Airlines from Hell

February 9, 2011

Well, I just knew there was something not quite right with my booking from MAN – JFK when the flight disappeared totally from being able to be booked in both business and standard class.

I even asked the question to @DeltaAssist and got the reply that it was showing fully booked. I just knew that Delta would eventually screw up my holiday somehow. I’ve had I think 9 transatlantic flights that have gone off without a hitch, and 1 that occurred a 3 hour delay. It was bound to happen sometime that something just wasn’t going to work right!

Monday I decide to check the delta seat map for my plane and then find it is giving me an error. I think that the site is screwed, and check again an hour later.

This time, I think again, that something is not quite right. Let me backpedal and explain my flights to you

Leave MAN and arrive JFK at 1pm
Leave JFK at 7:15pm to go to SFO via @JetBlue

I’ve booked it so that the flight can arrive, and be slightly delayed and still make my flight to SFO. I didn’t think they’d re route me in a peculiar way. And how peculiar it was.

Obviously Delta did NOT send me the most sensible way to get me into JFK there or thereabouts the same time as I was supposed to get there.

They decided to send me MILES out of my way, heading from MAN to ATL then to JFK, arriving at JFK at 12:35am the NEXT MORNING.

Now, there was a shiny button waiting for me to hit continue, and accept these new flights. Like hell I was clicking that. Now I remembered reading an article online about how people are getting help from airlines through twitter. As a prolific tweeter (I sometimes tweet what I’m eating!), I knew of @DeltaAssist. So, I immediately tweeted the following

@DeltaAssist HELP. you’ve changed my flights, and not even e-mailed to tell me, and you’ve screwed my holiday! please help!!

That goes to delta, and also, only shows to my followers who are also following delta assist. I needed another tweet to show how annoyed I was.

I am absolutely livid with @DeltaAssistthey’ve gone and changed my flight and not even told me.

That was sure to catch their attention. It did. Within 4 minutes, I had a direct message in my twitter inbox, and a conversation ensued. Firstly, they said my flight was landing at 1pm, and I then reeled off the flight numbers to them that they were trying to rebook me on.

I was having a conversation at the time, and really couldn’t work out what to do. The logical thing would be to go via AMS, those flights got in at 1pm, 4pm, and 8pm.

I felt that 4pm flight made it a tight connection, 1 hour to get through immigration (5pm), pick up luggage, change terminal (30 minutes), that’s 5:30pm then, and I have to have my bag checked in by 6:15pm, so if I were delayed at all, I could again miss my flight, and it’s not a connection, so Delta / JetBlue, neither will care if anything were to go awry.

The logica was to get the flight from MAN – AMS – JFK that got in at 1pm. This means that the flight from MAN departs at 6am, meaning I should get to the airport at 4am, thus leaving home at 3am. My final destination being SFO, and arriving at midnight Pacific time, means I would have been travelling then for at total of 29 hours. This is not something I thought would make a good start to a holiday, so I DM’d Delta back, giving them my idea.

I’ve got an idea though, if I could fly on the 1st March from MAN – AMS – JFK (DL9367 / DL71 ) that would be fine. Note date change.

Now, Delta theoretically could have charged me some kind of change fee, as I had an Economy Class (T) ticket, which is the lowest and cheapest ticket available, and I was wanting to change dates of my outgoing flight, but I thought it was a fair compromise, and also would give me a day in NYC to adjust to one time zone, and a shower, change of clothes etc, before getting on another flight for another 7 hours.

13 minutes after that tweet proposing what the changes, I got a tweet back

Done deal! I’ve rebooked you for Mar 1st DL 9367 LV MAN 605AM, ARR AMS 835AM, LV DL 71 AMS 1025AM, ARR JFK 105PM

Awesome, an extra day in NYC. Now to find a hotel to stay in for 1 night!

Some people think I should still complain, and try get compensation out of them. I’m unsure. They’ve waived what should have been a $250 change fee, as I’ve changed dates, but I do have the additional expense of a hotel in NYC. I’m still unsure, if I should pen a complaint, just to see if I get some kind of voucher or miles added into my account, but I feel I’d be doing it just to see what I get, not that I actually feel hard done by. They didn’t tell me about my flight change by e-mail, but maybe it would have eventually arrived, it might not have been an instant e-mail and was queued.

What do you think? Should I complain and see what I get, or because I’m actually really not that bothered, just enjoy the upcoming holiday?


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    • Shepy

      I’d still lodge a complaint, i mean what if your trip back was timed for something you couldnt miss, and they have extended it, and as you say you have the expense of the extra night in NYC. You may even get lucky and have them foot the bill for that night :)