Sunday Reader post: Fighting for a refund & Winning with Delta

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I love reader input. You all share so very much and your stories and experiences can help us all. This is especially important when it comes to Delta partners and non-partner booked tickets (let alone with Skyteam ones). This week Mary, a fellow Delta flyer from Michigan, relates what happened to her on a recent trip and thanks to a good paper trail she got what was promised by Delta!

Hello Rene & Delta Points readers. I wanted to share some good news re: Delta. Back in the spring I made reservations through the Gold Medallion Line for my husband and I to travel round trip to India for a meeting. We were routed through Dubai, ( 15 hr flight from Atlanta) but we were told we must take Emirates from Dubai to India and that Delta could put the Emirates flights on the same Delta ticket. ( I – of course – did not expect to get any miles on the Dubai – India portion, as Emirates is not in the Delta Alliance. )

We had a two night stopover in Dubai – which was interesting – and when checking in for our Emirates flight found that we were going to be charged for checked baggage a whopping $171.00 per bag ( together we had two bags). I was completely nonplussed, as I had checked the Emirates site and saw they had a completely generous baggage allowance. We calmly waited while the Emirates folks looked hard at their policies – and continued to come up with the same conclusion, though one could see they were not happy about it. So – we were just thankful we had our Delta AmEx and were able to charge these exorbitant charges. ( Afterwards, I was just mad at myself for being so naive as to not closely question the Gold Medallion folks about this policy, but who would have thought this would happen?)

Before we left India, we were able to speak with a woman running an excellent Indian foodie tour group, who had traveled a great deal internationally on Emirates, and she reconfirmed my research that Emirates had the generous checked luggage policy about which I had read. Returning from India to Dubai on Emirates, we decided to live in expectation that our Dubai experience would not be repeated – and it was not!!!!!! So our little adventure “only” cost us $342.00 instead of what could have been $684.00.

Needless to say, on our return, I first called the Gold Medallion Desk and told them my story, in the hope that nobody else would have to go through this – or, at the least, folks would be warned of the checked baggage charges. I asked to speak with a supervisor, and she was very concerned and connected me to the complaints department. I told them every little detail of our experience and then faxed them the appropriate paper trail copies.

First, I got $64.50 back, a refund I did not understand, but apparently had something to do with a refund of our Economy Comfort extra international charges. This did not make sense, so I kept on contacting a Delta rep, with whom I had a considerable email correspondence. In the end she sent our materials to the refund desk ( I think that was the name) and today she sent me an email, stating that the $275 plus would be sent by check from Delta. I should tell you that I identified myself as a reader of your blog, complimented Delta on their great staff, and stated my hope that they would do the right thing here. And I do believe all of that, having flown with Delta out of Duluth for the past however many years, and before that with Northwest ( which treated their employees badly – a painful situation to watch in this town where NWA was a fairly big employer).

So – thank you – for all your good advice on so many subjects, Rene……( I have dutifully written my complaint email about changes to the FF program in 2015 and have already received an answer!) I have no question that your rallying us Delta troops, so to speak, will make Delta folks think more about any more changes they might be considering. And thank you for your good advice about how to complain verbally to Delta, which you posted.

Thank you so much for sharing this Mary and well done for sticking to your “guns” and getting what was promised to you. We can all learn and follow your good advice, not just with Delta, but with all things travel that keeping notes and a good “paper” trail can aid us when things go wrong as they often do. I am, thanks to reader input, fighting to get what is owed me! – René

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  1. It would have been nice if Mary’s account actually stated what the “completely generous baggage allowance” was that she found on Emirate’s site, and exactly how that differed from what she encountered in Dubai. Also, your conclusion about “getting what was promised” does not relate to her story. She makes no mention of any “promise” from Delta. The reason that Delta would need to offer her any kind of compensation at all (other than as a courtesy to a Gold Medallion) is not explained. 😐

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