cindy / poor customer service
Last Friday March 26, 2010, my family traveled from Dulles airport (IAD) to Atlanta (connecting to Punta Cana) on flight DL 1681. Our group included of 4 families with 8 adults and 8 kids. We went to Punta Cana to celebrate my sister and her husband's 10th year anniversary.
Unfortunately, our plan was destroyed by Delta airlines. Our flight was scheduled at 5:45AM. We got to Dulles airport at 3:15AM. The ticket/checkin booth was still closed. Not until 4AM, someone from Delta airlines showed up and instructed us to use the self check-in terminals. We did our online checkin from the night before. When we went through the security check point, the line was very long. My sister was stopped to search due to her jewls. When we got to our gate (by running) most of us made it in but my sister was behind due to her extra search needed. Once her family go to the gate, the gate was not even closed, it was still 6-7 minutes before the departure time but she was infored that her tickets were already sold/given to other travelers who went stand-by because the flight was over booked. She even saw those stand-by travelers got boarding in front of her eyes. She was devestated. Her kids were crying so much because they had to run as fast as they could (even though they had to get up very early in the morning) and they still did not get to fly with other kids in the same group. Not even that, my sister was rudly treated at the gate. No matter how she explained she got a response :"no tickets for you". My brother-inlaw even offered to pay $1000 to get on the plane so that they would not miss their flight, they did not get a response or ANY EXPLAINATION or SORRY from Delta Airline agents. First, this is NOT our faults. The fact that the security check point was busy and took longer time, we could understand. But the fact that we already checked in, and made it to the gate before it was closed and found out due to the airline over-booked the flight, they gave our tickets to other travelers is NEVER ACCEPTABLE. They never paged my sister and told her to report to the gate like other ailines would. My husband is a frequent traveler with other airlines for his business and he said they always page pepole who already check in and still not show up at the gates. This is our VERY BAD experience with Delta airlines. We had to reschedule my sister's flight ( they moved her to Sunday, so she lost 2 days(2 nights) of her vacation) and also cancelled her dinner reservation to celebrate their 10th yr anniversary that we booked months in advanced. We were told at the hotel that they could not rebook her for the rest of the times they were there because they already had other reservations. This is a completly USELESS TRIP for them and very SAD trip for us and our kids because they could not understand WHY everyone checked in at the same time and their cousins/friends got rejected to get on the plane with them.
Not even that, to our surprised, when we told some other people about our story on the plane, we heard very bad stories from them about how DElta airline's been always overbooked and messed up. One gentleman that we talked to, he said he traveled with Delta every 2 weeks for his business trip (due to his company got an agreement with Delta airline for discounts), and he said, not a single time that he flies, he did not hear any coomplains about something with the booking/the overbook flight, the customer service or something else. He said, every single time, there is something wrong with someones that he talked to or heard on his flights. With his own experience, he got some problems with the customer service a couple of times too.
WORST OF ALL, we never received any appology from Delta Airlines or exlaination why we have to suffer due to the airline over-book mistakes. I'm sure other airlines have over-book flights too, but they seem to know how to manage and make their customers happy. DELTA Airlines DID NOT.
On our flight back from Atlanta to Washington DC on March 31 on flight DL 0562, we also saw a note at our gate the the flight was over-booked again and "compensation will be provided if deny is neccessary"..this DID NOT happen with my sister's case. I'm now checking your online rules, it clearly stated that the time required to be at the boarding gate is "5 minutes before departure", which my sister did. I'm sure we were not treated equally, because we are Asian-Americans. THis would surely COULD HAVE NOT HAPPENED to another White-American family. We felt so betrayed and badly treated. This first time experience with Delta WAS TERRIBLE and UNFORGIVABLE for us. We felt Delta airlines OWED us an explanation and apology and also compensations to our group because you surely DESTROYED our plan and DAMAGED our vacation.