Delta Forcing Me to Get Flying Blue points when I booked for Skymiles

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Oct 8, 2018
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#1
I've recently had a terrible experience with Delta/KLM support and would like some suggestions on what I can do. I am currently a Delta Silver Medallion, and pushing hard to get Gold Medallion status for 2019. I am trying to be credited with Skymiles and MQM for my recent round trip flight from Atlanta to Dubai, instead of Flying Blue credits, because I originally booked with Delta for the Skymiles and MQM. Detail below.

I booked a flight on the Delta website for ATL>AMS>DXB on Sept 19th, and returning on Sept 27 DXB>AMS>ATL (the legs from and landing in Atlanta operated by Delta, the legs landing and leaving from Dubai operated by KLM). I booked the entire flight on Delta's website and was quoted 15,232 total MQM for the flight before I booked. After I booked, I went to select my seats, and was redirected to the KLM website where I purchased Economy Comfort Plus seats on each of the legs that were operated by KLM and not Delta.

On the day of my departure Sept 19th I arrived at the airport for my expected 10:40PM departure and was informed that the flight was delayed. After 2 more delays, the flight was finally cancelled at 3:30 AM. I was told by the Delta gate agents that I needed to contact the airline myself to rebook my itinerary and that they couldn't do it for me at the airport. I called Delta support and they told me they could book me on a regular economy seat for a flight leaving in 21 hours. I asked for an Economy Comfort seat because that's what I paid for on the original itinerary, and the Delta agent said that because it was less than 24 hours from the time of the flight, they could not see the seating chart, and that I would have to work with KLM support to book that seat. So I hung up and called KLM support, and they were able to rebook me on a flight with an open Economy Comfort seat only after I gave them my Flying Blue number, but said that I would have to work with the gate agents when I checked in to confirm that actual seat. I successfully flew my flight the next day in an Economy Comfort seat, and flew my return legs with no issue.

However.

After 2 business days I checked my Delta Skymiles account online to see how my MQM was progressing, and saw that I was credited Skymiles and MQM for the portions ATL>AMS and AMS>ATL, but not for AMS>DXB or DXB>AMS. Knowing that international itineraries take a few days to update, I waited 5 more business days with no updates before I called support. Delta support told me that I needed to contact KLM/Flying Blue support, who I promptly called. KLM said that when I rebooked my flight through the KLM desk and gave my Flying Blue number, that it gave them authorization to give me Flying Blue points and not Skymiles and this was not reversible. I tried to explain that I did not choose to have Flying Blue, I was just trying to rebook my flight that was cancelled, and was in a hurry to do so, since I already missed 1 day of my prepaid vacation. Flying Blue told me that they could not reverse the situation and there was nothing they could do. I called back to Delta support and explained the situation and they told me that when I gave KLM my Flying Blue number, it gave them authorization to move my points to Flying Blue, and unless KLM reverses it, there's nothing Delta can do. I then submitted a complaint on the Delta website and the KLM website with no response from either.

I am extremely upset and disappointed, and am requesting that I be given my Skymiles and MQM as I was quoted when I originally booked my flight through the Delta website. The only reason that I had to contact KLM was because my flight was cancelled, and Delta could not rebook my same seat for me that I paid additional money for. I intended to receive Delta Skymiles and MQM, and the only reason I didnt was because of a flight cancellation that was outside of my control. Flying Blue points do not help me get to Delta Gold Medallion. What do you think I should do?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#2
This is indeed a disappointment, you do your best to "do it right" and then a cancellation throws it all out the window. I'm a points/miles junkie and I understand how important these things are.

What I see is that you "traded SkyMiles" for FlyingBlu miles in order to get that seat on KLM which was only available for a FlyingBlue member. In order to get the SkyMiles, you needed to rebook through Delta. I personally don't like code shares at all. When there are problems, things don't go so well for the traveller. Delta should have rebooked you on that KLM flight so you were awarded SkyMiles. Were they willing to do that? Did you insist on the better seat assignment? Delta may not have been able to get you a better seat, but had they done the booking, you'd have your SkyMiles.

One of my colleagues @ADM flies Delta often, hopefully she will chime in here with her perspective on my supposition.
 
Jul 31, 2018
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#4
Skymiles PM member here - I've had several overseas trips involving KLM/Air France as codeshare partners and have learned a bit about how that agreement works, but I still have a fair amount to learn. The first piece of advice I got, prior to traveling:
DO NOT SIGN UP FOR FLYING BLUE.
In fact, as a general rule, it's best only to belong to one FF account per alliance (SkyTeam, Star, OneWorld). The reason is precisely what happened above: airlines will want to deposit miles into their accounts rather than partner accounts, and because miles don't belong to you (they belong to the airlines) they're allowed to play by whatever rules are easiest for them. When you book through Delta, it's best to let Delta handle absolutely everything. The Delta gate agents who told you to work with KLM on the rebooking were probably wrong: your first move in that case is to call the Delta Silver Medallion desk and see what they can do before handing things off to KLM. Given that you were silver, the options may have been limited, but in general, I strongly suggest exhausting all Delta options before dealing directly with KLM (and, in general, exhaust all options with your booking airline before dealing directly with the codeshare.)
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
How did KLM get your flying blue number? You gave it to them.

When you got your boarding pass didn’t you see the Flying Blue Number on it? Neither in Amsterdam nor in DXB on the way back? You did not notice this at all?

It is my understanding that the programs do not allow retroactive changes after a flight.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
And Delta is not forcing you to do anything. You gave the Flying Blue number to KLM. You did not look at your boarding pass.

If you want to have any hope of a positive resolution and an exception to the terms you need to stop blaming others and own up to your actions which put you in this position.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#7
Skymiles PM member here - I've had several overseas trips involving KLM/Air France as codeshare partners and have learned a bit about how that agreement works, but I still have a fair amount to learn. The first piece of advice I got, prior to traveling:
DO NOT SIGN UP FOR FLYING BLUE.
In fact, as a general rule, it's best only to belong to one FF account per alliance (SkyTeam, Star, OneWorld). The reason is precisely what happened above: airlines will want to deposit miles into their accounts rather than partner accounts, and because miles don't belong to you (they belong to the airlines) they're allowed to play by whatever rules are easiest for them. When you book through Delta, it's best to let Delta handle absolutely everything. The Delta gate agents who told you to work with KLM on the rebooking were probably wrong: your first move in that case is to call the Delta Silver Medallion desk and see what they can do before handing things off to KLM. Given that you were silver, the options may have been limited, but in general, I strongly suggest exhausting all Delta options before dealing directly with KLM (and, in general, exhaust all options with your booking airline before dealing directly with the codeshare.)
I agree with this. It might have been easier to get the Delta miles after the fact if no miles had been awarded to a different airline account. It's worth appealing to the executives at both KLM and Delta to see if anything can be done now.
 
Likes: jsn55

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#8
I'm Delta Diamond Medallion and my opinion is that since KLM deposited the miles, going to Delta wouldn't help, but that's why I suggested willing to both in the same email, just in case Delta can help.
 
Oct 8, 2018
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#9
Update: On Sunday I used the corporate contacts for Delta on this website and emailed some executives with a detailed description of what happened. I received a call from the Delta executive office earlier this morning apologizing greatly for the situation. They said that they have personally contacted senior support managers at KLM and have reversed the Flying Blue points and will credit me the Skymiles & MQM ! Thanks everyone for your comments!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,992
6,857
113
San Francisco
#12
Update: On Sunday I used the corporate contacts for Delta on this website and emailed some executives with a detailed description of what happened. I received a call from the Delta executive office earlier this morning apologizing greatly for the situation. They said that they have personally contacted senior support managers at KLM and have reversed the Flying Blue points and will credit me the Skymiles & MQM ! Thanks everyone for your comments!
Fantastic! I thought sure this was a non-starter and nobody would help. Well done!