Delta International Flights

Old Jul 14th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Delta International Flights

I was going to post a message about our trip to Jamaica but the whole vacation was overshadowed by the treatment passengers get on Delta. I have never experienced anything like it!
The trip started out by a male flight attendent verbally chastizing non-english speaking travelers behind us for sitting in the emergency exit row.
Then as the flight progressed this same man made an announcement about collecting garbage from the left over wrappers from the snacks given out. He said 'WE WILL BE PICKING UP YOUR GARBAGE UNLESS YOU WANT TO SIT IN IT AND THAT IS FINE TOO."
I asked him why the attitude? Was Delta in trouble? Did he not get a raise? He said "oh we got raises." Your thinking of Jet Blue."
As the flight continued and soft drinks were served the serving cart blocked the aisle and people needing to get to the bathrooms in the back were blocked so they tried to make it to the front bathroom in first class. They were turned back by the attendant in First Class and Mr. Warmth got on the intercom again to declare that only first class passengers are allowed to use the bathroom in first class. He said this was "an international law!" An international law?
Apparently second class urine was not welcome in first class toilets.
OK, maybe we got a bad crew on the way down.
On the return trip as boarding started a large man clapped his hands camp counselor style and announced, "people, please move away from the boarding area as you are blocking boarding for the first class passengers!"
I looked at my wife and said,"surly starts early."
Aboard the return flight there was a woman we had gotten to know on the trip down who was trying to get her family seated together. She had one young boy with aspergers syndrome who could not sit alone and a nervous young girl who was crying sitting apart from her. She had arrived 3 hours early to insure seating together only to find her family of 6 were split up across the plane.
She had spoken to other passengers who had graciously switched seats to enable them to sit together somewhat (which Delta refused to do). To make a bizzare point, two Delta women attendents confronted her and shouted, "ma'm are you going to be calm? Are you going to allow us to takeoff or do you need to be removed??"
Seeing this I interjected that they should stop their intimidation of Delta customers and this was the surliest Airline I have ever flown on!"
She spun around, put her hand on my shoulder and declare, "we want to shut the doors!"
I replied "then shut them!!!"
There was no other incident as the attendents saw the passengers were now getting upset and the two withdrew to the back.
I later discovered why nasty is a policy on Delta. The Sky Magazine noted that there is a 12 point customer policy for customer service Delta adheres to. An asterisk next to this paragraph led me to a note below it stating: "does not apply to international flights."

wa2dro is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2007, 04:24 PM
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I assume you have put this in writing with dates & flight numbers to Delta?
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Old Jul 14th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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Okay, it's me, the airline defender speaking again. And to save you from asking, no, I don't work for Delta and I seldom fly them.

Anyways, seems like two of your complaints is about preferential treatment for 1st Class customers. I am sorry, but these people pay more than you, and they do have exclusive uses of the front bathroom, as well as excess to pre-boarding. If you don't like that, fly first class yourself, or fly an airline with no first class.

Then the issue of the cart blocking the aisle. That's normal for all planes - nothing new, always the case. What do you expect them to do? Interrupt food service, push the cart(s) all the way back to let someone pass, move back the carts, then do it again when that passenger needs to get back to the seat, and the next one who needs to go to the bathroom? Sorry, they will never get to serve half the plane by the time you get to Jamaica.

Anyways, the attitude of the airline employers may be an issue, but they do have their points. Remember, planes are fuller than ever, airline employees are working harder than ever.
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Old Jul 14th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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Its a Homeland Security deal about passengers using their own bathrooms in their own cabins on international flights along with no large groups standing in line.
Delta had a low cost airline that was a spinoff of Delta called SONG and their hiring was totally different than Delta's-supposed to be hip,fun,etc. When Song was cancelled,alot of the Song people came over to real Delta and the policies and customer service are quite different.
As Rkkwan has said-most of the stuff you mentioned is what flight attendants are to do:
-reseat passengers who do not want,understand or cannot speak english for commands at an emergency exit.
-ask that people let them get through with the beverage cart
-flight attendants are not allowed to ask passengers to move for other passengers but always tell them that they are allowed to ask
-if there are going to be problems before the pushback then they need to be addressed before the door is shut

As a flight attendant for over 34 years, I am sorry that you felt that things weren't write. Write the airline and include all the info that you have on the various flights.
I do wish that you could have a chance to walk in my shoes for one of my international flights across the Atlantic-boy, have times changed along with passengers and their manners!
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Old Jul 14th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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didn't proofread before pushing the button-make that right instead of write!
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 07:56 AM
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Dutyfree, I am amazed that you and airline personnel are as patient as you are with such situations. Thanks (and to you too, rkkwan) for providing some perspective to this.

While I feel for the woman who wanted to keep her family seated together, they can't close the aircraft door if people are still up and moving about. It is possible to book seats on the airline's website. If I were in charge of a family of six people and absolutely needed us all to sit together, I wouldn't chance that there would still be a block of six seats by the time of check-in. I'd do it a lot farther in advance.

I don't know if Delta boards by group or by row, but, gosh, people should stay seated until their number is called, or at least not crowd around and block the boarding line for the rest of the passengers. Maybe the gate agent clapping his hands was condescending, but if that's what it takes to move people out of the way, I might have done it too.
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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About seat assignments. Most US airlines allow basically all its passengers to get them early on, and most won't close it until the flight is very full. They also tend to stick to the seat assignments, and last minute involuntary changes are rare except for equipment change.

This policy rewards people for booking their flights early. And rewards those who do their homework and explore the airlines' website.

This contrast to most European/Asian airlines who don't allow early seat assignments, or only give them to their elite FF members. For those situations, a family of 6 who book last minute have as much chance of getting seats together as someone who book 6 months ahead. Only matters when you check in.

Now, that's just a difference in policy and strategy. No right or wrong, as either one will benefit some and not others. Like the never-ending argument whether Southwest should give out seat assignments.

So, if you want to fly a US airline and have seats together, book early. Or try Air Jamaica instead.
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 10:48 PM
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Years ago the customer profile was quite different than it is now. Travelers came from an 'elite' social class. Manners were important and children were taught them early. Many of today's tourist have not been so fortunate to learn the rules early on. Airline employees are now encountering behavior that they are not used to. Today a traveler needs patience and a thick skin.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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In defense of the airline employees -I've never seen a FA get short with anyone who didn't deserve it. Any I've been on many flights where I felt sorry for the crew having to deal with adults who have no idea how to behave (and their children).
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 08:22 AM
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My Delta international flights have been OK except for the horrendous delays and missed connections @ jfk recently. Other than hawking the duty free just when I am finally starting to catch a few Zs FAs, or being a bit edgy at times, they have been civil at least and some quite kind.

This is a bit tangential but pertains to what FAs are dealing with. My husband had to go to Kona on business just for a weekend meeting; his mom's deathly ill & he's been dealing with that stress so he went FC on Hawaiian (same $ as United coach). A lady with "issues" (dressed in multiple layers and a ski parka on her way to Hawaii) who hadn't bathed in 2+ months and was behaving a bit erratically and mildly confrontationally had an FC ticket and started hassling the staff before even getting on the plane.

My DH was seating behind her and really the odor permeated the cabin, but those mostly affected were the FAs, who finally sprayed disinfectant in the area.
The brand new FA who was on his first flight ended up doing most of the interacting with her, and gamely did his best in a quite difficult situation, never losing his cool or his civility.

We can be empathic about how difficult flying might have been for her but really credit the staff for their patience.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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It also seems wa2dro is a bit of a busybody, concerning him/herself with everyone else's business. Why were you even being so confrontational with the FAs? Maybe the FAs were annoyed because in addition to dealing with everything else, they were dealing with nosey-bodies.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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Can you guys come on my flights...I will buy you drinks? Thanks for the support of F/A's and "the issues".
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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I must have been a "good boy" to the FAs, as on two occasions, a FA have bought me a drink.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Call me a busybody. When a flight attendant makes saracstic remarks on the intercom for what seems nobodys fault, or customers are intimadated and threatened to be thrown off the plane for little cause I will not put on sunglasses and go to sleep.
BTW Carrybean I did send the above post to Delta as well.
As per some of the posts tourists may be changing and unfortunately the flight attendants are too.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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wa2 I do agree that hostile or abusive remarks from the FAs are uncalled for.

If they were chastizing foreigners in the exit row who maybe didn't know the drill I agree that is not well handled.

I think the garbage comment was intended to be humorous as *is* common on Southwest, Jet Blue, etc. but it sounds like they just couldn't carry it off or really did have a bad day and a hostile edge crept in.

However, the carts blocking the aisle and the "use the loo in your own cabin" are indeed standard issues across the airlines.

Flying seems often to be a nightmare these days and not just for the passengers.
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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I have to say, I fly Delta all the time, and while I have seen FAs in a bad mood, I don't think all these things are as they seem. First, it sounds like the first FA had a sense of humor that didn't work for you. Second, one of the rules of sitting in an emergency row on a US carrier is that you have to speak English well enough to work with the FAs if there is an emergency. Normally, on flights I've been on (not just Delta) - they move people that cannot meet that requirement. Also, people are only supposed to use the restrooms in their cabin - that is announced at the beginning of every flight that occurs worldwide (at least on major airlines with multiple classes of seats). It's both for security, and also - as stated before - to keep the traffic in the class of service you paid for. I have also been on flights where families or groups were disruptive in trying to seat everyone together, and the attendants do need to get everyone seated asap so they can TRY to get an ontime departure. As stated by other posters, if you have a family - get the seats early - the airlines or travel agents do that for you. But - I'm glad to see you put your complaints in writing to Delta - that was the right thing. Do remember, though, if the FAs didn't try to get everyone handled quickly - no flights would be ontime, and then you might complain that you were late..... and no - I don't work for Delta, but I have flown all major airlines, and a whole lot that were quite small and scary..... Delta is my favorite, with KLM right up there close to them....
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