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June 10, 2011


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Maybe this post will help Delta in the media which they need right now, after the problem the US military members coming back from their tour.

Sounds like you don't travel much. When I lived in the utterly small town of Eureka, California, the airport was useless. Constant delays/cancellations from fog, the fact that there was no mechanic on duty (the airport contracted with the Coast Guard to provide part-time staffing), and the one airline -- United -- which would often cancel flights that weren't full to save fuel. Getting anyplace typically required three flights, and it was a near guarantee either the Eureka or San Francisco connection would be cancelled. Another reason why I left that horrid, depressing place!

This one simple act by Delta Airlines has now made one customer rather happy, who will go on to tell others about the good thing the company just did... this word-of-mouth advertising and positive PR just seems so easy and simple to me, I don't understand why many more companies don't concentrate on trying to make this kind of thing happen.

What you aren't mentioning is that in doing something to please you, Delta inconvenienced almost a plane full of other customers. I travel Delta once a month for business, and I've never caught a connection I was late for, but I've sat on untold number of planes at the gait waiting for that "last few passengers".

Twice in the last three months, I have had to wait for the CREW to show up! Turns out they schedule their crews so tight now that flights are delayed by that too!

I had a very similar situation happen to myself and my family coming back from Disney World on Airtan, only they were not so nice about it. Orlando airport shut down for an hour due to weather. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:30PM got bumped to 8:30 or so. No big deal, but our connecting flight in Atlanta, which was still at the gate when about 20 of us arrived there, refused to open the doors and let us onto the last flight of the night! Very unhappy with Airtran over that.

Its nice when you are on the good end of things!

The best airline experience for me was in 2005 when we were flying from Hong Kong to the US. The route was Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific) - Tokyo (Continental) - Houston, TX.

That morning in Hong Kong had a thunderstorm, and the flight was delayed and took off about an hour late. While we were worrying about if we could make the connection flight at Tokyo to Houston, a flight attendant came over and told us that they knew the next flight we would take would be leaving soon when our flight landed. We would not have enough time to go through all the customs/immigration or we would miss the flight. So they had already arranged a shuttle for us and told the people at Tokyo, so that we didn't need to go through the normal channel.

Even better was she led us to the first class session about 15 minutes before the landing, so that we could go out first. At there, we met a very nice American businessman who traveled between Hong Kong, China and US so much. He also needed to catch his next flight. We had a very nice 15-minute talk.

So, once the flight landed, a crew was waiting for us and drove us to the immigration, took a very fast paper-exchange with the staff there and sent us to the gate for our next flight. Of course, we didn't miss our flight.

I knew the service from Cathay Pacific was always good (No. 1 & 2 airline in the world between it and Singapore Airline), but this wonderful customer service was something I would never had expected. What else you could ask for?

I wish Delta did that for me for a weather issue. I arrived at my connecting flight only to see it pulling back from the gate. 10 others stood in disbelief with me. Delta made it painful to get the next flight, with some scratchy phones that disconnected you, no assistance from an actual human, and an 8 hour wait in Cincinnati. Finally, I boarded that flight. And we waited. And waited. And waited. Over an hour wasted because the pilot held the plane for two soldiers coming back from Iraq who couldn't be bothered to get on the plane. Arrived in Phoenix very late, and my 10 friends and I were paged immediately. Our luggage made our original flight, and was left relatively unattended in the PHX airport.

I have refused to fly Delta since.

Delta does nothing that does not affect their bottom line regardless of customer relations, so I wouldn't take this example personally. The kicker is that in my experience they are so inept they don't know day-to-day what will make them money, so they do all sorts of inconsistent things to their passengers.

There is only one airline that pays attention to customers, and they are changing toward the "legacy" airlines, and that's Southwest, but alas, they are far from perfect.

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