SkyMiles is not why I am loyal to Delta – the people who work for Delta are or at least are one of the biggest reasons I almost always fly Delta. There are very few times, if ever, I am not beyond impressed by those who work for the airline. Even those who are DGS or Delta Global Service contract folks are amazing.
But when things are crazy – sometimes things can slip.
This was not the case on one of the busiest travel days of the year i.e. December 26th. The gate agent you see above was simply amazing. Let me explain why and why I took the time to go up to her (standing in line) to warmly commend her for what she did.
Delta, a few years back, changed how elites are upgraded. The old rule was that the elite, when they had another person on the reservation, dropped to the lowest elite level (or non-elite level even). Then they made the simply incredible change to allow both the elite plus one more on the same reservation to both upgrade at the highest level of the two. Basically my wife becomes a “Diamond Lite” when we fly together (she is also a Diamond this year, but not each year).
The above, on paper, is sweet. But there are times that Delta reps do not always follow the rules due to any number of facts. Notice the photo of the GIDS at my gate (gate information display screen). At this point in my trip to Las Vegas to start my dinner mileage run to Brussels, Belgium this weekend the open seats had changed from 1 to 3. When it came time to clear upgrades how do you think it worked out with 2 singles and then a couple next up on the list?
What I have seen happen any number of times is the gate agent does what is quickest, that is, they jump over the couple i.e. the elite and their plus one and go to the next single since there is only one seat that remains.
That is NOT what this amazing Strive for Five Delta gate agent did!
I was at the gate early (about an hour before flight). The gate agent started calling for the couple who was third on the list. They did not respond to her three attempts over the intercom. She then processed my upgrade and the elite who was number two and then, despite the crush of people in line and around the desk, took the time to make three more attempts to contact the couple and they, at last, did show up at the gate and chose not to split and have one upgrade and the other fly in coach.
But I simply cannot applaud the gate agent enough that she took that much time to do the right thing. This kind of attention to detail and effort is what does drive loyalty when Delta CORP is taking so many steps to destroy loyalty by selling cheap upgrades. – René
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