Writing a complaint letter to Delta

Jun 30th, 2010, 06:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,153
Writing a complaint letter to Delta

I had some bad experience during a very long, direct international flight. Thinking I should write a letter of complaint to tell them about the various problems and lack of help and service.

I fly quite frequently and thus am used to tolerating a lot of the usual stuff, but this trip was made horrible because of lack of service throughout the flight.

Thus wondering, if anyone else has ever written such a letter and received some sort of response or do they not care what passengers tell them.

Would love to hear other passengers experiences.
ileen is online now  
Jun 30th, 2010, 07:49 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,864
If something wasn't to your satisfaction, let them know. Be succinct. Don't ramble on and on about every last detail of everything that happened. Make sure, too, that you aren't bringing in complaints about things over which the airline had no control. Bad weather, slow lines at security, the airport McDonald's being out of ketchup ... Uh-uh. I say that that, because often people in these situations tend to drag in their memories of everything that went wrong: "Oh, and as if that weren't bad enough, ..."

Stay on topic. Write your letter out and then show it to someone who doesn't know the situation and ask them if they understand what you're trying to say.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 943
I had a horrible flight from San Francisco to Beijing on Cathay Pacific,and I complained when I returned. To my surprise, an airline rep actually called me at home to ask for more details.

I reiterated my complaints, and she apologized and talked about some new policies they were planning to implement soon to make the "passenger experience more enjoyable." Don't know if they ever did because I haven't flown Cathay Pacific again.

So yes, I think some airlines do care what passengers tell them
walkabout is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 04:56 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,506
I agree what Jeff says, follow the "KISS" rule - keep it simple,stupid. Those are the letters that tend to get the best response. Don't threaten the airlines with statements like "I'll never fly Delta again" - that type of statement rarely does any good and offers no incentive for the airline rep to help you.

Depending on what the issue was and the eventual outcome of the flight you may get just an apology or if you are a memember of Delta's Frequent Flyer program some miles or perhaps a Monetary Certificate that can be redeemed when booking future flights.

You mentioned the "trip was made horrible because of lack of service throughout the flight" well that type of complaint tends to a result of multiple lapses by the flight crew so it may be difficult, at first, to keep your letter "on ponit and brief" but that's something you'll have to work on if you desire satisfaction. As Jeff said, you'll get a better response with a short letter than one that rambles on for 5 or 10 pages.

Good luck.
RoamsAround is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 449
I wrote a short letter to American and British Airways after a horrific experience in 2004 (they cancelled my return flight, rebooked me on a flight with an impossible connection time in JFK and di not help me make the connection) and got a $100 voucher on Americna and a $200 voucher on British.

In 2006, I wrote a letter to NWA after they "forgot" to pay Jet Airways in India for my flight from Bangalore to Mumbai (even though I booked a ticket from Boston to Bangalore thru NWA - they contracted me to Jet Airways) leaving me to have to pay for my flight at the airport and have to wait three months for reimbursement. I got NOTHING. And never flew NWA again.
usernameistaken is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 833
ileen, definitely write to DL, but don't expect anything. I too had a terrible experience with them about 5 or 6 years ago. All that I got was a responce that we have taken note of your complaint. That was it.

ileen, forgive me for this.....

walkabout, what happen with Cathay Pacific? Overall, they are one of the better airlines. I fly them without hesitation.
justshootme is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
ileen-as someone who is an international flight attendant with a major US airline I would advise you to definitely write the letter. Include all pertinent information on dates,flight numbers etc. Then include the fact that you fly alot and the exact things that were or were not done on that flight that should have.
Nowadays,I think that the customer service departments of the airlines are paying more attention to the complaints if they really are legitimate. Good luck!
dutyfree is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 371
My advice is to keep it short & stick to the facts, and also start at the top -- send it directly to the CEO. You can get the name & headquarters information from Hoovers.com. It's not that you should expect a personal letter from the CEO; but at least you'll be starting off at the top, instead of having to work your way up the food chain.

And, don't send it via e-mail. Sit down, write, and mail an actual letter.

I had a bad experience on AA in F not so long ago, and I wrote Gerard Arpey a letter. I made the mistake, however, of including my e-mail address on it. I received a form response (via e-mail) that was a tepid apology. At least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that they'll have to send you an actual letter if you omit e-mail info.
LT is offline  
Jul 1st, 2010, 08:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,153
Thanks for all the helpful tips and advice. I have decided to write a real one-page letter giving specific details.

I am truly not expecting much from them, but would like them to know first hand information from a passenger who flies often.

This way hopefully they can make some sort of changes or do something to make our flying experience a bit more comfortable instead of total exhausting us with very poor in-flight service as well as broken items.
If I do get a response by snail mail, I will definitely share my experience with all.
Once again thanks for your experiences, helpful tips and encouragement.
Have a beautiful July 4th weekend.
ileen is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2010, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,075

As an employee in the airline industry, I am dissappointed when I read stories about passengers having unpleasant travel experiences. I agree with you writing a complaint letter because even as an employee I see many things that we can do better for our customers. Your overall experience while flying results from a combination of situations that I am in the process of sharing about at:


You many find this helpful for the next time you fly the sometimes unfriendly skies. On behalf of my colleagues in the industry please accept our collective apology. I hope you get a satisfactory response from Delta.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
DMB, website you posted yesterday states the page does not exsist.
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1
I'm encouraged by these responses. I'll be writing a letter to Delta--frankly I wasn't sure it would be read by anyone who had any authority to do anything. When trying to book my 14-year old daughter and her friend to fly with us, I was told they would have to charge an additional $100 per flight segment, per child service fee for them to fly as "unaccompanied minors" since they were in a different cabin. Keep in mind, we're on the same plane as them, just a different cabin. I checked with several other airlines--US Air, United, American--none of them have this absurd policy, and in fact they all cut off the mandatory "unaccompanied minor" at age 11. Delta is simply being ridiculous.
ken7821 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 335
I have written to Delta before and always got a reply and an offer of points or coupons . Just be poliute and very specific.
davidjac is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 12:42 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,148
With an airline or other travel service I would explain what was wrong and ask specifically for a remedy. What makes sense depends on exactly what went wrong and what service you didn't receive.

For example if your first class seat didn't recline you might request for a refund of the price between a coach and first class ticket (or the miles difference if you used miles).

If there isn't anything that quite correlates just ask for a specific amount of miles or $ refund that you think would be fair for your experience. They can always refuse but otherwise how do they know what you want them to do. (They can't "undo" whatever happened to you.)

You might close with explaining that you are a frequent flier and you look forward to choosing Delta again but only if you are satisfied with their attention to your experience.
laurie_ann is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Not with an airline, but with a car rental agency (in Europe, but an international name). Had a false charge for a scratch on the car, which I was able to expunge from my bill. I wrote to the customer relations chief and also to the president of the company. It felt good to write those letters! I was very pleased to hear back so quickly, and to get the results I was hoping to get.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2014, 12:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
I'd like to know what constitutes such terrible service
MissGreen is offline  
Feb 19th, 2014, 06:47 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,868
"I checked with several other airlines--US Air, United, American--none of them have this absurd policy, and in fact they all cut off the mandatory "unaccompanied minor" at age 11."

Don't fly with Delta, seems simple. Those are their rules and if you choose to fly with them, you have to abide by them. I am guessing you are flying with points.

What if you were in 1st row and they were in last row and the plane went down? Do you think you could get back there to help them? As far as they are concerned, the girls are out of your immediate control and are unaccompanied.

And it's $100 each way, not per flight segment.
DebitNM is offline  
Feb 19th, 2014, 06:47 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,868
"I'd like to know what constitutes such terrible service"

If you are referring to the first post, that was over 4 years ago.
DebitNM is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
I'd still like to know what got the poster up in arms that they wanted to complain.
MissGreen is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
I find it curious that it is considered bad service that Delta won't provide free child care for Ken's child. Sorry Ken but it you want sympathy for dumping your kids in the back for others to deal with you won't get it
CarolA is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:47 PM.