Delta “Bags on Time” promise – simpler to find Delta’s award charts on #KeepDescending

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The above is one of my bags I use to go back and forth to Sweden. Delta & KLM are, ah hem, less than nice to our bags and my dearest bride has after every single trip got out the patch kit to keep them alive for another crossing in the belly of the cargo hold. But I digress. Back on topic.

I have not once blogged about the temporary “Bags on Time” Delta promo that is running to the end of this month. Why? I could see from the start that what Delta would simply do is just what they are doing again and again and again and again and… well you know (it would be simpler to find the award charts me thinks). The standard cut-N-paste response from the mothership to just about all claims has been:

“Thank you for contacting Delta Air Lines regarding your request for bonus mileage credit for a baggage delay.

After reviewing your flight information, we found that luggage from flight DLXXXX on February XX, 2015 XXXX was reported as arriving on time. Since checked baggage made it to the carousel within 20 minutes of landing, we are unable to apply the bonus miles to your account.

We are committed to getting you through baggage claim and on your way in a timely manner. We appreciate your business and thank you for flying with us.”

It really does not matter if you started a timer when the boarding door opened, you stopped the timer when your bags got there, and you could PROVE it took more than 20 minutes – Delta is, for the most part, saying no to everyone (just look at this FT 20 page thread for more proof)!

And you know it’s sad. If you look at the marketing for the promo is sure sounds great. Delta is committed to:

“We’re committed to providing you with reliable and on-time baggage service every time you fly. That’s why we’re backing your bags with a guarantee: if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less after any domestic flight through March 31, 2015, you are eligible to receive 2,500 bonus miles. Just complete the below form within three days of your flight’s arrival.” –

But the Terms & Conditions at the bottom of the promo page tell you even more:

“Eligibility: 20-minute Bag-to-Claim Guarantee bonus-mile offer valid on travel between February 19, 2015 through March 31, 2015. Offer valid on all domestic flights within the U.S. 50 and Puerto Rico, marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines. Itineraries that include Delta Connection and codeshare flights are eligible as long as the final leg is marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines. Customers must be a SkyMiles member in good standing at the time of travel and award of bonus miles to be eligible and must submit a request form with Delta upon completion of travel. Requests must be submitted via within three days of flight’s arrival. All claims must be submitted by April 3, 2015. Limit one request per passenger per outbound or return travel regardless of number of checked bags; requests for multiple trips must be submitted separately. Time to baggage claim will be as measured by Delta’s baggage tracking system, where available; lost, mishandled, and damaged bags are excluded. Oversize and overweight baggage and special items are not eligible.” – (bold mine)

So they have so many “outs” that they even can just point to the promo T&C and have an out. Either way, kinda like most rebate programs that just automatically say NO, I think most folks will give up and walk away and say “ah well”.

Some medallions are pressing it as they KNOW they are right and then Delta responds with the Delta points as a “good will gesture”! Oh thanks, you are giving me the points you promised anyway and it just took me griping about it to get what you promised. Thanks Delta!

Anyway, I just had to pop up a post as almost each day I get some reader telling me about this great promo and they could not find it on the blog. So you tell me, has anyone, without complaining twice, had their claim instantly approved (or is this just a snipe hunt)? – René


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  1. That is exactly what I said when they came out with this junk. It will be their word against ours. They will always win. I won’t even bother to write a complaint.

  2. I filled out the form for my wife and me, and I noticed 2500 miles in each of our accounts about 2 weeks later without any follow-up. It was a 20 minute wait for most of our bags at JFK, but the ski bags took 25 minutes. Expected them to deny this on the basis that “oversize” bags are excluded, but they did honor the promo for us.

  3. I notice the wording says “if your checked bag doesn’t arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less after any domestic flight”… etc. But how can they possibly measure in time whether my particular bad gets to me in 20 minutes or less versus, the very first bag to reach the carousel. There have been several times my bag came out a good 10 minutes after the first bag reached it’s passenger. And there have been many times that 50 bags or so that are NOT Sky Priority have come out ahead of my bag or most Sky bags. So how do you defend that? Am I supposed to somehow video from the moment the door opens all the way to the time I reach the carousel and when my bag actually gets to me? I just might. But I think they left themselves open to interpretation from their passengers with that wording.

  4. This guarantee appears to be total nonsense. I had one of my bags arrive 20 hours late, including being tracked by Delta baggage department and delivered to my home. And I got the same response.

  5. You should take up a collection to buy one or two of the cute chipmunk bags from the tv commercial, personalize it, then take a video from deplaning to baggage pickup. When the varmint suitcase shows up late, looking like it just lost a MMA fight, that would make a great metaphor for a frequent flier.

  6. Ah the good old days. Not now mind you as 2,500 SkyRubles are not worth arguing over IMHO despite the limited 10K one way awards that are the current flavor of the week to make us forget the past digressions. I’m talking about a year or more when I would get back to TIA to find one of my 3 or 4 bags (don’t judge it was tools for work) had not made it on the flight but was on the next one. Usually 5K to 10K points plus drink or food voucher plus they took my cell number and called me when the bag arrived so I could leave the bar, walk to my car and drive curbside where Delta people would roll all my bags to the curb and help me load them in the car. THAT is what I miss about Delta. Same people now just shrug and tell me they can’t do it anymore. It’s OK, I still love my TIA Delta crews – and I still despise management.

  7. I’m a Diamond Medallion and my girlfriend is a Gold Medallion. We recently flew together on the same reservation, and our bags took 23 minutes to arrive, based on the flight arrival time and the app’s baggage tracking (I took screen shots of both). I submitted requests for both of us. I received 2500 miles with no issues, but my girlfriend received a denial email. We’ll ask them to reconsider hers since they awarded miles to me. Interesting that status evidently matters.

  8. I told them that I had a video with the arrival monitor (which had the time on it) and then my bag arriving (showing it was 45 minutes after landing) — which I did have because I mistrusted the guarantee — and after initially refusing me with the exact email quoted above, they gave me the 2500 miles as a courtesy.

  9. @Mark — “I had one of my bags arrive 20 hours late, including being tracked by Delta baggage department and delivered to my home. And I got the same response.” The promotion terms and conditions specifically exclude lost, mishandled, and damaged bags, presumably because Delta issues other (i.e., greater) compensation in those instances.

  10. I haven’t even bother to file a claim. On March 1, I flew MCO-DTW-DCA. The second leg was 2 hours late due to all of the snow that day. So, we landed in the nation’s capital at about the same time as several other flights, causing a clog for the luggage.

    My bag arrived 25 minutes after the door opened. I knew for a fact that the Sky Priority clerk at MCO had tagged it for priority handling but it was the last bag displayed from the flight. #FAIL! The whole process took 8 minutes, which meant that the carousel began turning 17 minutes after the aircraft door opened.

    Since the bag was undamaged, I counted my blessings. Now that I know that the mothership has gone out of their way to thwart legitimate claims for compensatory SkyRubles, I am glad that I restrained myself. In fact, I feel vindicated because, when I first saw the promotional announcement in a newspaper last month, I was skeptical.

  11. Agreed on the bag damage! The last three times I’ve flown, delta has ruined my bag. Any suggestions as to an indestructible luggage brand?

  12. I think the biggest problem is that people believe that it is for their individual bag which obviously isnt the case. Unless there is someone scanning each bag as they drop on the carousel, there is no proof that your bag made it or didnt make it before the 20 min mark. They should have worded the promotion differently. I submitted my claim this morning from last nights flight. The only concern I have is there is no email notification that they received the claim or from what i have read, that they notify you when it is posted. Ill keep my eye out.

  13. I just now learned of this promo, and submitted four claims (me, my wife and our two kids). says DL1845 arrived at 9:15pm last Saturday, and our bags (with yellow priority tags) were the very last down the chute. As soon as they appeared, I texted for parking pickup. That was 10:01pm, so 46 minutes. But I’m submitting 5 days after landing, so I guess I have even LESS hope of success. 🙁

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