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COMPLAINT: Delta leaves family stranded hundreds of miles from home

 
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  #1  
Old Nov 4, 2010, 4:48 PM
bbocd bbocd is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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We (family of 4) were scheduled to return home (OKC) from New York's La Guardia on October 25, 2010 on the 3:00 pm flight 413 to Atlanta. We arrived at the airport at 11:30 am and were promptly told our flight had been canceled due to mechanical problems. They wanted to schedule us for a flight out early the next morning, but my that would have meant my daughter missing school, so I tried to find another option. Donald S., the team leader (or whatever) at our station was very helpful in finding us suitable options but whenever he would find something and tell the lady helping us to "book them on this flight" she was so slow at typing in the information that by the time she would get the "confirm" the flight would already be filled. She did this FIVE times. Each time Donald S. would return and find another option, each assuring that we would get home that day. Finally, after FOUR hours at the counter, we were told that the last flight we could possibly get on would require us to leave immediately for JFK airport, in order to check in by 4:00 pm for the 7:00pm flight to Dallas (DFW), they got cabs for us and gave us each $10 food vouchers (total $40) We had to purchase extra suitcases in NYC because of shopping during our vacation and now had 3 bags to check and about 8 suitcases to lug around but we managed to get there. Once at JFK we were told that we were confirmed on a flight out of DFW at 8:00am the following morning, putting us in OKC (and home) before 9:00am. We were also told that upon our arrival at DFW, the Delta crew would print us room vouchers. Our flight was moved to different terminals and delayed 6 times. It was 9:00pm before the flight left JFK. We arrived at DFW a little after midnight and as soon as we landed I asked to confirm we were on the early flight out and to get out room vouchers. The guy at the Delta gate that I spoke to where we got off the plane listened to me and then asked, who told me that? Are you crazy? He checked and we not confirmed on any flight leaving DFW the next day, AND, we were informed, we would NOT be on any flight. Because of 3 major sporting events in Dallas that day, every flight leaving town had been overbooked by 10 or more passengers. And, he did not print room vouchers. He told us he was the only worker still there and he had another plane fixing to land and had to leave. He then called security and told them to escort us out of that area. We were taken to baggage claim where the rudest woman I've ever met was in charge of lost luggage. She gave me a number for Service Recovert Interrupted Travel Assistance, or the Delta Customer (I Don't) Care Line. After spending 2 hours on the phone and asking for supervisors (do they even exist at Delta?) I finally found one woman who claimed to be over several areas. She asked to speak to the woman at the airport so that she could instruct her to print room vouchers. She also put my husband and I on a flight leaving at noon the next day and the daughters on a different flight leaving at 9:00 pm, both going through Denver (I decided to deal with this later and just get to our room, since is was after 2:00am). I handed the phone to the woman at the lost luggage desk and listened to her tell this lady on the phone that printing room vouchers was not her job and that everyone else had already gone home. So sorry. At this point, I asked her, that if she insisted on making us sleep on the streets of Dallas, could she please find us a box to sleep in. She called security and had us escorted out of the airport. Not only do they not do their jobs, no sense of humor either! We grabbed a shuttle to the rental car terminal, thinking, at this point, we would just cut out losses and drive (the 4 hour drive) home. Not today. 2:30 am. Not a car on the massive lot. Around 100 people sleeping in the rental car terminal. All, waiting for a car to possibly return. National told us that not only were there no cars, no flights, there were also no hotel rooms! Grab a chair! National also told us that they has 1200 reservations for the following day and only 1000 expected returns. So, 200 people with reservations would not be getting cars. We eventually found a man (with a rental car company) who had a brother-in-law that worked at a hotel and he said he would try to get us a room, and he did. The hotel sent a shuttle to pick us up and by 4:00 am we were in our room! We thankfully had 2 laptops with us and were able to get online and find a car in a neighboring town, booked a cab for 6:00am and settled in for 1 hour of sleep. After a $70 cab ride to the Hertz location, we finally did end up with a outrageously priced one-way rental to OKC, loaded up the luggage and were on our way home.

Not one word from Delta. Many, many promises, all lies! Apparently, when you buy a airline ticket from Delta, you are trusting that is will be convenient for them to take you where you need to go. If it isn't convenient, you're just garbage to them. They throw you out of the airport with the glorified trash men (airport security). They have no obligation to take you anywhere. I will NEVER fly delta again. I have flown with them many, many times in the past, but never again. The expense of getting a room, food, getting home was much greater than paying an airline who values their customers. To this day, I cannot get anyone on the phone who even cares that this happened. Basically everyone I speak to acts like I shouldn't even be surprised, thats just how they treat their customers. I just found this website, but I can't wait to visit the other airlines pages to see if any have fewer complaints. I understand that these things happen, but the way we were treated in Dallas, and I suppose at JFK also (that they lied about confirming our flights our of Dallas) is just not something that I will easily, or ever forget. I don't know if their employees are instructed to treat customers that way, but since it was pretty much across the board, I'm thinking the must require a class on how to get rid of the garbage (travelers), after they have your money, of course!
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  #2  
Old Nov 5, 2010, 1:54 AM
jasonLmarsh jasonLmarsh is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3

It's not just Delta, apparently it's all airlines. Something very similar happened to the wife and I last week, caused by American Airlines. We did end up getting a rental car in Dallas and driving home to OKC that night, arriving in OKC at 3:00am. ALL of the rental car agencies were saying they had no cars, but I called the 800 numbers and got a one-way reservation over the phone (while the guy at the desk was telling me they had no cars). I then gave him the conf # that I just got and he suddenly had a car for me.... We paid $200 for the one-way rental. American basically told us to screw off when we asked if they would put us up in a hotel, or even just reimburse for the rental car.
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Old Nov 5, 2010, 2:00 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Posts: 340

Can we say the World Series (before that the play offs) were in Dallas.....believe me those of us that live here didn't like the crowds and I for one am dreading the Super Bowl.
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Old Nov 5, 2010, 9:00 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
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Send your complaint in writing to Delta recorded delivery and copy it to the DOT. Delta will eventually write back to you telling you how sorry they are that they failed to meet their standards and that they will be letting the Managers know. They are not remotely sorry and the fact that the poor customer service you received happened throughout your system illustrates what the problem is. Delta are systematically abusive towards customers. They know they are untouchable. Their pisspoor management and service standards have resulted in them going bankrupt before. Bankruptcy is the consumers way of letting the company know that they are crap. Sadly, the US government bailed them out and not only rescued them but gave them immunity so they could take over NWA and destroy that airline too.

They will refuse to reimburse your car rental. Do not accept a voucher. File a claim in small claims court. They will initially ignore you, then their lawyers will make you an inadequate offer and warn you that if you don't accept their "reasonable offer" the court may punish you. Finally, just before you go to court they will settle as long as you sign a paper stating that they do not accept liability and the terms of the settlement are confidential.

This chain happened because of mechanical failure. That is entirely within their control and they are fully responsible for ALL of the consequential damages you incurred.

DO NOT ACCEPT A LOWER OFFER THAN FULL REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR ACTUAL COSTS AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ACCEPT ANY VOUCHERS. DELTA ARE ABUSIVE AND OUTRAGEOUS, BUT YOU WILL WIN.
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Old Nov 5, 2010, 5:17 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nearest Airports: COD, BIL, WRL
Posts: 577

The OP should definitely pursue a small claims (court) case for the purpose of recovering out of pocket expenses, such as the rental car. It's important to have the paid copy of the rental contract and any other documentation relevant to what the out of pocket expenses were. A "demand letter" should be sent to the address Delta maintains in the State of Oklahoma for the service of legal process. Such an address would NOT be an airport, but is usually the office of a para legal service that exists solely for the purposes of receiving court summonses, demand letters, and other legal process. The demand letter should itemize the out of pocket expenses; demand payment, and state a complaint in small claims court will be filed if a check (from Delta) is not received with 30 days.

As Jim said, Delta tries to "settle" small claims court actions with worthless vouchers. Some of these vouchers require payment of additional money and may include blackout periods. Besides, you're giving Delta another chance to screw you over again!

The OP's comments about Delta using the DFW police to eject this family from the airport confirms my belief that some airport police agencies are all too willing to act as an airline's goon squad when customer service issues arise.

To "Judge:" With regard to the car rental at DFW---Assuming a Delta staff member with authority was available, could Delta have issued a Miscellaneous Charges Order ("MCO") to pay for the rental car and, if needed, a motel room? Or, are MCOs a relic of the past?
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  #6  
Old Nov 6, 2010, 12:23 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Butch...

Sadly, I think "judge" has abandoned this forum, so you are unlikely to get an answer. I think he was frustrated at the standard of moderation.

Jim
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