To Whom It May Concern,
I am a Sky Miles member and spend quite a bit for an individual with Delta. I usually go out of my way to choose Delta when traveling domestically and internationally. ( I am planning to book a trip to Paris today).
My wife and 2 children recently traveled to Chicago for my 9 year old son's Hockey tournament. I usually travel with my son but my daughter had a "Daddy - Daughter Girl Scout Camping" weekend at the same time.
The problem lies with the way she was handled/treated at your O'Hare ticket counter by an "Agent Reed" and how I was treated on the phone through the Delta Sky Miles number [protected])by a Garret Stevens from Cincinnati OH.
Here is the issue:
My wife Corene and son Justin under confirmation number C6IEHY and my daughter Emma under confirmation number C6W072 started their trip in Atlanta to Chicago on flight number 778 to depart at 7:30. each passenger had 1 item to check. We researched your sports equipment rule and found the following:
"Thank you for contacting Delta Air Lines.
Items of hockey / lacrosse equipment may be accepted as checked baggage and one such item may be included in the free baggage allowance. One item of hockey / lacrosse equipment is defined as one equipment bag plus two hockey or lacrosse sticks (taped together). The total weight of the equipment bag and hockey sticks may not exceed 50 pounds or excess weight charges will apply. Size limits of up to 80 linear inches apply.
We appreciate your interest in Delta Air Lines.
Online Customer Support Desk
My wife printed the above and brought this with them in case there were any questions about your policy. The gentleman who checked them in (I was present) was outstanding, knew the policy and my son's hockey bag and sticks were treated as 1 free checked item as indicated above. I kissed my family goodbye and they were on their way. The other 40+ Atlanta area hockey families had the same experience and the policy was adhered to.
On the way back from Chicago (O'Hare), upon checking in for flight 799 the experience was not the same. My wife had the exact same baggage for our family BUT they forced her to pay $50 for the hockey sticks (One item of hockey / lacrosse equipment is defined as one equipment bag plus two hockey or lacrosse sticks (taped together)). Neither item was over 80 inches or 50 lbs.
When she tried to show Agent Reed the document from your organization, he refused to review it and stated if you want to take the sticks back with you it will have to be an additional $50. She then called me on her cell to ask what she should do. I asked to talk to the agent and he said (I could hear in the background) that there is "nothing I can say that will change his mind.
I told her to pay the $50 and we will work it out with Delta later so she could catch her flight and bring everything home.
While she was flying I called the sky miles number [protected]) and the representative, after me telling my story told me I had to talk with the "baggage department". After being on hold for 37 minutes I finally talked with a Baggage representative who was great. She validated my understanding of the policy but said she cannot provide the credit. It had to be done by a customer service person. he coached me on what numbers/information to have available and also said that I should go see someone in person since I was on my way to pick them up back in Atlanta. I thought great idea!
Once in Atlanta I went to the ticket counter and told my story. The first woman told me I was wrong and we had to pay the $50. She didn't even look up the policy when I requested. I asked to speak to a manager. The manager came over (Name escapes me but I believe begins with a G). I told my story yet again and he said I was wrong and I actually should have paid more! I asked him to research the policy and read it to me. he said the woman already did and I said no she didn't. He asked her and she said no I didn't. At this point another woman walked over named Tanya. She knew the policy and confirmed my understanding. The manager, after hearing that said I need to go to baggage to get my credit. I explained that I called baggage and they told me that they do not have the authority to provide credits. He then said I need to call sky miles to do it and I informed him that I did that also and they informed me to call baggage also which is wrong. Tanya then informed the manager that the credit could be issued right there where we were standing if I had the receipt. My wife had the receipt so it was agreed that once she got off the plane we would come back to that spot and complete the transaction.
My wife, son and daughter arrived safely and informed me that she had been called to the gate in Chicago and was informed by the gate agent that a mistake had been made and a credit for the $50 was issued. With that said we decided to take that as fact and get home without going back to the ticket counter where Tanya was. It was late (10:00) and a school night for the kids and we still had a 45 minute drive home. That was a mistake.
On the drive home I called sky miles again to validate the $50 credit. The woman researched and found the charge but no credit. I again explained my story and she again said no to the credit. I asked for a supervisor and got Garret Stevens on the phone. He was rude, short, unwilling to help and a bit snide. I believe he had the authority to give me the credit and chose not to.
This concern is more about following a policy than the money. In this economy don't you want a guy like me choosing you when we fly? I fly quite a bit for work (VP for UPS), quite abit for Hockey (my son is on the Atlanta Fire travel team) and for leisure (we are originally from Massachusetts so we fly family down and we fly up a lot.
I have choices. Many of the times Air Tran is $3-$6 cheaper and has just as nice a frequent flyer program but I have stayed loyal. I have a delta flight this week as a matter of fact (flight 1046- CQKZFR) and received my medallion upgrade email this morning!
I am requesting a credit for the $50 extra bag fee based on your written policy.