Gate agent rebooked me without asking

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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by SamOF View Post
As I read the rules, Delta would still need to report this to the DOT as an IDB, which it was—just one where the compensation due is $0. I get the sense they are fairly desperately trying to avoid reporting IDB.

Moreover, Delta appeared to violate its conditions of carriage, which require it to seek volunteers before denying anyone boarding—see Rule 20(B). I could also make an argument that Rule 20(C) requires them to IDB folks in a specific order, and cheapest to pay compensation to is not part fo that order.
Not sure this can be called IDB. The contract was to get the passenger from city A to city B. They did it. No denied boarding took place. The agent was working through issues and handled it well.

( I agree... the agent should have asked first)
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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
Not sure this can be called IDB. The contract was to get the passenger from city A to city B. They did it. No denied boarding took place. The agent was working through issues and handled it well.

( I agree... the agent should have asked first)
I think that SamOF may be right. They were denied boarding (they were in an oversold situation and were not allowed to fly that flight) on day of departure when OP presented himself to the gate on time. They are not entitled to compensation because the carrier found alternative arrangements that fit the exception carveout rules, but it is still technically an IDB - just one with IDB.

I guarantee you that Delta is not reporting it as such though. They have a long record of massaging data reported to the DoT (such as changing flight numbers and times to avoid appearing on the "chronically late" route list).
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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:37 pm
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Hate to doublepost, but Delta is definitely not reporting these as IDB despite the obligation to do so if the flights were indeed oversold.

IDB statistics - somewhat out of date, but between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, Delta reported precisely one passenger that was IDB but did not qualify for compensation due to getting there within 1 hour of originally scheduled arrival time. Unless Delta started doing this practice only in the past year, the number of corroborating stories on this thread implies that it is endemic.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Hate to doublepost, but Delta is definitely not reporting these as IDB despite the obligation to do so if the flights were indeed oversold.

IDB statistics - somewhat out of date, but between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, Delta reported precisely one passenger that was IDB but did not qualify for compensation due to getting there within 1 hour of originally scheduled arrival time. Unless Delta started doing this practice only in the past year, the number of corroborating stories on this thread implies that it is endemic.
Oversold flights are totally acceptable. Not boarding passengers is another story.

This passenger made his flight, even though it was a different one, and in 99% of the cases, a preferred one. There was no IDB - or least for this passenger. In fact, it is possible they ended up with empty seats. We do not know.

Same thing if oversold, but the passenger coming in on a connection never gets to the gate ontime. No longer a IDB situation.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
Oversold flights are totally acceptable. Not boarding passengers is another story.

This passenger made his flight, even though it was a different one, and in 99% of the cases, a preferred one. There was no IDB - or least for this passenger. In fact, it is possible they ended up with empty seats. We do not know.

Same thing if oversold, but the passenger coming in on a connection never gets to the gate ontime. No longer a IDB situation.
Sorry, but you are wrong here. Assuming the flight was oversold (there may be some ambiguity here as perhaps only F was oversold but not Y - in which case they could have moved the passenger into Y) and Delta moved him/her off of the flight on the day of departure, this is by definition involuntary denied boarding. The fact that s/he was moved to a more desirable routing is not relevant to the definition of IDB - it just means that they do not need to pay compensation.

My guess is that gate agents are tagging these involuntary deboards as voluntary deboards in the system without consultation with the passenger under the potentially false assumption that the passenger would have voluntarily taken the shorter route.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
As a passenger, when I book a flight, I have a default expectation that Delta will get me to Point A to Point B in the routing that I booked, on the equipment I booked, and in the seat I reserved. Any violation of that expectation - whether allowed or not under the Contract or Carriage terms - is a potential ding on customer satisfaction.
Originally Posted by Frogbone View Post
Don't forget there might have been a reason why I booked through DTW which would be unbeknownst to the GA unless they asked me first.
What if I have to drop off an important item for someone in DTW before going on to MSP ?
You are both lacking an understanding of what the ticketing agreement is.

You are buying a ticket from AAA-CCC (unless you've purchased a broken fare or end-on-end ticket).

If that ticket at the time of purchase is routed AAA-BBB-CCC, the airline is not under any obligation whatsover to actually transit you through BBB. They can change the routing to AAA-DDD-CCC, or change to a direct AAA-CCC, and no compensation is required unless your arrival time is delayed by X amount.

This is not specific to Delta. This is any airline. And if you understand this but still think a change is 'against expectations' then your expectations are out of line with reality.

That said, I believe @ethernal has a valid point, that unless the GA had permission from the pax, it should be logged as an IDB (with no compensation due). We don't know if it was actually logged that way... but considering the negative marks of an IDB log, I doubt it.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Feb 9, 19 at 4:37 pm
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Old Feb 9, 19, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
You are both lacking an understanding of what the ticketing agreement is.

You are buying a ticket from AAA-CCC (unless you've purchased a broken fare or end-on-end ticket).

If that ticket at the time of purchase is routed AAA-BBB-CCC, the airline is not under any obligation whatsover to actually transit you through BBB. They can change the routing to AAA-DDD-CCC, or change to a direct AAA-CCC, and no compensation is required unless your arrival time is delayed by X amount.

This is not specific to Delta. This is any airline.
And you're lacking an understanding of my post. Read it again. It is not about whether or not the airline can do it (which I openly acknowledge they can), it is a question of whether the airline should.

Delta sets a customer expectation by what they advertise. The ticketing agreement may be a "I'll get you from Point A to Point B in a loosely defined class of service roughly within a window of time", but customer expectations are set by what Delta advertises via their booking channels. Delta does not advertise "Augusta to Denver in Economy on unspecified aircraft(s) departing at 6:58 PM and arriving 6 hours 12 minutes later in Denver at 11:10 PM local time" - they advertise "Augusta at 6:58 PM to at 8:13 PM Atlanta via a CRJ-700 and Atlanta to Denver at 9:34 PM to 11:10 PM via a Boeing 737". They also advertise certain sets of amenities on those aircraft.

Delta can change the routing, but they have violated customer expectations that they themselves have created when they do this. Delta wants to pride itself on having a high NPS, and arbitrarily rerouting passengers without consultation runs contrary to that. Clearly people choose Delta over Spirit for a reason - even if the ticketing agreement for the two are effectively the same (We'll get your rear-end to your destination.. somehow). So it's not a question of whether the airline can, but whether it should (at least in all but the most exigent of circumstances - including after having looked for volunteers or consulting with the passenger to see if they will make the swap voluntarily).
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Old Feb 9, 19, 4:46 pm
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I would have been okay with this EXCEPT for the fact that I wouldn't have realized I'd been rebooked if I hadn't checked the app. In a case like this, they should have called the passenger to the gate. What if your phone gave up the battery ghost and you had no way of knowing what had happened?
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Old Feb 9, 19, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
I would have been okay with this EXCEPT for the fact that I wouldn't have realized I'd been rebooked if I hadn't checked the app. In a case like this, they should have called the passenger to the gate. What if your phone gave up the battery ghost and you had no way of knowing what had happened?
In this case (the connecting to nonstop), s/he would have been notified when s/he tried to board the aircraft given that the nonstop flight was an hour later. This would not necessarily be the case in some of the other instances described on this thread (where Delta changed a connecting itinerary to another connecting itinerary) so I am not sure exactly how notifications happened in that case.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 5:49 pm
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I once had a GA who wanted to rebook me to a direct flight but would not do anything. I had booked two legs as I needed miles and it was cheaper. The GA would not up grade me, give me the original mileage, or Delta $$ for helping them.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 6:11 pm
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So serious question - how does this change impact passenger rights if they put you on a carrier you didn't originally book? For example, you get rebooked from a DL mainline on AAA-BBB-CCC but get rebooked on a regional carrier on AAA-CCC or like what happened to another passenger, being rebooked on WestJet?
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Old Feb 9, 19, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
So serious question - how does this change impact passenger rights if they put you on a carrier you didn't originally book? For example, you get rebooked from a DL mainline on AAA-BBB-CCC but get rebooked on a regional carrier on AAA-CCC or like what happened to another passenger, being rebooked on WestJet?
In this case, I suspect that the schedule change rules would apply and you can ask to be rerouted on mainline or demand a full refund.

In some cases, when I buy my ticket I pay more for certain routings (such as to avoid west coast connections to Asia or east coast connections to Europe so that I get more sleep as well as more time in the D1 cabin with flat beds and D1 F&B), so to me it's just not acceptable to attempt to rebook me onto the itineraries that would have been cheaper when I purchased the ticket but I refused to choose them. Similarly, if I've paid more for the nonstop, it's not acceptable to rebook me onto a connection even if it arrives at approximately the same time (because it departs earlier, but I'm at the airport already anyway or bacause it's a very tight connection that I consider uncomfortable).
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Old Feb 9, 19, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Get familiar with the U.S. DOT denied boarding rules. You got DB'd - but, because they got you to your destination within an hour of your scheduled flight no compensation is due.

https://www.transportation.gov/indiv...ping-oversales

Unless you had a fare break at DTW they had no obligation to route you thru DTW.
Since the OP's flight was inbound from and international location, none of the DOT IDB rules actually seem to apply; these rules only apply to flights originating in the US.

This also does not appear to be a reportable IDB under 14 CFR 250.10

§250.10 Report of passengers denied confirmed space.(a) Each reporting carrier as defined in §234.2 of this chapter and any carrier that voluntarily submits data pursuant to §234.7 of this chapter shall file, on a quarterly basis, the information specified in BTS Form 251. The reporting basis shall be flight segments originating in the United States operated by the reporting carrier. The reports must be submitted within 30 days after the end of the quarter covered by the report. The calendar quarters end March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31. “Total Boardings” on Line 7 of Form 251 shall include only passengers on flights for which confirmed reservations are offered. Data shall not be included for inbound international flights.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Frogbone View Post
While sitting at the gate I looked my app and noticed that I all of a sudden had an additional direct flight YYZ-XXX.
(bolding mine)

Sounds like OP was not rebooked unilaterally - he was protected onto the direct flight (with the original reservation still intact), and then was rebooked after he consented to the change.

He missed an opportunity to negotiate, no doubt, but it doesn't sound like DL did anything wrong. If OP had said "no, I want my original flight," I'd expect that the DL GA would delete the protection segment and leave OP on the original flight, which is why it's not an IDB in my view.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere View Post
Not sure this can be called IDB. The contract was to get the passenger from city A to city B. They did it. No denied boarding took place. The agent was working through issues and handled it well.

( I agree... the agent should have asked first)
I think you're conflating two issues here: You're right about the contract, and the passenger would have no grounds to sue Delta for violation of the contract of carriage on the basis that Delta did not route him on the connection he booked.

But IDB is a completely separate question. Even if Delta was within the contractual rights to rebook the passenger, it's still Involuntary Denied Boarding per the DOT definition as long as the flight was oversold.

Your down-thread argument that it's not IDB because the passenger didn't actually attempt to board the flight but rather was rebooked an hour before seems specious—that logic would carry over for a passenger who was due compensation as well, and there's no way the DOT or a judge would find that a passenger who Delta involuntarily rerouted off an oversold flight and onto a much later flight wasn't entitled to IDB compensation because Delta did it an hour before departure.
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