Missed Connection - JFK to DUB

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Mar 6, 2018
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#1
Last month I embarked on a quick three day trip to Dublin to visit my sister at school. I was scheduled to fly IAD - JFK - DUB. After boarding my plane at IAD, the pilot informs us we are stuck on the tarmac for 45-60 minutes as there is too much air traffic between Washington D.C. and New York City. I immediately contact Delta who inform me that I will have 15 minutes to get to my DUB departure gate and there is nothing they can do to ensure I make it. Upon arrival at JFK, the jet bridge will not connect so it takes 10+ min to deplane. Then since the gate agents at IAD forced us all to planeside check all bags, I had to wait for my suitcase. Seeing that the promised customer service agent was not at our gate, I asked the gate agent to call my departure gate to let them know I was coming/running. She said she would not, as it was policy not to intervene. After a frantic run from T2 to T4, I arrived in time to watch the jet bridge pull away from my DUB flight.

I was directed to the rebooking desk at T4. Three Delta employees barely looked up from their cell phones to inform me that I had a seat on the same flight 24 hours later. They said that since it was a weather delay I was "on my own" until then and they would not provide meal or hotel vouchers. This puzzled me because there was no weather issues and we were told the delay was due to a high volume of air traffic. I found a hotel and paid $200 for a last minute room. The next morning some others in the same situation from other Washington area airports (BWI and DCA) and they had gotten meal and hotel vouchers!

I did meet one very nice Delta supervisor at JFK who saw my frustrated tweeting back and forth. She called me, found me at JFK, escorted me into the Delta Sky Lounge and added some miles to my account. She was extremely apologetic and said my experience was not the norm and not how it should be handled. After I returned from Dublin I filed a formal complaint with Delta. They offered me 3,000 miles. These miles and the ones the supervisor added do nothing for me, as I rarely fly Delta and have no desire to do so again after this experience.

My frustration stems from the fact that every single Delta employee I encountered (save the supervisor at JFK) did nothing but the bare minimum. Had one person that I spoke to before I took off from DC let my departure gate at JFK know what was going on, I would have made my flight. I missed it by MINUTES and as a result lost 1/3 of an already short vacation. I get that Delta policy was technically followed but it was so easily preventable and none of the employees I encountered cared at all. I'd really like a refund for the first half of my fare or reimbursement for my hotel/meal expenses.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#2
Airlines no longer hold flights for late arriving passengers. It sounds like the air traffic situation was bad enough, that the Delta flight to Dublin HAD to leave or miss its window. And it could have been both ATC and weather. If weather was bad elsewhere, it snowballs (pardon the pun) into a domino effect. A plane can't leave for Minneapolis because of bad weather en route, so it stays at the gate, so the incoming flight has to route to a different gate, and then plane going to that second gate is now off in the weeds of the airport tarmac, or circling the airport.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,024
12,256
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
We have company contacts on our company contacts page. You can follow the directions carefully we show telling you how to write. Ask for more points or a refund of the hotel.

Did you have Travel insurance? That would probably reimburse you for the hotel.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
Gingersnap US airlines rarely hold flights anymore for incoming passengers; the flights need to push back from the gates and free it up for the next flight. And the JFK LGA EWR airspace is horribly congested; it can be a weather visibility issue at the airports and then air traffic control slows down the incoming flights. I spent hours in the Pittsburgh airport with such an issue; the small regional jets are first to be delayed, as the long haul jets that are in transit need to land first. I am always hesitant with the schedules of the regional jets.

And Terminal 4 at JFK is vast, I am not sure where the Terminal 2 to 4 shuttle drop off is.

I am sorry to say that I have seen some of those not helpful employees at JFK, LGA and EWR --and it is not airline specific.

Unfortunately there is nothing like EU 261 protection here -- this is why I often fly EU carriers. I would write a polite letter and ask for a more -- but remember you can use your Delta miles on other airlines, like KLM and Air France. Good luck and let us know what happens.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,024
12,256
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
Gingersnap US airlines rarely hold flights anymore for incoming passengers; the flights need to push back from the gates and free it up for the next flight. And the JFK LGA EWR airspace is horribly congested; it can be a weather visibility issue at the airports and then air traffic control slows down the incoming flights. I spent hours in the Pittsburgh airport with such an issue; the small regional jets are first to be delayed, as the long haul jets that are in transit need to land first. I am always hesitant with the schedules of the regional jets.

And Terminal 4 at JFK is vast, I am not sure where the Terminal 2 to 4 shuttle drop off is.

I am sorry to say that I have seen some of those not helpful employees at JFK, LGA and EWR --and it is not airline specific.

Unfortunately there is nothing like EU 261 protection here -- this is why I often fly EU carriers. I would write a polite letter and ask for a more -- but remember you can use your Delta miles on other airlines, like KLM and Air France. Good luck and let us know what happens.
Terminal 4 is a mile in length. Are you talking about the AirTrain to get from terminal to terminal?
 
Likes: VoR61

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,406
6,464
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San Francisco
#6
What a disappointment, Gingersnap ... 1/3 of your visit just disappears. As far as the 'attitude' in New York ... well, this has been going on forever and New Yorkers are often been the butt of jokes from the rest of us. I've never experienced it, but many people have. I expect no warmth in NYC and am always happy when someone is nice to me. I think you should ask for your overnight expenses to be reimbursed. Follow my colleague's guidance ... good luck and please let us know what happens.

ADVOCATE ADVICE
It's becoming more and more important to control the length of your layovers. What an airline considers a 'legal connection' is fine as long as the inbound plane is early and suffers no issues getting everybody off the plane. Not to overlook the speed at which you walk. I never book a connection of less than 90 minutes domestically and 4 hours internationally. Missing a connection and adding 5 hours ... or even 24 hours ... to a trip is my idea of torture. I'd rather enjoy the airport itself and take a stroll around, maybe have a nice meal.
 
Likes: VoR61
Mar 6, 2018
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#8
Thanks for all of the input everyone! I think my frustration mainly just stems from the attitude of all the employees I encountered and missing my flight by mere minutes. I completely understand the need for planes to make their departure windows. I am the quintessential struggling graduate student so this trip was a big deal and expense for me so missing 1/3 of it was so disappointing! Given that others in my situation that night did get hotel vouchers I think it's reasonable to try and recoup those costs.

Also I did take the shuttle from T2 to T4 and luckily it was right near both my arrival and departure gates so in that sense I was lucky.

Is the consensus that a polite letter to Delta execs would be a reasonable next step?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,024
12,256
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
What a disappointment, Gingersnap ... 1/3 of your visit just disappears. As far as the 'attitude' in New York ... well, this has been going on forever and New Yorkers are often been the butt of jokes from the rest of us. I've never experienced it, but many people have. I expect no warmth in NYC and am always happy when someone is nice to me. I think you should ask for your overnight expenses to be reimbursed. Follow my colleague's guidance ... good luck and please let us know what happens.

ADVOCATE ADVICE
It's becoming more and more important to control the length of your layovers. What an airline considers a 'legal connection' is fine as long as the inbound plane is early and suffers no issues getting everybody off the plane. Not to overlook the speed at which you walk. I never book a connection of less than 90 minutes domestically and 4 hours internationally. Missing a connection and adding 5 hours ... or even 24 hours ... to a trip is my idea of torture. I'd rather enjoy the airport itself and take a stroll around, maybe have a nice meal.
As a New Yorker I can tell you I was disrespected in Atlanta on numerous occasions. So I think generalizations are quite wrong. I have walked tourists to restaurants and taken them with me to help them on trains when they had no idea where they were going. If you simply treat people nicely, they tend to react positively even if they are cranky.
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
1,999
3,413
113
#10
What a disappointment, Gingersnap ... 1/3 of your visit just disappears. As far as the 'attitude' in New York ... well, this has been going on forever and New Yorkers are often been the butt of jokes from the rest of us. I've never experienced it, but many people have. I expect no warmth in NYC and am always happy when someone is nice to me. I think you should ask for your overnight expenses to be reimbursed. Follow my colleague's guidance ... good luck and please let us know what happens.

ADVOCATE ADVICE
It's becoming more and more important to control the length of your layovers. What an airline considers a 'legal connection' is fine as long as the inbound plane is early and suffers no issues getting everybody off the plane. Not to overlook the speed at which you walk. I never book a connection of less than 90 minutes domestically and 4 hours internationally. Missing a connection and adding 5 hours ... or even 24 hours ... to a trip is my idea of torture. I'd rather enjoy the airport itself and take a stroll around, maybe have a nice meal.

This. What they call a connection is ridiculous now.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,406
6,464
113
San Francisco
#11
This. What they call a connection is ridiculous now.
Since dealing with hundreds of passengers who need to get somewhere has got to be horrendously expensive, we have to wonder why they do it. We know they don't care about their gate agents going bananas with stress, but just the sheer outlay of dollars rebooking people has got to be staggering.