As a Delta Diamond I am treated very well by Delta. When there are issues they, most times, do what they can to fix things within their power. But even as a Diamond there are limits. I have been charged change fees now and then but it is the exception not the rule. With SkyMiles issues it can be a real pain and especially so with partner airlines because Delta can not “force” space to open up. Now when Delta on Delta.com shows “phantom” inventory, that is, space that does not really exist, the fix can be Delta putting me on a Delta jet to that same location and matching the price (really the right thing to do since otherwise it is false advertising). With all of this in mind let’s look at what happened to one family flying Delta and their partners this past weekend.
“Delta cited difficulties in getting its partner, Shanghai Air, to accommodate the family, despite having 10 available seats. The family was initially told that the trip to Shanghai would cost more than $7,000 per ticket, but Delta later lowered the price to $3,125 per ticket.” – from dailycaller.com
Oh boy. Now before we get too deep into Tyler Davis’ twitter rants and posting of DMs with Delta, let me say that I do empathize with the family and hope the injured child fully recovers. Situations like what happened to them is one of the main reasons I carry yearly travel insurance that covers every trip I take – yes even ones I have not yet booked!
With that out of the way there is a lot I actually commend Delta for in trying to do all they could. Shanghai Air, who is called a Delta partner in the story is not yet a part of Skyteam (the alliance Delta is in). Delta was working to get a discounted one way business class ticket for the family so the child could keep his leg elevated, this is impressive. It may not have been cheap but Delta is not a charity and last minute one-way business class fares tend to cost a lot.
As it turned out, when the family did fly the booked Delta flights they had in coach, Delta had open seats and the child was, “able to lay down in an empty row with pillows propping his leg up from Phuket to Shanghai.” Per Mr. Davis on Twitter again.
I am all for calling Delta out when they do something wrong. But in this case I think they not only did all they could, but went beyond what they were required to do. Then, when things were under Delta control, they did “Strive for Five” in giving the child a row to himself. Well done, Delta and partners!
What do you say? Who is at fault with this one? Should Delta have stepped up and just changed the passengers’ coach tickets on Delta to business class on Shanghai Air? – René
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