View Full Version : Check-in / Boarding $200 fee for Delta's inefficiency

Apr 20, 2010, 12:39 PM
On March 23, 2010, my family were scheduled to fly out from JFK to LAX on Delta DL701 at 7.00am. We were in the baggage check in before 6.00am along with about 25 to 30 other passengers. We tried to obtain our boarding passes but the Delta machine kept saying "contact agent". Despite there being 3 or 4 Delta staff in the terminal, no one would help us.

We were told to "wait in line". After we were in line for about 20 minutes, a Delta representative asked if anybody in the line did not have a boarding pass. We raised our hands and he asked for our booking number. He approached the boarding pass machines and informed us that because we didn't obtain our boarding passes 1 hour before the flight, we would have to go on the later flight at 8.00am and pay $50 each. We explained that we were here before 6.00am and that we were in line. He said he could not waive the fee, but maybe his supervisor could and pointed me to a lady walking around the terminal with a chair in her hand.

I approached the supervisor and she said that I should have got to the terminal earlier and that I must pay the $200 (4 x $50 per ticket) otherwise "I would not
get back to LAX".

Do you think that if you are in line on time and that there are 25 to 30 people waiting to have their baggage checked, that having only 2 people at the counter while 4 are aimlessly walking around the terminal acceptable?

Secondly, do you think you should penalise your customers if your machines don't work and your staff cannot process passengers quickly enough?

Finally, the Delta representative took my credit card and went to pay the $200 penalty through the same machine that did not issue my boarding passes. I told him to be careful as the machine seemed faulty. He said "the machine works for me". When he entered my credit card, the machine read "Processing Payment" for about a minute before crashing again.

We were then escorted to the Delta member's line and told that this Customer Service representative at the counter will help me.

The representative in the "members only" line said that she could not see whether I paid the $200 fee or not so she would need to charge me again, otherwise "I will lose my job!". I told her that I had just paid $200 on the other machine. She said she cannot see a receipt number, said she had sympathy for my situation and repeated that she needs to charge me again otherwise she would lose her job. When my wife asked her if it was acceptable to have so many people in line and being fined for an inefficient check in processes, the representative agreed, said it was not good, but also added, "we're in a recession and I will take any job I can".

When I said what am I supposed to do when I see 2 payments on my credit card statement, she said, "just call your bank, they will reverse it - I do it all the time".

It did go through my card twice, one as $200, the other as 4 x $50. The bank said they cannot just "reverse it" as international protocol requires the customer to contact the supplier first.

I have since received email responses from Ruby M Chase and Michelle M Kidman at Delta's "Customer Care" and they have declined my refund request saying it was my responsibility to obtain boarding passes and board there plane one hour prior - despite faulty machinery and lack of staff.

What next? Will it be my responsibility to fly the plane too?

Apr 20, 2010, 9:32 PM
If they charged you twice and refuse to refund it, you should go to court. You might get all of it. Delta are outrageous and should be avoided at all costs. They are high cost, low service... if you want a low standard of service go with a low cost airline, but it is pointless travelling Delta. They are not interested in their customers and charge ridiculous fees.