Chase booked me on a non-existing Delta flight; cost me $1052

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Apr 10, 2017
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#1
The following story is pretty complicated, so I'll try to limit the narration and just provide the facts. I'm also new to the forum, so I apologize if this should have been filed under other (instead of airline).

1) I have been a Chase credit card customer for 2.5 years.
2) On 12/27/16 I purchased a round trip ticket on Delta from Denver to Savanna with layovers each way in Atlanta. The flights were scheduled for 3/16/17 and 3/19/17 respectively. The ticket was $690. I used a combination of points and dollars to pay for the flight.
3) I received a notification from Chase on 12/31/17 that there had been a schedule change. My flight from Atlanta to Savanna had been changed by 10 minutes. This was also updated on the Chase Ultimate rewards website.
4) On 3/15/17, the day before my trip, I double checked my reservation/trip on Chase Ultimate Rewards and confirmed my itinerary.
5) On 3/16/17, I arrived at the airport, checked into my flight, and everything went very smoothly on my trip from Denver to Savannah.
6) On 3/19/17 I arrived at the airport at 9am for my 10:15am flight. I was informed by the Delta agent that a 10:15am flight did not exist. She said I was confirmed for a 9am flight, which I obviously missed. I showed her my confirmation from Chase, but she said the best Delta could do for me was put me on standby for the next flight out.
7) I waited on standby from 9am until 3pm; unfortunately, all four of the flights from Savannah to Denver were full. I tried calling Chase on three different occasions, but was never able to get through after wait times of 45 minutes, 30 minutes, and 50 minutes respectively.
8) At 3pm I asked the gate agent what my chances were of getting out of Savannah. She replied that all the remaining flights were full and that my only guaranteed chance was to purchase a new one-way ticket.
9) I purchased the only remaining seat, a first class ticket from Savannah to Atlanta at 4:45pm with ongoing service to Denver landing at 9:25pm. The cost of the ticket was $1052.

Since my ordeal, I've tried speaking with numerous people at both Chase and Delta. From the onset, I told them that I just wanted a refund of my $1052. The way I look at things, I had a contract with Chase/Delta. I fulfilled my end of the contract (showed up on-time and paid in full). They did not deliver their end of the contract. I expereinced 7hrs worth of delay and $1052 worth of direct damages as a result. I don't know who is at fault, Chase or Delta, I just know that I shouldn't be on the hook for it.

Although the customer service folks at both Delta and Chase have expressed compassion for my ordeal, they have not been able to refund me my $1052. They have also not been very timely in their responses; It's been three weeks since the issue occurred. I ever spoke to a Chase branch manager, but he was unable to help, only calling my info in to a dispute resolution specialist.

Delta recently proposed to refund me the $340 cost of the Savannah to Denver ticket. This doesn't make any sense; why would Delta give me a refund if I "missed my flight"? They obviously realize that a mistake was made on their end. Today, Chase proposed to give me 15,000 points (worth $150). Again, why would I accept $150 worth of points when I'm about a total of $1752 for a round trip ticket from Denver to Savannah? I spend ~$40k on my Chase card every year; I feel that my value as a customer must be worth more than $1052. If I can't get this issue resolved, I will be closing my account and will no longer do business with them.

I'm hoping someone can chime in with suggestions of how to address things from this point. I will write a letter to the Chase executive office in Columbus. I'm also searching for contact info for Jennifer Piepszak; she is the current CEO of Card Services. I also plan to email Gil West, COO of Delta. Customer Service appears to fall under his leadership.

Finally, I'm considering filing a small claims suit against Delta and Chase in Denver court. The smalls claims process seems to be pretty quick and easy. At the very least, it will force someone to actually review my issue.

Any other thoughts/comments/criticism would be appreciated.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
In order to progress from here toward a solution, I see these as your next steps:

1. Obtain in writing from Delta confirmation that a) there never was a flight at that time, or b) there was at the time you booked, but Delta since cancelled it (has happened to me)
2. If a) then Chase bears responsibility for the booking error and should refund you.
3. If b) then Delta would have notified you if they had your email contact information. However, they may not have because you did not book directly with them. And your recourse with them is to appeal for an exception.

In either case you can use our Company Contacts for both (top of this page). And going forward, I suggest that you never leave things to chance regarding flights. I always check using a third-party phone app the morning of my flights to confirm the status. Alerts can fail for a number of reasons, and better safe than sorry. Doing so minimizes your chances of this reoccurring.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#3
Thanks for the feedback. One item I forgot to mention somewhat addresses your comment.

When I open my Delta Skymiles account, they list the missed flight as DL1828. This is the same flight number as the itinerary from Chase. If you look up DL1828, it is a regularly scheduled flight at 10:15am every day...except Sunday.

The fact that Delta's own website still indicates I didn't show up for a non existent flight makes me think there is a computer glitch on their end.

I think I'll wait the additional 10-14 days to receive a response from Delta, and if the issue isn't resolved on their end, I'll escalate it up to Gil West.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#4
Thanks for the feedback. One item I forgot to mention somewhat addresses your comment.

When I open my Delta Skymiles account, they list the missed flight as DL1828. This is the same flight number as the itinerary from Chase. If you look up DL1828, it is a regularly scheduled flight at 10:15am every day...except Sunday.

The fact that Delta's own website still indicates I didn't show up for a non existent flight makes me think there is a computer glitch on their end.

I think I'll wait the additional 10-14 days to receive a response from Delta, and if the issue isn't resolved on their end, I'll escalate it up to Gil West.
So, then, Delta claimed no such flight that day when their website reflects one? Next step is to find out if that flight on that day was cancelled.
 
Sep 1, 2015
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#5
As you stated DL1828 was daily up to March 11th. It became every day except Sunday (code x7) on March 12. It didn't operate on 3/12, 3/19, or 3/26 then resumed daily frequency including yesterday. The pattern is odd, but it was definitely a planned schedule change and not a one-time irregularity.

Your legal recourse is limited; the Contract of Carriage of virtually all airlines states that schedules, dates, and times are "guidelines", and the airline makes no guarantee to deliver you to your destination at any particular time or even date. Unfortunately, they could have put you on a flight the next day or even a few days later. Legally you did not allow them to fulfill the contract when you understandably made other arrangements.

If you pay your Chase credit card balance on time and sensibly do not carry a balance, you are *not* a good customer in their eyes despite your high annual spend. CC companies even call people who don't carry a balance "deadbeats" ! I cancelled my Citibank card which I had for 25+ years with never a late payment. They didn't flinch and sounded happy to drop me like a hot potato!

Keep us posted.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#6
I spoke to a friend of mine this morning who is a Delta pilot. He said he would talk to a few people he knew to see what recourse I may have.

I think the one item that works in my favor is that my flight wasn't cancelled, delayed, etc. It never existed. Delta's terms don't actually address what happens when you're booked on a flight that doesn't exist. Furthermore, Delta never rescheduled me on another flight. I had to wait standby for over seven hours before I made my own arrangements (at the recommendation of a Delta agent). I feel I have a good case of getting my refund, but I guess we'll find out.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
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www.promalvacations.com
#7
What often happens is if there are seasonal flights, the airline just cancel them and leave you with no recourse.

However, you should have received an email about the change and a refund for the ticket. The notice would have gone to whoever before ones your ticket. Have you asked Chase why they didn't notify you?

As a travel agent this infuriates me.
The airlines know about what time of year they will end seasonal flights. They should determine a hard stop date and stop booking tickets on that start date. What I believe the do they do is wait and see how full the flights are and then cancel the flights when it gets light. This ends yesterday costing the consumer hundreds of not thousands of dollars having to find another flight elsewhere when prices are high for last minute tickets.

We had this with clients last year to Punta Cana. They insisted on a low cost Caribbean airline that I warned them not too book and refused to book it because I knew (and told them about) their practices. They decided to book the air in their own.

Two weeks before they were to travel, the airline sent them an email they were ceasing operations to the DR. I scrambled to find them 4 tickets on another airline. The new tickets on Jet Blue cost them
$3200 for the air alone. They ended up paying $900 more then if the had booked the JetBluw flights I quoted them when the booked their trip.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#8
Chase claims that they didn't notify me because Delta never notified them. I somewhat believe Chase, because Delta's own website still shows me scheduled on the 10:15am DL1828 flight flight that didn't exist. I assume Delta never updated my schedule in their own system, which is why the update was never communicated to me or Chase. It seems like a computer glitch within Delta.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#9
The Chase computer was absolutely notified by the Delta computer but , unfortunately the folks at Chase don't have any humans reading those notifications! Once again absolutely Delta sent an automated notice to the Agent of record.
 
Sep 1, 2015
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#10
The airlines know about what time of year they will end seasonal flights. They should determine a hard stop date and stop booking tickets on that start date. What I believe the do they do is wait and see how full the flights are and then cancel the flights when it gets light.
Agree with all your comments....however this particular flight was odd as I commented in Post #5. It stopped operating on Sunday for only 3 weeks, then resumed daily service. Similar to seasonal service but this one wasn't.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#11
Agree with all your comments....however this particular flight was odd as I commented in Post #5. It stopped operating on Sunday for only 3 weeks, then resumed daily service. Similar to seasonal service but this one wasn't.
Were you able to look this up online? The LWs comments do not reflect the change you have indicated ...
 
Sep 1, 2015
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#12
Were you able to look this up online? The LWs comments do not reflect the change you have indicated ...
Yes, actual historical data. The flight did not fly the 3 Sundays I listed, but flew on the Sundays before and after that (including the past 2 Sundays, Apr. 2nd and 9th).
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#14
Attached is a flight summary for DL1828. At the bottom of page 2, you'll notice that DL 1828 did not fly on March 19th. However, Delta never updated my schedule. To this day, my Delta account still indicates that I missed flight DL1828 on March 19, when in fact, the flight did not exist.
 

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Jan 6, 2015
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#15
I also confirmed this via phone call with Delta. The agent did state that he sees frequently where contact information does not transfer, which may explain why you did not receive a notice.

And again, there is no way to tell if the flight existed at booking time but was cancelled later. Hence, I said always verify first things the day of, because alerts sometimes fail.

Still think this is a Chase issue ...
 
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Aug 28, 2015
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#18
Kenish provided invaluable info. Here is what you do (I had something semi-similar happen with a Chase travel booked res).

1. File a credit card dispute with Chase using Chase Travel as the merchant over the $1k to get Chase to start the investigation;

2. File a Chase trip delay claim, assuming your card provides for this.

It doesn't matter what happened between Chase and Delta. The mega corps should figure it out on their own. I bank with Chase so wouldn't give you harmful advice. With my incident, it took some effort but Chase fully refunded the 2 bad tickets. Other options, based on your banking relationship:

If the above 2 do not result in a refund:

3. Pop into your local branch, if you bank there, and have a retail banker call the card side of the company and attempt a mediation on your behalf;

4. File a CFPB complaint based on the language used on your Chase denial letter. You would dispute on the grounds of service not received and if Chase/Delta refunds just your original booking, your trip delay claim should pick up the rest.

Don't read into whether Delta's offer is an admission of guilt..,. It is irrelevant. Also, as stated above, unless you are paying extreme interest, not really possible on 40k/year, you are not a special customer. You are a wronged customer though.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#19
I have some good news I'd like to share regarding my issues with Delta and Chase. I finally received a call today from Delta and they agreed to refund me the full $1052 for the second ticket. I probably could have pushed to get some additional perks, but figured I'd just take the money and move on with things. Additionally, Chase issued me 15,000 points earlier in the week. The points are worth $225 when I redeem for travel. At this point, I'm calling things a success; case closed.

Thanks for everyone who chimed in with comments/suggestions. Let me know if you have any questions about my ordeal.