Delta Airlines: You Get What You Pay For!
Back in November, I travelled to Florida, flying on the cheapest available (and indirect) flight to Orlando with Delta Airlines. This was to be my second trip with the airline and, from what I remembered, they weren’t a bad airline. As far as American carriers go, they were one of the better ones, but still they weren’t quite comparable to the superior carriers of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
On this occasion, Delta flew us to Orlando without any problems. Both us and our luggage arrived on time and in one piece, so there were no complaints. We were fed and watered on the 9 hour flight to Atlanta and made do with a drink and some nuts on the 90 minute flight from there to Orlando. Anything else on the shorter flights comes at extra cost – whether it’s a sandwich or a packet of crisps. Extortionate prices applied for alcoholic beverages, even on the transatlantic trip.
On the return journey nine days later, the experience was very different, and never will I use the airline again.
Our connection time in Atlanta on the way home was just 40 minutes, which is, from what I understand, the minimum connection that the airline will allow. It required a train ride from our arrival to departure gate and a couple of mad dashes too, so it was tight, but we just made it.
After 8 or so hours in the air, another forgettable flight was over and we were home. We stood waiting for our luggage along with dozens of other passengers. After 15-20 minutes, all but a couple of bags had been collected and the crowd of people had disappeared. We continued to wait along with a few other passengers who we recognised from our Orlando to Atlanta flight. It dawned on us that our bags may not have transferred to the London-bound flight as quickly as we did.
Many minutes later, a final batch of bags appeared – ours included. It was a relief. My large suitcase had taken a battering though and was returned with its top handle completely missing. Without it, the suitcase was useless.
We approached the airline’s baggage desk in the reclaim area, explained the problem and were issued with a pink baggage damage report – complete with the airline’s logo on top and a unique reference number. The airline was going to contact us within 48 hours to let us know whether the case would be repaired or replaced. Confident that all was in hand, we set off home.
So, more than three months on, are we sorted? No, we aren’t. There was no contact from Delta within 48 hours. In fact, there was no contact from the airline at all. We had to contact the baggage services team at Heathrow some days later to find that a company called K2 Global Limited of Maidenhead was dealing with our complaint. To be fair, I have no complaints about this company.
No effort was made by Delta to repair my suitcase. In fact, nobody even inspected it to see if it was repairable. Instead, a new suitcase arrived by courier a few days later and didn’t in the slightest way resemble my branded, robust and good quality case. I am not convinced that the value of this replacement came anywhere close to the value of mine. It was a cheap, very nasty and unbranded alternative.
With the Maidenhead company unable to authorise an alternative replacement, we were referred back to the airline, resorting to telephone, social media and their website’s contact form to get an answer. Even after exhausting all options, we are still no closer to knowing what is going on and what the airline will do for us.
Delta is an airline to avoid. Their service (after sales especially) is appalling, UK customers wanting to make contact with the airline have to deal with a call centre in France (not convenient nor cheap) and on the few occasions that do hear from the airline by email, messages come from a unmonitored mailbox. In other words, you can’t reply. Seats might be cheap but have any problems along the way and you’re in a pickle. Delta is a difficult – perhaps even impossible – company to deal with.
If you are booking travel, bear in mind that you get what you pay for. If you are going to pay peanuts, then expect sloppy standards.