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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Code share route change - refund or pay extra fees - crazy
 
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  #1  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 1:06 AM
FortressDVD FortressDVD is offline
 
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here is a letter i just wrote to delta after finding out they changed their schedule 3 months ago,, never notified me and told me I can either pay a fare difference to rebook a new flight or accept a refund.


I am completely dumbfounded by the conversation i have just had with your customer service representative. The agent I spoke with was Lena Bruni in your Montreal office and its in regards to the following flight confirmations

Conf: XXXXXX (6 passengers)



I called in to book an additional ticket on this flight, which i originally purchased several months ago. I was told that your code share partner has changed schedules and that i need to stay on hold while your agent works out flight changes.

After a half hour on hold, and after telling me she had corrected the outbound flight and protected all of us on a different flight that day, she came back and told me that i would either have to accept a refund for all the tickets or pay a fare difference of 163.00 per ticket.

I asked her when Delta was aware of the schedule change and she told me it was on January 24th and had no idea why i had not been notified. I told her that if i had been notified then reasonable airfares were still available and that this leaves me no options.

I have never heard of an airline not protecting its passengers on other flights in the event of any kind of schedule change. I looked online and there are tons of seats available on other flights you offer that day. I spoke to my travel agent who said she has never heard of an airline trying to charge its passengers additional fare charges when a flight schedule has changed and the airline did not notify of that change.

I am requesting for myself and the other 5 passengers i am traveling with to be protected on other flights you offer that day. I can be reached at XXX XXXX to discuss further. It is unacceptable that i was not notified of the schedule change 3 months ago when it happened that would have given me more options if i was required to accept a refund and lower fares would have been available.

This is destroying a long planned family trip and is way below the standards i have come to accept from Delta Airlines.

If you have any questions, please contact me immediately as i need to clear this situation up.


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  #2  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 4:20 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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I concur. I have not heard of an airline attempting to collect fees for a change that was initiated by one of their partners. I might have hung up and called again to get a different agent. Sad to say, but different agent, different result many times.

Although this is DL, we could ask our resident DL hater what he thinks. You know who you are, don't you??
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  #3  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 9:24 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I don't know who the Deltahater is.. perhaps he will have something to say, but personally I THINK THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, even by Delta's incredibly low standards. I think you have a contract and I do not believe that Delta can legally duck out of it. I hope you will post the outcome, but I expect even Delta will back down on this one! What was that customer services agent thinking?
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  #4  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 11:27 AM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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I would follow Judge's advice and try a different agent. If that fails, contact the DOT at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/problems.htm

You should not have to pay any fees for a carrier made change.
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  #5  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 4:20 PM
FortressDVD FortressDVD is offline
 
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Tried calling again spoke to another agent for an hour, of which they were on the phone with the code share partner trying to work it out. In the end, same outcome, although they acknowledged that it "seems unfair" but that is their policy and the agent I spoke to did not have the "tools" at their disposal to fix the problem.

Recommended I email customer service, which i already have and sent the letter via Fedex today as well. Will post the response if/when i get one.
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  #6  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 5:32 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I am flabbergasted... does the flight originate in the US or Canada? If in the US, you should proceed immediately to the DOT. Not sure what the equivalent is in Canada, but this needs pursuing. If you booked via Delta, don't be diverted onto any discussion about the policies of their "code share" partner. You booked with them and expect them to honour the booking. Definitely go to the DOT in parallel to the customer services. It really is outrageous. Also post on my3cents
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  #7  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 6:03 PM
FortressDVD FortressDVD is offline
 
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originates in the US, booked at delta.com

Route is LAX-GDL

First issue I had with delta,, am not currently an elite member but was in 2000-2005, doesn't do me any good. will post if they respond to my letter.
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  #8  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 8:37 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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But who was the codeshare with? Who operated the flight? The company that operated the flight has to be the one to make the change, not so much the booking agent. Even if it was booked on Delta, they are not responsible for the other carrier's schedule change. However if its Delta's flight (Operated by Delta but codeshare with another company) Then I find it strange they would charge for their schedule change. Sadly they do have it in their contract of carriage (Page 49) that their flights are never gauranteed and subject to change. But as a courtesy they should rebook you with no fee.
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  #9  
Old Apr 21, 2009, 11:24 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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The idea that a company can put in it's terms and conditions that it reserves the right to extort money out of the customer at the last minute is utterly incomprehensible. It is Delta admittedly, but this is a charter for fraud. I could set up a company, offer flights at a ridiculously low price to entice in customers, then after all the compeititors low fares have been sold out, change the schedule and demand more money or I would cancel all their plans. It is so outrageous, even for Delta, that I am almost speechless. (ALMOST!!) It amounts to extortion. Please report them to the DOT.

As the flight is from LA to Guadalajara, I am guessing the codeshare partner is Aeromexico. However, how is this relevant? I don't agree with Bob that as it was another carriers schedule change, Delta are not responsible. The OP created a contract with Delta, booked it through Delta.com and should reasonably expect Delta to deliver on it. Delta are the retailer. If I buy a TV from Target and it is faulty, I take it back to Target. Delta can form marketing partnerships with whoever they like.. but they must still meet their obligations to the customers that they sell tickets to. This is what I think happened.

Delta sold the ticket. Aeromexico changed their schedule. They notified Delta of the schedule change, but Delta failed to change the customers booking onto another flight and failed to notify the passenger. When the passenger (by chance) contacts Delta, they try (for over 30 minutes) to book the passenger onto another flight. They find that they cannot book them onto the flight as the seats are now significantly more expensive than the original bookings (which were probably cancelled when the schedule changed). Delta's incompetence is now in danger of costing them money... as they would have to pay the higher price but would only have the lower sum they sold the tickets for originally. So the alternative these Delta gangsters come up with is to tell the customer that "unfortunately" the customer will have to pay for "policy" reasons. Hopefully, the DOT will put them right, but sadly they get away with this kind of one sided extortion every day.

Last edited by jimworcs; Apr 21, 2009 at 11:26 PM.
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  #10  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 3:23 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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I hate to be skeptical, I really do, but I find this hard to believe. This is really almost like robbery. I know airlines suck but the OP said the airline told him this was their policy. Never have I heard of this policy from an airline, foreign or domestic. If an airline changes a schedule, the passenger is offered alternate flights at NO CHARGE or a refund if it doesn't meet his/her satisfaction.

Why doesn't the OP just take the refund then if they keep trying to charge? OP said....."I looked online and there are tons of seats available on other flights you offer that day." Just book new seats, probably at a lower fare than the initial booking.
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  #11  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 3:29 AM
FortressDVD FortressDVD is offline
 
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the $163 per ticket is for the fare difference,, that is what they are trying to pass onto me. If i take the refund, i am still stuck with no ticket and having to pay a much higher price since the flight is a few weeks out, instead of 3 months when I initially purchased the tickets..

and yes the code share is AeroMexico... still no response from the "customer service email". will post any response. If it was 1 ticket i wouldnt really battle over $163, but since its 6 x $163 its a little more extreme.
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  #12  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 3:34 AM
wkharris2001 wkharris2001 is offline
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although I don't know all of the international rules. dl marketed flight operated by another carrier dl should make the changes to another dl flight on that day. unless the market is not served by delta at all and only served by a delta codeshare partner. delta cannot overbook the same fare on a codeshare partner they can only oversell the same fare on their own flights. otherwise they can waive the reissue charges but they do have to charge difference in fare for a codeshare flight. so I would suggest calling and getting another agent and seeing if they can't reschedule you to a delta flight that is operated by delta. not a codeshare flight
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  #13  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 5:56 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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wkharris... are you saying that if someone buys a flight from Delta.com they cannot rely on the price being correct and must be prepared to pay more at the last minute? This is the effect if as you say

Quote:
but they do have to charge difference in fare for a codeshare flight
This is scandalous! I cannot believe you are defending this practice.
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  #14  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 7:57 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Have you tried calling AeroMexico? Don't email, call them. Just bypass DL as they are not even the carrier that is hosing you. They get enough blame for hosing people so no need to bring them in to have another chance to hose somebody. Go straight to the carrier that changed the flight schedule and deal with them.
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  #15  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 8:25 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Exept that Delta are the ones who sold the ticket to the OP. His contract is with Delta.
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  #16  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 8:29 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Makes no difference.........people buy from places like expedia, travelocity, etc. and yet call the airline to fix the problem. Same same. Call the airline responsible.....not a middle man.
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  #17  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 2:23 PM
FortressDVD FortressDVD is offline
 
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i will try and call AeroMexico today,, that's not a bad idea.

What is odd, in my 3rd attempt, with a 3rd different Delta agent this morning, they did offer to fly us all there via Atlanta, which makes it nearly a 10 hour trip each way, and we are only going for 3 days. I'd sooner take the refund than make it a day of travel on each side. Even more ironically the flight from Atlanta to GDL was going to be on AeroMexico also, which lead me into a 10 minute argument that if they will put me on a codeshare through Atlanta why not just put me on them via LA nonstop for a 3 hour filght.

Still no response from Delta customer service, will have my wife call AeroMexico today, she speaks fluent spanish and might be better.
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  #18  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 2:29 PM
wkharris2001 wkharris2001 is offline
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they may have offered you the codeshare through Atlanta because they might have the same class of service or same fare available on that flight throught atlanta. so they don't have to overbook the fare in that instance.
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  #19  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 3:30 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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The alternative offered is unacceptable. He paid for a direct flight and one is available.. lets hope Aeromexico have some customer service left and can help him. I still think he should also go to the DOT. It is scandalous.
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  #20  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 4:46 PM
FortressDVD FortressDVD is offline
 
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so who ever recommended i file a complaint with DOT was right,, i submitted an online complaint last night and just received a call from Delta Airlines Executive Services, who received the complaint from DOT

The lady, who was very nice, apologized and told me i should absolutely not have to pay any fees and they are very sorry and its inexcusable that they did not notify me of the changes months ago.

She is rebooking my flight today and will email me new schedule by end of day on AeroMexico direct from LAX.
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  #21  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 4:48 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Victory!! Fantastic.. but look at how scheming Delta are. Had you not pursued this, 3 or 4 separate people told you that you had to pay. How many customers have paid and not made a fuss. They are bordering on the criminal. It is a disgrace.
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  #22  
Old Apr 22, 2009, 5:11 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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One other thing.. when the trip is all over, I hope you will write to your congressman/senator and highlight your treatment. Also write to Delta and ask for an explanation. If only one rep had told you that you had to pay, you could pass this off as a training issue or mistake by an employee. The number of people who repeated that you had to pay, including a supervisor suggests that there is a systematic attempt by Delta to rip off it's customers and should be more thoroughly investigated. Well done for your dogged persistence and exposing these thieves..
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  #23  
Old Apr 23, 2009, 6:43 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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I vote Jim for President. Oh, that's right. He's a Brit. Sorry, Jim. You probably wouldn't want the job anyway.
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  #24  
Old Apr 23, 2009, 8:53 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I think you got a good one in the White House now now... at last!!
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  #25  
Old Apr 26, 2009, 2:34 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Back on topic now...if your travel is booked with miles or money, it is incumbent on the carrier which issued your tickets to re-book you when schedule changes or cancellations occur. PERIOD! If Delta refuses to do this for an itinerary then you need to take this to the top of Delta management and/or complain to the DOT. I'm glad that the OP took the advice of those on this board to seek the help of the DOT so Delta could no longer hide behind the incompetence of their offshore call centers who demanded additional money for a change that was not within the control of the purchaser. It's a shame that it took the intervention of a federal entity to make things right with the consumer.
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