Delta, you are “startin’ to damage my calm” with all these schedule / equipment changes & NO NOTICE AT ALL!

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startin to damage my clam

I am a HUGE Sci-fi fan. One of the best classic Sci-fi movies ever (and short lived TV shows) was Firefly or better know as Serenity. In the movie, when the bad guys called Reavers were chasing the good guys, the character Jayne Cobb, played by Adam Baldwin, says the line:

“She is startin’ to damage my calm.”

about character River Tam, played by Summer Glau. It was a really funny moment in the movie amid a disturbing series of events unfolding around them.

what i had booked

my delta jet was changed from a 757 to a 767 and delta gave me no notice about the aircraft swap renes points blog

All of this leads me to today’s post and why Delta, week by week including this past weekend, in another round of schedule change Saturday events (yes, check ALL your flights this morning), is making me so angry I can hardly see straight (and it is not just me). Notice the two screen shots above? Here is what happened.

Delta, for my flight back home from Florida, changed my aircraft type. They did NOT change the flight number or the scheduled time – just the type of aircraft they are using for the flight. So, Delta computers moved me to another seat (see the red X above) and it was not the seat I wanted at all. Thanks Delta.

Here is the most frustrating and irritating thing:

  • Delta did not tell me about this change nor would they ever
  • Delta has blocked Award Wallet from alerting me
  • Delta does not care if we don’t like it!

And this attitude is going to cost them. If you want to take and hit your toe with a hammer today, or just read how Will Allen’s, a Delta 5 million miler, seat changes cost Delta $10,000, either one will cause you just about the same amount of pain I think! The point is, Delta being “Delta” about this is not smart and they could fix this major problem if they just wanted to do so.

Let me back up for a minute and tell you I am normally a HUGE fan of the “Mighty Schedule Change” rules (see E8 post). The rule is amazing for those of us who want to find a LEVEL 1 business class award seat, a long way out, and can then for no extra points change to perfect routes when Delta destroys what we had booked by schedule changes. Perfect! Love it! What could have maybe been a LEVEL 5 award costs us what it should have cost all along, that is, LEVEL 1 award. But that has nothing to do with this or with the biggest issue.

Delta gives us no notice (most times)!

Delta is “smart enough” to create, not just one upgrade list from coach to first class, but now is making a second upgrade list from coach to C+ and then the option of C+ or coach to 1st class as well. Both will run in tandem, if you want. And as mentioned before, focus groups are right now giving feedback on what the new GIDS (gate information display system) or the monitors in the gate area will display where we are on these upgrade lists. But they are NOT smart enough to alert us that:

“Oh, hey, loyal Delta flyer, you know that seat you so carefully picked, on the perfect flight? Yeah we changed the aircraft type or number or time and our brilliant computers put you nowhere near where you wanted to sit. You may want to log on to Delta.dumb and see how messed up your seat choices and flights are! Sorry – NOT?” – Fake Delta alert notice

You know, I would love to get just such a snarky e-mail or just any kind of notice from the Delta mothership that all my careful planning is now out the window and I had better just deal with it. I am guessing you would like this kind of notice as well?

So Delta, your passion for hiding information from loyal flyers and not giving us notice is costing you money and is seriously damaging my, and others, calm. How about you spend some of the billions in earnings you are making and fix this MAJOR customer problem and irritation right NOW! – René

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  1. You’re right, it would definitely be nice if we got informed about changes. I check my upcoming flights on a daily basis (except on weekends when I decide to remain offline, but not always ;-)).
    A few months ago I stumbled upon some interesting equipment change for one of our flights in December. It was changed from a 767-400ER to an A330-300 we are flying in Delta One. The fun part was that our seat assignments didn’t change, we still had seats 2B and 2C.
    Well, oops, I was sitting in the aisle 😉
    Then another flight changed from an A330-300 to a 767-400ER and seat assignments remained … oops, we’re sitting outside the airplane.
    But usually it works that one remains inside the aircraft and with his butt in a seat. Well, flying with one’s butt on the aisle, is that called BOA?
    Anyway, it was somewhat funny and easy to fix, but still I had to find out about it myself, which is your point.

  2. Now I am curious. Do any airlines advise of equipment changes? I don’t think I have ever received one. I only recall schedule changes (time/flight #)

  3. @Denise – I don’t fly other airlines (yet) but if on a KLM flight or a Delta PNR with a KLM flight then Award Wallet can alert me in a day to any changes in seats. Delta blocks Award Wallet as they want folks to stay in the dark about these changes! 🙁

  4. Same thing happened to me on a recent vacation. Had the exact same 757 configuration. I decided to book early and pay for those same C+ seats for my wife and I since the rest of the plane was a 3×3. However our plane got swapped to a MD-90 (a 3×2 configuration) and our new seats were on the side with 3 seats. The side with 2 seats didn’t have a pair open in any C+ row. Very disappointing.

  5. Yup indeed. My son has a ticket TPA-ATL-AMS that originally had a 2.25 hour layover in ATL, which seemed pretty reasonable. Just happened to re-check reservation and noticed that they changed the TPA-ATL segment to a much earlier flight that now results in a 6.5 hour layover in ATL, The original flight still exists with plenty of seats, as do two other flights that would have layovers of 3 and 4.5 hours. So why in the good lord’s name did they make this change, and when might they get around to letting him know? We’re going to try to change it back to the original flight, but I’m afraid they will then just do another arbitrary change before he travels next month.

  6. American Airlines did it to me within the last week or so with NO notice until just a few days before departure, moving my flight from 10:15 a.m to 6:20 a.m! When I called, they rerouted me for free back to a 10:10 flight through another city, the seat I got was in the very back row directly across from the toilet door, but I was glad it wasn’t the 6:20 anyway!!

  7. I don’t fault Delta for changing their schedules/plane types. They have to do what’s right for the business. Though I agree that there should be some kind of alert, probably email, triggered so that you know to log on and check. In the specific example of 757 to 767, I’m not really sure what you would expect to happen as far as new seat versus old since one bird is wide body and one is not. I think the bottom line is, if you know this is a possibility, it’s probably worth checking your flights every-so-often.

  8. @JBrew – The key thing is giving notice. You may feel the domestic 767 is better than the 757 but the seat I had included basically unlimited leg room. Important to me and part of my flight choice. Plus, Delta did not have to do anything other than NOT do something. Award Wallet, in the past before Delta threatened legal action, would the next day simply alert me my seat had changed. I could then go look as you say. See my point?

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