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  #1  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 1:42 AM
nitetrain nitetrain is offline
 
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Angry Delta Schedule Change from Non-Stop to Connecting Flights Causes Inconvenience

We booked a confirmed direct flight from Minneapolis to Tampa for January 5, 2010. Today we received notice that flight is going through Detroit adding 2 1/2 hours to our 3 hour flight. This is not acceptable as we have already booked our hotel and car prior to this notice. We would never, ever book a flight through Detroit from Minneapolis due to past horrific experiences. While the airline was quick to offer a refund for the flight, they would not step up to the plate for the hotel and car changes we're forced into for our vacation. When customers change flights they charge $50 or more, why doesn't that work the same way against the airline when they make changes without reasonable alternatives? My wife and I should be compensated $100 minimum because we did not request our confirmed reservation be changed.
  #2  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 2:43 AM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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I agree. You story reminds me of all the letters I have been getting recently from my credit card companies informing me they're changing all my fixed rate cards to variable in an attempt to rip me off before the new credit card laws take effect. I signed up with a fixed rate, why should they be able to make such a drastic financial change without my authorization? Unlike an airline ticket, that really was a signed contract.
  #3  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 3:53 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitetrain View Post
We booked a confirmed direct flight from Minneapolis to Tampa for January 5, 2010. Today we received notice that flight is going through Detroit adding 2 1/2 hours to our 3 hour flight. This is not acceptable as we have already booked our hotel and car prior to this notice. We would never, ever book a flight through Detroit from Minneapolis due to past horrific experiences. While the airline was quick to offer a refund for the flight, they would not step up to the plate for the hotel and car changes we're forced into for our vacation. When customers change flights they charge $50 or more, why doesn't that work the same way against the airline when they make changes without reasonable alternatives? My wife and I should be compensated $100 minimum because we did not request our confirmed reservation be changed.
Although I completely understand your frustration with the schedule and routing change for your trip, I don't understand why you would need to be compensated for any changes to your car rental and/or hotel arrangements. You'll still be arriving the same day just later than originally planned. Won't the car rental company let you pick up a little later? Most hotel's now require a valid CC to guarantee the reservation therefore holding your room for late arrival.

If your major complaint is that they have you routed through MSP call and have Delta route you through Memphis or Atlanta instead. If given a choice between ATL and DTW personally I would prefer DTW. Of course you do have the option already offered to you for a refund at which time you can book on another airline. Sun Country has a non-stop from MSP to TPA and it's less expensive than DL/NW right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gromit801 View Post
I agree. You story reminds me of all the letters I have been getting recently from my credit card companies informing me they're changing all my fixed rate cards to variable in an attempt to rip me off before the new credit card laws take effect. I signed up with a fixed rate, why should they be able to make such a drastic financial change without my authorization? Unlike an airline ticket, that really was a signed contract.
But unlike meddling with your interest rates and the way they are calculated, the airline isn't asking them to pay more money and will waive the non-refundable nature of the fare should they want to book on another airline. If they choose to stick with DL/NW they are still beinmg provided transportation from point A, MSP, to point B, TPA, albeit with a stop and adding 2 1/2 hours to their total travel time.

Last edited by PHXFlyer; Nov 22, 2009 at 3:56 AM.
  #4  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 5:24 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Default To Nitetrain: Alternatives to Tampa

First, I would NOT look upon Sun Country Air as a viable alternative to Delta/Northwest. I only mentioned Sun Country because they seem to have non-stop (seasonal) service MSP - TPA.

The other options, like Delta/Northwest, involve a change of planes. However...

MIDWEST AIRLINES offers its change of planes in an airport less congested than Detroit---Milwaukee.

CONTINENTAL AIRLINES offers a change of planes in Houston. While Houston is probably comparable to Detroit in terms of congestion it is less prone to snow/ice than is the case with Detroit. However the potential for Continental to try to re-route you through Newark, NJ remains.
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  #5  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:03 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I am sure merging airlines into even bigger, anti-customer monoliths is hard work, but there does seem to be a pattern of complaints that Delta are switching passengers to indirect flights from direct flights, often without notification. This is precisely the kind of action which could and should be addressed via regulation. Indeed, when the merger was approved, the Bush administration could have made stipulations but did not.

PHX... you wrote:

Quote:
If they choose to stick with DL/NW they are still beinmg provided transportation from point A, MSP, to point B, TPA, albeit with a stop and adding 2 1/2 hours to their total travel time.
That is not good enough. At the time they bought the ticket, they were purchasing a DIRECT flight. Airlines cannot have it both ways. They cannot on the one hand charge a premium for direct flights, and charge a premium for short notice bookings and then cancel their contract with the customer and simply say that nothing is due. It is outrageous. The customer is faced with additional costs when changes of this nature are made. I think some of the savings that Delta will reap as a result of this megamerger ought to have been set aside to compensation the customer and it should not have been allowed to proceed without this stipulation.

Quote:
I called customer service and was told that the flight i had originally booked was not available however, on-line at delta.com i could book the same flights and they had plenty of seats. However, now the price would be triple the original price. I finally was able to speak to a supervisor who told me that delta did not have to notify me of the change and she was able to switch me back to the non-stop flights.
The emphasis is mine. This is the kind of monumental arrogance you get when you create monster airlines with monopoly attitudes.
  #6  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:12 AM
wkharris2001 wkharris2001 is offline
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it does also appear that DL/NW (although they are planning cutover to only DL flight numbers soon) still has 2 non stop flights from MSP to TPA on the 5th of January, all you have to do is call reservations,(1-800-221-1212) let them know about your schedule change and they'll be happy to put you back on a direct flight.

you were probably on a direct flight that was done away with. so the computer system that handles schedule changes probably put you on a flight departing right around the same time you were leaving MSP to begin with although now with a connection.

as far as notification. if you book directly with Delta online or with reservations. they will call you about a month in advance of your departure (4-6 weeks) since more schedule changes are possible. if you book with a travel agent or online agency, they don't put the contact phone number in the correct place for the automated notification system to notify you of a change.

Last edited by wkharris2001; Nov 22, 2009 at 6:15 AM.
  #7  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:25 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Quote:
as far as notification. if you book directly with Delta online or with reservations. they will call you about a month in advance of your departure (4-6 weeks) since more schedule changes are possible
That is OUTRAGEOUS. The reason Delta wait until 4 to 6 weeks is not because further changes might be possible. It is to minimise the chances that the customer could demand a refund and switch to another carrier, as by then all the reasonable fares will be sold out. As Judge Judy would say when pulling off a SCAM don't **** on my leg and tell me it's raining.
  #8  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:26 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler09 View Post
I called customer service and was told that the flight i had originally booked was not available however, on-line at delta.com i could book the same flights and they had plenty of seats. However, now the price would be triple the original price. I finally was able to speak to a supervisor who told me that delta did not have to notify me of the change and she was able to switch me back to the non-stop flights. She could not provide me any reason for why i was switched.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
The emphasis is mine. This is the kind of monumental arrogance you get when you create monster airlines with monopoly attitudes.
The two situations were similar but entirely different. In the first post the flights were still eight months out. The agent was wrong to say that Delta didn't have to notify them, however they would have been notified at the point when the schedule for February 2010 was finalized. With eight more months to go there could have been more changes. That is why if the flight time is critical, for example you're flying in the morning for an evening event, or a non-stop vs. a connecting flight is critical one should go online periodically to check for these schedule changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
First, I would NOT look upon Sun Country Air as a viable alternative to Delta/Northwest. I only mentioned Sun Country because they seem to have non-stop (seasonal) service MSP - TPA.


Why would Sun Country not be a viable alternative? It's non-stop which is what Marie was looking for and a pricing check on Kayak shows it is one of the cheaper options. About the same fare as the Midwest flight via MKE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wkharris2001 View Post
it does also appear that DL/NW (although they are planning cutover to only DL flight numbers soon) still has 2 non stop flights from MSP to TPA on the 5th of January, all you have to do is call reservations,(1-800-221-1212) let them know about your schedule change and they'll be happy to put you back on a direct flight.
It's actually the same flight but listed twice because of the dual DL/NW flight numbers. It appears that coach class is full because on both Kayak and Delta.com it was pricing in First Class.
  #9  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:17 AM
wkharris2001 wkharris2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
It's actually the same flight but listed twice because of the dual DL/NW flight numbers. It appears that coach class is full because on both Kayak and Delta.com it was pricing in First Class.
I was actually looking at two seperate flights, I'm not at work so i can't check the inventory, i just have a delta schedule program on my computer here at home. there is one at 905 am and one at 110pm from MSP to TPA. as far as it pricing in First class, it is possible that the discounted first class or "up" fare as they call it.

Last edited by wkharris2001; Nov 22, 2009 at 7:20 AM.
  #10  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:33 AM
wkharris2001 wkharris2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkharris2001 View Post
I was actually looking at two seperate flights, I'm not at work so i can't check the inventory, i just have a delta schedule program on my computer here at home. there is one at 905 am and one at 110pm from MSP to TPA. as far as it pricing in First class, it is possible that the discounted first class or "up" fare as they call it.
I actually looked into it a little further phx, the fare basis code for that flight on that day is YA00UPRJ. from your posts on here I know you're very familiar with fare basis codes. the Y indicates this is a coach class ticket, the 00 is 0 day advanced purchase, the up in the middle indicates it IS an "up" fare. so as long as there is A or D inventory on the flight they will be put into First/Business class cabin automatically. the R indicates refundable. the A and J are in there for revenue management from what i'm told they really don't mean anything from my end of things.

after this post i have decided i spend too much time here LOL
  #11  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:43 AM
justme justme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
That is OUTRAGEOUS. The reason Delta wait until 4 to 6 weeks is not because further changes might be possible. It is to minimise the chances that the customer could demand a refund and switch to another carrier, as by then all the reasonable fares will be sold out. As Judge Judy would say when pulling off a SCAM don't **** on my leg and tell me it's raining.
Do you really believe that? That's crazy. It sounds like a conspiracy theory someone else had about the website "conveniently" crashing so they couldn't pick their seats... riiiiight, Delta doesn't have the time or money to waste on such trivial things. As was pointed out by others, schedules are only confirmed ONE month prior. Until that point, there are bean counters that decide what, where, when, and how to better arrange the schedule to, yes, maximize profits, but also to better serve the most customers. Think about it from this angle... if a 757 is scheduled to fly from MSP to TPA on 05JAN but only has 20 people booked on it, and a CRJ is scheduled to fly from PIT to OKC on the same day and is oversold by 25 and more people are trying to buy tickets, they will sometimes change the a/c types, add a flight, or change the schedule to better serve the customers, and to minimize wasted seats. It's not the most realistic example, but it makes the point. Like wkharris said, call reservations and request to be put back on one of the directs.
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  #12  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:08 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkharris2001 View Post
I was actually looking at two seperate flights, I'm not at work so i can't check the inventory, i just have a delta schedule program on my computer here at home. there is one at 905 am and one at 110pm from MSP to TPA. as far as it pricing in First class, it is possible that the discounted first class or "up" fare as they call it.
WKH you'd better download more recent schedule data to your desktop app. According to that program and DL's online timetable the 110 PM is the only non-stop or direct flight. The earlier 905AM must have been the one which was cancelled and the one nitetrain was originally on. Looks like they put him or her on the 10AM to DTW which gets him or her into TPA @438PM. From the connectioin time in DTW it looks as if it could almost be the same plane with a different flight number as both are an A319. If the OP wants to leave closer to the original flight there's a 905AM to ATL which after a 1 hour 14 minute layover arrives TPA @323PM. To arrive TPA closer to the original arrival time they'd have to leave MSP no later than 730AM.

So there are options. Either leave about 90 minutes earlier to arrive the same time or leave at about the same time and arrive about 2 hours later. I would say that a 90 minute to two hour shift of schedule isn't exactly catastrophic, would anyone else here? And the OP has more than a month to rearrange his or her schedule on either end. Even if they stick with the itinerary DL assigned they're only leaving an hour later and arriving just under 2 1/2 hours later. Again, this only represents a total time shift of 3 and 1/2 hours. If both the departure time and arrival time were so critical to the trip that a 3 1/2 hour disruption would ruin it imagine what would have happened had their original non-stop flight been delayed! MSP is prone to snow and ice in the winter.
  #13  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 5:30 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Default Delta/Northwest: Not worth the non-stop flight

If the OP has the opportunity to get a full refund from Delta, I would recommend the the connecting service, on Midwest or Continental, I referenced in my previous post. The non-stop Delta/Northwest flights, MSP - TPA, do not justify the aggravation the OP will probably endure if anything unexpected (on the part of Delta/Northwest) happens. For example, if there is bad weather in Minneapolis, and the flight can't take-off until the next day, will Delta/Northwest refuse to allow you to have your baggage (re-checking it the next day), thus holding your baggage hostage? Then there's the question of airport agents with an attitude. At a large airline these people can hide, and sometimes, even be protected. And, yes, that last statement COULD apply to Continental, except, again, one has the aforementioned compensating factor of a Houston connection (less chance of snow/ice).

PHX Flyer wrote...

Why would Sun Country not be a viable alternative?

For one thing Sun Country may still be in bankruptcy proceedings. I have yet to hear anyone characterize bankruptcy as a “morale booster” for airline staff. Also, it's my understanding Sun Country could be the originator of bad airline service like sardine class and unreliable schedules.
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Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; Nov 22, 2009 at 5:32 PM.
  #14  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:01 PM
wkharris2001 wkharris2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
If the OP has the opportunity to get a full refund from Delta, I would recommend the the connecting service, on Midwest or Continental, I referenced in my previous post. The non-stop Delta/Northwest flights, MSP - TPA, do not justify the aggravation the OP will probably endure if anything unexpected (on the part of Delta/Northwest) happens. For example, if there is bad weather in Minneapolis, and the flight can't take-off until the next day, will Delta/Northwest refuse to allow you to have your baggage (re-checking it the next day), thus holding your baggage hostage? Then there's the question of airport agents with an attitude. At a large airline these people can hide, and sometimes, even be protected. And, yes, that last statement COULD apply to Continental, except, again, one has the aforementioned compensating factor of a Houston connection (less chance of snow/ice).
the passenger is originating in MSP...... are continentals planes protected from the snow and ice in MSP since they're going to houston??? if that's the case wouldn't the TPA flight be protected from the snow and ice since they're going to TPA??? when there are weather delays and cancellations it isn't just raining and/or snowing on NW/DL planes, it is raining and snowing on all planes in MSP regardless of which airline they belong to.

Last edited by wkharris2001; Nov 22, 2009 at 6:04 PM.
  #15  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:07 PM
wkharris2001 wkharris2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
WKH you'd better download more recent schedule data to your desktop app. According to that program and DL's online timetable the 110 PM is the only non-stop or direct flight. The earlier 905AM must have been the one which was cancelled and the one nitetrain was originally on.
I had updated it last night before posting, and updated it again just now and it shows the same schedule, not sure what's going on with that. but i don't see the other 9am flight anywhere else so it may just be a software glitch with the program i have.
  #16  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 6:29 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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WKH:

My reference to the weather in MSP was within the context of getting one's baggage back as a result of cancelled flights. Some airlines will hold a customer's baggage "hostage" if the re-scheduled flight departs the next day. This could be a way of discouraging the customer from giving up, and not taking the flight. Also, attitudes tend to be better at Continental and Midwest. As I indicated in another post Contintental's former CEO Gordon Bethune once commented that there are no "Sky Nazis" aboard his planes. While this may not be 100% true I have yet to hear Delta's CEO---a former prosecutor in Houston, and a former United Health Care VP---make a similiar statement.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:14 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Justme..

Quote:
Do you really believe that?
You asked me, do I really believe that? What possible reason could Delta have for not notifying people of each change? It is a simple email. I fly a lot with Easyjet, British Airways, Eastern Airways, and BMI Baby.. and every single one bombards me with emails with minor flight changes, notifications about upgrading, online check in, baggage allowances and much more. If they can do it, why can't Delta? Perhaps it is because they don't give a toot and the longer they leave it, the less likely the customer is to change. You are naive if you think the bean counters at Delta do not think about how to maximise revenue and lower the changes of customers switching. Stop reading the propaganda and get real!
  #18  
Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:23 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
If the OP has the opportunity to get a full refund from Delta, I would recommend the the connecting service, on Midwest or Continental,
Continental's flights are all pricing out pretty high right now for Jan. 5. If they do decide on a refund they had better do it quickly before Midwest goes up as well. Sun Country was pricing about the same as Midwest and that non-stop flight is on a 737-700. I'm not sure where you've heard "sardine class" describing Sun Country. According to their website the 73G has 32" of seat pitch while most DL and all CO domestic aircraft have only 31".

Also just because a company is in bankruptcy doesn't mean they should be avoided. Just don't pay cash for your tickets. As long as you use a credit or debit card if something happpens you'll get your money back.

  #19  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 2:01 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
WKH:

My reference to the weather in MSP was within the context of getting one's baggage back as a result of cancelled flights. Some airlines will hold a customer's baggage "hostage" if the re-scheduled flight departs the next day. This could be a way of discouraging the customer from giving up, and not taking the flight. Also, attitudes tend to be better at Continental and Midwest. As I indicated in another post Contintental's former CEO Gordon Bethune once commented that there are no "Sky Nazis" aboard his planes. While this may not be 100% true I have yet to hear Delta's CEO---a former prosecutor in Houston, and a former United Health Care VP---make a similiar statement.
What a load of horse excretion, especially the first couple sentences. I worked in MSP for a couple years at NWA and probably half of that was in the dungeon called luggage service. I have personally gone in the luggage holding area, which is massive btw, and retrieved uncountable pieces of luggage for passengers who had flight problems. It's a decent system so finding it, if it's actually there instead of on the plane, is fairly easy. It's the carrying it back to where I need to bring it that sucks. Many times, more than one trip as there are usually more than 2 pieces.

I can remember one Halloween, 2 days of me being down there from 4p-4a when it snowed over 31 inches during that time. I ruined 2 pairs of shoes walking back and forth through several inches of standing water, searching through dozens of luggage carts looking for bags for passengers.

So the middle part of your post, Butch, about attitudes is probably spot on. 12 hours a day, dealing with people needing their luggage so they can check it in the next day without even opening it, or getting out medication (yes, that happened during the Halloween I spoke about) that should have been in their carryon bags wears on me. Also, trying to deal with literally hundreds of people when we have a staff of about 5 is not ideal. Until you've done the job, I'd ask you to please refrain from generalizing.
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  #20  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 5:23 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Judge wrote, in post #19...

What a load of horse excretion

Reported as abusive language.
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  #21  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 5:31 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Default Simple question, Judge

With regard to my comments about airlines holding customer's baggage hostage: There has been more than one occasion on which Delta/Northwest has denied a customer's request for the return of their baggage when said baggage was NOT on a plane. This question is not meant to apply to just those airports you've worked at.
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  #22  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 5:42 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
Judge wrote, in post #19...

What a load of horse excretion

Reported as abusive language.
And this comment of yours isn't.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here
TRANSLATION...

F**K OFF!
http://www.airlinecomplaints.org/sho...58&postcount=7
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  #23  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 6:25 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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And to ALL, I apologize for the use of the term "horse excretion" if it has offended you.
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Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
  #24  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 7:57 AM
justme justme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs
You are naive if you think the bean counters at Delta do not think about how to maximise revenue and lower the changes of customers switching.
Actually what I said was this... "...to better arrange the schedule to, yes, maximize profits, but also to better serve the most customers."

So, I do freely admit that flight schedules are changed to maximize profit. Try reading what I ACTUALLY write instead of what you would like to think I'm saying to fit into your warped view of how evil everyone is that works for an airline. Not all of us are "horse excretions." (to steal a bit from another post)
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  #25  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 8:04 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Watch out jm.....you will now be reported by another poster and if not, I am then being harrassed.
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Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
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