Voucher Question - This is a first...

 
Old Jul 10, 08, 8:57 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Programs: DL Skymiles FO, Marriott Rewards, Hilton HHonors, Hertz #1 Club Gold
Posts: 338
Voucher Question - This is a first...

Hello Flyertalkers, I am in need of some of your wisdom. A very strange situation has now developed with a voucher that was issued to me and I could definitely use your input on how to proceed. Warning, this is going to get a little lengthy...

To give you some background, a few months ago I flew LGA-ATL-FLL on DL and I checked one bag. When I got to LGA, I was informed by the agent that my bag was considered "Oversize" and would be subject to a $150 excess baggage fee. Never mind that DL has checked this bag for me almost a dozen times in the last year with no questions asked, and also never mind that I'm FO and entitled to 3 checked bags up to 70 lbs, but only checked 1 that was under 50 lbs (frustrating, I know...). In order to get the bag to my destination and not waste more time and money, I paid the fee and flew down to FLL. Upon arrival, I noticed that a gentleman with a much larger duffel bag than my suitcase came off of our flight with no Oversize tag, indicating that he did not have to pay any excess bag fees.

Long story short, I went to the baggage service office and pointed out the inconsistency in the application of their policy. The agent agreed with me and told me to write in via e-mail about the situation in the hopes that they would issue me a credit. I left the airport and a few hours later, the same agent called me on my mobile and informed me that she spoke with a supervisor and was able to get approval to issue me a voucher in the amount of $150. I could pick it up in the baggage service office on my way back through FLL the following week. I did so and have the piece of paper with the voucher number, expiration date (April 2009), and amount of $150.

Fast forward to last night, where I attempted to use the voucher via phone. The SMS agent could not access it. She tries several times and finally gets the information on her screen, but still can not "open" the voucher record. She finds some sort of notation attached to the voucher saying that "passenger issued multiple vouchers", which I can tell you is incorrect considering I only have one piece of paper with one voucher number for the full amount I was due. The SMS agent can't do anything with it and forwards me to the baggage service dept. hoping that they can look at whatever notes are in my file so we can clear this up and I can use the voucher. After an hour on the phone, the baggage service supervisor I spoke to worked with another internal DL voucher person (not sure of the title or dept. as I didn't speak with her) and she finds out that the reason they had trouble with the voucher was that the amount had been zeroed out and there is a notation in the file that "customer was issued cash"! This opens up a big can of worms: 1) The purpose of vouchers is for transportation credit so that no cash is disbursed, correct? 2) Is it not against policy to disburse cash? 3) I did not receive any cash, nor have I used the voucher! The record says the transaction took place on April 30, my date of travel. However, when I was informed that the voucher was approved by the baggage service employee, I was already out of the airport and told the voucher would be waiting for me when I returned, which it was.

The baggage service supervisor informed me that there was nothing she could do and I would have to contact DL Corporate Customer Care and request an investigation, since it appeared the voucher amount had already been "used" even though I know that I did no such thing. I am not about to part with $150, since the charge for it was on my credit card from April already. But now I am stumped. The supervisor said she has never seen a situation like this before, but there was still nothing she could do.

DL Corp. is now open this morning and I plan on contacting them, but what do you think I should do? Any suggestions or tips on what else I can do to handle this situation? Man, this one is a doozie...
WidgetHead is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 9:05 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Programs: DL PM, WN A-List, HH Dia, Hyatt Plat, National ECE, Hertz PC
Posts: 15,379
Interestingly enough nowhere do you say the bag is not oversize. Is the bag in question oversize (62 inches length + width + height)? You also mention your FO baggage allowance, which I don't believe has anything to do with oversize baggage.

Sorry, I don't really care about the rest of your story because it sounds to me like Delta did you a favor by not charging you several times, then the one time they do charge you, rightfully so, you b*$%h and moan about it, but maybe I'm wrong. This is why I actually thought the no waivers/no favors policy was good business, the problem with waivers/favors is that they become expected.
Beckles is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 9:13 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: STX
Programs: Used to have a bunch of shiny metallic cards. That was one life ago.
Posts: 1,804
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320))

Nice first response, because we all know DL applies every rule accurately and fairly each and every time.

OP, do you have a 'piece of paper' with some info scribbled on it? Or, do you have an actual paper voucher? If you have the actual voucher, it shouldn't matter what's in the computer. The paper is worth $150 DL dollars until surrendered or expired. You would need to do this in person with an agent, though.
jbatl is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 9:48 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Programs: DL Skymiles FO, Marriott Rewards, Hilton HHonors, Hertz #1 Club Gold
Posts: 338
Hey Beckles - I don't mind some healthy skepticism, but at least try to do so respectfully. Your post is neither helpful nor respectful and it is not appreciated. I am looking for some genuine help here about a legitimate issue.

Indeed I do have a printed piece of paper from the DL system that was printed at the baggage service office in FLL, and it contains the necessary information. The supervisor I spoke to last night thought it was an electronic voucher since she could view the record attached my SM# online (apparently you couldn't do that with paper vouchers?), but it is possible that it is a paper voucher. What I don't want to happen is to go to the airport and have them tell me the same thing, that it is a corporate issue and will need to be handled elsewhere. I am willing to try that though, thanks for the suggestion.
WidgetHead is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 9:53 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Programs: DL PM, WN A-List, HH Dia, Hyatt Plat, National ECE, Hertz PC
Posts: 15,379
Yup, the bag is oversize ... why can't you just be happy you didn't have to pay the fee all those times instead of being mad they charged it to you one time?
Beckles is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 10:27 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: DL AA UA
Posts: 2,359
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

Originally Posted by Beckles
Yup, the bag is oversize ... why can't you just be happy you didn't have to pay the fee all those times instead of being mad they charged it to you one time?
The reason is because both DL and the op agreed on a $150 voucher. The voucher was issued but now cannot be used as both parties intended and expected. While I think DL could have initially told the OP to pound dirt, once they issue the voucher they can't then revisit the issue and make the voucher worthless. IMO, DL did the right thing since they didnt follow the oversized baggage charge consistently on this flight. YMMV.
ADLFO is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 10:34 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 692
Is it too late to dispute the CC charge? That might be your best bet at this point.
AndrewC75 is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 11:00 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Programs: DL Skymiles FO, Marriott Rewards, Hilton HHonors, Hertz #1 Club Gold
Posts: 338
That's an interesting point, I hadn't considered whether they had revisited the voucher after the fact, but that wouldn't explain why there was a notation in the record that the voucher was redeemed for cash, would it? Something doesn't smell right here, either way.

I had considered disputing the CC charge, but I was afraid they would cancel my SM account. Being a loyal DL flyer, I definitely don't want that.
WidgetHead is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 11:24 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA (Vinings Area)
Programs: DL DM, Hilton, Marriott & SPG Gold & a whole lot of other programs...
Posts: 736
Chill...

Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
Yup, the bag is oversize ... why can't you just be happy you didn't have to pay the fee all those times instead of being mad they charged it to you one time?
Seriously Beckles - I'm sure I'll get flack for this, but if you can't productively contribute to this conversation, then don't at all. They guy is just asking a legitimate question and for some help...
milesandpoints is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 1:39 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Programs: DL PM, WN A-List, HH Dia, Hyatt Plat, National ECE, Hertz PC
Posts: 15,379
Originally Posted by WidgetHead View Post
That's an interesting point, I hadn't considered whether they had revisited the voucher after the fact, but that wouldn't explain why there was a notation in the record that the voucher was redeemed for cash, would it? Something doesn't smell right here, either way.
Despite your refusal to answer my simple question, I will add that it looks like a form of check-to-cash fraud to me (in this case the "check" being the voucher) by an employee. I believe baggage agents have some authority to issue cash, but I think that's getting less common. A less likely theory (and certainly more controversial I'm sure) is that maybe a supervisor cancelled it after they heard that the charge was legitimate and the voucher should have never been issued by a lower level employee.
Beckles is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 3:21 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hopefully on a plane...
Posts: 6,580
Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
Despite your refusal to answer my simple question, I will add that it looks like a form of check-to-cash fraud to me (in this case the "check" being the voucher) by an employee. I believe baggage agents have some authority to issue cash, but I think that's getting less common. A less likely theory (and certainly more controversial I'm sure) is that maybe a supervisor cancelled it after they heard that the charge was legitimate and the voucher should have never been issued by a lower level employee.
I'd actually agree with the 2nd idea. IIRC, when you sign for the cash the agent literally has you sign for it so they can track it. I would dispute this with DL HQ so they can get to the bottom of it.
WBurcham is offline  
Old Jul 10, 08, 3:57 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ATL
Programs: DL - GM (Sky Priority);HH - Gold; Marriott - Silver; National - Executive; DL Reserve AMEX
Posts: 5,050
Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
A less likely theory (and certainly more controversial I'm sure) is that maybe a supervisor cancelled it after they heard that the charge was legitimate and the voucher should have never been issued by a lower level employee.
It's too late at that point, frankly. If DL makes a committment to a customer, they should stand by it.

Also, I agree with the other posters that you need to chill out and stop being so attacking. Either be constructive or don't contribute at all.
MikeyZBT is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread