I am traveling extensively to attend NFL cheerleading dance workshops, and recently went to such a workshop in Boston for the New England Patriots. Little did I know that the cost of 'cheap' tickets from Huntsville, Alabama to Boston, which I booked through delta.com, would far exceed my budget to the point of overdrawing my bank account and causing me physical illness.
Although my weekend trip was booked through Delta, my initial flight out of Huntsville was supposed to be on a Pinnacle/Northwest flight. I made it to the Huntsville airport by 4:20 to catch my 5:05 flight; the online check-in did not work, and nobody from Northwest OR Delta answered when I called to say I was stuck in traffic from a car accident.
Regardless, I made it to the airport with enough time to check-in (4:20 was well within the '15 minutes prior to departure' rule); however, there was nobody present at the Northwest counter and the self-service kiosk was not working. I waited in line at the Delta counter, but was told that I would have to be checked in by a Northwest employee. I pointed out that there wasn't anybody there to help me, so the Delta employee went into the back and found a guy, who had conveniently decided to take a snack break at a crucial time for passengers to check-in for the 5:05 flight (he actually admitted that he took a 'snack break' and had crumbs on the front of his shirt)!
By the time Wade (name of the Northwest employee) came out from the back, it was 4:45 (still within the '15 minute rule' for a 5:05 departure) and he told me that it was too late for me to check in. I started crying and told him that I was traveling to Boston by myself for a cheerleading workshop, which started very early in the morning. He looked at me, rolled his eyes, then said 'That figures! Too bad for you, I'm not going to have them hold the plane for you. If you don't want to skip your cheerleader thing, then you can take the flight that gets into Boston at one in the morning.'
He told me to 'move along to the Delta counter' and said that I wasn't going to be getting any 'special allowances'. The employee at the Delta counter actually advised me to report him and said that she didn't understand why he didn't just check me in for the 5:05 flight! This, however, was the LEAST of my problems!
As I was going through the security line in my own hometown airport, one of the security employees said that my bag needed to be inspected (my bag was packed with dance costumes, makeup, beauty supplies and hot rollers). I was actually interrogated about the potentially harmful use of my thigh tightening cream and eyelash curler!!! I know it's Alabama, but COME ON!!!
I was told that I had no other choice than to go back to the Delta counter and check my bag, which made me very nervous (I did not trust these people with my luggage!). I flew from Huntsville to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Boston, and sure enough - my luggage did NOT arrive in Boston!
I immediately reported my missing luggage to the baggage claim department in Boston...then proceeded to have an anxiety attack. I was in Boston, alone, at 1:30 a.m. and did not have my luggage...and my cheerleading workshop was a few hours away! A delta employee told me that the soonest I could get my luggage would be the following evening, IF they found it!
Fortunately, I was able to get in touch with one of the girls, who was also attending the workshop, and she picked me up from the airport and took me to Wallgreens to purchase makeup and toiletries; we went to Wal-Mart in the morning (on the way to the workshop) and I purchased the closest thing I could find to dance attire...I have asked Delta to compensate me for this, but nobody will give me a straight answer!
My luggage was delivered around 4:00 p.m. (around the time we were finished with the workshop), but to my HORROR - the inside of my suitcase was SOAKING WET, as if it had been opened in the pouring rain (it was pouring rain in Atlanta, where my luggage was located)! On top of that, some of my new makeup was gone, and some of my eyeshadow was scattered and broken, which mixed with the wetness to ruin everything inside! I called Delta to complain, but got nothing but a busy signal.
The following morning, I found out that all flights to Atlanta were canceled due to weather conditions. I was told to wait in a line that literally took two hours to get through...and when it was finally my turn to be helped, I was informed by a Delta employee that my flight had been automatically re-booked for a flight from D.C. to Huntsville that would have gotten me home on time - but nobody from Delta contacted me to notify me of this!!!
I was told that it was then too late to get on that flight, and the Delta employee proceeded to tell me that I would have to spend the night in Cincinnati at my own expense and without meal vouchers! She said that Delta did not have to provide hotel or meal vouchers during inclement weather, but I was also told that the reason they were sending me to Cincinnati was NOT due to the weather, but because she didn't have time to find another connecting flight to Huntsville!!!
Again I started crying and had an anxiety attack...and the lady actually said 'If you think that crying is going to help, or even make me want to waste time looking for other connecting flights, then you are mistaken'.
So...I spent money on a hotel I couldn't afford because I had no other option, and I ate the most expensive quesadillas of my life - also because I had no other option!
Delta has since informed me that they will send me a $75 travel voucher, but refuse to compensate for the hotel or meal. I am still awaiting the report on compensation for my luggage...that comes to a total of around $1, 000.