A Delta vent - Is this normal?

Jul 26th, 2005, 05:39 AM
  #1  
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A Delta vent - Is this normal?

Hello! Just posting to vent & find out how often this happens and if it is usually handled the same way. I reserved seats on Delta from Ft. Lauderdale to Montreal. I'm using delta because I have miles. Some friends that are flying with us purchased tickets directly on the same flight. Tickets were purchased over a month ago. I called Delta yesterday to try to get our seats together and they told me that our outgoing flight had been cancelled. What's worse, they had rebooked me on a flight with 2 stops, that didn't even allow us time to make one of the planes! They had us arriving in Montreal alot later then we had planned, virtually taking away 1 vacation day from this short trip. I went online & figured out a better routing & called back to rebook, however we are still arriving in Montreal at 4:00 p.m. instead of noon. I don't know what I'm more upset about, Not being notified, losing a day of our vacation, not being automatically put on the best posible connection to get to Montreal as close to the original time, or having to figure out what the best posible connection was. I spent over an hour on the computer yesterday trying to see how to route the trip.

Is is normal for an airline to cancel a flight & not notify the passengers? Two out of three agents I spoke to said they didn't know when the flight was cancelled, the third said it had just happened and therefore customers hadn't been notified, don't know who to believe. I'm so upset I feel like canceling this whole vacation, except, I really need a vacation!
mabella101 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 06:17 AM
  #2  
Cassandra
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Take the vacation!

Yes, this happens a lot, and sometimes you have to keep checking your itinerary yourself to see if there have been changes, because they won't tell you -- even if they book you for a departure earlier than you'd originally had. Have had it happen with United, although Continental sent me all kinds of emails when they changed flights by even a minute or a flight number -- and even then, the last email I got didn't match the actual flight numbers on my boarding passes when I arrived at the airport.

Hair-raising, isn't it? (I suppose if someone's bald, that's not all bad.)
 
Jul 26th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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I think this is one of those rare situations where you can get all your money back, even if you had bought non-refundable tickets. Is there another airline that has a more suitable itinerary? Perhaps you could also get your miles back, but it may be wise to use them in view of Delta's reported troubled circumstances.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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LT
 
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Unfortunately, this problem is not just isolated w/DL. I think all of the legacy carriers have this problem. Although, in their defense, did they have your correct contact information? Obviously, if they didn't, then you can't exactly expect them to contact you.

I had a similar experience last month . . . Was supposed to take NW CMH-DTW-BWI. I got a call on my mobile phone from a computer, and since I refuse to talk to a computer (or use those ridiculous check-in kiosks), I promptly hung up on the call. Turned out, it was NW informing me I had been rebooked. Guess true customer service is dead when you can't even speak with a live human being . . .

It sounds like you rebooked, so you may be stuck, but either way, it might be worth a call to DL to see if you can be rebooked on one of their SkyTeam partners (CO or NW). They might have more attractive flights/times.
LT is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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It seems that over the past year whenever I book a flight more than a few months out, something changes. I have gotten emails from Delta, USAirways, AA and BA. They all have some urgent heading, and reference a schedule change - anything from 5 minutes (on BA - not kidding) to changing me from non-stop in early AM to one-stop, change planes later in the day on USAirways.

As airlines try to at least break even, they are re-evaluating all schedules and changing them as necessary. I think your only real complaint is that you were never notified - I know it messes up your plans, but airline travel today really stinks. Only way out of this mess for all of us is to pay more.
gail is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the replies; Cassandra, yes I will take the vacation, because even one day on vacation is better then none. It's just that I'm a planner & have spent so much time planning this trip, this completely changes our first day and means that I'll either have to rush through something or skip an area.

Lt & cleveland, Delta didn't offer to return my miles until I inquired if it was an option. I didn't know going on a code share partner was an option. I'll give Delta a call, because Continental does indeed have a flight similar to my original one. Any opinions on this route? It would depart FLL to EWR (Newark) the EWR to YUL. My flight now goes from Fll to Atl, then on to YUL. On my original flight I purposely avioded ATL as we always seem to have problems at that airport. Now I'm stuck there. Also on the FLL-ATL-YUL, the longer portion of the flight ATL-YUL is via a 50 passenger jet. Whereas with the Continental option FLL-EWR is via 737 and the shorter portion is via jet. With 2 kids I'd rather spend more of the flight time in the larger planeo then in the jet. One thing that worries me is that some friends purchased their tickets directly form Delta, would Delta allow them to switch to Continental on their outward flight? Or should I just leave things as they are? Appreciate any opinions or suggestions. Thanks!
mabella101 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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clevelandbrown,

FYI, Delta is one of the few major airlines not yet in bankruptcy so I don't know where your statement comes from. Do you know something I don't?
jlillberto is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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When one uses miles on a ticket, one's at the bottom of the "list" when something happened. They'll reaccomodate all paying customers before they get to you, and often they will not put you on a different airline.

One time on DL, my PVD-ATL plane broke, and since I was using an award ticket, I didn't get on several other flights via Cincinnati or Atlanta. I ended up waiting at PVD for about 8 hours before catching the very last flight out.

So, another caveat about collecting and using FF miles...
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 26th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Delta had a round of schedule changes on July 16, so the third agent is probably correct in that they hadn't gotten around to informing you yet. When are you traveling?

My flight in November was affected slightly and I lost my original seat reservations but got them back quickly thanks to my obsessive habit of checking flyertalk daily

They'll waive the change fee to redeposit your award if the new schedule is unacceptable to you, but it sounds like you would still prefer to use your miles for the ticket. You could try for flights operated by Delta's partners but if there's no award space, Delta cannot force a partner airline to open up an award seat for you. Is there a better schedule available on Delta operated flights than what you're currently rebooked on? If so, then I would press them to see if they'll open award seats for you on those flights. May or may not work, would probably work better if you had some elite status with DL.
Patty is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 07:51 AM
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Delta posted a $388 million second-quarter loss; since early 2001, they have lost just under $10 billion. Their CEO has acknowledged that bankruptcy is a possibility. I think only two legacy carriers, Continental and AA, have posted recent profitable quarters.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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You'd think, wouldn't cha, that facing financial ruin might make airlines more eager to please customers? But nooooooooooooo...........
soccr is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 09:50 AM
  #12  
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I posted a reply yesterday, and just noticed that it's not showing. I wonder what happened to it? Anyway, Delta didn't have any seats available for FF on the Continental flight, and wouldn't put my friends that purchased their tickets directly with Delta on a Continental flight either. I guess we will be going thru ATL afterall & arriving in YUL 4 hours later. Oh well! Thanks to everyone who posted.
mabella101 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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soccr,

I'd sooner think that an airline facing financial ruin would concentrate on making harsh, but revenue earning, decisions when faced with an increasingly disloyal population who are more concerned with lowest fares than any kind of allegiance to a particular brand.
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Jul 27th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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Dear cosmictoad,
I think your argument suffers from some kind of defect in logic. If I treat you badly, you will have no loyalty, therefore I can stuff y ou into caskets in the cargo hold and make more money?
I used to be extremely loyal to AA for its more room in coach., I am not a road warrior; I fly four or five times a year. But I would think enough of us woud add up...
marigold is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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jil; i think da filing for chap 11 is a done deal, as bloomberg news reports, they(da) are now deciding where to file, ny, del, or atlanta.
kuranosuke is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 03:14 AM
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Even if Delta does file Chapter 11, it doesn't justify saying that one should use their miles asap. Seems like United has been in Chapter 11 for several years and USAir has been truly on the brink of folding for a while.
jlillberto is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 05:38 AM
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According to USA Today, Delta is unveiling a totally new, customer friendly web site on Monday.They are planning to spend 40M on advertising, after posting a loss of $380M..Guess I dont follow the logic there.
BeachBoi is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Basic tenet of the American flavor of capitalism: spend your first and last dollar on PR. 1st corollary: if the corporate reputation is failing, polish the doorknobs and redesign the stationery. 2nd corollary: if something's gone wrong, issue a press release saying that it's not wrong and customers prefer it. If all else fails, and esp. if you're an airline, cut the workforce and give remaining employees a 20% cut in salaries and benefits, and give top executives a bonus and golden parachute.
soccr is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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I usually use my freq flyer miles with United. On this last trip (booked far in advance) they changed the flight schedule twice. They left me a message on my answering machine to call them. I knew immediately why as I'd been through this before. So, I did my research on what flights I wanted (as opposed to the ones they were suggesting) and each time they were willing to give me my flights of choice. A lot of it comes from being prepared and being friendly. In the long run, I got better flights than the ones I was originally booked on. For this last trip I was first class LAX-LHR, but United has made the effort to let me know about schedule changes when I was in coach, too. Also before calling them I checked my itinerary online so I had even more information in my hands.

In the travel world, flexibility is the name of the game. Just expect it and it won't rattle you much.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jul 31st, 2005, 03:54 AM
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This is not just a Delta vent, it is an any airline vent.

If your flight is cancelled and there is no replacement flight you like and they will give you, you are entitled to a full refund.

A partner airline is really a partner unless it will rebook passengers whose other flights are cancelled irrespective of fare buckets or quotas.

If it is your return trip and the flight is cancelled it is reasonable that the airline will get you back home with reasonable dispatch using your existing ticket.

Travel tips:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/travel.htm
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