September 28, 2010

Dear Delta (I'm hungry)

September 28, 2010

Dear Delta Airlines,
Recently I was stranded in Atlanta for 24 hours due to my flight from Boston waiting on the tarmac 40 minutes for a gate. I understand delays can happen. But I still had about 12 minutes to make my connecting flight. My first complaint is that connecting gates were not announced on board the Boston flight. Upon disembarking, the Delta agent at the gate refused to contact my connecting flight to let them know I would arrive shortly. She helpfully said, "You're not going to make it. Don't even bother." Yet, as I had to be in Chile the following day, I ran for the gate and actually made it before the plane's departure. Unfortunately, agents at the gate would not let me board since the door had already closed.

Even this could be understandable, but with lodgings I was given three meal tickets for $6 each (Delta may not be aware that in an airport, $6 is the cost of a bottle of water and bag of chips). There was no compensation for not having my luggage (would Delta agents work in the same clothes and underwear for 48 hours?) When I asked how I could get a change of clothes or call Chile to announce my delay, the last agent of the evening shrugged.

To me, this does not represent good customer service. The following day, as I spent 10 hours in the airport (since my meal tickets prevented eating elsewhere), I begged 2 more meal tickets and a voucher for $100 of future travel. With my airport food stamps, I spent $12 on breakfast and skipped lunch to afford an $18 dinner.

What a great strategy for dieting, but I do wonder if Delta takes customer service seriously. A voucher implies I will fly Delta again, and I am not sure that I will. It certainly does not cover all the costs of a 24-hour delay. I am seeking compensation for:
$7- cost of Boingo Wireless connection to Skype with contacts about my delay
$192 US dollars- cost of my replacement ticket for the regional flight I missed due to the delay.

As a compromise, I will pay the $1 in-airport DVD rental fee, since I assume that entertainment falls under my own responsibility.

I thank you for your concern and prompt reply in this matter.

frequent flyer # 2617158999
Carolyn McCarthy

The response:

Dear Carolyn Mccarthy,
RE: Case 1547155

This is an automatically generated message to acknowledge the receipt of your email. Please do not reply to this message.

We appreciate your continued patience while we review your concerns. Our goal is to respond to you within 14 business days. However, due to the complexity of certain situations, additional time may be required to respond.

If you need assistance with a current reservation, please contact Reservations directly at 1-800-221-1212. For international reservation locations, please visit They will be happy to assist you.

Customer Care
Delta Air Lines

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