Compensation Clinic: Delta Air Lines Reroute Due to Mechanical

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When irregular operations hit due to weather, maintenance  or crew issues, the passenger can usually be rerouted to his/her final destination via alternate flights especially in the US where Delta has number of hubs.

Compensation Clinic Delta Air Lines

Sometimes, however, the agent rerouting you might make promises that later are not honored that turned out to be the case on the following Compensation Clinic piece.

Remember that you can always email me about your compensation experiences and I will each case here on LoyaltyLobby every Sunday.

Here’s email that the reader sent to Delta using the web form:

I am requesting payment in the amount of $284.00. This is the cost of my hotel and dinner in Minneapolis on the night of June 19, 2014. Receipts are available as proof.

When I arrived at the Pittsburgh airport on June 19, 2014 I was informed that there was an issue with my scheduled flight #3582 to Cincinnati due to maintenance and it would be necessary that my flight be redirected so I would be able to reach my intended destination of Las Vegas. The agent offered several options, none of which allowed me to arrive in Las Vegas until June 20.

I eventually agreed to be redirected through Minneapolis understanding that it would be necessary for me to spend the night in Minneapolis. The agent in Pittsburgh assured me that as the redirect was due to maintenance issues that Delta would provide a hotel for me in Minneapolis at Delta’s cost. This information was volunteered to me. I did not demand anything, but once informed of this I trusted that Delta would be do as she said and did not make alternative arrangements for lodging while in Minneapolis. When I asked for a voucher or some type of proof of my hotel in Minneapolis, the agent assured me that it would be available as soon as I landed in Minneapolis.

When my new flight #2002 arrived in Minneapolis I inquired with the gate agent as to where I could pick-up my hotel voucher. He asked for my ticket and then sent me to the customer care area in the terminal. At the customer care terminal an obviously stressed agent was standing guard at the head of the line to catch customers before they waited in line. While this is a good theory, she unfortunately was of little help and seemed to just be doing anything she could to get people to go away.

When I explained my situation she quickly cut me off and matter-of-factly informed that Delta was out of hotels for the night. After further inquiry on my part, she said that there was nothing that she or Delta could do for me as weather had caused multiple issues and that I was on my own.

Nothing else was offered or up for discussion according to the obviously stressed agent. So I find myself in Minneapolis in the evening with nowhere to stay and few options readily available. Had I not been assured in Pittsburgh that Delta was going to be providing me lodging in Minneapolis I would have easily made other arrangements before being stuck in Minneapolis.

I eventually was able to independently secure a room at the Crowne Plaza Suites MSP Airport – Mall of America, a hotel where many Delta flight crewmembers were staying by the way. The next day, 06/20, when I checked in for my new flight #1651 to Las Vegas I again inquired regarding recourse for the lack of hotel accommodations provided by Delta the previous evening. I was again directed to customer care. This time customer care was staffed with much more friendly agents. However, I was informed that the best they were authorized to do for me was to offer a $50 travel voucher.

If I wanted to pursue the matter I was instructed to contact customer care through the Delta website. Please at your first opportunity remit to me $284.00, the cost of my hotel and dinner in Minneapolis on the evening of June 19, 2014. Flight Confirmation #: (removed) | Ticket #: (removed)

Here’s Delta’s response:

RE: Case Number (removed)

I agree. As a top paying passenger you deserve a comfortable trip with us. I realize that our staff should’ve offered hotel accommodations, in Minneapolis as promised by our agent, in Pittsburgh. I’m really sorry for any miscommunication on our part and for the unplanned hotel and meal expenses you incurred. I also apologize for not being treated nicely by our staff. We know you’re eager to get to where you are going, and it’s difficult when you have to wait. I request you to send me a copy of the receipts as an attachment to this email for review. I’ll send your comments to the Airport Customer Service teams, so they can consider your experience when making needed changes to improve our service.

Bonus Miles

As a goodwill gesture, I’m adding 20,000 bonus miles to your SkyMiles account besides the $50.00 travel voucher you were provided at the airport. They should be transferred into your account within three business days.

Your business and loyalty to Delta as a SkyMiles member is greatly appreciated. We will do our best to serve you well on your next flight with us.

Here’s reply from the reader to Delta:

Thank you for the response. I have attached the receipt as your requested.

Re: the $50 travel voucher. While it was offered when I stopped by the customer service area in Minneapolis on 06/20, I did not accept the voucher and did not receive it.

I look forward to further communication re: my requested payment.

And the final reply from Delta:

Thanks for providing the information I requested. As our top paying passenger and SkyMiles member you deserve to be provided with the care you’d expect while traveling with us. I’m sorry we didn’t live upto the expectations. We would like to recover your loyalty with Delta. Accordingly, I will be requesting a check from our bank in the amount of $284.00 for the hotel and meal expenses you incurred for no fault of your own. Please allow sufficient time for processing and postal delivery. Besides, I’m issuing an Electronic Transportation Credit Voucher for $50.00. You’ll receive the voucher number and associated Terms and Conditions in a separate email within 24 hours. (Check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox.) Please keep this email because you’ll need the number to redeem the voucher. Plus, if you redeem your voucher by making your reservation online at delta.com, you’ll avoid paying the Direct Ticketing fee.

Timothy, your long time loyalty and business as a SkyMiles member is important to us. We look forward to getting you to where you need to be on time – on your next Delta flight.

Conclusion

Reader was satisfied with the resoution from Delta that was the expenses of $284, 20,000 SkyMiles and the $50 voucher. He indicated that Delta is not his first choice for domestic travel in the United States and that spot goes to Virgin America.

Sometimes you must pony up for the hotel charges, when there are no hotels offered by the airline or they are so bad that you wouldn’t stay at them, and later request a check from the airline. I have needed to do this a few times.

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