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SkyClub complaint and follow up: Am I expecting too much?

SkyClub complaint and follow up: Am I expecting too much?

Old Dec 26, 19, 7:53 pm
  #1  
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SkyClub complaint and follow up: Am I expecting too much?

Hello FT, I am a long time lurker here but never made an account until now. I wanted to get some opinions of fellow Delta travel experts here on my recent experience at the LAX Sky Club and also Delta's customer service response. I am not sure if I am expecting too much for Delta to acknowledge/discipline their employee's poor behavior? My husband says because I have no solid proof, delta is right to stand behind their employee (even though he agrees the employee was very racist that day). I don't know why this incident bothers me so much, and its especially worse when customer service doubles down with the employee's side.

A little background: We were taking a family (Me, husband, 3 year old, 6 month old and our nanny) trip to from Seattle to Puerto Vallarta on Dec 3, with a short layover at LAX. Both husband and I are plats. The incident revolved around the Terminal 3 Sky Club (the smaller one of the 2). Their bathroom is right next to their sky club entrance for those who have never been.


Dec 8: I filed my initial complaint to Delta.com

I have a complaint regarding discrimination to the terminal 3 sky club at LAX. My nanny and I are flying on the same pnr, and we are laying over at LAX on our way to PVR. My nanny does not speak any English so I communicate for her. When we entered the sky club, the agent scanned my boarding pass and asked if I’m paying for my guest. I told her I am delta platinum traveling internationally so I can bring a guest for free. She acknowledged my status and both of us proceeded to the bathroom near the entrance of sky club to change my daughters diaper. After diaper change, I took my daughter to find the rest of my family in the club while my nanny continues to use the restroom. After a while, I don’t see my nanny coming out, and the same sky club agent come over and said “I don’t speak Chinese, your guest cannot come in. You need to go talk to her.” My husband then goes to find the nanny, but she already left the lounge because the sky club agent kicked her out. When I ask where she went, the agent mockingly says “I don’t know, I don’t speak Chinese.” My nanny felt humiliated by the agent refusing her entrance. Why would she do that? I already told her at the beginning that she is my guest and the agent knew she can enter for free. I feel like the agent was picking on my nanny because she doesn’t speak English and I wasn’t standing next to her. This kind of discrimination is not acceptable, especially at an airport full of international travelers. I do not remember the sky club agents name that caused this incident, but you can probably pull up the person who scanned me into the club on that day.


Dec 13: I received an email saying they will investigate the matter and it can take up to 30 days.


Dec 25: I received an official reply from Delta via email

Thank you for taking the time to contact us about your experience at our Los Angeles Sky Club on December 3, 2019. I am sorry that you did not get the service you deserved. [sandyglass], I have read your letter and I can see why you wanted us to know about your experience. I understand from your letter that you and [nanny] were entering the Sky Club where you attempted to check in. You stated that as part of you Platinum status you are able to bring in a guest at no charge. You advised the attendant and at this point you both went to the restroom and when you entered the club you did not have any further difficult however, when [nanny] returned from the restroom she was unable to enter the Sky Club. You stated that she was unable to communicate in English as Chinese was her first language. This caused the attendant to not understand when she tried to explain that she was already checked in and was with your party. Because we take your comments seriously, we have requested statements from the attendant that was on duty that day. We understand the importance of providing professional and timely assistance to all of our passengers. According to our Sky Club attendants they reported that they did recall this incident and that they reported that at this position they transition from position to position every hour. When [nanny] came out of the restroom there was a new attendant at the position and was unaware that she had previously checked in. They reported that they were unable to successfully communicate with her to determine that she had been checked in already. When the attendant left the position to seek whom she could have been with because her bag had a cartoon character on it this caused the agent to look for someone with a child. The attendant then asked if you could assist her in finding out what [nanny] needed. The agent reported that when they returned to the position [nanny] was gone. Based on your comments and our investigation we have determined that there was no discriminatory or malicious intent on behalf of our Sky Club attendant. We understand we disappointed you; however, as a global airline that serves thousands of customers from around the world every day, your experience is not one we wanted you to have and I’m sorry this happened. I’ve reported your experience to our Airport Customer Service Leaders so that this will not happen again. Please know that we value your business and are dedicated to providing services for all passengers. Thank you and for being a loyal Delta customer. We look forward to serving all of you better in the future.


Dec 25: I sent a reply to the agent because I was shocked at their response that they found their employee had no wrongdoing

Hi [Delta agent],

First I would like to thank you for taking the time to investigate into this matter. I am someone who don't usually file complains to get people in trouble or seek compensation (as you can see, I've never filed a complaint against delta). However, I truly felt like we were being targeted unfairly that day at the Sky Club. As an immigrant myself, the treatment from the Sky Club agent that day was one of the worst I've seen. I feel like Delta's investigation into this matter is lacking some key parts of my initial complaint. I understand the agent(s) that day will claim that it is a miscommunication issue, because there is no way she will admit to her employer that she was actually discriminatory. I hope you take a couple of of the following issues into consideration:

1) The agent claims that there was a shift rotation at the check in station, and that was the source of the confusion. This does not make sense, because the check in agent would not let either of us use the sky club bathroom unless we are both checked in as guests. My first question entering the sky club was to ask if there was a baby changing table, and the agent said we have to be guests to use the restroom. That is why we processed check in first before entering the restroom. Therefore, when [nanny] came out of the bathroom, she should've been a guest of the sky club already. There is no reason to deny her entry to the sky club when she was already permitted to use the restroom. No matter who the check in person was at the station, sky club policy should've been consistent, that only guests are permitted to use their restroom.

2) Whether there was a shift rotation or not, I know the agent who came back to me telling me "I don't speak Chinese" is the same agent that processed our check in. She knows very clearly that we were checked in. She said the statement to me twice, in a very sarcastic and demeaning way. I wish I had a recording of those dialogue for you, because it was so extremely rude. I haven't felt that kind of nastiness from a stranger in a very long time. Additionally, [nanny] felt very panicked and embarrassed at the entrance, because she didn't have her cell phone with her to even call me for help. The employee could've at least accompany her inside and find me together, and we would've easily resolved this misunderstanding.

My initial complaint was triggered by this agent's rude remarks, which was not addressed in this investigation. I would've have let everything go if it was truly a misunderstanding at the door (even though such misunderstanding shouldn't even had happened). The way she spoke to me made me felt that she was intentionally targeting us because [nanny] don't speak English. There were just too many things that the agent did that made our family feel out of place and very uncomfortable.

I am not writing to Delta to try to get compensation over this incident, and I will continue to fly Delta because one bad apple doesn't ruin it for all the other wonderful employees I've met. I am writing to you to let you know that one of your employees acted very unprofessionally towards guests of the airline. I am disappointed in the result of the investigation that Delta agreed with the employee's statement that day that it was caused mainly due to miscommunication and shift change. I know it is not possible for me to prove what I heard that day (the statement and the way it was said) but I hope Delta believes in the customer instead of an employee trying to cover her actions. This employee needs to know that she cannot speak to people this way and I hope proper actions are taken so she understands that for the future.


Dec 25: Same agent replies me pretty much with nothing new and closing the complaint

Thank you for taking the time to contact us about your experience at our Los Angeles Sky Club on December 3, 2019. I am sorry that you did not get the service you deserved. Feeling you were heard is so important to us. I have looked at this from you point of view and I see I missed what was really important to you. I would like to apologize again for the unpleasant experience you had [nanny] while at our Sky Club. Like you, we expect our Sky Club attendants to be friendly and quickly assist with any request you may have. We also want every passenger to be comfortable and safe while enjoying their fights. As a global airline that serves thousands of customers from around the world every day. It is clear we let you down, and I am truly sorry it happened. Thank you for being a loyal Delta customer. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Sandyglass is offline  
Old Dec 26, 19, 7:58 pm
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Iím surprised that Spanish is not more common for staff to speak at LAX. Your post is way long and convoluted, but I know I would be hesitant to leave someone who didnít speak English all alone.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Sandyglass View Post
I am not sure if I am expecting too much for Delta to acknowledge/discipline their employee's poor behavior?
Yes - if you seek assistance through any customer relations channel.

Although I have never travel with DL, 1 thing I am able to observe is customer relations, sorry to say, is for the sole purpose of compensation only.

If you really mean business, do not pass go and straight to the DOT or CEO.

Sorry to say - this is the only guaranteed method that they will listen.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Iím surprised that Spanish is not more common for staff to speak at LAX. Your post is way long and convoluted, but I know I would be hesitant to leave someone who didnít speak English all alone.
What does Spanish have to do with this issue?
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Old Dec 26, 19, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What does Spanish have to do with this issue?
I thought she had said Spanish.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 8:52 pm
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This have been easily resolved if your nanny was able to send you a text message "Can you check me in again at the front desk" She is a guest which means her entrance is your responsibility, especially if she has no way to communicate with the attendants. Her not having a phone to communicate with you and not being together seems like the failure here.

Last edited by Hachima; Dec 26, 19 at 9:12 pm
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Old Dec 26, 19, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Yes - if you seek assistance through any customer relations channel.

Although I have never travel with DL, 1 thing I am able to observe is customer relations, sorry to say, is for the sole purpose of compensation only.

If you really mean business, do not pass go and straight to the DOT or CEO.

Sorry to say - this is the only guaranteed method that they will listen.
I appreciate the honest feedback. If only I had a twitter account with millions of followers, that would get me heard
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Old Dec 26, 19, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Hachima View Post
Couldn't this have been easily resolved if your nanny was able to send you a text message "Can you check me in again at the front desk" She is a guest which means her entrance is your responsibility, especially if she has no way to communicate with the attendants. Her not having a phone to communicate with you and not being together seems like the failure here.
I had her backpack, which her phone was in. We were checked in already, I did not expect them to stop her again. The agent made it clear we cannot use the skyclub bathroom unless we check in.

And I get misunderstandings happens, and there were precautions I couldíve taken. I wouldíve never filed a complaint if it was just the entry part. Itís the way the agent said those ďI donít speak ChineseĒ that really made me question her true intentions. It really sounded very racist, probably the worst racism Iíve experienced since immigrating to USA.

Last edited by Sandyglass; Dec 26, 19 at 9:22 pm
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Old Dec 26, 19, 9:30 pm
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Too much to read. It sucks, but this is not something I would allow to ruin a trip to PVR. If you were in a LaPrimere Salon on an P-fare to Seychelles- maybe itís safe to expect a more polished and refined staff. This a SkyClub at LAX- be happy youíre on a higher floor above the madness...

DL will probably throw a few miles your way. If you think United or AA are any better, then give them a test run, but theyíre not.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 9:53 pm
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IMHO, at this point there is not much to be gained unless you really want to push it that the employee lied when asked about incident. But I am not sure what Delta would do given the second reply (which was really a non-reply).

FWIW Some incidents are worth dealing with in the present rather than the past. Again depends on how much one really want to push it.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
IMHO, at this point there is not much to be gained unless you really want to push it that the employee lied when asked about incident. But I am not sure what Delta would do given the second reply (which was really a non-reply).

FWIW Some incidents are worth dealing with in the present rather than the past. Again depends on how much one really want to push it.
I donít plan on pursuing this any further. Just wanted a ďpublicĒ opinion on the whole thing. I noticed this forum like to encourage people to file complaints and report bad employees. I did just that and got nowhere.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 1:45 am
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Originally Posted by Sandyglass View Post
I donít plan on pursuing this any further. Just wanted a ďpublicĒ opinion on the whole thing. I noticed this forum like to encourage people to file complaints and report bad employees. I did just that and got nowhere.
With a he said/she said situation, it's usually best to deal with it in real time. I do agree that leaving a non-english person alone, someplace they aren't familiar with is asking for problems.

Did your nanny walk the wrong way and mistakenly exit the club while leaving the bathroom? Might explain some of the initial confusion afterwards.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Iím surprised that Spanish is not more common for staff to speak at LAX. Your post is way long and convoluted, but I know I would be hesitant to leave someone who didnít speak English all alone.
The nanny is Chinese. No Spanish was mentioned anywhere.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 2:58 am
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Accompany your guest INTO the lounge.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 3:07 am
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Originally Posted by Sandyglass View Post

And I get misunderstandings happens, and there were precautions I couldíve taken. I wouldíve never filed a complaint if it was just the entry part. Itís the way the agent said those ďI donít speak ChineseĒ that really made me question her true intentions. It really sounded very racist, probably the worst racism Iíve experienced since immigrating to USA.
I donít understand this. ďI donít speak ChineseĒ doesnít sound racist to me, it sounds like a fact. How is not speaking a language and therefore not understanding someone ďthe worst racismĒ?
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