Family Books Trip Through Delta Airlines. Not Delta Air Lines.

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Guess what happens when you book a flight through Delta Airlines — not the air carrier Delta Air Lines?

A family going to Asia learned the hard way.

Susan Samples of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s WOOD-TV writes that Naomi Poel’s family was scheduled to visit Japan last month.

Just one hour before boarding, their flight was delayed — and they’d miss their connection.

“I was panicking really badly because we don’t travel a lot,” Ms. Poel said, “so we really don’t know much about how it goes and ‘are we going to miss the whole trip.’” (From what I gather, it sounds as though the family hadn’t yet arrived at their departure airport.)

A Delta Air Lines 767 is seen from the Delta Sky Club at Seattle SeaTac International Airport - SEA - in Washington state.

Her father-in-law hopped online and found “Delta Airlines Reservations.” That’s who they contacted for help — and to whom paid a $300 service fee to switch their flights.

Ms. Samples notes, “the flights did actually get booked so it’s clear there was no outright fraud, and there’s a disclaimer at the bottom of the site’s homepage stating it is not affiliated with any airline.”

The Delta Airlines rep allegedly told the family not to go to the airport. (Because, naturally, why would you possibly go to the airport to catch a flight?!)

That’s when the Poels became suspicious. They visited the airport’s Delta desk and discovered they’d been had.

Delta Air Lines to the Rescue

Delta Air Lines — the company that physically flies people in airplanes — rebooked the family’s trip for free. Because that’s what would have happened had they gone to the real Delta Air Lines in the first place.

Delta Air Lines also called Delta Airlines’ rep Daren French — and got him to refund the family’s $300 “reissuance fee.”

The Poels left the next day for the Land of the Rising Sun.

So What Does Delta Airlines Have to Say?

Ms. Samples reports Mr. French told the family, “We clearly told (Naomi Poel) that we are not Delta Airlines and we are a travel agency, but she said ‘can you please do something for me?’” (Ironically, WOOD-TV’s story doesn’t differentiate between “Delta Airlines” and “Delta Air Lines.”)

I went to the Delta Airlines website last night and checked them out.

Call me naive, but a company calling itself “Delta Airlines” — and whose website is delta-airlines-reservations.com — might be trying to trick people. Just a hunch.

I poked around their website a bit. To even search for flights, you must enter your name, phone number, and email address.

Um, no, thanks.

“We are solely [sic] act as an agent,” they disclose, “we create a connection between travelers and suppliers of travel services. We do not own or manage any kind of Travel Services. We don’t declare that we are airlines or are associated with any airlines. Entire branding is authentic for expressive purposes only and does not denote any involvement with any airlines or organization.”

Okay. So they’re upfront — despite their name — about that.

“Beyond just buying discount flights, we also help you find and guide flights with wireless and other facilities to make your trip enjoyable.” (Guiding flights with wireless? That sounds interesting.)

Essentially, Delta Airlines is trying to make a buck off the low-hanging fruit — or flyers, in this case.

So I Called Delta Airlines…

I decided to give Delta Airlines a ring last night, just to get a feel for their services. After I spent a few minutes on hold, a man with an accent not native to North America answered. I asked the rep if the company is affiliated with Delta Air Lines.

“We are an authorized help desk for Delta,” he said. “We work for Delta.”

“You work for the actual Delta Air Lines, the air carrier itself?” I clarified.

“Yes, we’re an authorized help desk for Delta.”

“So you’re paid by Delta Air Lines to work on their behalf?”

“We are an authorized help desk for Delta,” he said, getting a little impatient.

I asked where he was located.

After pausing for a minute, he said “Troy, Michigan.” I asked him why he’s in Michigan if the company’s address is listed as 1706 Folsom Street in San Francisco.

Click.

Yes, I know a company can have a home address in one state and reps in one or several other states. I was simply curious to hear his answer.

But never once did he try to sell me a trip, ask how he could help me, or book me on a flight.

I guess he doesn’t want me on Delta Airlines anytime soon.

—Chris

9 comments

  1. That Delta Air Lines doesn’t pursue this fraudulent company under applicable commercial laws is an outrage. The fraudulent company’s name is obviously intended to create confusion and profit off of same.

  2. I love Delta Airlines. I use them to book all my travel on Delta Air Lines. Best prices and service in the business.

  3. This is weird. If you google Delta Airlines the search results only brings up Delta Air Lines. Are you sure this is for real? Because any smart IT team…oops LOL!!! would have purchased alternate URLs to redirect if that kind of thing happened.

  4. Wow!! Just called them (had a few spare minutes) about a trip I’d already booked Richmond, VA to NYC. Was curious how they went about their business and what their pricing was. The “agent” had no idea what Richmond was, didn’t know how to list New York City as an airline code. When I challenged him, he insisted this was the “real” Delta airlines carrier, please wait, I’ll put you on with a supervisor who can complete your booking. Told him I’d call 800-221-1212 (Delta telephone number) and he told me there was no reason to, please wait for the supervisor to complete the transaction.

  5. PRETTY SURE THIS ISN’T A HOME GROWN COMPANY. OR ELSE THE WEBMASTER DIDN’T PASS BASIC ENGLISH. HERE’S A PASTED INSTRUCTION LIST FROM THEM:

    The era of the internet has made many things possible to do on your fingertips. However, sometimes, when the internet is not working, or the delta airline website is down, there is another issue. It would help if you traveled urgently somewhere importantly.

    To book the tickets then we need to take the old way. It’s not so old but calling to book a ticket is aged way.

    Here we are presenting a way to book delta airlines flights ticket through the phone. We hope it will help you. Who knows you call them and get a delta airlines deals.

    ● Get the number for Delta airlines reservations. It is located on the website, into the contact us page.

    ● Be ready with details, a pen, and paper.

    ● As soon as a Delta agent picked up the phone.

    ● Start asking about the flight details, any surcharges if delta airlines deals are there on your route.

    ● Ask a question on baggage; if you are booking right now, you get a delta airlines flights deals like waiving the baggage fee.

    ● Ask about the stops; the flight will make. Is it a non-stop flight, how many stops it will make? It’s essential to know the tiny details.

    ● Ask if there are cheaper flights on an alternate date, some time delta airlines deals are available on different dates.

    ● Ask if you need to manually check-in or an online check-in is included when you purchase the ticket from making a phone call.

    ● Will the ticket include additional charges? E-Ticket sometime saves money, so be through about it.

    ● Make sure to get a seat assignment, does delta airlines reservations provide seat assignment before booking or you needed to do it.

    ● Ask if the meals are free if there any delta airlines deals regarding meal on the flight.

    ● If you are frequent flier of delta airlines flights, ask if there is some benefit, you can get.

    ● If you are traveling with family or friends, ask them delta airlines reservations is giving some discounts with children or senior citizens.

    ● Be sure to revise and recap everything, like ticket prices, any deal you get, baggage fee. Everything.

    ● It will help you in the case; something changed after a few days.

    We hope this guide will help you. Get cheaper tickets on Delta airlines reservations.

  6. @Rich there are ways to do that, it’s called “load testing”.

    This is an outrageous story. I am glad that the real Delta made things good even though they didn’t have to (unless the other Delta really is authorized).

  7. Why doesn’t the deal Delta sue them for misappropriation and shut them down? Send this to general counsel at DL and watch the fireworks.

    In the meantime I fully support the strategy of calling the phony Delta AirLines and asking a lot of Qs

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