July 27, 2008
1030 Delta Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30354
As a rule, I don’t usually take the time to write letters following poor customer service, but I have decided to make an exception after my recent experience with your airline.
My flight out of LAX was unfortunately cancelled due to “bad weather” in New York (after having already been delayed for three hours). This was not a surprise; the consumer has sadly become immune to the airlines’ ineptitude in regards to responding to the slightest change in the weather. What really irked me was the way I was treated by your customer service agents.
Once I had learned (through my own initiative, of course) of my cancelled flight, I called Delta’s customer service hotline. The agent informed me that I had been automatically rebooked on an itinerary that would have totaled 16 hours of travel time from Los Angeles to New York City the following day. I asked him to find me a non-stop flight, which was what I had originally paid for. Luckily, he booked me on such a flight. Later that day, when I looked up said flight on Delta.com, the website notified me that there would be one stop. So, I called Delta again, and a second agent assured me that this was incorrect; I was on a non-stop flight. Several hours later, when I decided to check in, the itinerary clearly noted a stop in Cincinnati. I once again called customer service, and the third agent proceeded to tell me that there were in fact two flights, with the same flight number, arriving at LaGuardia at the same time – and I was booked on the nonstop one of the two. This made little sense to me, and so I asked to speak with a supervisor – Susan, in Salt Lake City. Finally, Susan told me the truth. I was not on a nonstop flight at all. I never had been. What really irritated me was Susan’s total disregard for the fact that I had spent much of my day on the phone with Delta, having been lied to on three separate occasions. Not once did she offer to resolve the situation, neither with an upgrade, nor an offer of a refund or some extra miles. Susan blamed it all on the weather. The weather did not lie to me, Richard.
Spending my day on the phone with Delta agents is not my idea of a good time, especially when I’m treated like an idiot. I have access to the internet – I can fact-check. Not to mention the fact that I was subjected to a rather obnoxious outgoing message before I was even allowed to speak to an agent, explaining the evils of oil speculation. Have your PR people forgotten that airlines have traditionally been the most notorious oil speculators, betting on the price of oil in order to lock in prices a year in advance? It also seems rather silly to blame all of your problems on oil speculation, when the airlines (save for perhaps Southwest and Continental) haven’t figured out how to do business when oil is cheap. It might be smart to discontinue this silly PR stunt.
I’m quite aware of the fact that one person can never make a difference when dealing with a company such as yours. Thankfully, I work for a large, global company myself. I can assure you that I will never do business with Delta again. With just a little bit of effort on my part, I am hoping to say the same thing about my 15, 000+ colleagues. We’ll stick with Continental.
CC: Edward Bastian, President; Stephen Gorman, EVP Operations; Lee Macenczak, EVP Sales & Marketing; Beth Johnston, SVP Human Resources; Larry Kellner, CEO Continental Airlines