no one is offering anything substantive anymore, feel free to shut down this one...

If you already know the answer, then why did you ask the question in the first place?

We are trying to be helpful here and you are the one being rude.

The correct answer is to go to the airport anyway and call if possible at the same time, but nevertheless, still go to the airport. The only way to know that there are no employees at the ticket counter is to go to the ticket counter. It cannot be done over the phone.

It's quite possible that a crew member for that same flight was also stuck in the westbound I-80 traffic stoppage, in which case the Delta flight might still be sitting there at the airport, delayed. There's no point in giving up and going back to the hotel and missing your flight if you can still make it or at least find an employee at the airport when you get there. SLC is a Delta hub and shuts down later than most other airports that Delta flies to. Calling is helpful, obviously, but don't assume that you're going to miss the flight. The flight can be delayed for some other reason and then you could still make it.

VibeGuy Jul 6, 17 1:51 am


Originally Posted by makeUturn (Post 28522424)
Seems there should be another rule for that situation. I suspect I know which TV mom that was. Was she in town hosting a TV cooking show?

1) Flat tire meets overinflated ego rule.

2) Yes

exwannabe Jul 6, 17 2:52 am

There is another reason for showing up, it provides credence to the bona fide nature of the issue.

DL does not want to give free changes whenever somebody simply calls in and asks.

Getting one's ... to the airport is the only sound advice

Curious why OP is so vehement against it based on the exact details of this event. She is asking for advice on general future events.

PayItForward Jul 6, 17 3:26 am

For those who recommended travel insurance which I also subscribe to and have annual travel policies, I am not too sure if this type of situation is claimable. For perspective, I am currently based in asia (Sin) and the insurance policies I have access to only covers missed flight situations when it is due to delayed connecting flight. My understanding is that failure to arrive on time at the airport by the passenger is a grey area at best. Were I the affected pax, I will try to reach the airport the same day if not early next day and check with the agents on site. Similarly, if a new ticket has to be bought, will try to submit an insurance claim (if purchased) citing the situation as beyond reasonable expectations.

As for OP, I admire your intentions to go the extra mile for your customers but airline rules are frequently a YMMV situation and constantly changing so planning to assist based on advice gathered today for Delta for a situation a few months in the future for xx airline may not actually be helpful and could even end up costing the very people you are trying to help. The only thing constant remains calling / turning up in person and hope for the best.

ashill Jul 6, 17 5:15 am


Originally Posted by slidergirl (Post 28524877)
No reason to get to the airport when they would have gotten there after the last flight to anywhere that night. Airports do shut down, you know... [...] What started as a nice request for what they could do has degraded into another nasty thread. To those that actually offered good info, thank you.

The consistent piece of advice you've gotten is to tell people to get to the airport ASAP, even if it's after the last flight of the day, both because airport agents can do things that phone agents can't and because it makes the claim that it really is a flat tire situation more believable. The sad fact is that (partly because of airlines' inflexible policies) passengers try to get away with things all the time, and allowing passengers to claim "flat tire" without going to the airport at all invited abuse.

Also, you were reluctant to tell us where you are, but the airport is very relevant here. Yes, airports shut down, but a passenger is pretty likely to be able to find someone to help them when they finally do get to the airport, even after the last flight to their destination, when the airport is SLC. Much less so if it's a tiny outstation (say, St. George).

DiamondInTheRough Jul 6, 17 6:30 am


Originally Posted by slidergirl (Post 28524877)
Sorry, but badly wrong here. Son could not have flown out that night - no other flights to his destination. He did call as soon as he had cell service when he was stuck. He also called his dad to let him know what was happening. No reason to get to the airport when they would have gotten there after the last flight to anywhere that night. Airports do shut down, you know... After getting numerous replies that they were out of luck (except for the dropped call), they felt they had no recourse. How do you know they were not nice and polite when speaking to the phone agents. So, please don't lecture me about this. What started as a nice request for what they could do has degraded into another nasty thread. To those that actually offered good info, thank you.

Oh, another tanker accident late this afternoon at almost the same spot. Traffic backed up again.

Moderator: as no one is offering anything substantive anymore, feel free to shut down this one...

As explained in this thread over and over again, the point of going to airport was to be put on a standby list (or be confirmed) on the next available flight free of charge. It did not have to be the same day flight.

Because the young man failed to do so, his dad ended up buying completely new ticket. This expense could have been avoided.

MSPeconomist Jul 6, 17 6:47 am


Originally Posted by PayItForward (Post 28525603)
For those who recommended travel insurance which I also subscribe to and have annual travel policies, I am not too sure if this type of situation is claimable. For perspective, I am currently based in asia (Sin) and the insurance policies I have access to only covers missed flight situations when it is due to delayed connecting flight. My understanding is that failure to arrive on time at the airport by the passenger is a grey area at best. Were I the affected pax, I will try to reach the airport the same day if not early next day and check with the agents on site. Similarly, if a new ticket has to be bought, will try to submit an insurance claim (if purchased) citing the situation as beyond reasonable expectations.

As for OP, I admire your intentions to go the extra mile for your customers but airline rules are frequently a YMMV situation and constantly changing so planning to assist based on advice gathered today for Delta for a situation a few months in the future for xx airline may not actually be helpful and could even end up costing the very people you are trying to help. The only thing constant remains calling / turning up in person and hope for the best.

I suspect that the insurance policies available to you depend on your residence.

Some of the AMEX travel insurance policies offered in the past included coverage on travel to/from the airport if you were using public transportation but not private. IIRC public was defined as a common carrier which would include taxis and licensed car services but probably not Uber/Lyft. I suspect that returning a rental car to the airport would be considered private too, like driving your own car or getting a ride from a friend.

Showing up at the airport proves that one is indeed ready and willing to travel that day, as planned. Even showing up and finding the counter closed and then calling to say that this has happened is likely to be better than just trying to call or appear the next day.

Often1 Jul 6, 17 7:13 am

While this thread is pointless as to OP. No matter how many times people who deal with issues such as this routinely, make it clear that the first three things to do are:
1. Go to the airport
2. Go to the airport AND
3. Go to the airport

she pushes back. If OP were the passenger, I would simply let it go. It's OP's money. But, OP is somewhere in the hospitality business and there is nothing worse than providing misleading advice.

In many instances, it may be that you are certain that you've missed the last flight, when it turns out that delays don't mean that. It's possible that a carrier would hold an aircraft if there were massive disruption (or it might not). These things don't always translate into instant status updates and you won't find out about them until you get to the airport and perhaps learn that there is a flight when you thought that there was not.

There are others who come to FT and search for advice, so it is worth the discussion even if OP doesn't care to listen.

At a broader level, travel insurance is always a good idea. But, there is no single product and there are products which cover things you may not care about, e.g. checked luggage when you travel with carry-on only, and comprehensive products with exclusions making it worthless.

What is available to you and at what cost is dependent on many factors, including your residence. But, reading the policy language matters. Forget the marketing hype. What matters are the words of the policy.


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