View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked delayed, overbooked and then canceled

Sep 7, 2009, 7:29 PM
Dear Sirs,

About six months ago, my elderly parents bought a ticket to come visit me for three months. My mother is in an advanced stage of bone cancer and it probably was our last visit together.
Their ticket was supposed to be a non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Cincinnati and the return from Cincinnati direct to Amsterdam, because of her medical condition. The only reason they choose your airline was because of this direct flight. Their were less expensive flights available, however, not direct.
In the mean time (for whatever reason) the return flight from CVG to AMS was cancelled without my parents being notified. The Airline automatically booked them from Cincinnati through Atlanta (!) to Amsterdam.
By the time we found out ourselves, the flights that were through Detroit (and more realistic for my parents) were already booked to capacity (or more) and there were no available seats together anymore.
I tried through your reservations system to get an upgrade to have them be able to sit together and was told the only seats available (that day)would cost $7600 a person. So I thanked the reservations agent for this opportunity but had to decline because of cost.
I was deeply disappointed about my parents experience of their probably last flight ever, together.

I have been a Pilot for another Major Airline for the past 22 years and have seen this industry go through major changes. I am almost embarrassed to tell my peers that I work for an Airline. And I dread the horror stories people pelt me with, about their experiences with all Airlines. One only needs to read the paper on almost any given day.
In no other service industry, is it possible to disrespect customers to this level, and still operate a successful and profitable company. Although, it seems the Airline Industry, as a whole, has not been profitable in decades. Even with aircraft filled to capacity.
When I see Airline Representatives (and especially the upper leadership in their Teflon suits with their multi-million dollar bonuses) try to explain why things went wrong, I wonder in what virtual reality they reside.

A bill of rights for Airline customers is not the correct answer, but if it were instituted, it would be the ONLY protection the flying public has over what is available today.
This industry begs for RE-regulation since it obviously cannot police itself.
A bill of rights already exists in the Constitution of the United States although I am not certain it is being used anymore either.

Sep 8, 2009, 1:02 AM
And there we have it...

The ultimate insder calling for re-regulation...when will they listen. I am not sure why you oppose a bill of rights for passengers Pinocchio.... they are pretty minimal and would at least equalise the market between airlines for basic standards of care.

I am sorry to hear how your parents were treated.... really, there is such a lack of basic human decency in the way some people are treated.

Sep 8, 2009, 2:06 AM
Hi jimworcs
No amount of regulation can replace common sense, or specify the boundaries of decency between humans. Regulations will just narrow and highlight the borders between literally acceptable and punishable. I believe in treating people as I would hope to be treated. Airlines are just unhuman multi-nationals that dictate their behavior by stockprices and we are all collectively guilty by greed.

Sep 8, 2009, 3:12 AM
Agree with every bit of it. But the status quo is not working. Jim is right as far as re-regulation. With someone to answer to other than the stockholders and the DOT about a few complaints that ultimately never get solved, maybe having someone tell them how it will be done may help. Can't hurt.

Sep 8, 2009, 4:23 AM
Many things in this post just don't add up and/or don't sound quite right. I won't say any more but there are more holes in this story than a slice of Swiss cheese.

Sep 8, 2009, 6:26 AM
You mean apart from the fact that he called himself Pinocccio, the parents were terminally ill, he was an ex pilot, but called for re-regulation... but wasn't able to get any "professional" courtesy... the fact that he was a pilot earning a good salary but was sending his terminally ill parents home to fly coach class.. he couldn't afford $7,600 for example? I figured I would give it the benefit of the doubt, as he was reinforcing my prejudices!!

Silent Bob
Sep 8, 2009, 9:29 AM
Jim, I thought pinnocio was you under another name (all that re-regulation talk) heh. But what got me was this line in particular:

In the mean time (for whatever reason) the return flight from CVG to AMS was cancelled without my parents being notified.

I'm sorry but how can a pilot, or an ex-pilot use such a term? Shouldn't you have resources and people you can call to find out about what happened to the flight? heck if your parents were so ill (and I'm not placing doubt there), shouldn't you have been tracking the flight from the moment they arrived at the airport? And pinnocio, for an ex-pilot, 22 years, you seem awful surprised by a delay/cancellation... i mean haven't you been in a couple of these situations yourself???

and this line is the kicker

In no other service industry, is it possible to disrespect customers to this level

First at what level were you or your family disrespected? Worse case scenario they didn't sit together on their connecting flight, but they made it and i would assume unharmed. two, if the overbooking is disrespectful (or the lack of a phone call about the cancellation), again why are you so stunned by this? You're a PILOT!!! This should be nothing new. Second, what about the fastfood industry? retail industry? administrative assistants? Jehova's witnesses? (You want bad customer service? these guys knock on your door at 6 am!! Who invented 6 am anyway!!?)

I'm sorry but as much as I feel bad about your folks (old Bob can relate as he's gettin on in years) I feel your story lacks much credibility.

Sep 8, 2009, 1:22 PM
I'm not exactly sure of the function this "chatroom" is supposed to have. I just found it and a grenade at it. The parts that come flying out add up (in my opinion)to a tea party. I don't expect any results. It was a "relief valve" on my part to vent frustration.
I STILL fly airplanes, and I am not as naieve as you guys make me out to be.
Delta bought Northwest and canceled some duplicate flights CVG AMS was one of those. The reschedule was on DELTA! Northhwest flies from DTW.
The problem here is that airlines are supposed to let you know or reschedule. If they let you know, you have the option to give them trouble by asking for different routing. So they reschedule you, without notification (ASKING FORGIVENESS IS LESS WORK THAN ASKING FOR PERMISSION)
Humans are not at the helm here. Machines and stockprices are!

Silent Bob
Sep 8, 2009, 3:09 PM
Ok Pinocccio, here is the thing. you're currently a pilot (supposedly) and you're here now looking for a place to vent because of what happened to your parents, which doesn't seem like much happened... but you're a pilot! When you use the words for whatever reason to the cancellation of their flight, you lose any cred you might hope to gain because you're now admitting that you're actively a pilot on a major u.s. carrier (Hey where's his label?) and you don't know what's going on. That's scary! You should, literally, have the resources at your finger tips to follow your parents flight and should have known about the change well before hand. Did you simply book the tickets and walk away? You say your parents, or your mom, is gravely ill, but you never thought to check on their flight? in any way shape or form? I'm just going by your words:

By the time we found out ourselves, the flights that were through Detroit (and more realistic for my parents) were already booked to capacity (or more) and there were no available seats together anymore.

I'm sorry but I don't believe that you're a pilot, of 22 years or any years, because right now you're acting like a new traveler. If you're a pilot then you allowed this to happen rather than knowing about it before hand. I think you're just "someone" whom this happened to and using the pilot story as a way to gain some credibility, but your inactions tell a different story. If you were a pilot you would know way more about that flight before your parents even left the house. You should know how the airline industry works, know about schedule changes, flight cancellations, delays, air traffic, etc. I'm a frequent flyer and I have my internet resources, but you're a pilot!!!! This should be nothing new to you, but yet here you are acting as though "OMG I can't believe this just happened to me".

The purpose for this site for people to complain about their issues with the airline industry, yes venting their fustrations they might have. However you're currently the airline industry, and your complaining about something that you should be more than knowledgeable about. I'm not saying airline employees can't complain, but complaining about something that isn't really new to them? uhmmmm.....

Sep 8, 2009, 7:02 PM
you folks have more time than I do to "psycho analyse" the "opposition" with questions about what my REAL motives are and how dumb I must really be. Enjoy your "tea party" I will throw mine out cold! I have no time for this.Chiao!

Sep 9, 2009, 2:38 AM
you folks have more time than I do to "psycho analyse" the "opposition" with questions about what my REAL motives are and how dumb I must really be. Enjoy your "tea party" I will throw mine out cold! I have no time for this.Chiao!

Yet you offer no defense to those challenges. Hey, skepticism is human nature. When you present a story where all the I's aren't dotted and some of the T's aren't crossed you'd better be prepared to be challenged on those points and offer a rebuttal. You, however, choose to be cheeky and give some lame"tea party" analogy and say "I'm outta here." Fine. Good bye.

And, FYI, it's "Ciao" not "Chiao!"

Sep 9, 2009, 3:01 AM
And, FYI, it's "Ciao" not "Chiao!"

Had to say, LMFAO... I was thinking the same thing! And for the record, I agree with everyone who says this story is awfully "holey"!

Sep 9, 2009, 4:03 AM
for what my two cents is worth delta announced MONTHS ago that they would no longer be servicing the cvg/ams route. I specifically remember a "fall/winter capacity reduction" bulletin, but when i went to go find it, the only one i could find was the same bulletin it had just been updated this month so i couldn't find the original date on it. the new items were highlighted in red, but the cvg/ams was in black meaning it had not been part of the update, so for this flight to have been "suddenly" canceled recently would have been pretty impossible, it's just the airline doing a capicty reduction/ schedule change on the flight. alternate options are dtw/ams or atl/ams on NW or DL

as far as your parents not being notified if they booked with a travel agency the agency was notified and was their responsibility to notify you, as when they put your phone number in the reservation they put it in a different area of the reservation and the delta system cannot read the phone number unless it is in a specific area of the reservation. (i'm not saying they did book through a travel agency but offering insight as to why they may not have been notified) also if you provided an email address delta will email you about a schedule change rather than call.

calls are normally placed 6 weeks prior to departure on a schedule change so it may have been you noticed it prior to delta calling you. alot of people catch it prior to being notified by the airline

unfortunately the airline will not upgrade you to first class because of a schedule change or give you any compensation. the only option is a refund but only if you are not arriving within 90 minutes of your originally scheduled arrival.

sorry i don't make the rules at delta i'm just here to hopefully help you understand what is/has happened

Sep 9, 2009, 4:11 AM
now that i look at the bulletin closer.....it was that the seasonal service between cvg/ams was ending early. the last date this flight operated was 15aug eastbound and 16aug westbound. so it's been discontinued for a few weeks now. and was probably announced for at least a month maybe even two prior to the service ending.

Sep 9, 2009, 12:18 PM
some people here offer helpful info, thank you for that.
Some others only seem interested in elevating their online selfworth. I don't want to perpetuate that. figure out who you are "Einstein". It's your insanity, not mine.

PS I bet Einstein even has a criticism about that last greeting. spellings differ from country to country, get a life!

Silent Bob
Sep 9, 2009, 3:15 PM
Actually pinoccio no one has offered any helpful advice to you. And the only person that really needs to get a life is you for claiming to be a pilot but unable to get any details about your parents flight, when you should have some clue about the inner workings of the airlines. THAT's embarrassing. It's not about elevating selfworth, and it's not about psychoanalyzing, as a pilot you SHOULD be able to provide more detail than what you gave, as a PILOT you should have been able to tell your parents to call and confirm their flights or did it for them, as a PILOT you should have been able to get any details about their trip, especially if their health wasn't so great. But you're not a pilot.

What's funny is that I know a couple of pilots, and i sent a copy of your complaint to him and you know what his response was: "LOL this guy is full of BS". I'm not kidding!