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Delta gave me 25,000 because even they don’t get why their IT does not work!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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I commend Delta for so many things. I love the people. I really like the product. I love the fact they are on-time most of the time. I know when things go wonky they will make it better. What I don’t like and I do go very hard on about a bunch is their IT. Why? It is horrid and as I mentioned in the latest poll most of us think they like it this way!

Is Delta intentionally NOT fixing the award booking page?

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This latest event resulted in a call that started the other day at 9:23AM and ended at 11:05. Let me break down the fun chain of events and this is just one more reason I am so hard on Delta IT.

You see, Lisa & I are making a return trip to Hawaii this fall. I found on Delta.com low SAVER level seats from SBN to HNL and mid STANDARD level on the way back. Thus the price is 80k outbound and 135k return. The way it works is you take ½ of each way and results = 107,500 (40k+67.5=107,500). Not great, but full flats back (with a stop over) for sleeping so I can live with this price that is 27,500 more Skymiles each than saver round trip seats. But then Delta.com will not issue the ticket. Time to call the Diamond line. Here we go:

Rene – Call DM line & explain situation to rep.

DM rep – finds same flights and is ready to ticket no problem. Then same error. Hold to fix. Fixed, go to issue and price is 120,000 RT not 107,500 round trip. Why? Hold. Rep talks to supervisor and says we see it at 107,500 but can not issue no matter what just too bad. Told must speak to “Dot.Com” for help as it is a Dot.Com issue.

Rene – Can we liaison so you can help me.

DM rep – Not supposed to but hold and will do that.

Then there is a very long hold then rep one gone! Great, plus reservation on hold is gone now! Grrr. This is going from Grrr to BIG Grrrr!

Dot.Com rep – how can I help you.

Rene – I have to start from scratch. Explain it all to her on a bad connection to boot.

Dot.Com rep – I see the seats at 107,500 round trip Alaska is the issue. Alaska is showing fake inventory to Delta and it is not updated at Delta.com so I cannot issue the tickets even though they show they are there.

Rene – OK that is not my problem. Delta.com shows price then I should get it at that price – IMO.

Dot.Com rep – hold for a supervisor please.

OH Great. A very nice supervisor from CVG comes on the line but has no idea what is up. I explain it all and thankfully the itinerary is still in the system this time.

CVG Supervisor – Please hold. He then tells me it is NOT an Alaska inventory issue as he checked and that was just fine but an issue with the 2 updates on the way that will change the award chart this year.

Rene – But it is pricing at the NEW award levels for both and should work right?

CVG Supervisor – yes it should but the IT will just not award it at that level even though it should. The only solution, since the IT will not work for anyone, is that we give you 25,000 miles i.e. the difference between what it should price at and what it does price at and we award at the standard level for the total flight.

Rene – OK as long as I can get a ticket at the net price shown great.

25000 customer service bonus miles because delta IT does not work delta points blog

So at long last, after more than 1 ½ hours on the phone and all sorts of different “stories” along the way I get the ticket issued as well as the points adjustment because even Delta cannot make Delta IT work the way it should.

What should you take away from this? Clearly Delta does much right, but we all know the award page is not one of them and what should take no time seems to often take a lot of time. I think Delta would like to dump every partner they have as making any of them work with Delta is like pulling teeth. But for us, stick to your guns and keep asking when you know you are right or until you get someone who has power to do what you want. As I always say Delta Skymiles have great value you just have to WRENCH the value out of them! – Rene

PS – and yes, as a Diamond Medallion if I can find SAVER level on these flights before flight I will be re-depositing this ticket and picking up the award at the lower level. The 25k bonus will then be to me a nice little consolation prize for spending that much time on the phone and having to endure Delta’s broken IT!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

12 Comments

  1. I had EXACTLY the same issue with flights from LAS-HNL for this spring. I called and go nowhere. I did the hang up and try a different rep, that didn’t work either (after five tries). Every time I would get a different story: It’s a flight they’re about to change/cancel, it’s Alaska’s fault, no seats are available on the return, it’s a temporary glitch, etc., etc. All a bunch of BS. I finally gave up. 🙁

  2. Don in ATL Reply

    Great story! Glad you could hang in there and be persistent. These 2 new charts on the way –is it more devaluation — or the ones we already know about?

  3. If you cancelled that flight, would you get back the 25k miles that they put in your account? If so, maybe you should look for a replacement flight and cancel the first one.

    • @Richard – uh, yes, I mention that at the bottom of the post. If I can find all low saver level on the return (with full flat seats) I will do just that.

  4. Great airline but broken booking engine. So that makes it a terrible airline for those who don’t have hours to spend arguing with reps who could give a rat’s patootie about “your” problem (all problems are “your” problem when it comes to Delta)

    There really should be a Class Action suit against these bozos. They know the booking engine is broken, and it always prices at higher prices – if it was a 50/50 chance of pricing higher/lower, one might believe it’s just an “IT problem”. But when it’s always in Delta’s favor, it’s fraud.

  5. It’s great that you got the 25K. We all get lucky from time to time. But is that what we should expect from an airline listed in the S&P 500? Luck? Are we in a third world country? Seriously these things have to work 99.99% of the time.

  6. I guess next time I should read the post all the way through before I comment. At least we know that great minds think alike.

  7. GM Jeff Mc Reply

    As I Tweeted to you today, I had a “freakish” opposite experience in trying to book award travel for my wife and son (I was not traveling – they have zero status) ATL-PIT traveling in less than 2 weeks. Outbound priced at 25k/passenger,but return chosen said 32.5k miles. Tickets at $700, so pay with miles was out, so I clicked “Book Award” and “price” changed to 25k per passenger!! I did see a message at the very top of the screen that Delta had reduced the mileage price, but no explaination why. Another example of poor IT systems at DL. Not that I am complaining with my experience, but mine is way out of the norm.

  8. I don’t want to believe that Delta is intentionally keeping its IT broken. However, it also wouldn’t surprise me. It works to their advantage for the time being, otherwise they’d make it a priority and devote the resources to fixing it.

  9. Give Delta IT a break. They’ve been busy building the Healthcare.gov website and just returned to Atlanta.

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