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Old Nov 5, 2010, 9:49 PM
KNicholas KNicholas is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
Angry Delta lies about hotel accommodation, leaves customer stranded

Below is my letter to Delta- very self explanatory. Will post their reply, if they even bother.


I am extremely angry at Delta for being dishonest, incompetent, and very uncaring about my customer experience. I was booked on the connecting flight last night go from Columbus, OH to Boston, MA via NYC's JFK. The flight was delayed by 85 minutes, meaning I would miss my connection. Staff at the gate put me on a direct flight to Boston, as well as three other men. We were all so pleased at this act of kindness. We sat on the plane for ages, then a gate agent came onto the plane and made us all leave the plane, saying it was 'overweight.' There was one person sitting in each seat. She made some excuse about the fuel, which we all took to be bull****. Even if this was not a lie, the crew should have just added more fuel or removed a bit, rather than kicking off passengers.

Once we three were back at the gate, she informed us that our previous seats (CMH to JFK) had been allocated to others. After a lot of anguish, she finally booked us back into NYC. We all agreed, as she PROMISED all of us that, if we missed our connection, we could simply show our tickets to Customer Service and they would put us up in a hotel, arrange a shuttle to and fro, and we would get three meal vouchers. She kept saying she had worked for Delta for 14 years, so we assumed she knew what she was talking about. So, 1 hour later, she managed to put me back on my original flight. How it takes this long I can only attribute to a terrible booking system, imbecilic staff, or both. Again, she GUARANTEED that if I missed my connection, since there next flight wasn't until 8:15am in the morning from JFK, I would be put up in a hotel.

Finally, the flight boards, two hours late. They mentioned weather. I believe that to be bull**** again, as there was no bad weather in the area, nor was there anything more than a slight drizzle in NYC (I checked on my Blackberry.... most passengers can do this now, so airlines will have to stop using that little 'Act of God' line to cover their own screw ups). We had a full plane, pulled out onto the tarmac, ready to go..... and then went right back to the gate.... the captain said he just realized the plane was a 'little nose heavy' and someone would have to get off. Seriously. That is twice.

From this, I conclude that Delta pilots are very stupid people who are terrible at math. Also, that Delta staff lie all the time to their customers. And, essentially, Delta just sucks at flying airplanes. There is no way a plane is unable to fly if each seat is occupied. The very notion is ridiculous. And if it's a fuel/weight issue, SORT IT OUT. Work out how many paying customers are on the plane, and fuel accordingly. other airlines do this successfully thousands of times a day.

One person gracefully volunteered to get of the plane. We took off, landed in JFK, I ran into the terminal and saw a departure board showing "Boston, Gate 25, Boarding Now." What luck! I ran to the Gate, asked to board the Boston flight, and the staff looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. "Boston? What Boston flight? Oh yeah, that just left. I think. It left, then came back, twice. But now I think it's gone." Do you only hire idiots? Or people who just don't give a damn? The surly, angry Delta gate lady/gangstar told me to go back to Customer Service. They said the flight was still there, and sent me back to the gate. The idiots at the gate had no idea what was going on until a toothless old guy in an orange jumpsuit came in and said he had just locked the doors on the Boston flight, so I could not get on. So I was sent back to customer service.

Since I missed my flight, and was PROMISED a hotel and a morning flight, I requested just that. The woman at the desk said I was entitled to NOTHING. No hotel, no transport, no assistance, nothing. I told her about the promise, the guarantee, and she just shrugged. Did not give a solitary ****. She said it was all the FAA's fault, as they caused the delay. First- the FAA did not cause me to miss my connection- the morons flying the plane, who wasted twenty minutes turning the plane around after realizing that is was 'a bit nose heavy' made me miss my connection. IT WAS DELTA'S FAULT. Second, if Delta uses this little 'get out of helping our customers' bull**** line all the time, why didn't the 14 year veteran in Columbus tell us? Either she was lying to me so she could have an easy life, or the woman in JFK was lying about your policy.

I would like to know which of these staff were lying, and how they will be reprimanded- immediately. I am happy to provide a detailed description. The woman at Columbus was Amy S., working Gate 52 from 5pm-7pm 4 November.

The staff at JFK would do nothing, and even refused to refund my ticket, since I decided to cancel and fly JetBlue. JetBlue, despite the 'weather,' took off right on time, full plane, and landed early. (How do they do it? Are they geniuses?!).

After two calls and 45 minutes on my phone (Delta agents like to put complainers on hold, then disconnect the line), I found out that I can only get a refund for the NYC to Boston portion of my journey by going to a Delta desk in an airport or mailing in my ticket (we all know what will happen if I mail it- nothing at all).

So, now I have to take time from work or from my weekend, go to the airport, ask for my refund, and see what happens. I predict a long argument where the agent will be extremely rude and refuse to refund my money based on some ridiculous rule that was kept secret from me.

Your staff are rude as hell, your pilots cannot fly planes, and your planes and terminals are old and dirty.

What is Delta going to do about this situation? Do you REALLY care about your customer service, or is your commitment to customers the same as your commitment to look after me if I was stranded in JFK?
Old Nov 6, 2010, 12:13 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

The answer is NO.. they do not care about their customer service and yes, their commitment is to treat their customers the way they treated you. It is increasingly common for the likes of Delta to blame weather or FAA delays, even when the delay occured, as in your case, much earlier in the chain and had nothing whatsoever to do with the weather.

Just a note to clarify something. It is incorrect to say that if a plane is not totally full, it cannot have weight issues. The issue of what consititutes an overweight plane depends on many factors, including the altitude of the airport, the weather, the location of the emergency diversion route and the amount of baggage being carried. It is certainly possible for a flight to be overweight, even if there are empty seats. Nevertheless, this doesn't diminish your fundamental complaint. Delta are lousy at customer service and routinely lie and cheat their customers. THAT IS A FACT.

PS... you might consider naming some of the obnoxious individuals in the Hall of Shame thread in the General Discussion section of this website. The more we publicly expose them, the more likely we are to change individual's behaviour.

Last edited by jimworcs; Nov 6, 2010 at 12:15 AM.
Old Nov 6, 2010, 3:43 PM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 214
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It amazes me the number if incorrect assumptions you made in your complaint regarding the pilots and the weight and balance issues.

I am a pilot (not for the airlines). You cannot calculate the weight and balance, or center of gravity (nose heavy or tail heavy) until you have a count of the exact number of passengers and baggage that is on the airplane. The temperature outside can literally be the difference between a passenger getting on or the airplane being overweight. The air is less dense when warmer and more dense when colder. This has an effect on the wings ability to create lift during takeoff. You'd be amazed at the little things that effect an airplane's weight and balance that is an aircraft limitation and nothing the airlines or pilots can control.

Secondly, by FAA regulation, an aircraft is required, when flying under IFR flight rules (as the airlines do) to have enough fuel to get to their destination, plus, if they cannot land at their destination for some reason (weather or whatever) they have to have enough fuel to then make it to their filed alternate airport on the FAA flight plan and enough fuel to have 45 minutes more, beyond their alternate airport. In other words, they cannot just remove fuel because the airplane is overweight. If you understood the complexity and FAA regualtions regarding these flights and the pilots, you'd hesitate to make those comments about the pilots being stupid or bad at math. It has absouletely nothing to do with that.

I guess the point I am getting at is that you really have no complaint regarding the overweight planes or fuel. That is part of airplane flying regardless of what level you are at (airlines, or Joe Smoe in his little private aircraft). They have limitations.

As for blackberries and weather. Typical of most passengers to assume that rain and thunderstorms are the only form of weather that effects flying. There can be not a cloud in the sky and not a rain drop in site and an airplane can be delayed due to weather. For example, the winds might be blowing at 5 MPH at the surface, but did you know that winds can be well over 100 MPH at 30,000 feet. I've been on flights that were delayed for over a half hour due to severe head winds, yet there isn't a cloud in the sky.

Passengers checking weather on a blackberry and people complaining about fuel and weight, when they don't know what they are talking about, doesn't mean anything to the airlines. The other stuff, on the other hand, being promised a hotel, etc., is another story.
Old Nov 10, 2010, 11:51 AM
idahovandals1986 idahovandals1986 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 24

Just because you did not see the weather there is this marvelous thing called weather in route that can still cause your plane to be late. Also it could have been bad weather in your destination that by the time you got there or checked on the weather had died down to a drizzle. Overall it was an operation decision and any airline would have done the same, bad weather anywhere along your flight can cause delay means no hotel.

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