Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: No refund possible?

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Old Jun 18, 2012, 12:10 AM
Aundreya Aundreya is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3

My flights to/from Miami were horrible! Someone thought it would be a good idea to make my layover from Seattle to Minneapolis only 33 minutes! Then even though our flight was on time, they kept us on the plane for 20 minutes without explanation and refused to let us off even though some of us mentioned we would miss our connecting flights.

Of course we missed our connection to Miami so they rebooked us on a flight to Atlanta. We got to Atlanta and went to our gate only to find out that our flight that was supposed to depart at 5:25pm (I was supposed to arrive in Miami at 5:30pm) was delayed and would depart at 5:40pm. Fast forward to 5:40 where we were told our flight would leave at 6pm. They kept saying our plane was just delayed and would be there soon. But they kept pushing the flight time back....6:15, 6:30....finally they told us that the plane coming in would not be going to Miami and we would need to go to another gate. This would require new tickets. Once getting to the new gate we still had to wait. First for the new plane and then for a new pilot. After over an hour of waiting they finally informed us that the previous plane had cracked it's windshield while landing. We didn't even board the plane until after 7:30pm and I didn't arrive into Miami until after 10pm!!

Now for my flight home. We were told when we arrived to our gate that our flight was slightly delayed but we should still make it to Detroit on time. I went up and addressed my concerns of missing my connecting flight AGAIN. (This time my layover was just over an hour) She assured me that I would not miss my connecting flight and everything would be fine. A few minutes later she called me back up....she had moved my seat from the back of the plane to the front of the plane so I would be one of the first off. We ended up boarding the plane on time and were told we might even arrive 15 mins early to Detroit. Then all of a sudden they tell us there's a problem with one of the fuel tanks and they need to fill it which would only take 15 mins. It did NOT take 15 mins. Also, we had to go around some storms which delayed us even further. It soon became quite clear that many of us would be missing our connecting flights.

Once we landed they informed those of us who missed our flights where to go to rebook and also mentioned that we would be given a hotel to stay at because it was too late to fly out again that night. We were given $12 in food coupons and were sent to the Clarion Inn for the night. We were also told we might qualify for a refund or vouchers and to contact Delta after getting home for more information.

When I got home I looked on the Delta website and my ticket from Detroit to Seattle was listed as a qualifying flight. (I'm guessing the flight from Seattle to Minneapolis didn't qualify because technically it wasn't late, but they listed the whole ticket amount under the refund amount) I filed the refund form and have been waiting to hear if I would get a refund or not. I wasn't worried because they said it would take up to seven days to process. (My flight out was on Jun 5th and my flight home was June 11th..though I didn't actually fly out until June 12th because of the missed connection)

But I posted something on Twitter mentioning @Delta and they added me with their @DeltaAssist and contacted me for more information. After giving them my ticket number I was told I would not qualify for a refund because I actually used the tickets. They did offer me a $100 voucher which I have not accepted as of yet. Why would their website tell me I might qualify for a refund if I didn't? And why wouldn't they refund me for all the trouble they put me through not one way but BOTH ways??
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 6:57 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

This catalogue of disasters is the Delta experience...and so common, if they refunded the ticket price of everyone this happened to, they would go bankrupt. Wait....they did go bankrupt, but the government rescued them and gave them anti-trust immunity to get even larger and emerge as the largest customer abuse organisation in the world, sorry I meant airline.

In Europe, for both journey's you would be entitled to financial compensation for these long delays, however in the US if you make the journey you get nada. The $100 voucher is all but worthless... and requires you to fly with them again! They even have an opportunity to blame the weather, with the 'going round storms' excuse.

I would forget getting a refund... it is a waste of energy and will not result in a refund... I would move on and resolve never to fly Delta again.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 2:35 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100

Hi Aundreya,
I feel horrible after reading your disaster travel experience. While many of us reading have been in similar shoes, no one deserves to ever be in a situation like that. I decided to reply because I fly on Delta fairly often and I know the exact message that you’re talking about on

First, when a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed, most airlines do offer a refund to their passengers. That doesn’t help you get to your final destination or pay for a last-minute ticket on another airline. However, in some cases, it’s helpful if you are taking for example, a one-day business trip. If you can’t get rebooked until the evening, there is no reason to travel at all and you get a refund.

When I login at and review an in-progress itinerary that has been disrupted by delay or cancellation, I have also seen the message saying that you may be entitled to a refund. Delta is simply referring to what I just mentioned. You are never “entitled” to a refund once you have gotten to your final destination. Even with a refundable ticket.

You can certainly be offered a voucher by filing a complaint—which is exactly what happened in your case. I think you deserve more than a $100 voucher. You deserve a personal apology and a full refund. But airlines don’t work like that which is why this website exists. I hope this explanation was helpful and best of luck in your future travel.

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Old Jun 18, 2012, 6:35 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

Out of curiosity, who's the "someone" who scheduled your flight with the narrow connection window?
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:51 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Airline computer systems should be programmed to prevent a booking which does not allow sufficient transfer time between flights. I would say 60 minutes for secondary airports, 90 minutes for primary airports. Even if a customer tried to book a short transfer time themselves, the computer should not allow it be booked as a through ticket.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 1:00 AM
Aundreya Aundreya is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3

The "someone" was Priceline lol (which is another reason I wasn't even sure I'd qualify for a refund except the website said I did and this was a day after I got home) A husband and wife also on my flight booked theirs through Expedia.

I also don't think you should be able to book flights with less than an hour layover. And at the very LEAST the website should have it listed in bright red that your flight has less than an hour layover so you can choose whether you want to actually book that flight.

I've flown Delta more than once and this is the first time I've had any problems. It's unfortunate, because had it been 1 missed connection I'd be irritated but I'd get over it. Except it wasn't just 1 missed connection. It was multiple missed connections and multiple delays. And even when we had to stay in a hotel I was confused about what to do once I got my vouchers and the lady yelled at me saying "What else do you need?! You have your vouchers, the shuttle is that way!"
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