My Horror Story of Customer Disservice from the "World's Most Admired Airline" - Please Help!!

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Apr 9, 2019
3
0
1
45
#1
I am Gold Medallion with Delta Airlines and A+ Preferred with Southwest Airlines. As someone who travels frequently for work, I am fully aware that unanticipated events happen in the normal course of travel. What happened on March 21, 2019 however, blew me away. I was scheduled to fly flight 1535 from Pittsburgh to Atlanta departing PIT at 11:55 in the morning. I would normally leave in the evening but decided to leave early as I had important commitments in Atlanta. I paid about $859.14 for my roundtrip ticket.

There were so many concerning failure points on this flight. We boarded the plan at 10:30 am, stayed on ground for close to 30 minutes before we were informed that the generator of the plane was bad - the spare generator was bad as well. We had to deplane. An alternate flight I was booked for was delayed as well. While waiting, we were given juice, which I later found had expired in 2018. At about 8:00pm, an aircraft was finally sent from Chicago to take us to Atlanta. I wonder why it took Delta so long to provide a timely, viable solution

Our flight finally boarded at 10:30 pm. Once on onboard, we did not depart for another 45 minutes due to load and balancing issues. According to the pilot, they needed to put 60 lbs. of sand in the aircraft. The flight attendants could not serve drinks and snacks on the plane - there was no galley to do so.

When I got to ATL at 11:30 pm, my checked bag was nowhere to be found. The baggage agent said she could not locate it. It took three days for the bag to get to me. I got to my house weary, worn, sad and bagless at 1:30 am, the following day. A one-and-a-half-hour journey (1.5 hrs.) had taken 15 hours!

Some folks who volunteered their seats on the flight scheduled to depart PIT at 7:35 pm and left with our flight about three hours later, got gift cards of $500 each. I agree that the circumstances are different, however, the value of my time is the same as theirs. They were involuntarily deplaned. I was deplaned due to no fault of mine as well and wasted fifteen torturous hours.

I am requesting that Delta give me a reimbursement of my ticket, $500 and 25,000 SkyMiles for my loss of time and high degree of pain, suffering, and inconvenience.

Thank you!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,058
15,561
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Unfortunately you aren’t due a free ticket. According to the DOT, schedules aren’t guaranteed. The airline has to get you from point a to point b and eventually they did get it to you.

When a flight is canceled, the airline has to do one of two things- get you on the next available flight with seats or give you a refund.

They didn’t keep you on the tarmac for more then three hours. They likely didn’t have an alternate plane to change your first flight which is why it took so long to get you on another plane.

You certainly were inconvenienced but you also has the opportunity to give up your seat when they asked for volunteers so you aren’t due what those who did give up their seats received.

What you can do is use our company contacts and write to Delta and ask for mileage or a partial credit to use for a future flight. But you aren’t due a full refund.

Here are your passenger rights according to the DOT:

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,240
5,572
113
48
#3
“I am requesting that Delta give me a reimbursement of my ticket, $500 and 25,000 SkyMiles for my loss of time and high degree of pain, suffering, and inconvenience.”

Was this request already sent to Delta? There is no doubt that this was a bad experience. PIT does not have extra Delta aircrafts so one had to be flown in.

There is a risk that by asking too much that the letter will be ignored. You are asking for a refund of the round trip ticket when one part was problematic, and $500, and enough miles for a short haul domestic round trip.

The airlines do not pay for someone’s lost time.

If this was the EU this incident would be eligible for euro 250 (around $280) — just to give perspective.

I would caution using terms like high degree of pain and suffering. The person who died on the SW flight by being partially sucked out the window had a high degree of pain and suffering.

It was certainly an aggravating trip, and Delta should do something but asking for too much may lead to a complaint being ignored.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,058
15,561
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Did you ask at any time for a refund so you could buy a ticket on another airline? You could have done that as well.

It sounds like the others have up their seats an another flight because it was oversold - if your new flight wasn’t oversold then there was no reason for Delta to offer it in your flight.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,559
113
#10
Original flight: 11:55 AM from PIT-ATL-PIT for $859
Boarded @ 10:30 AM?
Canceled 30 minutes later
Alternate flight canceled as well
Next flight boarded @ 10:30 PM
Departed 45 minutes later (no drinks or snacks)
Arrived ATL @ 11:30 PM: no checked bag
Three days for bag to reach home

From your original boarding time to actual departure was over 12 hours. And then your checked bag was missing and not returned to you for 3 days.

Given that this was for business, $300 or $30,000 sky miles seems reasonable . . .
 
Feb 3, 2017
146
201
43
45
#12
I have reason to use the Delta contacts here twice, both times I requested they consider very reasonable asks, acknowledging they need not to anything and that I would appreciate very much anything they can do. Both times, I received refunds but, again, very reasonable amounts.

I have found them really pleasant (the contact here and also customer reps on the phone and in-person) - I kept the emails brief, no drama, reasonable requests and expressed appreciation for their time and offers.

I think VoR61's suggestion sounds fair - they may then offer $250 or 25,000 miles - both of which would seem fair to me

Good luck. I must say you are quite a lucky person if with a lot of flying this was the worse experience you have had. Wish I could say as much....
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,240
5,572
113
48
#13
Original flight: 11:55 AM from PIT-ATL-PIT for $859
Boarded @ 10:30 AM?
Canceled 30 minutes later
Alternate flight canceled as well
Next flight boarded @ 10:30 PM
Departed 45 minutes later (no drinks or snacks)
Arrived ATL @ 11:30 PM: no checked bag
Three days for bag to reach home

From your original boarding time to actual departure was over 12 hours. And then your checked bag was missing and not returned to you for 3 days.

Given that this was for business, $300 or $30,000 sky miles seems reasonable . . .
The 859 was rountrip fare — so I would suspect that maybe closer to 250 to 275– sometimes airlines give higher amounts to high status flyers.

But as an example someone who was on a canceled flight from Tokyo to Atlanta and had to stay overnight (hotel paid) got 35,000 miles.

Other people with a domestic delay of 11 hours due to mechanical have only received 7500 miles in economy or 10,000 in First — other people have received a little more but it does appear to be a little random
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,559
113
#14
The 859 was rountrip fare — so I would suspect that maybe closer to 250 to 275– sometimes airlines give higher amounts to high status flyers.

But as an example someone who was on a canceled flight from Tokyo to Atlanta and had to stay overnight (hotel paid) got 35,000 miles.

Other people with a domestic delay of 11 hours due to mechanical have only received 7500 miles in economy or 10,000 in First — other people have received a little more but it does appear to be a little random
Reminder that he was also without his checked bag for 3 days while on a business trip . . .
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,240
5,572
113
48
#18
Reminder that he was also without his checked bag for 3 days while on a business trip . . .
I took it that the OP lives in Atlanta as it was written that there was a return to house and not hotel. Airlines normally do not reimburse for delayed luggage when returning to home.

“The baggage agent said she could not locate it. It took three days for the bag to get to me. I got to my house weary, worn, sad and bagless at 1:30 am,”
 
Feb 3, 2017
146
201
43
45
#19
I took it that the OP lives in Atlanta as it was written that there was a return to house and not hotel. Airlines normally do not reimburse for delayed luggage when returning to home.

“The baggage agent said she could not locate it. It took three days for the bag to get to me. I got to my house weary, worn, sad and bagless at 1:30 am,”
This confused me too then I re-read it and thought that perhaps the LW meant that by the time they finally got home after 3 days with no luggage (after their business trip) they were exhausted. It is not very clear to me though
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
4,240
5,572
113
48
#20
This confused me too then I re-read it and thought that perhaps the LW meant that by the time they finally got home after 3 days with no luggage (after their business trip) they were exhausted. It is not very clear to me though
I read it as plane landed in ATL at 11:30 pm and no bag, by the time bag report was done the OP made it “home” at 1:30 am —

It was a test of patience for the OP, certainly