Delta Customer Care called to ARGUE with me!

 
Old Jul 11, 06, 2:37 pm
  #1  
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Delta Customer Care called to ARGUE with me!

I recently sent a letter to Delta regarding a flight that I had purchased from their website. This flight had me connecting through ATL with 40 minutes between planes. I guess I should have known better, but 40 minutes of connection times is barely doable under the best of circumstances.

My flights were delayed by about 10 minutes in each direction, so naturally I missed my connecting flight - and spent 3 hours each way in Atlanta airport.

My letter to Delta suggested that they should not offer routings with such tight connections, or perhaps indicate to the customer that there is a substantial risk of missing a connection if you book this flight - and that Delta not attempt to sell a product that they can't really deliver on.

About a week later, I received a call from customer care. The customer care agent's message to me was that "Both of your flights were delayed due to ATC, so we can't compensate you for that"

I didn't really belabor the point, or try to engage the customer care representative to help her understand that my letter wasn't about compensation - but she refused to address the subject of my letter, saying that 40 minutes of connection time in Atlanta is perfectly adequate, and that if I didn't think so - I was free to book a ticket with a longer stopover in ATL.

I'm just baffled by the fact that Delta actually employs someone whose job it is to call customers that wrote letters, and argue with them that their grievances are not in fact valid.

In my letter, I explained that I travel this route EVERY WEEK, and that I frequently wind up booking Y tickets, because there isn't much competition in this market - and that I've subsequently rebooked all my future travel on USAir - but none of this really seemed to phase anyone at Delta.

Bottom line, I wish Delta the best of luck in their bankrupcy...
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Old Jul 11, 06, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Giovanni
I recently sent a letter to Delta regarding a flight that I had purchased from their website. This flight had me connecting through ATL with 40 minutes between planes. I guess I should have known better, but 40 minutes of connection times is barely doable under the best of circumstances.

My flights were delayed by about 10 minutes in each direction, so naturally I missed my connecting flight - and spent 3 hours each way in Atlanta airport.

My letter to Delta suggested that they should not offer routings with such tight connections, or perhaps indicate to the customer that there is a substantial risk of missing a connection if you book this flight - and that Delta not attempt to sell a product that they can't really deliver on.

About a week later, I received a call from customer care. The customer care agent's message to me was that "Both of your flights were delayed due to ATC, so we can't compensate you for that"

I didn't really belabor the point, or try to engage the customer care representative to help her understand that my letter wasn't about compensation - but she refused to address the subject of my letter, saying that 40 minutes of connection time in Atlanta is perfectly adequate, and that if I didn't think so - I was free to book a ticket with a longer stopover in ATL.

I'm just baffled by the fact that Delta actually employs someone whose job it is to call customers that wrote letters, and argue with them that their grievances are not in fact valid.

In my letter, I explained that I travel this route EVERY WEEK, and that I frequently wind up booking Y tickets, because there isn't much competition in this market - and that I've subsequently rebooked all my future travel on USAir - but none of this really seemed to phase anyone at Delta.

Bottom line, I wish Delta the best of luck in their bankrupcy...
Unfortunately, I have found that to be the case as well in my dealings with the so called "customer care". Although they may be technically "right" in your case, at least they could have acted like they were concerned about your saving your business.

However, if you did know that 40 minutes would not be sufficient, then you should have looked at alternate connecting cities or different airlines.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 3:28 pm
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Sounds like you made the right choice for your situation. You'll LOVE connecting in PHL - All of the US gates are very close to each other.

I'm surprised about your experience with the Delta Customer Care representative.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 3:53 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Giovanni

My letter to Delta suggested that they should not offer routings with such tight connections, or perhaps indicate to the customer that there is a substantial risk of missing a connection if you book this flight - and that Delta not attempt to sell a product that they can't really deliver on.
I completely disagree. I think that there is NOT a "substantial risk" of missing a connection. And if they didn't offer such short connections, I would find someone else to fly with.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 4:11 pm
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If Delta never offered anything below a one hour connection, the airline would definitely go out of business.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by indufan
I completely disagree. I think that there is NOT a "substantial risk" of missing a connection. And if they didn't offer such short connections, I would find someone else to fly with.
I hate to be a ditto-head but........Ditto for me
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Old Jul 11, 06, 6:16 pm
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I definitely get frustratrated with Delta at times. But in this case, I would say book whatever works best for you - whether it is Delta or someone else. Customer service isn't what it used to be, but that isn't a Delta centric phenomena. All airlines (and nearly all businesses) are reducing costs partially by putting the least expensive butts they can find into the call centers and telling them to read from scripts. If you happened to get a butt that argued with you in clear English, you likely did better than most. While I wish Delta were aiming to be the high service provider (at a slightly higher cost), they aren't. In fact, no one is really aiming for that space (perhaps suggesting that none of them believe there are enough of us who appreciate that additional service to pay for it?). So, in a market where none of your options will really give you what you want, you might as well choose the one that best fits your schedule. Holding grudges against the minimum wage morons at one place who happened to offend you before the mimum wage morons at the next got a chance to do so doesn't really win you anything IMO.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 6:34 pm
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Common sense needs to apply to connection times.... 40 minutes is OK if a lot of other conditions are true... no checked luggage, a later flight that can accomodate you in the event of a mis-connect, and your own schedule flexibility... like you are not trying to make a wedding that VERY night etc. And you are not flying on Thanksgiving eve.

Personally, on an outbound adventure, like a flight to Europe, I would rather have a 3 hour layover than a 1 hour connection. Coming home, I am not so paranoid. I do not care about whether my checked luggage makes the connection, and from either JFK or ATL, there are alternative ways to get to BOS or PVD.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 6:51 pm
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Is it just me, or is it a good thing that Delta actually called a customer regarding their issue? It would have been much easier to blast off some form letter about connections and ATC delays or something, but they actually took the time to call. In my mind this is a step towards improving the customer experience, even if the OP did not get satisfaction from in this particular situation.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 7:03 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by RobertS975
Personally, on an outbound adventure, like a flight to Europe, I would rather have a 3 hour layover than a 1 hour connection.
Me too. I was just offered a 35 minute connection in ORD for MIA-ORD-DEL on AA. I was amazed. I would never take a chance on something that tight and end up wasting an entire day in ORD.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by RobertS975
Common sense needs to apply to connection times.... 40 minutes is OK if a lot of other conditions are true... no checked luggage, a later flight that can accomodate you in the event of a mis-connect, and your own schedule flexibility... like you are not trying to make a wedding that VERY night etc. And you are not flying on Thanksgiving eve.
All of this is true except maybe the checked luggage thing. I think the airlines do a remarkable job of getting bags along to the destination. I think there are many times when the bag makes the connection and the passenger doesn't. The times when it is a factor is when you are REALLY late and have like 5 minutes and you just happen to land at an adjacent gate. One time, I bet I was only actually in the ATL airport for less than 1 minute. Off one plane, next gate, right onto second plane.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 8:17 pm
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Originally Posted by indufan
I think the airlines do a remarkable job of getting bags along to the destination.
Good observation. The only times in the past couple of years when I have been separated from my luggage are:

1) Flying 3 legs ANC-SEA-ATL-HSV with the initial leg on Alaska. The itinerary was not correct at check-in, and I expect the check-in person did not tag my bag correctly. Not DL's fault.

2) This past Friday, HSV-ATL-TPA. Initial HSV-ATL flight (MD-88) cancelled due to mech, rebooked onto the next ASA flight. That flight had weight issues, so they had to remove 12 bags. I got to TPA 90 minutes late, my bags arrived that evening. The interesting part is that they were tagged for AA flights, and apparently got to connect via DFW. Again, not really DL's fault, better to remove my bag than me! And I was on an award ticket, and just glad that that I was only 90 minutes late.

I don't fly weekly like many of you, but usually at least once a month.

David
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Old Jul 11, 06, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by jimrpa
Sounds like you made the right choice for your situation. You'll LOVE connecting in PHL - All of the US gates are very close to each other.

I'm surprised about your experience with the Delta Customer Care representative.
Sad thing about DL is that when it's good it's great and when it's bad...it's just awful.

If you plan to connect in PHL do not check any bags. The US ground crews in PHL have a habit of losing luggage. Also, expect significant ATC delays due to PHL's position between the NYC and DC ATC corridors. I kid you not when I say I have sat on the tarmac in PHL for up to 90 minutes due to ATC delays and have sat on the tarmac at originating cities for almost as long waiting for departure clearance into PHL.

To put it mildly, PHL is a disaster of a place to connect. If you are going to fly US, try to connect through CLT or DCA. One raindrop can send PHL into cardiac arrest.
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Old Jul 11, 06, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by jimrpa
Sounds like you made the right choice for your situation. You'll LOVE connecting in PHL - All of the US gates are very close to each other.

I'm surprised about your experience with the Delta Customer Care representative.
Actually - I'm connecting in CLT. A few observations about this flight - since I take it every week:

1. CLT is a pleasant, clean airport - and it's really easy to get from one end of the airport to the other (no train ride needed)

2. US Airways gives me a 1 hour connection in CLT - which is more than adequate considering the distance I have to travel between gates

3. I have seen the gate agents at CLT go to great lengths to accomodate pax making tight connections - which is a huge departure from DL with their practice of closing the flight 10 mins prior to scheduled departure - and screwing over those with delayed incoming flights.

I wanted to keep my business with DL - since I've been an elite member with CO for several years (I was based out of EWR at the time) - but frankly, DL has made it impossible for me to do so, unless I felt like sitting in ATL for 3 hours twice a week for the next year...
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Old Jul 12, 06, 12:25 am
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I actually jumped ship from US to DL. Since US has merged with HP there has been a consistent devaluation of the FF program, especially for elites. While DL may not be perfect, it's better than US if you are an elite. I would suggest that you jump over to the US board and see what people are saying about the "New US."

Things that have ticked me off and caused me to leave US:

- Removal of seat in F to increase Y-class loads and reduce comp'd upgrades

- Continued transition of many routes to express service

- Reductions in service frequency that makes it challenging for business pax

- Y-up programs that give preference to non-status pax willing to pay a little extra over elites

- No meals except on transcon routes

- Filthy planes

- PHL, PHL, PHL

DL can drive me to drink when things get ugly but overall better than US.
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