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-   -   Customer-unfriendly decision: 120-minute delay for a full refund (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles/2022687-customer-unfriendly-decision-120-minute-delay-full-refund.html)

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 7:30 am

Customer-unfriendly decision: 120-minute delay for a full refund
 
It appears that Delta just changed its policy on refunds.

Now, tickets issued on or after July 30 will qualify for a full refund if the arrival time has been delayed for 120 minutes or more (vs 90 minutes previously).

In my opinion, this is a very bad decision for passengers.

Passengers purchase specific flights for specific times. Why do airlines hold so much power in changing peopleís schedules free of consequences?

https://pro.delta.com/content/agency...on-policy.html

Often1 Aug 2, 20 7:58 am

At 2 hours, DL is well below the refund time limit set by most carriers serving the US.

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 8:05 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32575750)
At 2 hours, DL is well below the refund time limit set by most carriers serving the US.

iím not disagreeing with this.

However, itís still a pretty passenger unfriendly decision.

And, I cannot understand how airlines can get away with altering the schedules without any consequences.

Imagine that you as a passenger want to take a flight that departs or arrives an hour later or earlier. The airline would slap you with heavy fees and penalties.

However, when they do that, itís all ok.

No_Name Aug 2, 20 9:04 am

I think 2 hours is not an unreasonable threshold, though I try to avoid travel with tight scheduling requirements. Too many things can go wrong, so I make sure the critical phases of a trip have enough slack built in (e.g. arrive the day before for a meeting with a client).

LAX_Esq Aug 2, 20 11:57 am


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32575759)
And, I cannot understand how airlines can get away with altering the schedules without any consequences.

Imagine that you as a passenger want to take a flight that departs or arrives an hour later or earlier. The airline would slap you with heavy fees and penalties.

However, when they do that, itís all ok.

This guy gets it. The bootlickers will never get it.

Often1 Aug 2, 20 12:14 pm


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32576225)
This guy gets it. The bootlickers will never get it.

The carriers don't "get away" with anything. Rather, passengers agree to contracts which provide for things they later find they dislike.

DL, just like AA & UA, sells fully refundable tickets. It also sells deeply discounted tickets with various restrictions. Up to the passenger. All about consumer choice and not having someone else's choice rammed down your throat.

LAX_Esq Aug 2, 20 12:19 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32576254)
The carriers don't "get away" with anything. Rather, passengers agree to contracts which provide for things they later find they dislike.

DL, just like AA & UA, sells fully refundable tickets. It also sells deeply discounted tickets with various restrictions. Up to the passenger. All about consumer choice and not having someone else's choice rammed down your throat.

Let's dispel the notion that the US airline industry is anything other than a government-enabled oligopoly and that there is any meaningful "consumer choice."

paperwastage Aug 2, 20 12:45 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32576254)
The carriers don't "get away" with anything. Rather, passengers agree to contracts which provide for things they later find they dislike.

DL, just like AA & UA, sells fully refundable tickets. It also sells deeply discounted tickets with various restrictions. Up to the passenger. All about consumer choice and not having someone else's choice rammed down your throat.

at least DL gave you notice (as expected by DOT
https://www.transportation.gov/sites...%202020%29.pdf

The Aviation Enforcement Office would consider the denial of refunds in contravention of the policies that were in effect at the time of the ticket purchase to be an unfair and deceptive practice.

The Aviation Enforcement Office would consider a practice of retroactively applying a new definition of cancellation or significant change that disadvantages passengers who purchased tickets under a more generous cancellation or significant change definition to be unfair and deceptive
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...e-changes.html
United still doesn't define what "significant change" is, or when/if their policy changes. their "current" interpretation is 2 hours

United's Jetstream site (equivalent of OP's link to DL's pro site) does say 2 hour or more
https://jetstream.united.com/#/sub-l...6000006V2voEAC

spongenotbob Aug 2, 20 1:15 pm

Over the years, Delta has made plenty of exceptions for me and made numerous goodwill gestures when life doesnít go as planned. Iím not a 360, not even a DM.

I have no problem with them making very small tweaks like this to adjust to their new reality. DL and WN are still, by far, the most customer-friendly airlines around.

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 1:37 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32576254)
DL, just like AA & UA, sells fully refundable tickets. It also sells deeply discounted tickets with various restrictions. Up to the passenger. All about consumer choice and not having someone else's choice rammed down your throat.

Regardless of whether a ticket is refundable or not, a passenger pays for a specific service. That includes departure time and arrival time.

How can a passenger be deprived of what they pay for?

imagine you prepay for a haircut at 5pm. Your barber calls you and TELLS you to come at 3pm instead. Youíre at work, and barber keeps your money. Do you think thatís fair?

if airlines can change by 120 minutes, why couldnít passengers change by 120 minutes without consequences?

further, Iím incessantly surprised that American consumers allow corporations to treat them so poorly.

EDIT: many thanks to LAX_Esq for a proper analogy.

Mr. Tickets Aug 2, 20 2:15 pm

Didn’t UA change their policy to 25 hours back in March. To me, that is much more unacceptable.

DiverDave Aug 2, 20 2:41 pm


Originally Posted by Mr. Tickets (Post 32576505)
Didnít UA change their policy to 25 hours back in March. To me, that is much more unacceptable.

They went to 24, then 6, then back to 2. :)

https://viewfromthewing.com/united-r...cancellations/

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 3:13 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32576254)
Up to the passenger.

If you think itís up to the passenger, why do the airlines take away passengerís choice?

In case of any schedule change, the passenger should be able to choose. If a new itinerary doesnít work for a passenger, the airlines MUST refund.

Thats the only way we would see an improvement in customer service or operations. Right now, we see the sprint to the bottom, and Delta joins the pack.

LAX_Esq Aug 2, 20 3:34 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32576427)
if airlines can change by 120 minutes, why couldnít passengers change by 120 minutes without consequences?

Because the passenger AGREES to that contract of adhesion from the oligopolistic airline, don't you get it? ;)

Often1 Aug 2, 20 4:00 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32576427)
Regardless of whether a ticket is refundable or not, a passenger pays for a specific service. That includes departure time and arrival time.

How can a passenger be deprived of what they pay for?

imagine you want to get a full haircut at a barber. Instead of giving you a haircut, the barber only trims your hair over the ears. Do you think thatís fair?

if airlines can change by 120 minutes, why couldnít passengers change by 120 minutes without consequences?

further, Iím incessantly surprised that American consumers allow corporations to treat them so poorly.

No, schedule is not. The passenger's contract with DL specifically provides:

"published schedules, flight times, aircraft types, seat assignments, and similar details reflected in the ticket or Delta’s published schedules are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract."

As to the notion that this is a contract of adhesion and thus voidable, that's just one of those social media urban myths.

Simple solution is not to buy deeply discounted fares. Then you can cancel for any reason or no reason at all. Don't like the font on your boarding pass, the chime made by the BP reader, or the muzak played at your gate, just leave and call in at your leisure for your money.

LAX_Esq Aug 2, 20 5:08 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32576738)
No, schedule is not. The passenger's contract with DL specifically provides:

"published schedules, flight times, aircraft types, seat assignments, and similar details reflected in the ticket or Delta’s published schedules are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract."

As to the notion that this is a contract of adhesion and thus voidable, that's just one of those social media urban myths.

Who in this thread said anything about the contract being voidable? Nevertheless, it certainly is a contract of adhesion.


Simple solution is not to buy deeply discounted fares. Then you can cancel for any reason or no reason at all. Don't like the font on your boarding pass, the chime made by the BP reader, or the muzak played at your gate, just leave and call in at your leisure for your money.


Another simple solution is not to give crooked airline execs billion$ and trillion$ of taxpayer money in bailout$.

s0ssos Aug 2, 20 5:21 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32576427)
further, Iím incessantly surprised that American consumers allow corporations to treat them so poorly.

Simple. American consumers only want one thing. Cheap. Nothing else matters. They have no principles, other than cheapness. Which is also a religion here.

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 8:20 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32576738)
No, schedule is not. The passenger's contract with DL specifically provides:

"published schedules, flight times, aircraft types, seat assignments, and similar details reflected in the ticket or Deltaís published schedules are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract."

LOL, seriously? Just because they define it to make it convenient for them does not mean itís what itís supposed to be.

Do you pay the barber without the expectation of getting a haircut? You pay, and the assumption is youíll get a haircut within 15-30 minutes in a way thatís pleasing and nice.

The airlines abuse lack of real competition, and idiot customers are clapping their hands asking to be ripped off more.

People buy flights for specific times on specific segments, because they expect to be be delivered somewhere at a specific time and place.

Theres no denying this. People donít buy a ticket hoping they would get somewhere +/- 2 hours. Thatís greed of the airlines.

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 8:22 pm


Originally Posted by s0ssos (Post 32576860)
Simple. American consumers only want one thing. Cheap. Nothing else matters. They have no principles, other than cheapness. Which is also a religion here.

and yet, somehow there are no cheap tickets anywhere in the US.

In europe, you can fly from London to Athens, or Madrid to Warsaw for $20-$100.

The same distance in the US would be $300-$400.

the price driven decisions is a myth fed by the airline executives so they can enjoy billion dollar profits.

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 8:29 pm


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32576840)
Who in this thread said anything about the contract being voidable? Nevertheless, it certainly is a contract of adhesion.



Another simple solution is not to give crooked airline execs billion$ and trillion$ of taxpayer money in bailout$.

Exactly. If I cannot deliver a service that someone pays for, I offer an alternative and money back.

In free market and a true consumerist society, it would be on me, as a business, to convince a customer to select an alternative. Because a consumer can choose what to do, Iíd stand on my head to offer the truly best customer service, perks and other benefits so consumer chooses the alternative.

However, here we have a situation where airlines say ďops, sorry, we donít guarantee any schedule, time, etc, though we will charge you premium for your desired time.Ē

gitismatt Aug 2, 20 9:01 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32576427)
How can a passenger be deprived of what they pay for?

imagine you want to get a full haircut at a barber. Instead of giving you a haircut, the barber only trims your hair over the ears. Do you think thatís fair?

if airlines can change by 120 minutes, why couldnít passengers change by 120 minutes without consequences?

at what point in this conversation has delta stopped providing the full services that the customer paid for? they aren't taking someone attempting to fly from JFK-LAX and dropping them off in OMA. The passenger is still getting the full value so your barber analogy doesn't work.

and to be honest, if my barber called and asked me if I could come in an hour earlier or later, I'd probably be willing to accommodate

LAX_Esq Aug 2, 20 9:54 pm


Originally Posted by gitismatt (Post 32577148)
and to be honest, if my barber called and asked me if I could come in an hour earlier or later, I'd probably be willing to accommodate

The proper analogy is: you prepaid for a haircut at 5pm, and your barber TOLD you to come in at 3pm instead, when you have to be at work at 3pm, otherwise he's keeping your money and tough doodie.

smartytravel Aug 2, 20 9:59 pm


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32577225)
The proper analogy is: you prepaid for a haircut at 5pm, and your barber TOLD you to come in at 3pm instead, when you have to be at work at 3pm, otherwise he's keeping your money and tough doodie.

thats the analogy I was looking for! Thank you.

BRITINJAPAN4 Aug 2, 20 11:03 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32577227)
thats the analogy I was looking for! Thank you.

I really dont get your problem. You buy a ticket that has some restrictions and in return the price is low. You have a choice, you could pay more for more flexibility, but you choose not to.
If you arrive more than two hours late, this is and extreme issue, so the answer is simply either book a cheap flight tow hours earlier, or pay more for the flight you want. Of course if it goes tech or there
us a weather delay you still wont get there on time.

Why is this a "Delta Problem" its pretty much a "transport problem"

LAX_Esq Aug 2, 20 11:32 pm


Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 (Post 32577282)
I really dont get your problem. You buy a ticket that has some restrictions and in return the price is low. You have a choice, you could pay more for more flexibility, but you choose not to.

You're getting it backwards. If you buy a cheaper ticket with restrictions and YOU want to change the ticket, you're SOL; or if you buy a more expensive ticket without restrictions and YOU want to change the ticket, you're good. In either case, if THE CARRIER is the one who is unilaterally changing the ticket, there's no reason why you should be SOL.

You pay more for a flexible ticket so YOU can unilaterally change it, not to protect yourself and prevent THE CARRIER from unilaterally changing it and screwing you over.

BRITINJAPAN4 Aug 2, 20 11:38 pm


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32577303)
You're getting it backwards. If you buy a cheaper ticket with restrictions and YOU want to change the ticket, you're SOL; or if you buy a more expensive ticket without restrictions and YOU want to change the ticket, you're good. In either case, if THE CARRIER is the one who is unilaterally changing the ticket, there's no reason why you should be SOL.

You pay more for a flexible ticket so YOU can unilaterally change it, not to protect yourself and prevent THE CARRIER from unilaterally changing it and screwing you over.

You have lost me here.

If you have a flexible ticket and the flight is delayed you can change or cancel at any time, if you have a cheap restricted fare you have to wait until the flight is delayed more than two hours. How is this anyone screwing you over since in the terms of contract the schedule can be changed at any point. Delta, or any airline, is not hiding any of this,

s0ssos Aug 2, 20 11:54 pm


Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 (Post 32577282)
I really dont get your problem. You buy a ticket that has some restrictions and in return the price is low. You have a choice, you could pay more for more flexibility, but you choose not to.
If you arrive more than two hours late, this is and extreme issue, so the answer is simply either book a cheap flight tow hours earlier, or pay more for the flight you want. Of course if it goes tech or there
us a weather delay you still wont get there on time.

Why is this a "Delta Problem" its pretty much a "transport problem"

Actually have you ever tried to buy a fully refundable ticket? I have. And when I tried to get a refund they said I couldn't.

BRITINJAPAN4 Aug 2, 20 11:56 pm


Originally Posted by s0ssos (Post 32577317)
Actually have you ever tried to buy a fully refundable ticket? I have. And when I tried to get a refund they said I couldn't.

Um...yes, many times and yes, a few times I have cancelled and received a full refund without any drama or problem.

LAX_Esq Aug 2, 20 11:58 pm


Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 (Post 32577305)
You have lost me here.

If you have a flexible ticket and the flight is delayed you can change or cancel at any time, if you have a cheap restricted fare you have to wait until the flight is delayed more than two hours. How is this anyone screwing you over since in the terms of contract the schedule can be changed at any point. Delta, or any airline, is not hiding any of this,

You're missing the point, which is even expressly stated in the thread title -- that the carrier drafting their contract to allow itself to unilaterally change your flight by 120 minutes without offering you a refund is a "consumer-unfriendly decision," i.e., screwing customers over.

BRITINJAPAN4 Aug 3, 20 12:03 am


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32577321)
You're missing the point, which is even expressly stated in the thread title -- that the carrier drafting their contract to allow themselves to unilaterally change your flight by 120 minutes without offering you a refund is a "consumer-unfriendly decision," i.e., screwing customers over.

No, I get that this is a complaint, I just think that when you get a benefit ( lower price) with a very clear and published Restriction, then this is not customer unfriendly. If they said fly from a to b at $500, no choices, that would be customer unfriendly.

You do know that airlines are a commercial business intended to make money for their owners, don't you ?

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 12:22 am


Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 (Post 32577326)
No, I get that this is a complaint, I just think that when you get a benefit ( lower price) with a very clear and published Restriction, then this is not customer unfriendly. If they said fly from a to b at $500, no choices, that would be customer unfriendly.

You seem to be saying that it's *never* customer unfriendly for an airline to impose draconian policies -- so long as the customer chose to purchase less than a full fare ticket and those terms are disclosed. The logical extension of your argument is that it's NOT customer unfriendly for the airline to draft their contract such that they can unilaterally switch you from a non-stop to a connecting flight, or delay your flight by 6 hours, or reroute you to a nearby airport, etc. -- and you're SOL to do anything about it because you bought a discounted ticket. I'd like to know what you would consider to be consumer unfriendly.


You do know that airlines are a commercial business intended to make money for their owners, don't you ?
You do know that the US airlines repeatedly get billion$ and trillion$ of taxpayer bailouts and are pretty much the antithesis of free market capitalism, don't you?

sethb Aug 3, 20 12:28 am


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32577225)
The proper analogy is: you prepaid for a haircut at 5pm, and your barber TOLD you to come in at 3pm instead, when you have to be at work at 3pm, otherwise he's keeping your money and tough doodie.

No, if you can't make it then you get an appointment tomorrow instead or a certificate for a haircut later.

At least, that corresponds to what has always happened for me, even when changes were under 90 minutes.

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 12:48 am


Originally Posted by sethb (Post 32577344)
No, if you can't make it then you get an appointment tomorrow instead or a certificate for a haircut later.

If you prepaid for a haircut at 5pm today and the barber requires you to come in at 3pm instead but you want/need a haircut at 5pm today, fairness demands that you have right to get your money back so you can find a different barber to cut your hair at 5pm today.

Justin026 Aug 3, 20 7:56 am

A better analogy would be a barber who was running ten minutes late. The time scale involved in travelling 500 to 10,000 miles is somewhat different than for a haircut.

A new, positive factor in the changes in schedule timing is the numbers of markets with increasing, not decreasing, service. I am flying ATL-PNS for business regularly right now. I had gotten used to leaving ATL on an 8:30 PM flight and returning on a 4:30 PM flight. Now they have 5 flights each way each day (In April there were only 2 and in July 4). So I had a reservation change to pick flights on either side of my previously booked times. This is a good story for consumers.

ethernal Aug 3, 20 8:07 am


Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32575838)
I think 2 hours is not an unreasonable threshold, though I try to avoid travel with tight scheduling requirements. Too many things can go wrong, so I make sure the critical phases of a trip have enough slack built in (e.g. arrive the day before for a meeting with a client).

Depends on the context. Sometimes it's about the least-worst option. To me the more unconscionable thing is that Delta is happy to charge you a significant premium for a two-hour difference in departure time. A 6:30 AM flight may be $200 cheaper than an 8:30 AM flight. In other words, customers value a 2 hour difference in departure time and Delta is happy to reap the revenue increase from that published time. But then on the flip side, if they cancel the 8:30 AM and put everyone on the 6:30 AM, then they are saying there is zero (contractual) recourse available to the customer. Good luck getting that $200 premium you paid back.

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 8:08 am


Originally Posted by Justin026 (Post 32577894)
A better analogy would be a barber who was running ten minutes late. The time scale involved in travelling 500 to 10,000 miles is somewhat different than for a haircut.

I am amazed how many mental gymnastics and excuses people can make. I understand that traveling 500 to 10,000 miles is a large distance. However, people are still forced to pay premium for specific times to travel. You'd pay more for travel on Friday afternoon with a return on Sunday night.

However, airlines give themselves a right to screw passengers by altering schedule and giving no recourse to passengers. As LAX_Esq noted, the point of fairness and justice is to allow consumer decide what she wants to do, and not keep her money and force her to continue using the service that no loner works for her.

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 8:10 am


Originally Posted by sethb (Post 32577344)
No, if you can't make it then you get an appointment tomorrow instead or a certificate for a haircut later.

What if I want to go to someone who can get me the haircut at a time I want? I don't want someone to rob me out of my money by holding on to it?

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 10:23 am


Originally Posted by Justin026 (Post 32577894)
A better analogy would be a barber who was running ten minutes late. The time scale involved in travelling 500 to 10,000 miles is somewhat different than for a haircut.

This is desperately trying to fight the analogy. If you're trying to fight the analogy by using relative time scale, switch the 20-30 minute men's haircut session to your wife's 90 minute haircut with her hairdresser... or to your hour-long personal training session / private tennis lesson... etc. The relative time scales involved in the hairdresser / tennis pro / personal trainer / etc. shifting your 60-90 minute appointment by two hours are parallel to the airline shifting a short domestic flight by two hours and telling you to go pound sand (which they are now able to do). And beyond this, the notion of fighting the analogy by using relative time scale rather than absolute time scale is already dubious.

No_Name Aug 3, 20 10:57 am


Originally Posted by ethernal (Post 32577915)
Delta is happy to reap the revenue increase from that published time. But then on the flip side, if they cancel the 8:30 AM and put everyone on the 6:30 AM, then they are saying there is zero (contractual) recourse available to the customer. Good luck getting that $200 premium you paid back.

and it goes the other way also. I've had flights that had delays and Delta would let me change to a more desirable time (the 8:30 vs 6:30 in your example). Things happen and sometimes you come out ahead monetarily and sometimes you don't. Getting all angsty about it is not worth the effort, unless that is something that person enjoys.

I really don't see how Delta, or any airline for that matter, would be able to operate in the way some posters advocate without charging significantly higher prices. Increased risk means higher costs, which means higher prices. I prefer to manage the risk of a two hour delay myself and take the reduced air fare as it is a more cost effective solution (from my perspective).

TomMM Aug 3, 20 11:00 am


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32577086)

Do you pay the barber without the expectation of getting a haircut? You pay, and the assumption is youíll get a haircut within 15-30 minutes in a way thatís pleasing and nice.

Please adhere to the same standard when using the lav. The expectation is that you get in, do your 'business" and exit within 5 minutes.


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