Engine Fire - Flight 2120 - DEN-CVG - 6/18/01

 
Old Jun 18, 01, 11:16 pm
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Engine Fire - Flight 2120 - DEN-CVG - 6/18/01

I've posted this on Trip Reports also but since it pertains to Delta, I'd like to get people's reactions

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SkyMiles Gold Medallion Number XXXXXXXXXX

Dear Sir or Madam:

I was on flight 2120 on June 18, 2001 from Denver to Cincinnati. Approximately 5-10 minutes after take off from Denver, there was a loud clattering noise and smoke poured from the vents. The cockpit and cabin crews kept excellent composure and handled the situation in a calm professional manner. The captain announced that we had lost an engine. For this, I would like to commend their actions. We were able to land back in Denver relatively smoothly and taxi to back to the gate after the airport fire crew checked out the plane.

Back in the gate and terminal, however, the way the situation was handled in the worse possible way. I had used the Airphone to rebook my flight back just after landing, at a cost of probably $30 since I was on for approximately 10 minutes. Since I was in seat 26C, by the time I was able to get off the plane, the line for the gate agent was at least 20 people long. No Delta personnel was at the gate door to calm and reassure the deplaning people. There was only one person working at the gate counter. Several people went over to the next gate and was told to just come back to this gate. I gave up and went all the way back out to the main check-in ticket counter since the line wasnít moving at all. The reaction of the people at the ticket counter was that wasnít I there just a little while ago? I was placed on the next Delta flight 626, approximately 4 hours later. Nothing was offered for the situation. Upon pressing, I was given a cab voucher for upon arrival back in Cincinnati and a $10 meal voucher. I asked for a Crown Room Club pass so that I could calm down and was refused.

The crew from 2120 flew back as passengers on 626. I found out that the Pilot said that this type of situation had never happened in his 21 years of flying had looked for possible landing sites short of Denver Airport in fields etc. Also, when two of the flight attendants from 2120 boarded 626 they were in tears. From this it is obvious that the situation was more serious than was announced on board. I must say that I agree with the handling on board since they could cause panic if they didnít act calmly.

However, I found the handling by the ground crew to be absolutely atrocious after such a serious incident. The treatment was similar to rebooking a cancelled flight that never boarded passengers. Also, I feel that compensation should have been offered to the passengers not only for the 4-hour delay but also for the emotional trauma.

As a loyal Delta customer, I await your response to the way that this situation was handled.

peteropny

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Old Jun 19, 01, 1:03 am
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Yep, there are situations when operations go berserk when lots of people have to be rebooked... good to know that no one was injured though! That's the most important point.

FYI, Delta does not give out CRC passes anymore in those situations except for some very hard situations.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 1:16 am
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delete

Last edited by tmorse6570; Sep 15, 07 at 11:09 pm
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Old Jun 19, 01, 5:55 am
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DL doesn't have an army of agents sitting around each airport, waiting for planes to have emergency landings so they can re-book everyone in record time.

The next flight was four hours later, so what difference would it have made had you waited in the long line? (besides fatigue, which is understandable)

Considering how many hours the crew flies, and the fact that they were in tears on the next flight, I am appalled that you actually have the nerve to complain about the performance of the ground employees. You clearly have no idea how lucky you are your whiny butt didn't crash into a field.

If the airport employees were rude, that would be one thing (rudeness should be reported, emergency landing or no emergency landing). But they weren't rude. They failed to offer fistfuls of cash and a CRC pass to everyone (imagine how crowded the CRC would have been), and that's, in your words,
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">absolutely atrocious</font>
Good grief!
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Old Jun 19, 01, 6:47 am
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A few notes:

It appears that DL could have been more compassionate after such an incident. I was on a crash/emergency landing with Braniff once and the only people that greeted our return was the media. I was pissed.

1 - Crown Room - the CRC at Denver can not hold the normal amount of visitors. Adding extra would have made it unbearable and only irritated you more. My guess is that it was already a zoo in there from those with membership.

2 - Agents to book. Since Denver is a small to mid size market for DL, the number of agents available could be a problem. Rebooking a plane load of people does cause stress on the system.

Still, one would think they would pull out the stops when this sort of thing happens. Maybe little information got back to the agents and they just thought it was a mechanical.

Sorry for your problems.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 7:28 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">Originally posted by JS:
DL doesn't have an army of agents sitting around each airport, waiting for planes to have emergency landings so they can re-book everyone in record time.

The next flight was four hours later, so what difference would it have made had you waited in the long line? (besides fatigue, which is understandable)

Considering how many hours the crew flies, and the fact that they were in tears on the next flight, I am appalled that you actually have the nerve to complain about the performance of the ground employees. You clearly have no idea how lucky you are your whiny butt didn't crash into a field.

If the airport employees were rude, that would be one thing (rudeness should be reported, emergency landing or no emergency landing). But they weren't rude. They failed to offer fistfuls of cash and a CRC pass to everyone (imagine how crowded the CRC would have been), and that's, in your words, Good grief!
</font>
JS, When I have been stranded in ATL due to a flight cancellation after already boarding a plane, an army of agents were there to assist the passengers. I am sure that at least one Red Coat could have been dispatched to the gate when the plane arrived back in Denver.

As for compensation, I have received DL vouchers for far less stressful situations than an emergency landing in a smoke filled airplane.

I agree with you about the CRC request, which really was unwarranted.

Considering the nature of this situation, I fail to understand why you have responded in such a cold and hostile way to peteropny's post.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 7:56 am
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If you're Gold Medallion, why didn't you call SMS? I've done that many times, rather than wait behind a huge line of people for one agent.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 8:12 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">Considering the nature of this situation, I fail to understand why you have responded in such a cold and hostile way to peteropny's post.</font>
Because peteropny has totally unrealistic expectations, IMHO. If the airline provides several extra employees to comfort and re-book, that's fine, but as NoStressHere noted, DEN isn't a big DL station, much less a hub.

I think the general problem here is that people have expectations that are very high, and when something goes wrong and the service following it is merely adequate, instead of spectacular, it's as if all hell broke loose. On the other hand, if service is adequate in a normal situation, it doesn't seem as bad.

Delta put peteropny on the next flight, and gave him a meal voucher and a cab voucher for his destination. If the complaint letter yields a $30 check for the Airphone bill, shouldn't that be satisfactory?
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Old Jun 19, 01, 10:20 am
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JS - I'm sure you would be a lot more whiny about it if it happened to you.

Yes, I am very thankful that we landed without any injuries but feel that the ground crew could have done a lot more than just one gate agent. I realize that Denver is a relatively small operation for DL but there were still 4 agents + 1 red coat at the main ticket counter with less than 10 people in line. I felt that I did a lot more for myself by calling SMS to rebook my flight from on the plane but obviously still had to stand in line to get new boarding passes or rebooked on another airline with the flight having already "left" not to mention electronic ticketing.

Maybe CRC could not hold the passengers from that flight but shouldn't DL have provided some quiet area for passengers to go to rather than left to wander the airport for 3 hours?
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Old Jun 19, 01, 11:19 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">JS - I'm sure you would be a lot more whiny about it if it happened to you.</font>
Nah, I doubt it.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 12:02 pm
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PEOPLE!! What are we talking about here??! This is not a simple flight cancellation.. *EVERYONE* on that plane almost died! I wouldn't even get on the next flight, I'd be so spooked! And there were NO agents, redcoats, or otherwise Delta employees there to calm people down after they almost CRASHED?! That's ridiculous! And they made people stand in line all that time while they rebooked folks.. and Delta regards this as standard procedure after they flash the lives of everyone on board right in front of their eyes?

You bet DL should have done more.. WAYYY more!

I'm really ticked about this! I feel like writing and I wasn't even on the plane!

Jeff
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Old Jun 19, 01, 3:13 pm
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I agree in such situation you can also add CRC staff, commercial staff, check-in staff and last but not least hire (and instruct) staff from other airlines who will help out without any doubt.

------------------
Cheers,

Brenno.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 3:46 pm
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I agree with the group that says Delta owes you nothing more than they gave you.

You did not almost die. If the plane had crashed or broken up or began burning on the ground, forcing an emergency evacuation, THEN you would have almost died, but what you experienced was something no different than having a flat on a public bus.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 3:51 pm
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I think everyone is over reacting. DEN is a small operation for Delta. While they should have pulled from the front ticket counter, there is not much more they should/could have done. Crown Room request are out of line. But your letter should generate some compensation for your inconvience.

I've been through what you went through several times. Each time we landed with fire engines lining the runway, the FA going through emergency landing procedures etc. Each time, the flight was treated as a canceled flight. Get in line and we'll try and rebook you OR they try and get another aircraft. A new aircraft is what has happened on 2 occasions for me. Those that are too scared to fly must drive to the next destination or just cancel the trip.

Once was in SLC. No extra staff or extra help. Just get in line but before we were all rebooked, they had found a plane. Before taking off, the drinks were doubles (at 10:00am) and everyone read along with the FA on the safety procedures.

Another time in LEX we just had to wait in line for rebooking but it was Easter weekend and I was told the earliest they could get me out was Sat. (this was a Thurs). Again, they came up with another plane.

When these things happen (emergencies etc.) Delta does the best they can. They can't make additional staff appear out of thin air. They can't give everyone $$$ just because they had a near miss. They can't let everyone in the CR. Think of the people in the CR who are suddenly inconvienced because of the big crowd.

Those are the risks we take for flying. If you don't like it, take a train, bus or car. Flying is a choice I make with the associated risks.
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Old Jun 19, 01, 5:24 pm
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What peteropny is describing seems like Delta reacting to an extraordanary situation as if it has been a routine cancellation. I don't see how you can compare this to a flat tire on a bus. I would expect that many FF would be terribly traumatized by such an event and would find it extremely difficult to stand on their feet, never mind stand in a line waiting for an agent who doesn't see what the big deal is to rebook them and remind them not to be cranky. I suspect that what peteropny (and the rest of the pasengers) really could have used at that moment was some compassion and understanding, and it doesn't sound like that's what he got.
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