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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Delta overbooked, left early, stranding 15

 
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  #1  
Old Mar 24, 2015, 7:31 PM
deltastrandedusMN deltastrandedusMN is offline
 
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I had the single worst airline experience of my life flying Delta out of Lihue airport. Arrived 90 minutes prior to departure at airport (per Delta's own policy arrival 90 minutes advance for domestic flight, I have rental return receipt to prove it). Checked in online day before. Bags checked 75 minutes before. TSA line outrageous as 3 planes scheduled to leave at approx same time at 10 pm. Non-moving TSA line. Asked TSA if earlier departures could be expedited. Told only airline can expedite and to ask Delta. Asked Delta. They refused to expedite passengers. Finally got through TSA. Arrived at gate 15 minutes before departure. Gate closed, but plane still there. Some 15 other passengers also arrived. We watched as plane pulled away from gate 6 minutes early. Livid passengers wanted to know why Delta refused to expedite us, assist us, or hold plane when they had full knowledge of extraordinary TSA delay. Other carrier US Air both sent rep to expedite passengers in TSA and delayed flight. I think Delta wanted to make a quick getaway because they had overbooked. Every single stranded passenger had been asked if they were willing to be bumped but had declined. They sold our seats out from under us, refused to help us, left early. Refused any and all compensation. Next flight out 24 hours later, many connections. I am outraged, as are 15 of my fellow stranded passengers. We have all been corresponding on our pending complaints. Has anybody ever heard of an overbooked airline leaving so many people behind with full knowledge they are in TSA and refusal to help or hold plane even one extra minute? And in fact, departing early? Then I have to watch preflight video with CEO Richard Anderson talk about how Delta's values are "honesty, integrity, respect" and they "have our backs".
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  #2  
Old Mar 25, 2015, 6:48 AM
alwaysflyin alwaysflyin is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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If the plane was overbooked, with no available seats, would departing a few minutes early matter? There still would be no open seats. Also if the late arrival to the gate was caused entirely by the security line, and not a late airport arrival, how did the hundreds of other passengers manage to get to the gate on time?
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  #3  
Old Mar 25, 2015, 11:05 AM
deltastrandedusMN deltastrandedusMN is offline
 
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The point is that the overbooking practice essentially ensures that some passengers will be stranded. It's one thing to bump us to our faces because this requires compensation by law. It's another thing to refuse to assist and sneak out early. Btw, the US Air flight departing the same time was also overbooked but they sent a rep to help passengers in the TSA line and held the plane. I spoke to a TSA supervisor afterward and she had asked Delta why they didn't assist their passengers. We all know it's because they overbooked and had no incentive to help us. I would like to see overbooking become illegal. It's a practice that is entirely to the advantage of the airline and wholly at the expense of the passenger. Why is there no limit on how many seats they can oversell by law? This was the last flight out for the night and we were told we were not entitled to compensation and were on our own. It was very cut throat on the part of Delta and generated a lot of ill-will toward the airline. I would never fly Delta again but they happen to have a monopoly here in at my hub airport.
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 2:01 PM
deltastrandedusMN deltastrandedusMN is offline
 
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btw alwaysflyin I checked your post history and you seem to always favor the industry. Are you an agent of the industry? Just wondering.
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  #5  
Old Mar 25, 2015, 7:15 PM
alwaysflyin alwaysflyin is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Nope, just fly a lot and have seen so many people have issues, many of which can be avoided. As far as overbooking, nobody likes to be bumped. The easiest solution to avoid revenue loss for the airline, and ensure nobody gets bumped, is to make all tickets non-refundable, no re-booking, just show up and fly or lose it. Of course that is not going to be liked by most of the public. So other than overbooking I'm not sure how you avoid planes leaving with open seats and the associated revenue loss. Unfortunatly many of the problems are caused by people showing up to the gate late. Lots of reasons including traffic, long lines at the checkpoints due to our ever efficient TSA helpers and a variety of others. The only way to make sure is to get their plenty early, then there can be no question about compensation if there are delays, cancels, or overbooked flights. Don't show up on time, and all bets are off.
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Old Mar 26, 2015, 7:37 AM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by alwaysflyin View Post
The easiest solution to avoid revenue loss for the airline, and ensure nobody gets bumped, is to make all tickets non-refundable, no re-booking, just show up and fly or lose it. Of course that is not going to be liked by most of the public. So other than overbooking I'm not sure how you avoid planes leaving with open seats and the associated revenue loss.
Most of the tickets issued now a days are in fact non-refundable. The argument for overbooking seemed to be valid in the days when refundable tickets were not as expensive and as a result bought quite often.

There is a reason why airlines end up paying a lot for overbooking (ever seen an auction in an airplane/gate area?).

However, regarding the OP's note, it's hard to believe that the flight was overbooked 15+. Something doesn't hold up in the story. 90 minutes is plenty and surely 75 minutes (prior to boarding) is good enough even at the big airports (ORD, EWR, SFO, IAD, etc.). Either the TSA had a massive breakdown/issue at the time, or the OP is leaving out some details.

I fly every week for work (and am based near one of the largest airports in the world). I can assure you it does not normally take 1+ hour to clear security.
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  #7  
Old Mar 26, 2015, 11:28 AM
deltastrandedusMN deltastrandedusMN is offline
 
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Lihue is a small airport. 3 flights leaving at same time. One of three TSA lanes inoperational. TSA sent everybody through body scanner and even told me to take my overhead shirt off (this is wrong, I am a woman, it was not a jacket, had no zipper or pockets). Point is Delta knew this was an extraordinary delay and could have helped us but didn't. Other airlines came to move their people through the line. Delta refused. Even if they had waited an extra 5 minutes we could have boarded...unless they had already given our seats away. 10 pm flight. Airport shutting down. We are all told too bad and we won't even pay for your hotel. People were crying. I've never missed a flight in my life and we booked and paid for these tickets almost a year in advance. Nice way to treat your customers Delta.
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