Delta Airlines / waiting area boarding staff
A copy of a letter I sent to Delta customer complaints:
I am writing today after our return from a 2 week vacation where I experienced the
worst possible customer service situation in my life.
This concerns the Vancouver airport crew that handled boarding of the 06h40 flight
DL 2696 on July 12. 2010.
Prior to the flight I was extremely busy with my own marine service company and
was working up to 23h00 daily in preparation for this vacation. On July 11, I worked
through the night and arrived at the airport at 04h30 to go through customs and
I am well informed of the procedures at boarding time and the need to be at the
gate early. I arrived at gate E81 at about 05h10 with a paper and coffee and sat 2
rows to the left, 20 feet, from the check in counter facing the TV screen. The area
began to fill with passengers as usual. I started to become drowsy and fell into a
very deep sleep.
What ever it is that startles one awake, I opened my eyes to see an empty waiting
area, shocked and frightened, I jumped up and ran passed the empty check in desk
for the gangway. halfway down I passed a somewhat angry attendant who
could not look directly at me, ordered me in a very aggressive manner to " get off
the gangway right now". I said "I'm getting on the flight", She said that the flight
was secured already.
This flight was essential as I had a family dinner reunion in New York that night.
I was in shock, how could this have happened! They said basically that it was my
fault for not being here for the flight?! I responded that I was in the waiting area
more than an hour prior to the flight and had fallen asleep, to which they said "we
called for you 3 or 4 times and you did not show up.
"What!, you were calling for 1 male and in the whole empty waiting area there was 1
male right in front of you asleep and neither of you 3 could even have thought to
walk 20 feet to ask if this person was the one you were calling for!!!??? "
"It's not our responsibility to go searching for passengers who don't show up"
was the answer. That was not good enough! Their negligence had made me miss
They then searched for another flight, there was one just about to close but too late.
I was offered a mid day flight for a $300 upgrade or a 17h30 flight for $100 upgrade.
This was preposterous. How am I expected to even think of "paying" again for
something I have already paid for. I was not absent from the waiting area, I
complied with my responsibilities as a passenger.!
When I refused to accept the presented terms of a rebooking I said that I wanted to
speak with a manager and I was told by a very negative "Stn. manager" Ms. Pat
Moreland, " that is all I can do for you, those are the next flights and fees available
to you" and they all left the area!
I did not know that being inside US customs area, I could not leave without being
accompanied by a carrier company representative! I was stranded inside !!! Just like
the Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski!! Finally US customs called back "Ramon" I
think he was called.
I would like to commend him for his perseverance with me. He showed better
customer service than the other two female attendants.
I still had to pay, according to a "manager/supervisor" This is getting way out of
hand. I asked to speak with another person in charge. Still no clearance.
"Ramon" had to escort me out of the customs area and to the front counter where I
was introduced to a manager named "Michael" who was busy with customers at the
time and multitasking with me as well. He also explained what the policy was. After
again explaining to him that I had complied with my obligations as a paying
passenger and should not have to "pay an upgrade" and that I felt that the
negligence of the three gate attendants caused this situation.
Finally with what appeared to be a very displeased and bothered attitude, Michael
printed boarding cards for the 17h30 flight DL 4633 to Salt Lake City and Kennedy,
and handed them to me with out even a word of apology.
Why not the next available flight?
I didn't get on the mid day flight at $300, no I had to wait the entire day and miss
the family dinner in New York and arrive 24 hours later at 06h09 EST! I was
I have never in my life experienced such horrific customer service as I had with Delta
Airlines. I am in the business of customer service and without it I would not have
enjoyed so many years of satisfied customers. I have written testimonies.
Your "commitment to our customers" clause #'s 8-11-12 did not even come close to
what you profess in your mandate.
The stress that you caused me and those arranging to pick me up in New York was
extreme. I had also lost 1 full day of my 10 day vacation.
I would expect from a company such as Delta Airlines that there will be an full
investigation and an written explanation to me with some form of compensation for
this terrible travel experience.
I have consulted with other airline personnel that I know personally as well as the
returning flight crews, and all stated that I should have been approached.
Also, a previous flight with West Jet resulted in a lost bag. Without calling the airline,
I received a call from customer service explaining their regret for the mishap and
that not only were they going to deliver the bags 1.5 hours from the airport but
offered a monetary voucher for the next flight with them! I was astounded with their
insistance to rectify a relatively simple situation.
Awaiting your prompt resopnse.
Capt. Jeff Engholm
"Delta Air Lines intends to ensure that your air travel experience will encompass, to
the best of our abilities, the most comprehensive customer service possible. We
have outlined our responsibilities and how we will fulfill them in 12-key points,
known as our Customer Commitment. "
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