~The Land of the Free - and Bad Airlines~
I've never had a very high opinion of American-owned airlines and this has been mostly based on the dreadful service I've had on multiple flights with that horrible carrier, American Airlines. After witnessing their policy of massive overbooking (which they laughingly claim is for the BENEFIT of their customers) resulting in families being split up across different parts of the aircraft and after getting a flight cancelled out from under me (despite being booked in business class and having confirmed it) I vowed to stay away and stick with European carriers for flights to the USA. Unfortunately when I needed to go to Atlanta in March 2011 there was no sensible alternative to flying with Delta. I didn't expect them to be brilliant but even my lowest expectations didn't prepare me for just how bad they were. My company paid a ridiculous price of over £1600 for my return ticket but if the flight had cost £300 I would have considered it to still be poor value.
~Can these guys get anything right?~
I checked in online the day before my flights and on each occasion the online check in gave me precisely zero option to change my seat. Surely that's the point of online check in - log on early enough and you can change your seat. But in this case you get what you are given and take it or leave it.
My flights were in the last week of March from Manchester to Atlanta returning later the same week. In each case the flights were absolutely full to bursting which surprised me at what should have been rather an off-peak time. I hadn't realised of course that most of the people on the plane probably weren't actually going to Atlanta but were transiting on and using the airport as a hub.
Lowering my expectations before we flew I told myself not to expect too much. Quite possibly they wouldn't have on-demand video on the seat back TVs. It would be a good idea to pick up a sandwich just in case they had no vegetarian food, and I thought I might be a bit cramped. I didn't bargain on a plane smaller than those that European airlines would use for flights no more than 3 or 4 hours in duration which looked like it had been in service since before the moon landings. My seat back TV concerns were blown out of the water by discovering that on-demand video (which I take for granted on flights to what most people consider the less developed parts of the world) would be two steps ahead of what Delta were offering - i.e. no seat back screens at all. If you wanted to watch a film there was no choice at all and the screens were far enough away to make viewing difficult and uncomfortable.
With 2-3-2 configuration only one seventh of the economy passengers is going to get stuck without a window or aisle seat so I suppose they could claim that's a good thing. In reality they've squeezed far too many seats into the 767 aircraft and nobody's going to have much fun.
~How many people can you squeeze onto a plane before they explode?~
On the way out I had a window with no view because I was over the wing. I gave up looking out of the windows a long time ago so it was no issue for me. I was also lucky to get a very nice lady next to me to share magazines with and indulge in some "Would you believe how primitive this airline is?" moaning. The seat was only of short-haul width and short-haul leg room but I wasn't majorly uncomfortable. Sadly the same couldn't be said for the return flight where I had the bad luck of being on the aisle in the row behind the bulk head.
The guy in front in his military fatigues had plenty of leg room, a nice deep recline right into my lap and was fawned over by crew and fellow passengers the whole way with crew members telling him it was an 'honour' to serve a hero. Pass the sick bag PLEASE. I was crammed into a seat with less leg room than I'd get on Ryanair (I'm not exaggerating - I checked) and no space to read, use my laptop or eat my dinner. With nowhere to put my legs my left knee crept into the aisle where the flight attendant (I like to call them stewardesses because they really hate that) aimed for it each time she went up the plane with her trolley. She tried to tell me off for my errant body part. I asked her where she suggested I put in bearing in mind I had one of America's finest in my lap and no leg space at all. She told me she "could care less but don't put it in my aisle". Maybe I should turn round and cramp the space of the poor guy in the middle seat who got hoodwinked into giving up his aisle seat by a bossy old bag of a stewardess who promised him a better seat further up then forced him to go back and move to the middle. He told me any further acts of self-sacrifice that he undertook would be strictly indulged in on solid ground and not on a Delta aircraft.
The plane was cold in both directions and the blanket supplied was thin and inadequate. We didn't get any kind of amenity pack on the overnight flight and that was a real surprise. I expected a toothbrush, an eyeshade, maybe a plastic pen for filling out my paperwork. I don't think this was an unreasonable expectation since every other airline I've ever done an overnight flight with provides such things. Delta don't appear to want to give you the time of day let alone a ten cent pen and a titchy tube of toothpaste.
To be fair not everything about the two flights was completely crappy. Almost everything but not quite. The crew on the Manchester to Atlanta leg were the sweetest, cheeriest and jolliest flight attendants I've ever had the good fortune to travel with. They were also the oldest cabin crew I've ever seen on a flight. It was a bit like flying with a crew of retired beauty pageant contestants who'd all perfected their smiles and chirpy quips of "Y'all have a good journey now". The food was not awful and they had plenty of vegetarian dishes since the choice was "chicken or pasta" both ways. The did some fun things like handing out pizza and ice-cream on the way over to Atlanta but the food on the way back was less interesting. Unfortunately there's not enough pizza and ice-cream in the universe to make up for no legroom, inadequate entertainment and stroppy stewardesses. We joke about flying cattle class but I suspect that there's probably EU legislation in place to ensure that farm animals get better treatment and more space than Delta's economy passengers stuffed into an elderly Boeing 767.
I normally ooze jealousy when I have to go long haul in economy but the facilities in business class weren't much better. When did BA and Virgin introduce flat beds in business? It must be 10 years ago or more. Delta are still using old reclining chairs and even they are crammed too closely together. If I was pissed off about £1600 and no leg room, I'm pretty certain I'd have been even more annoyed at £5k and a reclining chair.
Hell really will freeze over before I book another Delta flight. I now know why BA claim to be 'The World's Favourite Airline' - it's because jokers like Delta are their competition. I'm sure their name is meant to reflect their geographic headquarters and not the grade that their customers would give them. In my case, based on these two flights they'd not even scrape a D-grade - they'd be strictly 'unclassified'.
~One little thank you~
The day after I got home I was still sulking about what a rubbish airline Delta is when the postman brought an envelope with the Delta logo. I told my husband "If that's an invitation to join their frequent flyer programme they can stuff it". I had to eat my words. One of my Moleskine notebooks had fallen out of my handbag in the luggage bin and Delta had found the address inside and sent it home to me. For a few minutes I almost felt guilty for being so nasty about them - but I quickly got over it!
I flew with Delta earlier this summer, from Manchester UK to Houston. I chose to book with them via STA as they offered a fairly significant student discount. Being on a budget, the price was the main factor for me in choosing this airline. The flight itself was split into two legs. Manchester --> JFK --> Houston on the way out, and Houston --> Atlanta --> Manchester on the way back . There were positives and negatives, but overall I'm not sure the airline would be my first choice for transatlantic flights in the future.
Just a quick note - if you book via a travel agent it appears you cannot pre-book seats on the website, only watch as the planes fill up and the only remaining seats are miles apart. It is a quirk of STA, I believe, that each booking is processed separately, so although I was not travelling alone, there was nothing at the check in desk to link my companion's booking to my own. Arriving at check in, having had our visa / ESTA documents checked in the queue, it was naturally the case that the plane was full. We were informed we had 3 options: to be allocated seating far apart on the plane, pay $80 to upgrade and be seated in economy plus, or wait to be allocated seating at the gate. We chose the latter option and were pleased to find that we had in fact been allocated the economy plus seats at the gate, which meant we were able to sit together without the charge.
The first plane (between Manchester and New York) was an ex-NWA Boeing 757, rebranded in Delta colours - old but clean enough. The crew were friendly, although we didn't have any questions so didn't see much of them. First service is drinks, and wine and beer, tea, coffee and soft drinks are free for everyone. You also get pretzels or peanuts. Spirits are free in economy plus and business, or $7 in economy. The food service was good, with a choice of vegetarian pasta or chicken. I had the pasta, my companion had the chicken. You also get a salad with a little oil / vinegar shaker a biscuit, a bread roll... the usual. A few hours later there was a second meal service with a cheese and tomato pizza (like a Micro Pizza, if anyone remembers them, but much nicer) and a small tub of ice cream. In fairness to the crew, they were very liberal with the drinks, and the beaker of wine they gave to me was huge.
All passengers on the transatlantic flight had a small red blanket and a small pillow. Entertainment was on overhead screens, which I thought was a bit old fashioned. I didn't watch the films, but there were 2 or 3 during the course of the flight, and a television show too.
We landed into New York on time and without issue. Customs was ok, but the baggage took a while to come round. Not Delta's fault, I imagine. We re-checked our bags, went through security and left the airport as we had an 8 hour lay over, returning in 2 hour's good time for our Houston leg. In the time between our return to the airport and passing through security for the third time, the weather had turned bad. The flight to Houston was cancelled along with many other internal Delta flights. All the international flights were still leaving, and although we were in the Delta terminal at JFK and I couldn't see the other airline's details, many other aircraft were taking off and landing. I'm not qualified to comment on their decision to cancel the flights, but their handling of the situation was unbelievably poor.
When your Delta flight is cancelled from JFK you go to Gate 24, which is not a gate at all, but their customer service desk. You cannot get any where near it of course. They've cancelled about 25 flights over the past half hour and all the passengers are desperate to rearrange. The queue was long and slow. Naturally those who qualify for Sky Priority are treated quickly, the rest of us ignored by that area of the desk. I got to the front after about 90 minutes in the queue. The lady in front of me at the desk was sat in a wheelchair and shouting and creating such a commotion you would not believe. She was allocated a hotel. All was calm. And I was called forward. Having travelled across the Atlantic for the first time, with the time difference and all I was exhausted. The woman couldn't have cared less, she started rebooking us on flights for the next day. I said we'd travelled a long way and were very tired, we were on a budget with no money and nowhere to stay. She gestured to the floor. Oh no. I asked why the other lady had been given a hotel. She is sick (she wasn't "sick" per se, I overheard everything she was shouting. She had type 2 diabetes). The wheel chair was a convenient prop as the next day the woman was in Starbucks walking around comfortably with a large cream frappuccino. This annoyed me. It seemed to be purely a case of how loud you shout. She booked us on flights for 3.50pm the next day, connecting via another airport (Atlanta) and then a further plane to Houston. Apparently, in "exceptional circumstances" such as the weather, no one is provided with a hotel by the airline (unless you shout and bawl ungraciously). We were given a slip of paper telling us to contact a company for the "best available prices" of hotels in New York. This was not an option for us. The lady cared not one iota. We walked away. We realised sometime between 15 minute dozes in the airport - myself on the chair, my companion on the floor, that we'd been seated separately on the rebooked flights, and furthermore that we had only been issued meal vouchers in the name of my companion. Delta were unsympathetic, uncaring and unhelpful. Even the most meagre customer service skills can make a massive difference in these situations. I've never in my life been treated like such an inconvenience.
Unfortunately, it gets better. Having spent the $18 vouchers on dinner and breakfast in the airport we were broke. We counted down the hours to the plane to Atlanta. We just wanted to leave. Then we noticed on the board that the plane to Atlanta was late. So late, in fact that we were going to miss our connection from Atlanta to Houston. Rather than risk being stranded in another airport, we decided to make the trek back to Gate 24. A different customer service assistant this time. She agreed to rebook us on the flight to Houston direct from New York - the same flight we should have been on the day before. She messed up the boarding cards and had to call her supervisor. The supervisor was immeasurably rude. Despite us having cleared security 3 times she requested to see my passport. I handed it over. Then she needed to see my companion's. I left to go and get him, while I sat with the luggage - as of course, woe betide anyone who leaves luggage unattended in an airport (and also I had my laptop which I didn't want to leave). She saw him. Then he came back and said she needed to see us together with both our passports, which - I'm sorry - to me, makes absolutely no sense. I was furious. I packed up all the hand luggage bits we'd been using including my computer, and dragged all our stuff over to Gate 24. She barely looked at my passport (why would she, she'd already seen it?!), slammed it across the desk along with the boarding cards and walked off. I was in stunned disbelief. We had now been up about 26 hours.
The rebooking was a 8.40pm departure. This meant another 6 hours or so and having only had one meal we were getting hungry. I went back to the desk and asked if I could have the food vouchers that should have been issued to me the previous evening when we were initially cancelled. I was told that they could not issue food vouchers except in exceptional circumstances such as weather, but the lady would give me one $6 voucher. Right, between 2 of us, when we've only had breakfast. So no hotel when you need one, no food when you need it. Seemingly what they can and cannot issue depends on a. the assistant's whim and b. whether and how loud you shout.
We were so beaten down by now. Sat in JFK, terminal 2 - a small Delta only terminal with absolutely nothing besides a rip off Boingo internet service, a Wendy's and a Starbucks. We sat watching the board as our flight time drew near. All we needed to make this brilliant adventure complete was a delay. We joked, even laughed, that knowing our luck that would now happen. Sure enough, our flight time came and went. Three and a half hours after our scheduled departure time we finally left the airport. That's a total of nearly 28 hours since we should have flown out of New York, making it a 35 hour layover with just $24 (£15) to live off from Delta. This means the duration of our journey was 47 hours Manchester take off to Houston touch down. My companion and I were exhausted on arrival, having endured in excess of 50 hours without sleep.
The final flight, and I say final because it felt like the closing chapter of a novel, in fact it was only leg 2 of 2, was pretty uneventful. The plane was a tiny little CRJ-900 and it wasn't full. There was a drinks only service. Biscuits (cookie) and a soft drink complimentary. I imagine you'd have to pay for alcohol, unsure if it was served as I was beyond being able to give anything my full attention. The pilot shook our hands as we got on the plane, which was nice, but there was some complicated procedure about valet hand baggage, and pink labels that I wasn't familiar with never having travelled on a US domestic flight before. In the end I was allowed to take my bag on the plane, so I imagine the pink tag was superfluous. Over the PA the pilot asked us to kindly be nice to his crew (2 of them) as they were pushing their hours to make our flight, having been late inbound from Minneapolis (cause of the additional 3 hour delay). My only thought as we taxied out to the runway sitting in a long queue, was "please can our bags be on this plane". To the credit of the baggage handlers at JFK, our bags did indeed arrive at Houston. There were only about 3 checked bags on the entire plane. 2 belonged to us. One came round the carousel, one was already in baggage services as I marched over to ask where might I locate it.
Perhaps it is worth noting, that while in the USA for 2 months I flew domestic flights several times with budget carriers. I found the service to be equal or better to Delta. Having said this I maybe didn't appreciate the Delta domestic experience as I spent most of the JFK-Houston flight shivering and shaking uncontrollably.
The return flight was fairly unremarkable. In this it was overwhelmingly superior to the outbound flight. We arrived at Houston and checked in, again being seated miles apart (we were told we could ask to change at the gate). In an absolute contrast to JFK Delta staff, the Houston gate staff actually changed our flight, so we would have a more reasonable change over time at Atlanta (it would have otherwise been 40 minutes from domestic touch down to international take off). You cannot imagine our relief, as I tell you we were foreseeing another night on the airport floor.
The Atlanta - Manchester flight was operated by a Boeing 767. It wasn't quite full. To my disappointment there were no seatback screens - just overhead ones. I've flown UK charter airlines on short and medium haul routes with much more comprehensive entertainment packages, and infinitely superior hardware. Anyway, the drinks service was the same - food not as good as the previous transatlantic flight, with barbecue chicken or pasta offered. I went for the chicken, which was nice, but placed atop a bizarre sweet potato / cinnamon mash, with green beans. You got a brownie with it and a bread roll. The second meal service was a tiny little omelette with flecks of red and green inside it, on a sort of bread roll, served in a plastic wrapper. You also got a banana (I don't like bananas) and a small cup of orange juice (best bit). For some reason both the tea and coffee during this flight were disgusting. The coffee tasted burnt and the tea like it had been made with soap water. The announcements from the captain were a bit misleading as it took us a lot longer from when he said we would be landing to when we did land, and people were beginning to shift uncomfortably in their seats, 40 minutes after he said we should have landed and we were still up in thick cloud.
The landing itself, appropriately to the entirety of my experience with Delta, was bumpy. A massive big bump of a very rough landing, which I am led to believe, means the pilot has attempted to land the plane too fast. Whatever the reason for the rough landing, we were all delivered to the gate at Manchester, safe and sound, and roughly on time. I suppose that's the most important thing overall, but I had a very uncomfortable experience with Delta, and I would certainly have some major hesitations before booking with them again. It would have to be the last option in a set of circumstances where I really needed to get somewhere before I would consider it.
I've tried to present the positives with the negatives here, so you can make your own judgement, but since discussing my experience with others, both in the USA and the UK, it seems that Delta is something of a repeat offender. During my time in JFK I googled the flight stats for the New York - Houston flight, and saw that not once in the period looked at (standard for all flights, 6 months I think), not once had it left on time. Moreover, there were a number of occasions of severe delay or cancellation. Perhaps I have only myself to blame, but what I would advise others to do is to check the performance of the flights before you book them. Delta may be relatively cheap, but it is absolutely not worth it if you have to deal with their customer service staff. I would also avoid flights which involve a connection in New York JFK. The Delta staff there are appalling. I genuinely do wish you the very best of luck if you take the plunge and decide to book with them, I only hope you don't need it.
Had tickets to fly Miami - Atlanta - Manchester.
Flight to Atlanta cancelled due to snow so put onto same flight following day. Stayed in hotel overnight at own expense because snow is 'an act of God'. Queued at Service desk for 3 hours, they wouldn't let us fly anywhere other than Atlanta. Very unhelpful.
Following day flight to Atlanta delayed so missed connection to Manchester. Put on next flight 2 days later. Again hotel would be at our own expense. Tried to get flight to London instead told by Service Desk not possible because we had booked to Manchester. Some passengers managed to swap, many didn't. Some passengers received free hotel vouchers and meal, most didn't. Queues to Service desks horrendous. Advisors on phone hopeless. Customers Services THE WORST I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS.
Managed to get last flight of day to London simply by standing on the desk and harrassing the staff. Got last 2 seats on plane. Flight itself uncomfortable and cramped.
Luggage missing and still waiting for it.
AN AWFUL EXPERIENCE. DREADFUL! DO NOT USE DELTA!!!!!
Horrible company as well as personnel. Our flight was canceled because it snowed two days ago, they put my fiance and me on stand buy for 8 hours. During the seat assignment the delta ticket personnel knew we are flying together especially when my fiance was pregnant, she offered one seat only to her and not me and gave 3 additional seats to people after me!!!! I feel disgusted by this whole experience and will never ever use this airline!
Delta doesn't respond to ruquests at the ticket gate, I was assured my father's connecting flight would be in LA but instead was another flight later. On our return trip no ac although several complaints were made by other passengers. I will never fly on this substandard airline for the rest of my life.
Had great flights with delta from manchester to nyc. plenty of legroom. good in seat entertainment. free drinks on request(non alcohol only). Couldn't really ask for any more than they provided. Delay on the tarmac for return flight due to storms but ample info and refreshment given. Seats are comfy and lokk like leather so dont swaet and cabin temp is also spot on. No problem at all
Very dissatisfied - will never fly delta again. I was at the airport 1 hour & 10 minutes before my flight's departure, yet the plane was already booked. My original flight was scheduled for 4:40, then they had me on standby for the 8pm flight. After waiting for almost 5 HOURS with a 5 MONTH OLD INFANT that plane was booked too. At the airport they tried to book me as standby for another flight the next morning. After numberous calls to delta where they continuously told me there were no available permanent seats at John F. Kennedy Airport until days later, i asked the rep. not even at Laguardia? & there was!! These idiots didnt even bother to check flights at an airport less than 30 mins away!! I would never fly Delta Airlines again, even if they paid me to!! -- stick to US Airways & American Airlines!!
Are the Air lines companies selling flights that will never leave the ground till they full up the plane? Or is this just DELTA?
It seems that they sell flights that do not even exist, we go on line and there are all those flights leaving every day to Fortaleza, and I heard from the Delta employee on the counter that they do not fly every day to Fortaleza...So why do they sell it?
DELTA made us wait for our flight last night till they decide to cancel it. We were just about 70 people and the aircraft was for over 200, what do you think about that?
We bought tickets to go to Brazil from Chicago O'hare on Thursday March 19 that suppose to be in Fortaleza (north of Brazil) early in the morning on the Friday, March 20th . Today is the 20th and we are still in Georgia.
Our flight was canceled due maintenance problems, that they should know right the way, that it was never going 'to take off' and they made us wait till over 1 AM at the airport to decide to send us to a hotel.
Now we have a ticket for tonight 8:40 PM flying to Rio de Janeiro (south of Brazil), which is going conect us with a Brazilian air company (TAM) that supose to be in Fortaleza on the afternoon of the 21th , who knows it will happen since we have a passenger that is in Atlanta waiting to take off to Fortaleza since Tuesday... Oh well... DELTA?
By the way, We were all tired and upset with reason for that, and of course we were not happy with their first decision of making us to wait 2 more days for our next flight... and there was that blonde (B) woman at the DELTA counter screaming at us, what it was really rude and unprofessional.
... I am giving one star for our flight from Chicago to Atlanta...the flight was on time! but my decision is DELTA ? Better think twice, before buy tickets with them!!!!
I chose to fly with Delta over any other airline for my last holiday to California because having checked various sites they were the cheapest schedule airline to fly from Gatwick.
I discovered most airlines which fly to San Francisco only fly from Heathrow which was not an option for us - I learnt my lesson having carried suitcases around London Underground and on trains before (in rush hour) and it's no laughing matter with all the commuters. The next most important thing to us was how long the overall journey was going to take, and the times varied wildly depending on how long you were prepare to stop-over somewhere for refuelling. Generally speaking, the longer you are prepared to wait on a stopover the cheaper the flights will be. Delta had a very good choice of flights, with most of them stopping over either in Cincinnati, Atlanta or New York. Naturally we chose New York.
We were notified that we had to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before departure, so we arrived at Gatwick's North Terminal at 6am expecting to see the check in desks empty but that wasn't the case. It turned out that Delta is one of the biggest transatlantic carriers from Gatwick which I hadn't expected. So we joined the back of a long winding queue. The lady at check-in, or the ground staff as they're called, was fairly pleasant and asked all the usual questions (did you pack your own bags? Are you carrying any sharp instruments on your person? etc).
Having given all the required answers and having watched the luggage being weighed and sent on it's way, we wandered off to have a browse around the terminal, and so our journey began.
Our outward journey was expected to take 16 hours 45 minutes, with the journey to JFK airport taking 7 hours 55 minutes, a stopover of 2 hours and forty minutes and then the second flight taking 6 hours 10 minutes to get to San Fran International. All in all a very long time travelling.
The flight information we had told me that the planes we would be travelling on for all four flights were Boeing 767's, although I wouldn't know the difference, looking out at them from the terminal windows.
When we boarded at Gatwick we had to walk through the premium class section at the front of the plane to get to our economy seats. From the little I saw, the seats there were leather upholstered and with more leg room, having only six seats across compared to the seven in economy. There were only about seven or eight rows in this section as well - tiny compared to economy class. I realised when we sat down that the major drawback in economy class (which they don't advertise) is that they don't have seat back TV's! I thought that was standard with virtually every airline, even on short haul flights on charter planes. So you only have the one television and you have to crane your neck to see it hanging from the ceiling at the front of the plane. I'd expected better than this for such a long flight. I was also surprised to find the cabin crew had a far more casual appearance than on British airlines, with some of the women having their hair loose. I would have thought that wasn't allowed for health and safety reasons, but there you go - they do things differently over there. Also I feel there weren't as many chances to get soft drinks or water as I would expect, after all dehydration is one of the biggest risks when flying.
We landed safely at JFK airport in New York, and the only thing I can say is how disappointing! For such a famous airport, there was nothing there at all- only a few little coffee bars to speak of by the entrance. We spent the time watching the yellow cabs pull up with their passengers and go. The next flight to San Francisco ended up being delayed by 30 minutes and the Gate, if I remember rightly, was number 35, which we discovered was just about the furthest away it could be. On boarding this plane, the only difference was that first class was even smaller than before, with only four or five rows at the front, if my memory serves me correctly.
By the time we landed in San Francisco it was getting late and we were feeling very tired. I must have watched Wild Hogs, the film they were showing inflight three times already.
We then had a lovely holiday before heading back to San Francisco Airport in San Bruno for the return flights, three weeks later.
The man who checked us in was friendly and attentive, especially given the fact that it was still early morning. I remember thinking he reminded me so much of an older version of Ed Norton, the american actor!
Anyway we boarded, after only a short delay, and the flight back to JFK in New York was uneventful, until we actually touched down. As always, once the plane had taxied to the spot where we should alight, and the seatbelt lights went off, people jump up to get their bags. We then waited to disembark. And waited. And waited. I believe it was over fifty minutes before they would finally open the doors and let us off, although I can't remember because I was so tired I slept most of the time. The reason why I'm not sure, the cabin crew did explain that it was because we had to slot in with the other planes so we couldn't actually taxi to our gate any sooner, so they shooed all the people standing up back to their seats and tried to pacify them. I wasn't bothered provided we didn't miss our connecting flight back to London, because like I said, I was too tired to care much. Anyway, that was the only incident in all four of our flights. We did manage to disembark in the end and got our flight home with some time to spare. Again, I couldn't help noticing the more casual appearance of the american stewardesses, although that doesn't detract from the service they provide.
All in all, I found the airline to be a disappointment, because although the fares were very reasonable at £446 for two adults, the savings were obvious, such as the interior of economy being really basic and more suited to a short haul flight. Had we known the in-flight entertainment was so basic, it might have persuaded us to look at other airlines. However, in my opinion, the meals we had on all four flight were on a par with Virgin Atlantic, and so was the seat pitch, which is important when you're travelling for so long.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope it's of some help if you're thinking of flying to the States soon.
I was very disappointed in your customer service while booking a reservation. I was attempting to purchase a ticket online and was able to get as far as the "purchase" tab, when pushed I received a "we are experiencing turbulence" message. I had no way of knowing if the reservation went through so I tried the online chat with an agent. He asked for my skymiles acct. number and name and then asked for my credit card number. I told him that I wasn't comfortable giving him that information and insisted that he needed it to look up my reservation. I informed him that I would just call the 800 number and only at this point did he relent and tell me that he could use my phone number to look it up. I find it very disturbing that he would insist more then once that he needed my credit card info when he could easily look up the information with a phone number.
At this point I contacted the Skymiles 800 number. The man on the phone first attempted to put me on a flight at a time that I didn't ask for and at a much higher price then the one I was trying to book online. I gave him the flight numbers for the flight that I actually wanted and he rudely asked me if I wanted a longer layover; adding "fine I'll put you on the flight with the longer layover." He again tried to charge a higher price then what was listed online. When I asked him why it was higher I was told that there was a chare for him booking the flight. I understand that you have a surcharge direct booking but seeing as the first thing that I told him was that the website wasn't working it would have been logical for him to connect me at that time with someone that can help with web booking or had at least informed me that there would be an extra charge before I wasted my time speaking with him.
I asked to speak to a manager and was told that they don't have any managers. When I expressed disbelief at this statement he told me that the managers don't take calls and that he would transfer me to the internet support team. He informed me that they could book my reservation with no extra charge but if he was going to do it he would have to charge me. Once I was transferred over the person that helped me was much nicer but he said one of my connections that I had originally wanted was full. I was going to have to leave much earlier on both my flight to KY and my return flight to get a comparable price. He said that that was why I had received the error message. By now I had been on the phone with your staff for approximately 25 minutes and had been online before that for approximately 30 additional minutes so it was feasible that the flight had sold out. Regardless, I looked at the flight again and saw that there were 40 available seats (I counted). When I told him this he said I must have entered my credit card information incorrectly (I hadn't).
In the end, I wasted over an hour and ended up booking the flight that I had originally wanted online. In the process I had to deal with one online chat agent that lied about needing my credit card information, one rude and condescending reservation agent that lied about the existence of managers and didn't listen to my needs from the very beginning of our conversation, and one internet support agent that apparently had faulty equipment since he was telling me that a flight was sold out when it had 40 available seats.
This is the first time that I can remember that I have flown Delta and I am shocked that you are still in business. You're agents "the customer is always wrong" attitude is appalling. There were several times during the last hour that I wanted to tell one of the three people that I had to speak to that I would just find a different carrier and that was just trying to get a reservation. If the service during the flight and at the airport is anything less then stellar then you have defiantly lost a customer.
Me and my husband were flying from Frankfurt to an Atlanta. I don't need to tell you how long this flight was. So we came to the airport and our first surprise came when we had to pay crazy money for our luggage since it was too heavy. Well we paid what we have to and go to the gate wait for our plane. I have to say , it was my first flight with delta, so i was excited how it all would be. The seating was a little tight, but the attendants were very kind, professional and helpful. The meal was serving every three ours and you had a pretty good selection. Also the choice of beverage was huge and you drink whatever you wanted to. The captain kept us informed of flight information and weather at upcoming destinations, so that was very helpful.
I would definitely fly with them again and recommend them to the other passenger.
I flew out of MCI ... checked two bags, carried on two. I had a stop in Salt Lake City, which arrived late and had to run to my next plane that ended up being 45min delayed to Long Beach (final destination). We finally got onto the plane and arrived in Long Beach. I waited for my luggage that never came. Me and about 20 other people's luggage was missing. We all filed a claim.
I got my luggage almost 24hours later, from this sketchy Mexican man in a beat up Honda that didn't speak almost a lick of English. Delta hires these people, by the way. He handed me a piece of paper to sign, but before I did I checked my luggage to make sure everything was there ... it wasn't. (I never signed that paper)
My digital camera, case, extra battery, photo card, charger, DVD, socks, 30GB Video iPod, headphones, USB, gift cards and gum packs all got stolen out of my luggage. The delivery company didn't help me at all.
I called Delta and they left me on hold for 20 minutes only to drop the phone call. I call back a second time and was on the phone for almost an hour, most of the time on hold. The lady raised her voice at me, told me it was my fault and they aren't liable, and almost refused to send me the forms to fill out a claim.
I fly, on average, once a month and rarely fly with Delta. This isn't the first time I've had a complaint with Delta and they did nothing about it. My advice: DO NOT FLY WITH DELTA!
I have organized a soccer tour of the Caribbean (we were to land in St. Lucia) this December (2007). Over 50 people are attending; stadiums, hotels, transportation has all been booked and paid for. Nearly 20 people (fans/players) were booked with Delta.
This morning, passengers from one of the planes recieved an e-mail saying their flight is cancelled. They were offered a refund (but it will take a minimum of 60 days to return the money). I suppose Delta wants to illegally collect a little interest off of the payment before they return it.
Thousands of dollars will be lost on deposits, credit card interest and purchases. After spending 4 hours on the phone with the circle of Delta managers, liers, etc., nothing could be arranged by the person in charge of the bookings on that flight. They were told "Delta has no flights going to St. Lucia and nothing can be done"
After hearing this story while at work, I assumed obviously that I'd come home to an e-mail telling me the other flight is cancelled as well. Nope, our other flight (for now) is still running. I phoned Delta and the lady I spoke to (unaware of our other problems) confirmed that Delta still had a plane going to St. Lucia (mine) and that there were plenty of seats still available.
This company is a disaster. Literally a scam. I can do nothing to fight them, I can only hope to ensure no one else suffers from their deceitfullness!!! DO NOT FLY DELTA!!!
Awful, Awful airline.
I flew out to see my husband back in June and missed my connection from JFK to Boston. The connecting flight was a Delta shuttle. I was late due to a very long line at customs. I head out to the customer service desk to be greated by 10 people all standing there, talking with nothing to do.
I grab the attention of one lady, who looked as if I was ruining her day with just my presence. I explain to her the situation and she looked as if she couldn't care less.
"You'll have to take it up with the supervisor. He is over there."
She proceeds to point to a whole bunch of people, whom could have been the said supervisor. I ask politely exactly which one, or if she could perhaps get his attention. A huge sigh was my reply.
"He is that one! Get his attention. Go on!!" Still generally pointing in the direction of this group.
I walk over to the group and of course ask the wrong guy if he is the supervisor. They point to the guy behind me. Standing right next to him, I try to grab his attention. The guy completely blinds me and walks off.
I go back to the girl, rather annoyed to have been treated like that. She says "oh well you should have got his attention. Next flight is tomorrow morning. That's all we can do." She hands me some itinary and turns her back towards me.
The flight was in 10 hours.
Tired and disgusted, I called my husband and explained the situation. He managed to find me another flight that night with American Airlines (who were polite and very helpful).
During my stay we have the unfortunate luck to have to fly with Delta. We booked a trip to Vegas a month before we were due to go. We went through travelocity in order to get the best deal for it, but I have come to realise that paying would probably accounted for better service.
We get to the gate in order to find our seats, and discover we have to sit seperatly. Annoyed that even though we booked so far in advanced that this would be the case.
The plane was cramped and cold. The flight itself was fine but I was uncomfortable the whole way and there seemed as if there was no way to turn off the air con above me.
We flew US Airways back, which was a very smooth and pleasent flight, with polite staff.
Then came my journey home back to the UK.
Hoping I was going to have a different experience this time with Delta, I was proved otherwise.
The woman pulled a ton of stupid faces as I checked in.
"Urrgh they made a mistake with your return flight, it says it's cancelled." I explain that I didnt take the flight with Delta as I wanted to get to Boston that night and felt waiting 10 hours for a half hour flight was stupid.
My husband also confirmed this and the woman then proceeds to blame him for myself not being confirmed on the return flight.
The kicker is that this is all a load of rubbish. I was confirmed on that flight as I found on a journey to the BA desk. The woman there couldn't have been any more help as she explained that Delta didn't know what they were talking about and that I was still on this flight.
Returning to the Delta check in we went to another desk and showed the print out of my conformation to the woman.
"Urrrrgh it says you are cancelled here."
I proceed to tell her I missed the connection and there was nothing I could have done about it.
"Oh errr ok, I'll just go ahead and reverse this then, here is your boarding pass."
I was fuming.
The flight was cramped but smooth but the treatment I recieved with Delta ground staff was unacceptable and pathetic.
My husband and myself shall never be flying with this airline again, lest we can help it.
A work colleague has described to me a scenario that I would not believe if I had not seen the proof and the letters. The reason for this statement is as follows. Delta were due to fly the family from Orlando to New York so that they could catch their connecting flight with Aer Lingus to Dublin. Delta said that they were overbooked but would put them on a flight that would arrive at New York 2hours later that would still give them enough time to connect to their original flight home with Aer Lingus. No offer of any compensation was made. The later flight they were rebooked on arrived late in New York they said due to bad weather over Washington, however all other flights in to New York arrive on time, therefore they missed their flight with Aer Lingus. New York then had the power failure however Aer Lingus flights were mostly unnaffected after the cancellation of 1 flight. The family were then forced to sleep on the floors of the airport for 3 days with no money for food, no luggage and all they could do was fight with the check in staff to get a flight home, now this part is not Deltas fault however if they had not been overbooked they would have caught their flight home without any delay. So What is Deltas reply. They are only contracted to get the passenger from A to B and do not guarantee when that will be so therefore no compensation. I think this is totally disgusting. The family concerned would not go with Delta again and I certainly will not either after that treatment especially when it clearly states in Deltas contract that over booked customers should be compensated to the value of a one way trip for a delay of less than 2 hours and more thatn twice the fare if over that time.