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What is going on with Delta? - Employees mad at management?

What is going on with Delta? - Employees mad at management?

Old Aug 16, 18, 4:18 pm
  #1  
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What is going on with Delta? - Employees mad at management?

A few years ago I switched from American to Delta because of terrible customer service at American. And Delta while not perfect has been much much better.

Then about 2 months ago, the downhill slide started.

1. Ticket agents at my home airport SMF just didn't care. They would let premium passengers stack up in the premium line while clearing coach fliers.

2. After complaining about the ticket agent behavior I discovered my my precheck number disappeared from my profile. Thinking it was something the gate agent did in retaliation.

3. Today got on with miles purchased first class tickets with my wife and I sitting side by side, except when I hit the boarding door they handed me a new seat assignment moving me back a row. It turned out they did this to accommodate another group of 3 who wanted to sit three across.

Two questions:
1. Anyone else experiencing similar problems?
2. Can a gate agent remove a precheck number?
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Old Aug 16, 18, 4:29 pm
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It is a known issue that Pre-check numbers can mysteriously be deleted from a delta.com profile. I would just re-enter it.
I wouldn't think that anyone would change your seat during boarding. They would just let people work it out on board. Could
have been a SM? If so, they wouldn't opening admit it. SM's seem to like 2B. Was that your original seat?
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Old Aug 16, 18, 4:36 pm
  #3  
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Curiously it was 2B. What is SM?
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Old Aug 16, 18, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Steve Moran View Post
Curiously it was 2B. What is SM?
SM = Steve Moran.

Or I'm guessing "sky marshall" aka Federal Air Marshall (FAM).
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Old Aug 16, 18, 5:22 pm
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This past week I overheard a significant number of complaints by FAs ranging from the ridiculous gate situation in SEA to non-catering flights out of SLC. On a different flight, while I was waiting for the lav, I was talking to the FAs in the galley. Unprompted, one of the FAs asked me and the pax exiting the lav if we noticed a change in DL. She asked me to write in to DL, because they listen to customers, not employees. Having endured the wrath of US employees when they were upset with management, this is too rapid and significant a change to be explained by incompetence - they are absolutely upset with management. Given the body language, employees seem burned out. I am sure they have heard a lot of complaints from customers and are getting fed up with it.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by The Situation View Post
This past week I overheard a significant number of complaints by FAs ranging from the ridiculous gate situation in SEA to non-catering flights out of SLC. On a different flight, while I was waiting for the lav, I was talking to the FAs in the galley. Unprompted, one of the FAs asked me and the pax exiting the lav if we noticed a change in DL. She asked me to write in to DL, because they listen to customers, not employees. Having endured the wrath of US employees when they were upset with management, this is too rapid and significant a change to be explained by incompetence - they are absolutely upset with management. Given the body language, employees seem burned out. I am sure they have heard a lot of complaints from customers and are getting fed up with it.
These two issues - the SLC catering disaster and the SEA overcrowding - have both come to a head this summer. I've felt the pain acutely on both, and I imagine it has to be bleeding over into the employee experience.

In SEA a week ago, I watched my flight get delayed by 2 hours (!!!) waiting for a gate even after the aircraft had landed, causing me to have to get rebooked onto American because of a missed connection. I also imagine a lot of rebookings happen for folks stuck in the security zoo that can take an hour or more to clear these days without any special program memberships: I actually witnessed people paying to sign up for CLEAR just so they could not miss their flight. That has to take its toll on the ground staff.

And for all of my flights that have touched SLC, the catering mess has been terrible. Drink carts are barren, I've had flight attendants say they can't serve PDBs because the catering hasn't arrived yet, and the food that does make it onboard is some of the most grim cuisine I've seen this side of Kitchen Nightmares. (The turkey sandwich onboard regional flights ex-SLC is one step removed from Fyre Festival catering. In the wrong direction.)

I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say that there's a national problem with labor relations (and certainly not based on the relatively minor complaints OP has that are more just everyday customer service issues). But I do think that in the West region, there are some major operational problems right now. Once the summer travel season is over, Delta needs to regroup and get a plan together to fix both before the holidays hit and another meltdown occurs...
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Old Aug 16, 18, 9:39 pm
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Delta is still much better than AA and UA. I fly all 3 and it is no comparison.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by The Situation View Post
Given the body language, employees seem burned out.
Peak travel season in the summer and having to work longer hours than typical due to crew/staff scheduling issues perhaps? That would be normal for summer-time travel during good times, as is the case this year esp.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 11:21 pm
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Originally Posted by The Situation View Post
they are absolutely upset with management. Given the body language, employees seem burned out. I am sure they have heard a lot of complaints from customers and are getting fed up with it.
Perhaps all the really bad weather in the country has had something to do with this; five of my last six trips on Delta have been disrupted by "convective weather", as Delta management has called it, including two unplanned overnights at a hub airport after misconnecting to the last flight of the night. Last Thursday night in ATL was an absolute war zone.

Much of the warmth and graciousness that I have experienced on Delta over the past 35 years has gone away (and I'm not talking about the mechanical and emotionless "thank you for being a diamond"). The sad part about it is that it has not gone to another airline. The body language on my LAX-ATL flight in F on a 767-300 told it all; none of the FAs that flew with us seemed like they wanted to be there. The food was garbage; at least the Woodford tasted like usual.

I'm going to end up with north of 140k MQMs this year, but not make DM; I'd then only need 10k MQMs in 2019 to make PM for 2020. I'm really considering for 2019 flying on the cheapest flights with the fewest stops among the "big six" airlines (even including United and jetBlue, which I really detest), and buy FCM tickets on Delta where they make sense.

------
I think back on all the great trips and incredible experiences as a Delta flyer, and I really don't want to leave. It will never be as good on anyone else. Hopefully the weather gets better as the summer tourist season ends and we get back to some sense of normality this fall.
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Last edited by ND76; Aug 16, 18 at 11:37 pm Reason: Further Thoughts
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Old Aug 17, 18, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by nachosdelux View Post
Delta is still much better than AA and UA. I fly all 3 and it is no comparison.
That's really not a high bar for comparison.....
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Old Aug 17, 18, 7:57 am
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I would agree that things seem to be heading in the wrong direction. I've had more delays in the past month than I had in the entire first six years of me flying Delta. And I'm finding fewer and fewer great FAs. I'll make PM for the first time this year and depending on a trip to China come closeish to DM. So maybe I'm just flying more, but it sure doesn't seem like that's the case.

The operation seems to be degrading and the employees seem burned out. Delta better do something quick, if it wants to maintain its "domestic revenue premium" that it's so proud of.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
That's really not a high bar for comparison.....
Perhaps, but AA/UA are absolutely DL's most direct competition. So...it's at least appropriate to compare the three.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 8:54 am
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It seems to me that a similar post or two pop up roughly around this time during the last bit of summer. As always, it's the busiest stretch of travel. Couple that with the fact that the weather this summer has been abysmal, especially in the northeast corridor, and the fact that all airlines are posting record passenger numbers, can strain even the most gracious of agents.

As for your KTN disappearing, it's been a well known IT issue (surprise?), almost everyone I know has had their KTN disappear from their DL account. And it's an easy fix.

And agents aren't going to acknowledge a FAM, let alone tell joe traveler about one. So, it's a good possibility you were moved for one and that was what they told you (about the family of three).

My gut tells me that in the next couple of weeks, things will be back to normal and everyone will be much happier when the droves of once-a-year fliers stop traveling.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 9:18 am
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On the Airline Pilot Central forum there is talk of Ed jumping ship to work for the DOT. DL could possibly be getting a new CEO soon. Take it with a grain of salt.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
Perhaps, but AA/UA are absolutely DL's most direct competition. So...it's at least appropriate to compare the three.
Sounds more like a race to the bottom, to me. Why slip-up now and let AA/UA back into the game?

On a side-note, I had always assumed that DL was the largest, most profitable (by dollars) domestic airline. I was surprised to learn that AA is actually considerably larger than DL -- I presume as a result of the US Air merger?
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