Delta Provides Bad Information And It cost me EUR681.88

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Aug 20, 2017
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#1
This related to complaint 00060667 submitted on August 14.

My daughter wanted to to go Belgrade to visit her boyfriend. As we looked options, the Delta flight with a connection in Amsterdam was approximately $2,800, but ticket to Amsterdam on Delta separate from the flight from Air Serbia to Belgrade the cost was approximately $1,300. As a college student it was difficult to ignore the savings of $1,500, especially when the Delta option was the same flight as the Air Serbia flight (just labeled as a KLM flight). I called the Platinum Elite line on June 12 and asked if we booked the tickets separate could they be linked to allow her bags to be checked through to Belgrade and was told that could be done since you have a baggage agreement with Air Serbia. I booked the flights separately and called the Platinum line and the reservations were linked and I received an e-mail showing them as being linked.

On August 13 we checked in at MSP for her flight and we are told by the gate agent that they are unable to check the bag through to Belgrade and that my daughter would need to claim her bag in Amsterdam, check in with Air Serbia and proceed to her flight. Given that the connection time was 90 minutes, this was a concern. We checked her in and hoped for the best. I called the Platinum Elite line and asked why the information I was given was inaccurate. The agent said that it would not be an issue because she would need to claim her bag in Amsterdam anyway since it was her first point of entry and she could check her bag in the custom hall and not go through security. I was also told that on her return flight, she would be able to check her bag through to MSP since you have a baggage agreement with Air Serbia. I asked why the agent at check-in said you do not have an agreement with Air Serbia and she was not sure.

On August 14 my daughter landed in Amsterdam, claimed her bag and was told she need to go to departures, check-in with Air Serbia and go back through security. She missed her flight because of the delay this caused and ended buy a new ticket on KLM for EUR681.88. She ultimately got to Belgrade 11 hours late because of the delay that resulted from the faulty information provided to me on June 12. When I posted on Twitter my concern I ended in direct message conversation with a Delta employee and was provided contradictory information during that string of messages. As a result, I am unclear on what will happen when my daughter arrives at the Belgrade airport for her return flight on August 24.

My request is threefold:
  • Delta pay for the KLM flight that we booked as a result of the faulty information provided to me on June 12 by the Platinum Elite line.
  • Delta credit the miles for the August 14 flights to my daughter’s Sky Miles account.
  • Provide clear information on what my daughter should expect on August 24 when she checks in at the Belgrade airport. Can she check her bag through to MSP or will she need to claim her back in Amsterdam?

I am a loyal Delta customer (Platinum and Million miler) and I do not recall ever filing a formal complaint about the service I received from your airline. This situation is particularly frustrating since I made the effort to understand what could and could not be done prior to booking to ensure that what happened would not happen. We all make mistakes, but your mistake cost me EUR681.88.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,772
12,753
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
This related to complaint 00060667 submitted on August 14.

My daughter wanted to to go Belgrade to visit her boyfriend. As we looked options, the Delta flight with a connection in Amsterdam was approximately $2,800, but ticket to Amsterdam on Delta separate from the flight from Air Serbia to Belgrade the cost was approximately $1,300. As a college student it was difficult to ignore the savings of $1,500, especially when the Delta option was the same flight as the Air Serbia flight (just labeled as a KLM flight). I called the Platinum Elite line on June 12 and asked if we booked the tickets separate could they be linked to allow her bags to be checked through to Belgrade and was told that could be done since you have a baggage agreement with Air Serbia. I booked the flights separately and called the Platinum line and the reservations were linked and I received an e-mail showing them as being linked.

On August 13 we checked in at MSP for her flight and we are told by the gate agent that they are unable to check the bag through to Belgrade and that my daughter would need to claim her bag in Amsterdam, check in with Air Serbia and proceed to her flight. Given that the connection time was 90 minutes, this was a concern. We checked her in and hoped for the best. I called the Platinum Elite line and asked why the information I was given was inaccurate. The agent said that it would not be an issue because she would need to claim her bag in Amsterdam anyway since it was her first point of entry and she could check her bag in the custom hall and not go through security. I was also told that on her return flight, she would be able to check her bag through to MSP since you have a baggage agreement with Air Serbia. I asked why the agent at check-in said you do not have an agreement with Air Serbia and she was not sure.

On August 14 my daughter landed in Amsterdam, claimed her bag and was told she need to go to departures, check-in with Air Serbia and go back through security. She missed her flight because of the delay this caused and ended buy a new ticket on KLM for EUR681.88. She ultimately got to Belgrade 11 hours late because of the delay that resulted from the faulty information provided to me on June 12. When I posted on Twitter my concern I ended in direct message conversation with a Delta employee and was provided contradictory information during that string of messages. As a result, I am unclear on what will happen when my daughter arrives at the Belgrade airport for her return flight on August 24.

My request is threefold:
  • Delta pay for the KLM flight that we booked as a result of the faulty information provided to me on June 12 by the Platinum Elite line.
  • Delta credit the miles for the August 14 flights to my daughter’s Sky Miles account.
  • Provide clear information on what my daughter should expect on August 24 when she checks in at the Belgrade airport. Can she check her bag through to MSP or will she need to claim her back in Amsterdam?

I am a loyal Delta customer (Platinum and Million miler) and I do not recall ever filing a formal complaint about the service I received from your airline. This situation is particularly frustrating since I made the effort to understand what could and could not be done prior to booking to ensure that what happened would not happen. We all make mistakes, but your mistake cost me EUR681.88.
Are you the same person with the daughter who arrived too late to check in for her flight from Minneapolis? I am totally confused why you have two separate posts.

But it sounds like the connection time wasn't enough in the first place. How much time was there between the two flights?

Here is the check through policy:

Effective for travel on or after January 11, 2016, Delta will check a passenger’s baggage between the origin and destination airports that are issued on a single or conjuncted* ticket exclusively. When issued on one ticket, Delta will also continue to check baggage through to the ticketed destination for interline itineraries. If a second ticket is presented for travel, Delta will only check the bag to the destination of the Delta ticket(s). Baggage may be claimed at the Delta-ticketed destination, and then re-checked by the customer with the downline carrier for the next flight.

* A single ticket also means a conjuncted (i.e., conjunctive) ticket. Conjuncted tickets are sequential in number on same ticket stock. It is not possible to conjunct tickets from different airlines.

Exceptions
In cases as noted below, when more than one ticket is presented, Delta will continue to through-check baggage from the origin to the destination.

  • An entire journey (itinerary) consisting of Delta-marketed / Delta-operated flights
  • SkyMiles Award plus a ticket with Delta-marketed / Delta-operated flights
  • Delta ticket plus a ticket on the Delta partner airlines listed below:
    • Aeromexico (AM)
    • Air France (AF)
    • Alitalia (AZ)
    • China Eastern (MU)
    • GOL (G3)
    • KLM (KL)
    • Virgin Atlantic (VS)
    • Virgin Australia (VA)
  • Delta ticket plus a:
    • SkyTeam pass ticket
    • Ticket with travel on a Visit USA (VUSA) fare
    • Connection to a Delta charter flight


So it does sound like she was given bad advice if the tickets were not on one ticket. And KLM is shown as a partner but not Air Serbia.

We have company contacts on top of our page. Go to the Delta contacts and write to Customer Service. Give them a week to reply. If the answer is no or they don't respond back, write to the first executive. Repeat weekly going up the chain.
 
Aug 20, 2017
11
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#3
I am the same person for the two posts. I appreciate the information on Delta's policy. The time between connection was 90 minutes and it is a connection is allowed since the Air Serbia can be booked as a KLM flight and was a Delta option. My frustration was that I called the Platinum Elite line prior to booking and was told that they could link the reservation and have her bag checked straight through to Belgrade. I relied on the information provided to me by Delta and it appears that is was not accurate. If they had provided the correct information we would have booked a different option. Fortunately her return flight has 3.5 hours in Amsterdam between flights so it should not be an issue.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,672
6,666
113
San Francisco
#5
Erik, your daughter ran into the same situation we see every day. First rule of travel, no matter "who you are" with an airline is that an agent will tell you anything to get you off the phone. Shameful, but true. Booking a trip like this without a travel agent often results in a big mess. A big costly mess. Unless you travel internationally six times a year, you have no idea how things really work, that a "legal connecting time" is just something for an airline to post. Internationally, three hours is the absolute minimum connection time, in our opinion. There are so many factors involved, and it's almost impossible to get real information out of an airline on the phone. Personally, I don't make any connections when travelling internationally. I fly to London on Virgin-Atlantic, spend a night or a few days, then fly somewhere else. But I'm lucky to be able to schedule my own travel, both business and leisure. I'm so sorry this happened. I hope that her return tix is still valid, often an airline will cancel the rest of an itinerary after a no-show. That's your big challenge right now.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,772
12,753
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Hopefully it was our contacts that helped - it also helped that they admitted their own employee made a mistake. That's rare but you presented good evidence and they believed you.

Glad it worked and she knows what she has to do coming home, right?
 
Aug 20, 2017
11
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#10
Just to close the loop on this thread. My daughter is flying back and Air Serbia checked her bag straight through to MSP so she does not need to claim in AMS. This is what I was told would happen in June. Not sure why it did not happen on the outbound flight.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,772
12,753
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
I think you have your answer as to what happened- they screwed up and that's why they reimbursed you so quickly.

I'm sorry your daughter had to go through
such a stressful situation though. I knew there was a reason Delta settled up so fast because they never refund that quickly.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#12
Hopefully it was our contacts that helped - it also helped that they admitted their own employee made a mistake. That's rare but you presented good evidence and they believed you.

Glad it worked and she knows what she has to do coming home, right?
The fact that the OP is a status flyer likely didn't hurt either.