04 May 2017

Delta Agent Lied to Us!

Most of us value Trust and Integrity.  A long-time friend of mine would say "Trust is never an issue until it is broken".  Very true statement. 

Over the past few months we have seen a battle between the Airline Industry and Customer Service.  This post is not about who is right or wrong, there is plenty between both parties, and neither side is truly innocent.  (Don't look for trouble and start flailing- United.  When told to leave your stroller in the jet-bridge, don't ignore then cause a scene on the plane-American.)

However, a recent event we experienced with Delta was not at that level of 'YouTube' streaming, it was an experience in poor customer service and integrity.

Bottom Line- Delta Agents lied when they said we could rebook our flight because our Delta Flight was cancelled to mechanical problems.  We could not wait until the next evening for the next Delta flight as we had minor-children waiting for us at the destination.

When I called to find out the process for reimbursement, I was told by a Delta Agent that "I was incorrect, that we were not entitled to reimbursement."  After several phone calls and continued pushback from Delta staff, they basically offered us a 'bone' to go away.  We paid over $1,050 to fly home, and Delta offered us a total of $900 in gift cards. 

Airlines do not seem to want to truly accept responsibility for what their employees say and do. 
Airlines are willing to accept this risk knowing that the public has few options when flying.
Airlines will 'apologize for the inconvenience', while knowing full-well there is no value behind it.

We were lied to by Delta.  I am just not sure from which of Delta's mouth we were lied from.  Trust is never an issue until it broken.  Unfortunately, I must fly Delta on occasion due to my job.  However, when I have choice, I will choose another airline if at all possible.  

Delta has lost my trust, and will take a long time to recover. 

P.S.  Below are messages between me and Delta Staff regarding our situation.  I continue to be amazed at the lack of Delta's willingness to accept responsibility.  We were only asking for an additional $145.79 more to cover the total cost of the flights to return home, as we were promised by the Delta Agent.  So much for Delta's CEO Edward Bastain's  commitment to customer service and integrity.


Mr. Bastain,
Due to the recent publicity of major airlines staff and paying customers, I am resending a previous e-mail I sent to you and the Customer Service Staff.  Unfortunately, I assume this is being filtered by staff and not personally read by MR. Bastain.  Although my case presented below is technically 'closed', I continue to be amazed as what was allowed to pass without acknowledgment of any wrong-doing on part of Delta.  As you are aware, an event recently happened where Delta staff were no aware of the law and threatened with arrest. 
Your staff, as mentioned below, lied to me and my family by stating we would be reimbursed for costs associated with multiple mechanical problems with our flight.  We did receive 'gift cards' from Delta and a refund of our Skymiles (because we were force to return home on another airline).  Yet, I was basically told I was wrong in 'assuming' we would be reimbursed.  I was lied to by Delta staff that my case was 'escalated' with no resolution.  I was lied to by Delta staff that there was 'nothing more Delta could do'. 
I am stunned that Delta Staff would refuse to honor their word.  I noted above, I am not expecting anything in return, as I received a 'small token' by Delta for the 'inconvenience'.  Service recovery is significantly more expensive for an organization than doing what is right in the first place.  I am sure you and your fellow CEOs of United and American are highly aware of this cost.  
As an active duty Army Soldier, I travel extensively and when permitted I attempt to travel Delta.  Honesty and Integrity are two major cornerstones of the Army Officer, as it is in any other high-reliable organization.  When I am confronted with a situation where I am personally lied to and realize it was for the sole purpose of expedience by the other party that I have trusted for years, it is truly unfortunate. 
Drew Winslow

-----Original Message-----
From: Contact Delta <ContactUs.Delta@delta.com>
To: plymouthrock1969 <plymouthrock1969@aol.com>; edward.bastian <edward.bastian@delta.com>
Sent: Wed, Dec 14, 2016 2:49 pm
Subject: Re: Dishonesty and Leadership (Case # 21829163/18201288) (KMM66643106V48519L0KM)

Hello Andrew,
RE: Case Number 21829163
Thank you for your latest correspondence. I understand our Delta representative mislead you on the types of reimbursement we cover. I realize you are upset with not getting to your destination as planned.
I have gone over this experience again and I am sad we aren’t able to resolve this matter to your satisfaction. We would have much preferred to please you, and I’m sorry.
We do appreciate your persistence but we will have to agree that we cannot find the right solution this time.
Drew, we value and appreciate your loyalty with Delta.
Mateo F. Ricks
Original Message Follows: ------------------------
Dear Mr. Bastain,
As a long-time loyal Delta Customer, it disappoints me that I must send this message to you personally.  My desire for compensation is small in scope, but it is the underlying lack of empowerment and willingness to blame other is what concerns me.  Over the years, my employer requires me to fly the least expensive airline between destinations, and if I choose another airline, then I pay the difference.  I almost always will pay the extra to fly Delta.  Unfortunately, the recent events may result in a change in this.
Sadly, this all started when our outbound flight (SAT-IND, 10NOV2016, DL4603) was delayed in SAT due to mechanical problems with the aircraft, which caused us to miss our connection in ATL, but were rebooked and arrived approximately three hours later.  Then upon return flight our departing flight from IND (IND-SAT, 14NOV2016, DL1411) again was delayed due to mechanical problems with the aircraft and were delayed resulting us in missing our connection in ATL to SAT.  We had minor children waiting for us at our destination (SAT).  We were offered a return flight on Monday which we did not agree to, and the Reservation Agent (Sue) attempted to make it right.  I was able to secure three seats on another airline to get us home, and gave this information to 'Sue'- who attempted to book those seats, but was unable to do so.  She then told us, based on our situation with minor children waiting at home, to purchase the tickets and call the Corporate Customer Care number and we would receive reimbursement. 
If Delta desires to be a "High Reliable Organization" in customer service, then Sue understands that how to accomplish this task, even though others in the Delta organization do not.  She realized it may cost Delta a little more actual money off the bottom line ($1,045.79) up front, but in the end would go a long way in service recovery for Delta Customers that are already dissatisfied due to Delta's inability to maintain their aircraft.  Perception is reality.  Sadly, all I was told was that agent (Sue) would be retrained and her incorrect information would addressed. 
Unfortunately, Delta has chosen another route of delay, defer, and deny responsibility.  All I hear from Delta is the same rote 'we apologize for the inconvenience, but we don't reimburse or pay for these types of expenses.  There is nothing more we can do.'  Delta has refunded that portion of our tickets.  Delta has offered us three $300 gift cards.  Those do go a long way, but unfortunately, I had to fight and argue and 'educate' Delta Customer Representative on Rule 240 to even receive the gift cards.  In the end we are still paying for the airfare that we were promised Delta would reimburse. 
Initially, my reaction was that the initial agent lied to us about Delta reimbursing us.  Now, I believe she was the employee who knew what Delta Customer Service is, yet those in the Corporate Customer Care who may need training in service recovery. 
Drew Winslow
DL FF 2179359316
Bottom line- We simply desire compensation of $145.79.  This is based on our purchase of three tickets to get to our destination (ATL-SAT) on another airline after Delta was unable to meet their obligation - $1,045.79.  Delta, after consuming much of my time and Delta Customer Service Representative's hesitation and initial refusal, offered three $300 gift cards totaling $900.  Therefore, $145.79 will compensate us in accordance with what we should have received had Delta abided by the Contract of Carriage and what we were told the Delta Reservation Agent in ATL initially.
Because Delta Airlines inability to maintain their aircraft, My family was delayed over 12 hours in reaching our destination.  Furthermore, if we had accepted Delta's recommended offer of another flight the next day, we would have been delayed 24 hours, cost Delta at least $300 in hotel bills and other ancillary costs in accordance with the Contract of Carriage.  This does not account for our family having to make arrangements for our two minor children who were waiting for us at our destination. 
After further reviewing my case, and based on Delta Airlines Contract of Carriage, rule 240, Delta (sole discretion) had the responsibility to arrange travel for my family (if acceptable) on another carrier.  Delta was either unable or unwilling to meet their legal obligation to help us reach our destination at the earliest possible time on "another carrier". 
It appears that the initial agent (Sue) who told us to go ahead and book our flight on the other flight and that Delta would reimburse us was in the right.  She was up front and honest in telling us that she (Delta) was not able to book that specific flight, but knew what Delta's responsibility was to get us home as close to our initial arrival as possible without impacting our minor children as possible.  Based on the facts as we now know them, it is the 'higher ups' that are now being dishonest in blaming a 'lower level' employee for not telling us the truth.  Unfortunately, weak leaders will always blame someone else in circumstances such as this instead of making a situation right.
Delta’s Liability in the Event of Schedule Changes, Delays and Flight Cancellations
In the event of flight cancellation, diversion, delays of greater than 90 minutes, or delays that Delta Domestic
will cause a passenger to miss connections, Delta will (at passenger’s request) cancel the
remaining ticket and refund the unused portion of the ticket and unused ancillary fees in the
original form of payment in accordance with Rule 260 of these conditions of carriage. If the
passenger does not request a refund and cancellation of the ticket, Delta will transport the
passenger to the destination on Delta’s next flight on which seats are available in the class
of service originally purchased. At Delta’s sole discretion and if acceptable to the passenger,
Delta may arrange for the passenger to travel on another carrier or via ground
transportation. If acceptable to the passenger, Delta will provide transportation in a lower
class of service, in which case the passenger may be entitled to a partial refund. If space on
the next available flight is available only in a higher class of service than purchased, Delta
will transport the passenger on the flight, although Delta reserves the right to upgrade other
passengers on the flight according to its upgrade priority policy to make space in the class of service originally purchased
Drew Winslow, LTC, MS
Army Reserve Personnel Proponent Officer
Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78244
-----Original Message-----
From: Contact Delta <ContactUs.Delta@delta.com>
To: plymouthrock1969 <plymouthrock1969@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, Dec 13, 2016 6:06 pm
Subject: Re: CC-Voice a Complaint-After Trip (KMM66614991V73747L0KM)

Hello Andrew,
RE: Case Number 21829163
Thanks for contacting us again. I’m happy to help with your escalation request regarding the Contract of Carriage agreement and compensation for your out of pocket expenses.
I've tried calling you again but was unable to reach you therefore I left a voicemail.
However, we do not cover for expensive such as childcare, food and flown plane tickets.
Feeling like you were heard is so important to us and I am sorry you feel otherwise. I've tried to see this from your point of view and respectfully, there’s nothing more for me to do. I’m sorry to dissatisfy you.
Please be advised that three Delta Choice gift code, from delta@deltachoices.com were authorized already for the amount of $300.
I know you are disappointed but I have gone over this experience again and I am sorry we aren’t able to resolve this matter to your satisfaction. We would have much preferred to please you, and I’m sorry.
Drew, Rachel and Rebekah, we do appreciate your persistence but we will have to agree that we cannot find the right solution this time.
Mateo F. Ricks
Original Message Follows: ------------------------
To whom it may concern,
I received no phone call, nor any message from Delta Airlines.  Once again, the trust between me and Delta Airlines is non-existent.  I was lied to by Delta during this process, and appear to have been deceived again by this message. 
I am forced to escalate this personally as I do not believe anything will be done as it appears that most Delta Employees are not empowered to make any decisions to make a situation right. 
One recommendation is to have Delta Employees read the various Carriage Agreements and compensation policy that I must abide by, but Delta does not.  I am entitled to compensation that Delta refuses to even address.
Drew Winslow
-----Original Message-----
From: Contact Delta <ContactUs.Delta@delta.com>
To: plymouthrock1969 <plymouthrock1969@aol.com>
Sent: Fri, Dec 9, 2016 5:36 pm
Subject: Re: CC-Voice a Complaint-After Trip (KMM65836276V57744L0KM)

Hello Andrew, 
RE: Case Number 21829163 
Thanks for sharing your experience. I've tried calling you again but was unable to reach you. I understand your concerns about the lack of information and not getting to your destination on time. That was not the experience we wanted you to have.
Our goal is to provide consistent and accurate information to our passengers at all times. Thanks for taking the time to let us know that our agent made false statement. I’m really sorry you didn’t get the service you deserved. 
When we receive reports like yours, we forward them to the appropriate leadership team for an internal review. Be assured I will share your experience with our Airport Customer Service and Flight Operations Leadership team in order to make adjustments to improve our service. 
Andrew, Rachel, and Rebekah, we want to give you the best service possible each and every time you travel. It’s our hope that your next trip will help restore your confidence in Delta. We appreciate your loyalty. 
Mateo F. Ricks
Original Message Follows:
Delta Air Lines Customer Care Form
Title: Mr
First Name: Andrew
Middle Name: G
Last Name: Winslow
Reply-To Email Address: plymouthrock1969@aol.com
Airline Program: DL
Frequent Flyer Number: 2179359316
Address: 21111 Malibu Colony
Address Line 2:
City: San Antonio
State/Province: TX
Postal Code/Zip: 78259-2006
Country: US
Telephone Country Code: US
Phone Number: 8434411523
Flight Date: 11/13/2016
Flight Number: DL1411
Origin City: IND
Destination City: SAT
Confirmation Number: F80GGT
Ticket Number: 0062342595064
Class of Travel: main_cabin
Response Required: yes
Message: I am following up from a conversation with a Delta Representative regarding the above DL flight on Sunday, 13NOV2016. This is the details from our recent experience with Delta Airlines, in which we were told was documented in the 'system', however it appears none of this was documented. This leads me to one of two conclusions- we were lied to by Delta that this information was NEVER actually documented, or the Delta 'system' is tremendously lacking that it cannot safely nor effectively capture comments entered into the Delta 'System'. Therefore, my lack of confidence in the Delta 'System', I am attempting to summarize our experience with Delta via this 'system' to ensure this information is captured. When our DL flight was significantly delayed in IND due to mechanical errors, the rebooking agent told us we could make our connection in ATL, which I knew to be ridiculous (20" to get from C to A in ATL) Therefore DL would not rebook us at that time- which resulted in us losing valuable opportunities to get home. After a second delay in IND due to mechanical issues, we finally made it to ATL where we (as expected) found the only DL offer was a flight out on Monday morning. There was NO offer to rebook on another airline. We were tired of hearing from the pilots and other DL statements: "With Atlanta being the busiest airport in the world, Delta has the ability to get you to your destination!" We kept hearing other passengers being rebooked on other airlines (AA, United). That was never offered to me. I kept expressing my urgency of having two minor children in San Antonio waiting for us and that a flight the next day was unacceptable. When I finally called another airline about seats to SAT, I was able to book three seats that were refundable. I contacted DL again and talked with SUE and reviewd our situation AGAIN. I gave her the flight information (AA, 681, three seats) and unfortunately she could not see them in the DL 'system'. She told us because of our situation ((two minor children were waiting for us at our destination) to travel home on those tickets and to call Corporate Customer Care and DL would refund us for the cost of those tickets. "Sue", the Delta Rep I called from a Delta 'Red Phone' on concourse B in ATL stated that she documented all the details about our issues in the 'system'. This morning I called Corporate Care number and talked with [Mary/Cherry?], she was helpful. As most representative do, she expressed regret and apologies. She had NO information in the system and told me that Delta does not reimburse, and that I would need to settle for a $200 gift card to Delta for each ticket ($600). The tickets I purchased were 1045.90. Why would I want a gift card for another Delta flight when this is how we are treated? We missed our connections on our outbound flight and was delayed for over two hours! This who problem stemmed from the DL agent's inability (or refusal) to place us on another carrier's flight when the opportunity was right there. Mary told me that she was only allowed to offer a $200 gift card that could be for a number of retail stores or AMEX. I refused and stated that there must be an higher authority that can discuss this problem and help make it right. As I saw it, Delta lied to me during this entire situation. I was told the information was captured in there system- It was not. I was told Delta was responsible and that due to the urgency of our situation I could book my tickets home and receive reimbursement from Delta- that was not the case. After continued discussion, Mary did some 'research' and came back with a $300 gift card offer, and a refund of our return flight tickets. This was much better, and was concerned by accepting this offer I was giving up my rights as someone who was lied to by Delta, arrived ten hours late and incurred significant costs (plane tickets, food, childcare expenses) due to Delta's refusal to help, yet only offer 'apologizes for the inconvenience'. I accepted this very small offer of $300 for each ticket (leaving me with a debt of $145.79) Unfortunately, when I received the link to activate these cards, there is NO AMEX selection. Only to retail vendors that I am not interested in! Knowing that an airline that I have been loyal to for over 25 years is willing to lie to me, tell me one thing on the phone, then deny it later is extremely disappointing. A company that is willing to refuse to make a situation right for a $145.79 is a company that seeks short-term gains over long-term success. I know that I am only one, but Delta is losing my business. Against my better judgment accepted Delta's offer in good faith that I would receive what was agreed upon. Unfortunately, like several times this weekend, I was deceived. I expect a phone call to discuss this situation and how Delta will make this situation right. Drew Winslow 843-441-1523 plymouthrock1969@aol.com
Submitted: Mon Nov 14 2016 12:15:26 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)
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