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COMPLAINT: Denied Boarding Due To Ignorance of Agent

 
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  #1  
Old Jun 19, 2009, 7:23 PM
lonniec3 lonniec3 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9

The following is a letter I sent to Delta "Customer Careless" 14 days ago. No answer yet!

If anyone can tell me who I can email or call for help with this, please advise ASAP. This puppy is spending all day in a carrier, while our daughter works. She is afraid that her two grown cats will harm it.

Good Morning,

I would like this email forwarded to the President of Delta.

Yesterday, June 5, 2009, my wife Walda Cross held a ticket for flight 411 with a nine week old puppy. She had called ahead and made a reservation for the puppy, had a health certificate and all other requirements which she presented at the counter.

Walda was denied boarding because your counter agent demanded that she present a rabies certificate. Your people, including the supervisor said Costa Rica demands a rabies certificate.

Read the requirements here: http://www.costaricaembassy.org/cons...ravel/pets.htm

They clearly state the following under required vacinations:

"Vaccination Requirements

distemper
hepatitis
leptospirosis
parvovirus.
rabies – for animals 4 months or older! FOUR MONTHS OR OLDER.

You cannot vaccinate an animal under 4 months for rabies!

The best your "Supervisor", (last name Derrick)sp) could offer would have been a 7:00PM flight after someone who was more familiar with the rules arrived. Why doesn't Mr. Derrick, a supervisor know the rules?

For my wife to take the 7:00 Pm flight would have put her in San Jose after all commuter flights from SJO to Golfito, CR had left and she would have had to stay in a hotel, and would not have been able to contact me.

This is more than a mere inconvienence, it is close to tragic. My wife is quite ill. We don't know with what, but she only weighs 94 lbs at 5'8"! Our doctor, Eric Munoz suggested that Walda get a "lap dog" as therapy"! That's what she went to Estados Unidos for.

Yes, she was flying on a SkyMiles ticket, note that my number starts with a "0". Walda took a taxi from Puerto Armuelles, Panama to David, Panama ($40). She boarded an Air Panama flight ($125 one way) to SJO where she she boarded Delta 416 to ATL. She spent three weeks searching for just the right dog.

Returning June 5, 2009 she was denied boarding with her new puppy, as described above. She flew into SJO (Another $125) to Golfito, CR, from where she took a cab to La Frontera (The Border w/Panama, $40) where I picked her up with a friend. She still had tears in her eyes. She was so upset on your plane that the flight attendant moved the person sitting next to her to another seat.

Now we are still faced with getting this puppy to Panama!

I think it is only fair that Delta Airlines return my Sky Miles mileage, the fee I paid to use the FREE ticket, all taxes and all expenses to get to and from San Jose.

Maybe you have a different compensation for your clerks' error, in the form of vouchers for Air Panama and Sansa and cover Walda's taxi fare with cash or otherwise.

The fact summed up is that my wife flew to Georgia to purchase a dog. She made the reservation for the pup, had all the required paperwork, including a health certificate from a U.S.D.A. certified vet. She didn't need anything else. Except that your personnel didn't know the rules, they were just worried about Delta getting a $10,000 fine because the dog didn't have a rabies shot.

The health certificate was issued on June 1, and is only good for ten days. Something must be done to rectify this gross error quickly, or we will require another $90 for the vet to reexamine the dog and issue a new certificate!

Impatiently Awaiting Your Reply,

Lonnie R. Cross III
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  #2  
Old Jun 20, 2009, 2:10 AM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New Jersey/Singapore
Posts: 412
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hey, dont worry about it being 14days, it takes airlines a while to respond, i know it seems like a while but alot of the time it takes upto a month, like it did with me

and just to let you know, the link doesnt work, but i will take your word and i believe that you are right, but maybe the agent was not sure of it and thought you needed the certificate no matter what, and needed someone with more authority to tell him what was needed since he may have never been in the situation before if he was new to that job.

i am very sorry that your wife had to go through all of that and it sounds very chaotic and devastating that a relatively easy request couldnt have been met when you did everything right. I am sorry to hear that and i hope you all the best and that your wife gets better/healthier soon!

So did you get your puppy in the end? cat fight free haha?
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  #3  
Old Jun 20, 2009, 7:57 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Posts: 1,366

mars6423 makes a valid point, Lonnie. If the agent wasn't 100% sure of the rule/policy and the repercussions of being wrong is a hefty fine I think erring on the side of caution and deferring the decision to higher management was the prudent thing to do. I know it created a difficult situation for your wife but the agent probably feared that had he made the wrong decision it could have cost him his job.

I think we need to make a distinction between ignorance and lack of training. Calling someone ignorant is very demeaning. It's apparent that this agent lacked complete training to either know the rules or know where to verify the rules about transporting live animals across international borders. Instead of using reference material which should have been at his disposal he opted to delay your wife's departure in order to get a decision from his manager.
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  #4  
Old Jun 20, 2009, 11:17 AM
lonniec3 lonniec3 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9

Originally Posted by mars6423 View Post
hey, dont worry about it being 14days, it takes airlines a while to respond, i know it seems like a while but alot of the time it takes upto a month, like it did with me
So did you get your puppy in the end? cat fight free haha?
I checked this link just before writing:

http://www.costarica-embassy.org/con...ravel/pets.htm

No the dog is still spending 5 days a week in a crate for up to 10 hours a day! I did hear from Delta Customer Careless yesterday. Here's their answer:


Thank you for your recent e-mail to our Chief Executive Officer, Richard
Anderson. I've been asked to respond on his behalf.

I was sorry to learn of the problem your wife experienced when traveling
with her puppy.

Health certificate requirements vary depending on a variety of factors.
You can find detailed information at www.delta.com by selecting the
following links from our home page:

Planning & Reservations
Special Travel Needs
Pet Travel Information
Pet Travel Requirements & Restrictions
Health Requirements

We sincerely regret your disappointment. Excellent customer service is
key and your comments and observations are helpful in ensuring we
maintain our goal of providing this level of service. We will make
every effort to prevent anything similar from happening again. Please
accept our apology for the poor impression, and we welcome further
opportunities to be of service.

As a goodwill gesture, I have issued our electronic Transportation
Credit in the amount of $200.00 which may be used toward future Delta
travel. E-TCVs are valid for one year from the date of issue. If
redeemed at delta.com, they will not incur a transaction fee. Fees will
apply if the voucher is redeemed through any other Delta location. You
will be receiving a receipt for this e-credit, along with the terms and
conditions, in a separate e-mail.

Again, thank you for writing. Your comments have been sent to the
responsible department for internal review. We value your business and
hope you will continue to make Delta your airline of choice.

Sincerely,

Brenda Brown
Coordinator
Customer Care


Lonnie
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  #5  
Old Jun 20, 2009, 11:41 AM
lonniec3 lonniec3 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9

Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
mars6423 makes a valid point, Lonnie. If the agent wasn't 100% sure of the rule/policy and the repercussions of being wrong is a hefty fine I think erring on the side of caution and deferring the decision to higher management was the prudent thing to do. I know it created a difficult situation for your wife but the agent probably feared that had he made the wrong decision it could have cost him his job.

I think we need to make a distinction between ignorance and lack of training. Calling someone ignorant is very demeaning. It's apparent that this agent lacked complete training to either know the rules or know where to verify the rules about transporting live animals across international borders. Instead of using reference material which should have been at his disposal he opted to delay your wife's departure in order to get a decision from his manager.
Dear PHXFlyer,

I understand your logic and am sure the supervisor thought of his job first.
However, in the 49 minutes they spent demanding a rabies certificate, it would have only taken one minute to check this: http://www.costarica-embassy.org/con...ravel/pets.htm, instead of sending my wife into deep depression. That would have been the right thing to do!

I'm sure you read Delta's reply to me which I posted in reply to mars64.

Here's what I wrote to Delta:

Sorry Brenda Brown:

Totally Unacceptable!

I looked at the requisites for bringing this puppy into Costa Rica on delta.com as you suggested. There is absolutely no reason that
that puppy should have been denied boarding. This is totally Delta's fault for not training agents and supervisors properly.

I sent you the URL for the Costa Rican Embassy where it clearly states that puppies under 4 MONTHS DO NOT need to have a
rabies shot. It was your ticket agent and her supervisor who denied the dog passage even though everything was proper.

Remember what we are always told: "Ignorance of the Law is NO EXCUSE"!
Obviously someone at Delta knew the rules on April 6 2009 when our daughter, Kimberly Buchan flew here on Delta ticket number
0062307496043. Check the number and note that she was traveling with an eight week old Golden Retriever for me. There was no
question of a rabies shot. He didn't have one and won't until next week when the vet comes. Why the disparity between agents?

My wife spent a month in Georgia while I sat here in Panama awaiting her return. Since she got back all she can think or talk about is her puppy that is STILL IN GEORGIA!!

You took 38000 SkyMiles from me for this flight. My wife spent $250 on regional airlines (Air Panama and Sansa) and $80 on taxicabs. You offer us $200!!!

We live on Social Security. There is no way we can afford for Walda to retake that trip! That's why we live in Panama!

Let's credit us with $330, our actual cost and reissue a SkyMiles ticket for one of us to make this trip again to pick up the dog who spends his entire days in a crate because of our daughter's cats.

That's what would be right, decent and morally correct.

Taking two weeks to answer us is also not acceptable.

("We hope you will continue to make Delta your airline of choice")

I have for over thirty years. My SkyMiles number begins with "0". But all bad habits have to end sometime!

You can take this anyway you like, but if Delta doesn't do THE RIGHT THING, we'll be in Atlanta as soon as our attorney tells us we won't have to wait more than a week to have the case he files heard in a court of law. Knowing my lawyer, it won't be small claims court!

You've got my hackles up and I have never not gotten vengeance for a wrong!

My wife spent 49 minutes arguing with your agent and her supervisor, Mr. Derrick, who actually told her to wait for a 7 o'clock flight when SOMEONE MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE RULES WOULD BE THERE!! In 49 minutes they could have checked at:
Sorry Brenda Brown:
Totally Unacceptable!
I looked at the requisites for bringing this puppy into Costa Rica on delta.com as you suggested. There is absolutely no reason that
that puppy should have been denied boarding. This is totally Delta's fault for not training agents and supervisors properly.
I sent you the URL for the Costa Rican Embassy where it clearly states that puppies under 4 MONTHS DO NOT need to have a
rabies shot. It was your ticket agent and her supervisor who denied the dog passage even though everything was proper.
Remember what we are always told: "Ignorance of the Law is NO EXCUSE"!
Obviously someone at Delta knew the rules on April 6 2009 when our daughter, Kimberly Buchan flew here on Delta ticket number
0062307496043. Check the number and note that she was traveling with an eight week old Golden Retriever for me. There was no
question of a rabies shot. He didn't have one and won't until next week when the vet comes. Why the disparity between agents?
My wife spent a month in Georgia while I sat here in Panama awaiting her return.
Since she got back all she can think or talk about is her puppy that is STILL IN GEORGIA!!
You took 38000 SkyMiles from me for this flight.
My wife spent $250 on regional airlines (Air Panama and Sansa) and
$80 on taxicabs. You offer us $200!!!
We live on Social Security. There is no way we can afford for Walda to retake that trip! That's why we live in Panama!
Let's credit us with $330, our actual cost and reissue a SkyMiles ticket for one of us to make this trip again to pick up the dog who
spends his entire days in a crate because of our daughter's cats.
That's what would be right, decent and morally correct.
Taking two weeks to answer us is also not acceptable.
Again, thank you for writing. Your comments have been sent to the
responsible department for internal review. We value your business and
hope you will continue to make Delta your airline of choice.
I have for over thirty years. My SkyMiles number begins with "0". But all bad habits have to end sometime!
You can take this anyway you like, but if Delta doesn't do THE RIGHT THING, we'll be in Atlanta as soon as our attorney tells us we
won't have to wait more than a week to have the case he files heard in a court of law. Knowing my lawyer, it won't be small claims
court!
You've got my hackles up and I have never not gotten vengeance for a wrong!
My wife spent 49 minutes arguing with your agent and her supervisor, Mr. Derrick, who actually told her to wait for a 7 o'clock flight
when SOMEONE MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE RULES WOULD BE THERE!! In 49 minutes they could have checked at:

http://www.costaricaembassy.org/cons...ravel/pets.htm

for what the rules actually were, but they preferred to browbeat my wife instead and complain about the $10,000 fine Delta would get! They didn't get one on April 6, when my dog came!

I don't think a jury of six will agree with your offer, especially since we have to return again to get the dog!

Punitive damages could come to well over $10,000 for the problems we've experienced. All we ask is fairness.

Very, Very Sincerely
Lonnie Raleigh Cross III
Puerto Armulles
The Republic of Panama
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  #6  
Old Jun 20, 2009, 11:55 AM
lonniec3 lonniec3 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9

Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
mars6423 makes a valid point, Lonnie. If the agent wasn't 100% sure of the rule/policy and the repercussions of being wrong is a hefty fine I think erring on the side of caution and deferring the decision to higher management was the prudent thing to do. I know it created a difficult situation for your wife but the agent probably feared that had he made the wrong decision it could have cost him his job.

I think we need to make a distinction between ignorance and lack of training. Calling someone ignorant is very demeaning. It's apparent that this agent lacked complete training to either know the rules or know where to verify the rules about transporting live animals across international borders. Instead of using reference material which should have been at his disposal he opted to delay your wife's departure in order to get a decision from his manager.
Dear PHXFlyer,

I understand your logic and am sure the supervisor thought of his job first.
However, in the 49 minutes they spent demanding a rabies certificate, it would have only taken one minute to check this: http://www.costarica-embassy.org/con...ravel/pets.htm, instead of sending my wife into deep depression. That would have been the right thing to do!

I'm sure you read Delta's reply to me which I posted in reply to mars64.

Here's what I wrote to Delta:

Sorry Brenda Brown:

Totally Unacceptable!

I looked at the requisites for bringing this puppy into Costa Rica on delta.com as you suggested. There is absolutely no reason that
that puppy should have been denied boarding. This is totally Delta's fault for not training agents and supervisors properly.

I sent you the URL for the Costa Rican Embassy where it clearly states that puppies under 4 MONTHS DO NOT need to have a
rabies shot. It was your ticket agent and her supervisor who denied the dog passage even though everything was proper.

Remember what we are always told: "Ignorance of the Law is NO EXCUSE"!
Obviously someone at Delta knew the rules on April 6 2009 when our daughter, Kimberly Buchan flew here on Delta ticket number
0062307496043. Check the number and note that she was traveling with an eight week old Golden Retriever for me. There was no
question of a rabies shot. He didn't have one and won't until next week when the vet comes. Why the disparity between agents?

My wife spent a month in Georgia while I sat here in Panama awaiting her return. Since she got back all she can think or talk about is her puppy that is STILL IN GEORGIA!!

You took 38000 SkyMiles from me for this flight. My wife spent $250 on regional airlines (Air Panama and Sansa) and $80 on taxicabs. You offer us $200!!!

We live on Social Security. There is no way we can afford for Walda to retake that trip! That's why we live in Panama!

Let's credit us with $330, our actual cost and reissue a SkyMiles ticket for one of us to make this trip again to pick up the dog who spends his entire days in a crate because of our daughter's cats.

That's what would be right, decent and morally correct.

Taking two weeks to answer us is also not acceptable.

("We hope you will continue to make Delta your airline of choice")

I have for over thirty years. My SkyMiles number begins with "0". But all bad habits have to end sometime!

You can take this anyway you like, but if Delta doesn't do THE RIGHT THING, we'll be in Atlanta as soon as our attorney tells us we won't have to wait more than a week to have the case he files heard in a court of law. Knowing my lawyer, it won't be small claims court!

You've got my hackles up and I have never not gotten vengeance for a wrong!

My wife spent 49 minutes arguing with your agent and her supervisor, Mr. Derrick, who actually told her to wait for a 7 o'clock flight when SOMEONE MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE RULES WOULD BE THERE!! In 49 minutes they could have checked at: http//www.costaricaembassy.org/consular/travel/pets

I don't think a jury of six will agree with your offer, especially since we have to return again to get the dog!

Punitive damages could come to well over $10,000 for the problems we've experienced. All we ask is fairness.

Very, Very Sincerely
Lonnie Raleigh Cross III
Puerto Armulles
The Republic of Panama
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  #7  
Old Jun 21, 2009, 5:40 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 340

Is there a lot of U.S. retiree's in Panama? What made you choose there?
Trying to plan for future.
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  #8  
Old Jun 21, 2009, 11:32 AM
lonniec3 lonniec3 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 9

Morning Leatherboy2006,

There are over twenty in our subdivison alone. Eight or ten on the beach. Many more we don't know about. David, Volcan, and Boquette are virtually ****** ghettos with the latter two almost totally ******.

We spent two years on a beautiful beach, Playa Zancudo, in Costa Rica. Then the man we were renting from told us there was no more cheap real estate in CR. He is a land dealer. We looked at Panama with him and both families moved to Panama. He went to the mountains, we went to a small town close to the ocean (4 blocks).

Why? The United States healthcare system. I am a heart patient. My Blue Cross and Blue Shield premiums rose to $1700 monthly! Drugs cost us $700 a month! We just couldn't afford it anymore.

In Panama, Pensionados get a disquenta on all drugs. I believe the government mandate is 15%, but some farmacias give you twenty off. On top of that, the cost of the drugs are 20% to 40% off U.S. prices for the very same drugs

The Doctor here comes to my house, speaks perfect English, and charges $5. No, there are no zeros missing here.

The clinic in town gave six of us Flu shots and asked which of us could remember the last time we got a tetnus shot? We all got them. Charge: Gratis! Panamanians believe in prevention!

On different occasions, two of our friends cut off a finger tip. One went to the hospital, his charge was $1.00 (note the decdimal point). The other went to the clinic. Charge there: .50¢.

Thirty years ago I did the same thing, went to the hospital in Middletown N.Y. and the bill was close to $700. No decimals here.

If you don't buy imported items in the grocery store, food is cheap. Rice Krispies are $5.00 for 12 ozs. Crispy rice, a local product is $2.50 for the same size box and product.

Bananas are between 3¢ and 7¢ per, depending on crops. Pineapples are usually $1 each, or if they are the smaller ones 50¢.

A 1.5 litre bottle of Cabernet is $5.29. At the municipal mercado red snapper goes for $1.00 a pound. There are fishermen who live on the beach and will sell you whole tuna for .45¢ a lb.You can have a decent dinnerl for less than $5, breakfast: 2 eggs, hoalda (A type of bread), juice, coffee for between $1.50 and $2.50, depending on if you want bacon.

There are government mandated discounts for almost anything. 25% off any airline ticket purchased in Panama. Delta makes you go to their office in Panama City to get this discount! All regional airlines take it off right at the ticket counter. We get discounts on all utilities. Water comes to $5.17 a month. Electicity is $32 to $58 monthly for us. One air conditioner runs 24/7 in my computer room as does my computer and 5.5 Terrabytes of external hard drives (4).

I Almost forgot! Beer is .50¢ a bottle in a restaurant! Thirty five cents if you have it delivered by the case. It is as good or better than most beers in green bottles, with 5.0% alcohol.

The temperature is usually 85ºF everyday. We get a lot of rain starting with evening thunder showers in June, but the days are nice until Ocdtober/November when we get deluged.

There are lots of inconveniences, but the pluses outweigh the minuses 10 to 1 for us.

Note that we don't live anywhere near Panama City. We are 7 miles from Costa Rica.

Hope this answers your question.

Lonnie
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  #9  
Old Jun 22, 2009, 4:00 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 340

Thanks Lonnie,
Sounds like you found a great place. Medical costs in the USA are out of hand...and to get a dr. to come to your house...haven't heard of that since the early 70's here.

ENJOY what you found.
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  #10  
Old Sep 6, 2019, 9:14 AM
Pop Alexandra Pop Alexandra is offline
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2

Originally Posted by Leatherboy2006 View Post
Is there a lot of U.S. retiree's in Panama? What made you choose there?
Trying to plan for future.
I would recommend it. It can be both quiet and entertaining, so everyone finds their place.
______________________________________________
Alexandra
https://www.cargolution.com/en/industries/live-animals/
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