0 points to Delta for Customer Service this trip.
I’ve had some pretty bad experiences… flights delayed, flights overbooked, flights cancelled, etc… but previous airlines have always tried to make it up to me somehow… getting me a hotel for the night if I’m stuck overnight, giving me a flight voucher for the next time I fly, etc.
Today, I attempted to fly Delta from La Guardia, NYC to San Jose, CA with one layover in Minneapolis, MN. We were on time for our first flight, which was scheduled to depart La Guardia at 2:28pm. We were scheduled to arrive in Minneapolis at 4:30 and to depart again at 5:10 for San Jose.
Well, our first flight boarded mostly on time, although it took a little longer than necessary to board. By the time we were actually ready to leave, we were already 15 minutes behind schedule. We then sat at the terminal for another 15 minutes. When we finally pulled out for the runway, we were told that we were facing about a 30 minute wait due to traffic congestion on the runway. We proceeded to sit on the tarmac for another 30 minutes, in an extremely long line of planes, waiting to depart.
We successfully took off at 3:30pm, one hour late. We were “rerouted” to take a more direct route, supposedly saving 20 minutes of flight time, and still proceeded to arrive in Minneapolis at 5:30pm, one hour late.
Given that our connection was scheduled to leave at 5:10… and was of course on time, it left without us. When we offboarded our plane from LaGuardia, we were told to scan our next boarding pass over some scanner and it would print our new itinerary.
The new itinerary said we were now scheduled to depart Minneapolis at 7:05… the next morning, with a stopover in Salt Lake City. It also said that our seats were unassigned… meaning the flight was overbooked and there was actually no guarantee we would have a seat.
This was sounding somewhat bad. We asked customer service to check for any other flights that might be departing for the Bay Area, such as to San Francisco or Oakland. Apparently Delta doesn’t fly to Oakland, and the only flight to SF was completely booked.
Resigned to having to stay in Minneapolis for the night, we asked for a hotel room. Generally, when flight problems have required me to stay overnight somewhere I did not intend to stay, the airline has put me up in a hotel room. But… not Delta. Apparently it wasn’t Delta’s fault that our plane was delayed, and thus not Delta’s fault that we missed our connection and are stranded for the night… but they can get us a “discount” at their partnered hotels. The manager honestly looked at me and told me that the mezzanine of the airport was open all night if I needed a place to sleep.
Ok, I can understand it being my fault if I was just late to the airport and missed my own flight… but to tell me it was my fault I missed my connection is asinine.
Further, the customer service representative told us that LaGuardia has been having construction on one of its runways, so a lot of its traffic has been getting rerouted and causing delays. This tells me… that they already KNEW my flight was going to have delays getting off the runway. Therefore, they should not have publicized my flight as arriving in Minneapolis at 4:30… because that would imply that it was going to take off right away, which they already knew it would not. Therefore, they were setting me up to miss my connection from the moment I bought the tickets… but it’s my fault.
It wasn’t until we went back later and asked to be put on Standby for the booked flight to San Francisco that they even considered it. Fifteen minutes later, the lady came back and handed Ted 2 standby tickets saying “here” and then carried on with her evening. Two hours later, we were finally awarded the last 2 standby tickets on a full flight. And somehow, the seats were even next to each other.
We have never felt so wronged by an airline, nor so poorly treated by a customer service agent… but we’re home!