Yesterday during a press interview I was asked why I value my elite status with Delta. I had a bunch of answers but one of them that I stressed was the outstanding level of service I receive from Delta elite reps. I stand by that and have it confirmed on a weekly basis. For example when I call Delta, most times, they have my itineraries up on the screen and are ready to help with whatever I need. That is for normal day in day out “stuff”. But what if things go wrong? Then what happens?
This past Wednesday it was time to check in for my flight Thursday. My wife and I were both flying home from our Salt Lake ski trip and I had split our reservations so that at least one of us would have a shot at an upgraded seat (improved chances as I am Diamond and my wife is Gold). Our itinerary was not hard, just SLC-DTW-SBN. At 11:20AM my wife checks in just fine on her phone and boarding pass is created.
Then it was my turn. The app gives me an error. Not good. So I tweet to Delta Asset to see if they can fix it. They say I “am” checked-in on their system, but I cannot pull up my boarding pass on my end. What happens next is many attempts to un-check me in and me attempting to recheck me in. I attempted to check in on Delta.com and got:
“We are unable to complete your check-in request. You will need to check in at the airport with an agent. View your reservation details at My Trip”
So no joy there either. Finally DeltaAssist tells me to call “Dot Com” support. Ruh-Roh, not good as my experience with them has not been the best. Plus this ties in to my opening thoughts that I am shifting from the best of Delta elite reps to Delta IT folks. I hope you see my point. If not, just keep reading.
Well this goes just as expected. Rep one is just shocked to see error after error when I go to check-in on her screen. I am elevated to a supervisor. Same thing. They seem to get sick of my errors and “elevate” me to another rep. Same errors and send to supervisor two. This one, with a thick Jamaican accent, tells me it must be that I am trying to check in too early as the SBN leg is more than 24hrs from now. Ugg & Oy! This is a supervisor – really? I mention my wife checked in and my first leg was within 24hrs of flight. I am told they can do nothing and just try later. Sigh…
I take a deep breath, think about HUCB, and instead start to tweet again that after an hour on the phone with the Dot Com folks I am nowhere. Keep in mind all I am trying to do is check in for a domestic flight. Another round of DeltaAssist reps set to work and as you can see after 2 hours still nothing. I am told to wait – again.
After almost 3 hours I tweet again to Delta assist to see if there is any progress and am told to try one more time. EUREKA – this time it works!
They would not tell me what was wrong but it only took ~3 hours of my vacation day to check-in for a 2 segment domestic flight and 6+ Delta reps working on my reservation.
All of this brings us around to my point of today’s post that is the frustration I am sure most feel with sub-par service. I am sure most folks would not be willing to spend 3 hours working to get what they want done when rep after rep cannot fix an issue and gives them bad, and wrong, information (I am too tenacious to give up so I press on).
The reason I urge you, dear reader, to press on like me is this – or you may end up at the airport and facing a nightmare issue (whatever the issue you have is). The airplane will NOT wait for you and a rep, most times, will not just “fix” whatever is wrong if it risks their job to just make it happen for you. They will attempt to put you on the next flight but if they are all full you could end up waiting for hours or even days worst case at the airport. Yikes! It is best to fix things when you can do so without stress, even if it costs you most of a day of your precious vacation like me! – René