As Delta begins to return to normal today – PLEASE – be nice to Delta people! Direct your frustration at the “right” sources.

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Ruh Roh – will it maybe rain in Atlanta this week?

Delta, the company, has a lot of “crow” to eat this coming week. They have the $DAL earning report for Q1 on Wednesday and not only do they have to answer about how soft earnings have been but also, clearly, about this past week’s total disaster and meltdown. Yes, they have a lot to answer for (note: I hold no $DAL stock).

Today I want to focus on something very important for you and me who may be flying Delta Air Lines this week. I have a number of good friends who work for Delta and chat with them often. I really care about them and they have always been great to me even before I got to know them i.e. these folks are #DeltaProud and just amazing, quality people. They are one of the reasons I am so loyal to Delta because they take such great care of me over and over again!

Having said that, you would not believe the amount of things I have read online about people just being NASTY to Delta people over the past few days. Now I, as a customer, understand the frustration and anger is NOT directed at the “anonymous” Delta person they are, sometimes, yelling at and the person in the Delta outfit is just the “face” of the company they are frustrated with at the moment. But here is the thing – many Delta people will take anything we say personally. I know they shouldn’t but let’s step back for a bit and understand this. They are people too and most of them really care about Delta as well as you and I.

chat with a delta rep

A PVT chat with a Delta employee

If you look at the very personal chat I have posted with a good friend who works for Delta (he or she) has not been very impressed with some of my fellow Delta Diamonds the past few days. Well, shame on you (bad) Diamonds. To be fair some elites in Atlanta showed up to volunteer their time to help fix things the best they could during the meltdown so there are those kinds of elites as well.

Personally I think some Diamonds think they are “all that” because they spend a ton of money each year with the airline and thus feel they have earned special treatment (many times it is their employer’s money but they pretend it is their own). While I agree, on a normal day/week without a disaster, top elites should get preferential treatment, it sure does not give them license to be rude and harsh to those outstanding Delta people who help them each and every day they fly!

Having said all this let’s move over to Delta the company and Delta the executives who make the decisions. These are the ones we rightfully can be frustrated and angry with. They are the ones who ultimately are to blame. So now what?

First off, how they make things right matters. We need, like before, a video from the CEO apologizing for the week’s mess. We need Delta to financially make things right – that is, if you had to rent a car, book a ticket on another airline, pay for hotel rooms and more for Delta to cover these expenses if you submit them. Will this happen? I seriously doubt it! I think Delta will offer $200 travel vouchers to anyone impacted last week as they did the last round but maybe not even that as they are still blaming all of this on weather and that is the ultimate trump card for any airline.

Again, be nice to Delta people this week. Many have been on days and days of overtime and now have to start a new week “fresh” like nothing out of the ordinary has been going on! They are good and kind people and work hard to make this all better the best they can for a mess they did not cause! – René

 

 

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16 comments

  1. I hear ya Rene and agree. My heart goes out not only to all the displaced passengers (I was one for about 20 hours), but of course to the Delta employees who have also had one hell of a week.

    One of the things management could do to make us feel better is to specifically tell us what they are doing to make sure this never happens again. I would love to see a comprehensive list of things like:

    Stress test modeling (similar to what banks had to do after the housing meltdown).

    Sign an interline agreement with American (Lord knows this could have helped).

    Assure us that IT is being better modernized and fully funded).

    Require a certain percentage of pilots and crew to live in ATL (there is no other hub like it in the world and therefore different rules should be in place at ATL).

    Do something to better handle the phone lines for both passengers and employees during an event like this.

    Thnx – Phil in ATL

  2. There’s no more entitled people than those that hold status 🙂

    However, regarding this statement “We need Delta to financially make things right – that is, if you had to rent a car, book a ticket on another airline, pay for hotel rooms and more for Delta to cover these expenses if you submit them. Will this happen? I seriously doubt it! I think Delta will offer $200 travel vouchers to anyone impacted”

    I agree that Delta should make things right. However, surely this is what travel insurance is there for also?

  3. Yea with the two instances of server failures and now this, eliminating the interline agreement with American looks really stupid. Think how many people they could have gotten out of ATL via CLT, DFW, ORD, JFK, PHL, MIA and DCA.

  4. I took the shuttle coming back to NY yesterday without one iota of delay or disruption. Now it was a completely full flight, which is very strange for a Sunday afternoon, but I thought nothing of it. It was not until I arrived in NY and heard the gate agent offering the LGA-BOS passengers on the 4PM (the next turnaround) $900 Amex GC to wait until 7. I so wish I had been going the other way. You would not have heard a single complaint from me.

  5. Good points all in the previous posts. After coming off my worst week of business travel in 25 years, I believe a nonnegotiable for all of us Delta frequent flyer’s must be reinstating the interline agreement with American. My fun actually started on April 1, long before the Atlanta storms, when I had a 17 hour mechanical delay.

    It is a disgrace that I personally could’ve taken American flights two times this past week, that had seats available, but due to the outrageous walk-up fares and no interline agreements, I waited an extra day. I am sure the thousands of other Delta customers experienced the same frustration during this past week .

  6. Reason why this Platinum sent out my thank you tweet to @Delta this weekend regarding my flight on Friday JAX-ATL that was only a few minutes delayed. I thought they could use a little encouragement during the mess. I agree we should not take our frustration out on the good front line people. Thanks for the reminder!!

  7. I agree with your article, I also agree with the folks that pointed out that the loss of the interline agreement with AA had a negative impact here.

    But your comment about Diamond’s spending employee’s money sounded a bit dismissive of the actual flyer. Regardless who’s paying the bill, it’s the flyer that choses which airline to spend it on. My employer pays for 80% of my travel, and I took that money two years ago and moved it to AA. That was my decision, not my employers. So, keeping the actual PAX happy with decent customer service *IS* important.

    That said: To my fellow elite FFers, you get further with honey than a baseball bat. Treat people the way you want to be treated, regardless of the circumstances. That frontline employee you are screaming at had absolutely nothing to do with the circumstances you find yourself in, and trust me, they are trying their hardest to find a solution. Take a breath, be patient. 🙂

  8. Thanks Rene for the thoughts. My struggles started last Sunday (april 2) before the ‘weather’, the wonderful IT system somehow dumped my 2nd leg of the trip when the Medallion Reps backed me up on the next avail due to mechanical delays on my inbound. No one has figured (or taken responsibility) for that one yet. Then homeward flights ran into #DeltaDebacle2017, thanks to your blog and others and my PM status I was able to go west to go east, and rent a car when I got close. I sent many tweets and messages to @Delta to compliment staff who took great care of me. I did see a few #gatelice who were trying to take it out on the GAs and Redcoats, but all in all everyone was polite that I saw. It was certainly one for the books.

  9. “the outrageous walk-up fares”.
    This is why to be fair, the fees they pay to get passengers to give up their seats should be even more outrageous. It is the airline’s fault to oversell flights and they should be banned from doing so unless they are willing to pay very high fees to bump passengers.
    They want to charge passengers outrageous fees for last minute flights, it would only be fair to pay their customers similar outrageous fees.

  10. Look on the bright side…at least Delta was not dragging confirmed passengers, beaten and bloodied, off of planes ala United.

  11. My husband was stuck in DC kept trying standbys till all cancelled to Detroit then back again for standbys to JFK then eventually home lots of SC time !!

  12. Rene, sometimes what you write brings a smile to my face. You, “a loyal Delta” customer? There have been a lot of words coming from your pen over the past 3 years saying otherwise. DM feeling they have earned special treatment? You are at the front of this line. It’s clearly a love/hate relationship. Better than a soap opera at times!

  13. @Dale – LOL I love the airline – really not so much the SkyMiles team right now (used to LOVE them and LOVED to defend back in the day).

  14. I was supposed to go home for the weekend and had some very important family matters to attend to. I was scheduled to return on Sunday evening and they couldn’t get me home til Sunday morning so obviously I just stayed but on top of the most important critical needs to be home for the weekend, I also lost valuable MQM’s. Any tips on how to get them to credit me for the 2 trips I lost? I’ve got the rest figured out.

  15. @laurie – Start with a standard complaint about it on Delta.com. Then if they say no complain back to that email. If those two do not work email me and we can go to next level.

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