Before you go venting on social media, try to fix it yourself please!

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I always think of the line from Shrek about “Grab your torch and pitchforks!” When it comes to complaining about whatever went wrong. I mean it is OH so simple to just get upset, even enraged, and then jump on social media and YELL:

a tweet about what went wrong - venting on social media

And then you stop and think about what you just did. Plus, did the vent fix anything really? Was it the best way to go about fixing it?

There are so many better ways to go about venting that will result in more than just you blowing off some steam. After all, you want some kind of satisfaction as a result of whatever befell you right? So how should you do this and what should you do? Plus, what can you complain about and what can you expect to get?

delta-FA-hand-unit sales

First off, complaining to @DeltaAssist doubtfully will help unless it is something under their control like seats or flights or such. Most times you are MUCH better off just using Delta.com to lodge a complaint if you want results. The exception could be on-board issues that can be fixed by the FA using their hand unit to make Skymiles or an ETV for you to right away make up for the issue.

How should you go about complaining? Please don’t write War and Peace. The customer service rep reading your venting rant will just glaze over and start to skim what happened. No, please include all the pertinent info like:

  • Flight
  • Date
  • PNR
  • Ticket number
  • Your status

With this, and a short, concise explanation of what happened should be all you need. If you are booked in 1st class, either on an award or paid for, this could be useful to include.

Should you ask for something specific as compensation? I have to tell you getting money back is highly unlikely unless whatever happened is so egregious that the event could go viral on the web. Don’t expect the moon. Under most circumstances the above facts will determine what you are offered. If you don’t like the offer you can e-mail back for a bit more and maybe get a bit more with e-mail two. However most times the first offer is all you will get.

Also it is worth noting that you need to know who to complain to. If you got the ticket for example from Alaska using Alaska points and fly Delta do you complain to Delta or to Alaska or both. My answer is start with the airline you have the highest status with. If they say go complain to the other airline then you go there. If they say go back to the other airline then you push them as they are the one you go the ticket from. If they push again then go back to the airline you flew on and push them again. The DOT should really be the last step as you are unlikely to get what you want that way. Yes, the airline may get in trouble but you are unlikely to benefit from this way!

What if all this fails to satisfy you. Should you then go to social media and vent away? No not yet! You can try sending a real letter or e-mail to Delta but this should be just about the last step. Please e-mail ME before you go this route. Depending on what the situation is I can maybe reach out to my Delta contacts and help or I can tell you that you will likely NOT get a better result taking it further.

So should you EVER take it to social media when all this has failed? Maybe but don’t expect this to help unless the issue goes viral. The chance of this happening is remote and I have found most times all the other methods will not only yield better results but make you feel better that you have done all you can to get a resolution to the situation! – René
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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5 comments

  1. Maybe going to social media isn’t just “venting”. Maybe it’s letting others know of a problem, and perhaps it’s a problem a lot of people have experienced. But you’ll never know if it’s all done with communications to the airline (or whatever) only.

    I’m sure that Delta (or whoever) would love that you don’t go to DOT or multimedia.

    Sometimes “fixing” a problem is not just getting a few points for yourself.

  2. I use @DeltaAssist 2 to 3 times a year for problems and have always been well served. I also use it 5 to 6 times a year praising Gate Agents, FAs, etc. I believe that balancing the scorecards… compliments versus complaints will make Delta and others more likely to do right. if you’re that guy that never praises and is always pissed off, you can probably expect accommodation less than what you want. Just me opinion. No facts to back it up but the Missus works in Customer Service in the insurance industry. Extensive caller notes are kept on customers, referred to during calls and do influence the outcome.

  3. I had an issue with delta and a recent trip-i emailed what had happened including the fact that i had called delta and was told there was a website problem. the email response i got showed they did not even read my email of te details after 48 hours… Very disappointing…

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