Our publisher, Dr. Robert Angelone, a well-respected fellow, usually calm and collected, has recently been driven to outrage by Delta Airlines as he’s dealt with their cumbersome, outrageous bureaucracy and inconsistent information.
“No wonder airline passengers today are frustrated and angry all the time. The mis-information they obtain, compounded by petty bureaucrats makes it impossible to enjoy the excitement of travel anymore” he said, as we sat in his office discussing his recent experiences with Delta.
Having used his Delta Skymiles Points to fly two family members up from the South to visit him in New York it turns out that from the point he made enquiries about using his points, Delta employees misinformed him at every turn. First, the two family members, in their late teens, were booked on a flight but no-one was ever alerted that when two minors travel together without adult supervision, they will likely be flagged in the check-in process to go to a special services desk. “Not one of several Delta reservations employees mentioned”, he said, “that extra time should be allocated in addition to the 1 1/2 hours before the flight.” As it turns out, his family members stood on a queue waiting for the special services representative for so long that they missed their flight. Here’s the kicker… one of them is actually 18 and his date of birth was entered into Delta’s online reservation system to book the tickets.
“Then, to compound that, they demanded $50 per ticket to re-book the flight.” Later, when he called Delta about refunding that fee, four people mis-informed him about the refund process. When he finally sorted it out, uncaring staff dismissed the fact that because of the delays caused by Delta, their flight had to be re-booked a second time, for the next day, and he lost his one chance to see his family members in several years.
When it came down to the issue of the refund, it turns out that the reservations staff who authorized the refund, didn’t know which way was up, giving him more mis-information, and prompting nothing but stress and grief. “So few employees actually know the vast volume of rules that these airlines today must have, that it is of little surprise, when you think about it” he said. “But their management should be a bit more understanding and supportive of their customers who must endure the effects of being mis-informed. This is where Delta falls flat on its face.”
Delta, with its vast bureaucracy, often leaves passengers on hold, or, when they’re busy, passengers are told the call cannot be taken at this time, to call back later. “Delta doesn’t realize how very frustrating that is” he said, turning red in the face. “After this experience, I would never fly Delta again, nor recommend it to anyone!” His parting comment was one shared often by passengers frustrated by airline bureaucracy.
In some ways, his experience validates his position as an economist, that high speed rail systems are essential for this Nation, to offset the airlines as a valid means of fast transportation.
FLASH: Here’s a quick update. Delta has now accused our publisher of attempting to steal the refund, and claims that he has lied to them. They will evidently do anything to avoid treating their passengers fairly, or those who hold Skymiles Points. Our publisher has resigned from Delta Skymiles and URGES our readers to boycott Delta Airlines.