Delta is once again bragging up the fact that they have 60 days where every flight flew (mainline). It is an impressive statistic that you can trust, if you book a ticket on Delta, that you will fly from A-B. But this really is not the entire story.
Mixed in with this 60 days of no cancellations are a bunch of nightmare flights like one talked about on FlyerTalk where folks were delayed by 7 hours and included 4+ hours on the tarmac and bathrooms becoming disgusting (and the flight then flying internationally after this arriving 10 hours late).
Let me share my personal example of a flight I had booked last week that was delayed by over 4 hours and landed closer to 5 hours later than scheduled.
You see myself, and a few others who were wanting to collect some MQMs to maintain our elite status with Delta, saw that Delta had scheduled a 757 with FULL FLAT seats from Salt Lake (SLC) to Philadelphia (PHL). Why did they do this you ask? I have no idea but they did and a chance to enjoy this new seat is why we booked this. Well, that and the fact that the 1st class ticket price was very good and booking in 1st class resulted in even more MQMs.
So the above two reasons were why we paid a 1st class fare and took the trip at all. Oh, and for a chance to enjoy a number of great cheese steak sandwichs too, but that is for another day as this is about the flights that were “not” canceled as part of this 60 day run for Delta.
We did not start our trip in SLC but flew up from Austin. That flight went fine but we did arrive very early and had a number of hours in the SLC Sky Club. Finally, it was time to go to the gate and enjoy the ride in full flat Delta ONE seat luxury. Well, not so fast. We have a mechanical Delay. Ugg.
Back to the Sky Club as it is going to take a while to fix our jet. No cancellations here, just a delay. I was fine with that as long as they did not end up swapping out aircraft for an old junky jet vs. what we had booked with Delta ONE.
If you guessed where this is going, you are right. They hauled in an old crummy airbus with seats that have to be 40 years old (I kid, a little).
When I say old and crummy I am not kidding. It was literally missing bits as you can see and we went from new and modern Delta ONE with power and IFE to what you see above. Oh and it gets better as the Delta ONE flight had 4 rows of 2+2 in 1st class and this bird only had 3 rows so 4 people were now downgraded to coach. Enjoy your non-canceled flight experience?
Thankfully none of my group of flyers were downgraded on a paid 1st class ticket to coach (would have been last straw) but we also did not get to go anywhere. You see, we did not have a copilot. I am not sure where our last set of pilot and copilot went for our flight hours ago, but now we only had one replacement pilot. Clearly the guy above (me) was not a good choice to fly us to PHL! So we waited on-board for an hour and no one showed up to fly with us.
Then, we happened to be sitting at an international gate. Well another non-canceled flight needed our gate. Plus, as it turns out, we may not use the jet we were all on. So, we are told we have to all get off this jet and go to another gate. Great. For my group, back to the Sky Club.
After a while we were assigned yet another gate and we were also assigned yet another type of aircraft (the 3rd type for the day). After this long of a delay Delta did the pizza thing and I really wish I had had more than one piece as the catering, in addition to the aircraft, changed the menu from what we were going to have when we boarded hours ago to the nasty lemon chicken thing they offered us when we at last flew. Yuck!
We did finally fly so no, Delta did NOT cancel our flight and break the 60 day streak. It was nothing like we had planned and we arrived so late in PHL that all we did was go to bed rather than our planned excursions for that day. But again, it was not canceled!
I do give credit for the Delta people doing what they could to make the situation better. The Sky Club folks (some of them) were helpful. The Delta tech did sorta alert me that I was having issues with my flights. The flight attendants were fabulous when we did at last fly, but keep in mind they only get paid once the boarding door is closed and they spent the better part of 4 hours doing lots of work almost for free until we at last flew (they get a tiny amount but almost nothing).
My point of today’s post is not a rant. I am happy Delta did not cancel the flight and make us have to scramble to find other flights. I like that Delta is so committed to completing a flight at any cost to be able to brag about so many days with no cancellations. But just know this record is not without some pain and some much delayed flights included in these amazing statistics! – René
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