Focusing on the Positive and Why I Think DELTA Airlines Should No Longer Burn in HELL

Image via Flikr Commons and courtesy of Andrie Dimofte

Image via Flikr Commons and courtesy of Andrie Dimofte

I generally am a Pollyanna. Yes, it gets me in trouble sometimes, but I feel joy is a choice. I needed to remind myself of that yesterday. I’ve just returned home from Florida, and OY VEY what an adventure. I love my job, and helping you guys never feels like work, but the traveling can be…interesting.

A Tale of a Chronic Procrastinator

I knew I was going to be speaking in Florida, but in working my tail off to finish my new social media book, traveling, bed from hell.…buying my ticket was, er, um…put off. At the last minute I scored the cheapest ticket I could find on American Airlines. Ah…but there were two problems. Okay three.

Ticket was over $600. BUT it was with American Airlines. I’ve had a long-standing grudge against DELTA and have refused to give them ANY business. In fact, I’d kind of hoped they’d sink into Hell and burn. So I buy this horrible ticket. DFW to New Orleans, to Atlanta, finally to Melbourne, FL. Return flight? Same in reverse. Melbourne to Atlanta to New Orleans to DFW. Much to my horror? Once I arrived at the airport, I realized two legs of the trip were via Delta.


Why I Hated Delta

Years ago, I suffered barely controllable complex partial seizures (and that is a long story and I am perfectly healthy now). Yet, at the time, I was essentially epileptic.  My health was deteriorating, my father had suddenly died, and Christmas was painful without him, so I decided to join some pals and go to the Bahamas for the holidays instead. The Bahamas were, blech, but on the return flight home, our plane had mechanical difficulties and had to be redirected to Atlanta.

Being a naive traveler, I’d packed my anti-seizure medication in the checked luggage (stupidly believing I’d be home in three hours). As we were being ticketed for other flights to get us home, I asked the ticket person if there was any way I could get to my bags. I could feel the anti-convulsive medication was wearing off and it was beginning to get a bit scary. She was NASTY to me and not only told me “No, but hell no. And go away for making me do my JOB.”

I went to complain to a supervisor, not only for the way the woman treated me, but that I REALLY needed my medication. The nasty ticket agent, knowing she’d been way out of line, stepped in and lied and told the supervisor I was drunk and combative and needed to be banned from any flights.

***I never drank alcohol, namely because it was contraindicated in the anti-convulsives.

Yes, my behavior probably seemed strange, namely because I was starting to have SEIZURES which made my balance off and I was slurring. So instead of taking pity on someone who was disabled?

DELTA stranded me in Atlanta, Georgia with no luggage, no meds, banned from flying and no way home.

An elderly couple found me crying in a hallway and took pity on me and made sure I got back to DFW. By the time I got home? I was in full seizures AND had pneumonia (because DELTA rerouted me through a FREEZING New Orleans with no jacket and no meds and I slept the night on cardboard boxes (from Christmas decorations) to stay warm.

I was ill for almost three months after this. Pneumonia is no picnic.

I wrote DELTA a letter telling them how I’d been treated and…nothing. Since then? I have had MANY opportunities to fly, but would rather take 16 connections through Trinidad Airways than give them any money. Thus, I was a tad ticked when I realized my oversight with my Florida purchase.

I’d have to fly with the Devil, um DELTA.

Twelve Years Must Make a Difference

Ironically, the DELTA flights were the best ones. In fact, on the way home, my connecting flight to New Orleans had mechanical issues and it was clear I’d miss my connection to DFW. What did DELTA do? They promptly and KINDLY put me on a direct flight to DFW. The crew was HYSTERICAL. I’ve never had a safety briefing that FUNNY. They went above and beyond and, I suppose after over a decade of hating their guts?

I forgive them…mostly.

I am generally not a person who holds a grudge. I have the memory of a tsetse fly with people. But with BUSINESSES? Hell hath no fury. For TWELVE years I’ve told anyone who’d listen NOT TO FLY DELTA THAT THEY WERE EVIL.

But I suppose people change and thus I suppose businesses change too. This last experience helped me forgive them (mostly) and I’ll maybe even give them another try. In fact, it was wonderful that the plane experienced mechanical difficulties and I was given a direct flight because, when I made it to my car?

The battery was dead.

Had I been delayed (not getting the direct flight), I have no idea how late I might have made it in. Hubby would OF COURSE come to the rescue, but would it have been ten or eleven at night (with a baby)?

And I’d like to say I handled the dead car in triple digit heat with grace. I didn’t. I cried. But once I calmed down and Hubby arrived, I realized what a rare and strange gift DELTA had given me. I made it in early enough for the problem to be resolved far more easily.

So, in all of this, I learned, happiness is a decision, not a destination. Forgiveness can come if we are open to it (AT&T doesn’t count). KIDDING! Life is all about perspective and which one we choose. Focus on the negative? Expect more.

My Tante (Aunt) Christine told me a fabulous parable.

A man wanted to move from one village to another. He stopped a resident of the new village and asked, “What kind of people live in this place?” The resident replied, “Well, what kind of people lived in the last place you lived?” The man replied, “Oh, they were terrible, cold and mean. They left me out of everything and were uncaring and cold.” The resident replied, “That’s the same kind of people who live here.”

A few days later, another traveler approached the same resident wanting to move. The resident asked, “Well, what kind of people live in your village?” The traveler replied, “Oh, everyone is SO nice. They are kind and caring and I always feel welcome.” The resident replied, “That’s exactly the kind of people here.”

Thus, I suppose the lesson is we get what we look for. Setbacks and delays can be terrible, but often? They have a silver lining. We create the world we want to see. DELTA did me very wrong, but they made it right this time and I’m open to forgiving them and giving them more business. Yes, my car was dead, but Hubby could be my hero and all of us could go to dinner together.

What are your thoughts? I prefer to keep things positive, but is there a business that so WRONGED you that you were their best BAD advertising…but then they made it right? Have you ever experienced a setback or tragedy, but in retrospect? It turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to you?

I love hearing from you!


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  1. I was horrified to read of your experiences with Delta way back when. All it takes is one uncaring or unobservant person to wreak havoc. Glad to hear they’ve redeemed themselves–at least for now.

    And yes, I think everyone has a version of one of those stories, albeit not as life-threatening as yours. My daughter flew Southwest Airlines to a lacrosse tournament in Pennsylvania one summer when she was in high school. She wasn’t traveling as an accompanied minor because it was supposed to be a quick trip.The airline was late getting to Charlotte, North Carolina and there were no other flights out until morning, so my fifteen-year-old travel-wise daughter settled in at the gate of her next flight to spend the night. Along comes security. And kicks her out of the terminal. No one can stay the night. No exceptions. At fifteen. Hello? Common sense knocking. Is anyone home?

    I, meanwhile, had been spending an hour on the telephone trying to get someone, anyone, to cut us a break and let me get her a hotel room and cash by telephone and credit card or to get her permission to sleep at the gate. She didn’t have a credit card and had limited cash. AND she was under eighteen and couldn’t rent a hotel room on her own. No going. When she called to tell me the latest, I blew my top. I was furious that anyone in their right mind would force a fifteen year old out of a safe environment when circumstances made it impossible for her to get somewhere safe.

    My wise daughter headed to the baggage drop off area outside the terminal where thankfully, there were angels working. Those men let her sleep there and kept an eye on her until the next flight in the morning. Despite the workings of Southwest and the Charlotte Airport, my daughter made it home safely and in one tired, but whole, piece.

    I ripped off an e-mail screaming in print at both Southwest and the Airport pointing out to them that if it wasn’t for the diligent and kind baggage drop off workers, my daughter might not have ever made it home at all. I got one e-mail back apologizing for the inconvenience and promising to look into the matter. No further response to this date. Not much of a response for an incident which could have ended in a dead child.

    So, no, I don’t fly Southwest and I avoid the Charlotte terminal, and will happily tell anyone this story. But there’s not much else I can do. Joyfully, I’m a writer. And the day is coming when this entire incident shows up in my work in living, lurid color.

  2. I love, love, LOVE this post! SO true!

  3. I love Delta – did I always? I’m not sure, all I know is out of all the traveling I’ve had to do these last few years, Delta flights are the best — on time with few delays, the in-flight staff are often cool, and! some Delta airplanes have these monitors on the back of the seats where you can watch movies or tv or play games – I’m uber competitive, so I love the trivia game where you pit yourself against others on the same flight -whee dogies!

    I did have one experience with a staff member in the airport where I thought they were rude, so I just popped over to the delta FB page and send them a message – they responded promptly. 😀

    Story: for years my mother would NOT stop at a Texaco because the story was they treated my father terribly when he had a job there while he was going to college. So we never stopped at Texaco on our trips to see Granny/Maw Maw — then one day we HAD to stop at a Texaco because we needed gas and there was no other gas station for miles–this is before they had built the interstate through part of our trip. I was a teen at the time. I thought, “well the curse is over!” – not so fast – as I was putting TP around the toilet as my maw maw had taught me (this was before hovering *laugh*), I saw a hole – I looked into the hole and saw the mechanics area! OMG! and then an eye came down and stared back at me! OMG! I raced out of the bathroom without pee’ing and went to the car. I asked my brothers, “where’s mom?” they said, “in the bathroom.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her until months later. Texaco Ban Back In Business. *laughing* and up until about a year ago, I WOULD NOT stop at ANY service station to pee. Ever.

    that’s my story. 😀

  4. My experiences with British Airways is similar to yours with Delta. I was travelling with a small child and they hostess’ were rude, uncaring and down right unpleasant. My son is now 21 years old and I still haven’t flown with BA and tell everyone never to fly with them. (By the way I’m British!) I found British Midland, Air Canada and Canadian Affair to be excellent and they went out of their way to help me and my children on every flight. Maybe BA has got better but I’m not chancing it.
    Maybe after reading your post I should…?

  5. Rather curious why so many stops when American Airlines flies direct from DFW to Palm Beach with then a drive to Melbourne. Easier trip all the way around unless you needed to be in New Orleans for a speaking engagement. Or fly out of IAH direct MIA . The airline industry on a good day is questionable both for the passenger who is always stressed and the crew. If only the CEOs had to be in uniform working the narrow aisle, then I think there would be favorable changes. Rather they with their big salaries, make it difficult for all concern. The blame though always falls on the crew…the front line. Yet the less legs one has to fly the easier the trip. Sometimes the flight crew are angels in uniform who will do their best to save you from a burning aircraft or your life in a medical incident. The beauty is as a writer, you can write a great story out of the incidents.

    I was a crew member although always a writer….stories to tell as well. Have a great day.

  6. Very interesting. I have a grudge against Delta as well and haven’t been able to get over it. Bad customer service, and companies taking their customers for granted are my biggest pet peeves. I have a son who is allergic to peanuts and I flew Delta early in my allergy-mom career, so I didn’t know better. They served peanuts on the flight and had this 3 row in front/3 row in back policy that they would not give peanuts to people in these rows. But when I notified them of my son’s info, even though I gave that info at the time of the flight purchase, each woman at the counter treated me horribly and as if I was a pain in the butt. They gave me a hard time about pre-boarding so I could clean the seats off. And those flights were the scariest I have ever been on, having to drug my kid on Benadryl and try to shield him from peanut dust flying in our faces….3 rows is not enough! I have heard Delta has changed the policy, saying if you have an allergic person, they will now not serve the nuts on their flights, but I’m still unsure whether I’d ever fly them again, at least where my son is involved. I have a brother in Minneapolis too and that’s a pain, since it’s all Delta there.
    As for your 2nd question? Setback? I was laid off from a job once and it was the best thing for me. 2 months later I was hired with a much higher salary and a much more interesting position. So sometimes good things can happen to us; but then again, that was 1999, the height of the boom…not sure how much that is happening anymore…..

    • Melissa Lewicki on August 29, 2013 at 10:05 am
    • Reply

    I liked your aunt’s story. I’m not sure if it is totally true. When we lived in Northern Virginia I found people were often rude and uncaring. I always compared it to those experiments where they put more and more rats into the same habitat and the rats get meaner and meaner and more lethal. There were just too many people in Northern Virginia.
    Then we moved to San Antonio in 1989. I have never been badly treated in any store or business. People are almost always helpful and friendly.
    I am the same person I was in Virginia.

  7. I love this post because I’m a firm believer in things being *meant to be*. Little gifts from the Universe that teach us something (or teach those around us something). I’ve had many of those rotten experiences, but fortunately most of them had silver linings, either immediately or eventually. I’d like to believe it’s because I strive to look for them though. I adore your Aunt’s fable. So very true. 🙂

  8. OMG, Kristen, what a horrible thing to happen! Bless that elderly couple, whoever they were. As for me, I have a ban on Embassy Suites. The first one I ever stayed at was in Memphis, TN, and it was great! My husband and I were so impressed that we began staying at Embassy Suites whenever we traveled. Until that trip to St. Louis. We’d driven up for the weekend to attend a Cardinals game, and although the Embassy Suites was located WAY out of our way, that’s where we stayed. Unfortunately, minions of Satan had booked the suite next to ours. At about 11 p.m. they cranked up their rap music and began rapping along with it at maximum volume. Whenever they’d leave the room for ice or whatever, they let their door slam shut behind them. We’re not sure, but it sounded like about 30 people were in that one suite. Finally at 2:30 a.m. I called down to the front desk and asked them to please tell our noisy neighbors to cut it out. Nothing was done. After they tried to get into our room at 4:00 a.m., my husband and I packed our bags and left. As we were checking out, my husband gave the girl at the front desk an earful, but she just stared back at him, and in a bored, disinterested voice said, “Sorry.” We tanked up on coffee and drove home on no sleep, our nice, relaxing weekend ruined. (The Cardinals had gotten shellacked by the Angels, too, so that didn’t help. 🙂 ) After I’d caught up on sleep, I emailed Embassy Suites and told them what happened. Nothing. No reply. Not even the bored, disinterested “Sorry” we got at the front desk. They might not have cared if we never stayed at another one of their hotels (and we haven’t!) but we have done our best to warn everyone we know – and some people we don’t – about their corporate policy of not giving a rat’s ass if you enjoy your stay, or if people in the next suite try to BREAK INTO YOUR ROOM at 4:00 a.m. We don’t know if things have changed or not, but since there are lots of other places to get a room, we’re not going to be staying at Embassy Suites again.

  9. Oh, Kristen. I love your blogs. They are so you.

    I love and hate every airline. I don’t hold grudges, and can’t honestly think of any business that I haven’t forgiven.

    My worst experiences have come from UPS — and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it because people ship via UPS to me all the time. However, I will never use them to ship. FedEx has never given me an issue, so they get all my business.

    We live sort of in the country. It’s not way out in the middle of nowhere, we’re 15 minutes from pretty much everything (kid’s school, grocery store, church, etc.) We have 2 acres in an area with a lot of 2-5 acre lots, all surrounded by farms and vineyards. The road we live off connects to two major roads, one a highway. So it’s not like we’re remote.

    The front door is covered by a porch, which protects packages from rain and sun, and you can’t see them from the street because of the angle. It’s the safest place to leave packages. The FRONT DOOR. You’d think that this would be the logical place for UPS to leave packages.

    No. They leave them at the garage door (which is close to the street); they leave them at the side door (which connects to my daughter’s bathroom.) They have left packages in the garage on shelves if the garage door is open, but we don’t know this for days (or weeks) later when we’re going through the supplies and see an unfamiliar box.

    They left my copyedited manuscript ON TOP OF THE GARBAGE CAN which is behind a wall next to the garage. They left a box of books outside my daughter’s bathroom door, where there is no shelter, on a day that had been raining on and off. I ordered my husband a very expensive digital camera for Christmas, and if I hadn’t been watching the tracking, I wouldn’t have known it was delivered. Guess where? At the base of the basketball hoop in the driveway — near the street and, worse, in a place that it could have been run over by one of our trucks because it was a small package.

    We have called the local office and asked that all packages be left at the front door. They have a million excuses — one of which is that “many people like the packages at the garage door because that’s where they enter their house” and “many people where you live don’t want the packages on the front porch because they can be seen from the street.” We explained — numerous times — that based on the angle of our house, no one can see the front door without really craning their neck, and there is no safe place at the garage. We’ve called the local office multiple times. The situation with my husband’s camera, however, I called the main national customer service. My husband is hotheaded and might have pissed off the local office, but the camera was a big deal. I was nice. They were nice. They were apologetic. They had the regional office manager call me and apologize and assure me that from now on all my packages will be left at my front door.

    I thanked them.

    And in the 8 months since Christmas, about half our packages have been left in places OTHER than the front door. It’s like the drivers all hate us now because we’ve complained so much, but honestly, this shouldn’t be a big deal. (The front door requires them to walk a bit further, but it’s not an unreasonable distance.)

    Anyway, I have to do business with them — because people send me packages. But when it’s truly important, I tell them to ship FedEx.

    1. I had a friend who backed over a wrapped box of Sees’ chocolate that was delivered to her house and left propped up against the garage door. She never saw it until the smashed box appeared in front of her car as she backed down the driveway. And this was before Sees’ was available in Florida. It was a tragedy!

    2. You wonder how some people keep their jobs.
      My family has had our passports left (in a signature-required bag) on the front step, clearly visible and accessible from the street a couple of metres away – on New Year’s Eve.
      They didn’t even knock, we just found the package when we stepped out to see the fireworks.

  10. My mom and dad stayed at a Hyatt near me every time they visited. On one visit, the fire alarm went off in the evening. My parent’s looked into the hallway. Everyone was confused. They had an elderly neighbor who’s husband was in a wheelchair and she was panicked about getting him down the stairs. My dad walked down to the lobby in his pajamas, and the front desk told them it was an error. There wasn’t any fire. After suggesting that the hotel make some kind of announcement (which they didn’t do), he put the neighbor lady’s mind at ease and went back to bed. When he got home, he wrote a letter. I’m not sure of the response, but last time they came, they stayed at a motel with all-night traffic across from the train tracks rather than stay at Hyatt.

  11. Accentuate the positive, I say; thus, I will not share any horror stories in this forum. Focusing on the negative always brings me down.

  12. What a terrible ordeal, Kristen. Like Sharon, I am not sharing any horror stories. I need all the positive energy I can muster. (smile)

  13. BTW, I forgot to let you know yesterday that I quoted you on The Blood Red Pencil Blog, taking snippets from your blog post about prologues. Thanks for sharing such good information that we are able to then share with others.

  14. I’ve had nothing but bad experiences on Delta so I still will not fly with them willingly. The last time, they were nasty to a poor Asian student in the seat next to me. They threw away her lunch because they said its smell was offending the people in first class. And they were SOOOO rude about it. Nothing like you’re ordeal, but still…

    • Prissy on August 29, 2013 at 11:42 am
    • Reply

    You crack me up and yes, I am a Pollyanna too. However, I read this while I sit on a Delta flight LEAVING Florida, and must say I fill a tiny bit anxious at this very moment just thinking what all happened to you. I enjoy your posts; just found you. How? Lord if I know. LOL

  15. Hi Kristen, entertaining and evocative post. I’m three-quarters through your book “Rise of the Machines” and know it will change my life. As to Delta, after decades associated with the aviation industry I have a lot of sympathy for airline staff many of whom have been pretty badly treated by their employers in the post-deregulation era. Of course I still have my own little grudges: Emirates cabin staff too busy chatting to each other to give passengers drinks of water during a hour or more delay on the tarmac in the Dubai heat; Air France staff bickering with each other throughout a flight; Qantas top management ruining the airline’s previously great reputation (in my opinion) .. but I guess we’re lucky not to have to travel on dusty stage coaches or bullock drays. I recall my grandmother in her nineties (over 20 years ago) telling me of her childhood journey for hundreds of miles across Australian bush on a bullock dray at the end of the 1800s. …. It makes you think…

  16. I do agree that mostly we get what we look for. But I’ve also been the recipient of some terrible customer service. I have a personal grudge against Dodge for reasons I won’t go into, but I do not like them one little bit.

    Your story is terrible. You truly should never, ever have been treated that way. I think Delta has been through a lot of PR stuff since you flew last though, and that’s maybe changed their customer service.

  17. I never trusted Delta, but this year I flew from Burbank to Salt Lake to Boise; not a long trip, having lived in Russia and traveled to Siberia and various other places. But I’m older, and it had been a while. I couldn’t get over how solicitous and how human and how funny these wonderful people were; I fell in love with Delta.

  18. Used to fly Delta a lot wen I was stationed down south. You’re right everything is subjective. I was treated extra nice because I flew in uniform and got upgraded to first class a few times. On the other hand I had a flight to O’Hare on another airline and was promised it would be a piece of cake. They forgot my meal despite frequently turning down alcohol I was offered it. That might not seem like a big thing but I was going from plane to military transport to duty. You’re not supposed to show up lit.

  19. I try and focus on the positive, doing a gratitude journal continues to be on my to-do list never getting marked off. But I need to work on it. I tend to focus on the what-ifs and negatives, but hey there are herbs for that 🙂

    • sao on August 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm
    • Reply

    While I can’t top your story, I’ve avoided Delta because of their routine incompetence. Not just the frequency with which my luggage didn’t show up at my final destination, but the fact that they knew before I got on the plane that my bag wasn’t on it and didn’t do anything about this fact until I’d waited for the luggage carousel to stop and stood in the lost luggage line for an hour.

    The same with connections. They even changed my flight on me once, without changing my connection, which was due to depart before my first flight arrived. The times I’ve missed my connection in JFK and they made no effort to get me on the last plane out of JFK to my final destination, even though their computers could tell them that I was very likely to have be standing in their missed connection line for the last hour and when I get to the end, I really don’t want to hear that I missed the last plane by only a few minutes and be sent in a taxi to Laguardia, when it’s 3 am by my body clock.

    And they don’t seem to have grasped that if you split a family up and stick everyone in a middle seat, you get kids shouting over the heads of other people to talk to each other, clambering over the guy in the aisle seat again and again and no parental control. Maybe they think they can make their frequent flyers happier by giving them window and aisle seats, but I suspect those poor suckers weren’t expecting that it would come at the cost of sitting next to an unsupervised child, whose family is the bottom of the totem pole.

    • Kay Shostak on August 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply

    Guess I figure a company is just a bunch of people. People who get left by their spouse but still have to go to work the next day. Or are waiting for a call from a doctor, so they don’t do their best work. Or parents who don’t know where their teenager is but since it’s been a week they’ve got to go back to work. Or are so sick they can barely stand up, but they’re out of sick days. I’m a writer, I can always think of a reason to give some grace and move on – AFTER I’ve written awesome complaint letters!

  20. Travel is so much more than the planned destination. It’s an entire process, through which we learn, sometimes grow, and occasionally find a good story.

  21. My sis once described Delta as the acronym for Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport. 😉

    I had a big problem with Disney from my visit when I was 15. I’d rather not go into why because of the controversial nature of it. I’ve mellowed out about it and even managed to have a good experience when I went back for the first time a few months ago. But they still make me uncomfortable.

  22. I enjoyed reading your post very much. However, you’ve misspelled the word “Oy Vey,” and since it’s capitalized, it’s a very glaring error. The correct spelling is “Oy Vey,” with an “e” not an “a” as you’ve written it. Since you are a “writer’s guide” it’s probably best to lead by example, and paying special attention to your proofreading is something every writer should do. I don’t expect to see this comment in the list of comments, but I just wanted to point out the error.

    1. I’ve made typos before. Most of the time, people privately message on FB. But duly noted and corrected and will work on my Yiddish for future posts :). Always appreciate y’all having my back *hugs*

    • DJ on August 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm
    • Reply

    I had a job with AT&T Wireless and LOVED it. They were taken over by Cingular and I HATED it. But I don’t have to forgive Cingular, because THEY ARE NO MORE! Sometimes the stars align–

    • malindalou on August 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve heard that DELTA was awful (per two different acronyms of their name) but am glad to hear that they have made efforts to improve.

    I’ve never had a story of a business that once gave me bad customer service and now offers good, but hopefully someday I will.

  23. I have come to a strange “cease fire” with tragedies in my life. I have learned much from experience that just about everything in life happens for a good reason. I’m honestly not sure the reason you were left in the cold alone, perhaps it was a test of your survivability, perhaps it was a test of the elder couple’s ideals of humanity i dunno cause that was a bad spot. But, at least for me in my life, everything that has happened to me has happened for a reason so I try to work through the bad as best one can and relish the good while its there.

  24. I stopped shopping at Dillard’s after terrible customer service experiences in my early 20s. A few years ago, out of desperation for a particular garment, I finally re-entered their store…and found just what I needed at a reasonable price with help from a lovely salesperson.

    I’ve come to believe that a lot of the service you receive depends on the management at that particular site. Of course, corporate offices should also properly respond to legitimate complaints.

    I’m glad you were okay coming back. How annoying to return to a dead car!

  25. I agree you do get what you look for – when you believe it you will see it

  26. Hell hath no fury like a Libran with the scales tipped!
    I got marched at gun point from the channel tunnel in France a few years ago.
    Why? Because i’d been savvy enough to buy two single tickets instead of a return. I was refused boarding with 3 kids under the age of 11. When I complained I was taken to the main gate and left. Did I forgive them? Did I hell! I wrote to every person who would listen to complain. I never got an apology but I did recover the cost of my ticket, an additional nights stay and ferry home…but not after months of refusing to let it go.

    • Poodlepal on August 30, 2013 at 8:48 am
    • Reply

    In 1995, you needed no ID to get on a plane. In 1996, after Flight 800 (blew up, probably terrorists, but officially “air conditioning problems,”) you needed any ID. I brought a municipal pool ID, no problem. In 1997, suddenly you needed 2 forms of government ID, had to be officially official (like a passport, driver’s license, etc.) I brought only a single college ID, because I was told I needed just any ID card with my picture on. Of course, Delta couldn’t spell it out when, I like, you know, bought the ticket, exactly what kind of ID they wanted. So I was thrown off the plane. Thank God we got the last seat on the next flight and were able to run home, get my 2 forms of government ID and continue our vacation.

    Today, even after 9/11, even after the DOHS has taken over the airport, you need only one form of ID. I don’t even have two forms of government ID, since I washed my SS card and it dissolved. I’ve even heard that the DOHS will take things like Sam’s Club ID’s if you agree to be strip searched. Why this airline made its own rules which were stricter than that of even the government is beyond me. And if the plane is stuck, forget getting anything from them. Continental gave us a gift card to buy dinner. Delta gave us a bag of peanuts.

  27. YES! And it happened Thursday; same day I received your Delta experience. I’m still upset about it. I e-mailed my complaint to the retail business. They responded by writing that my complaint has been forwarded to the district manager. My husband keeps asking about my “shopping” experience last Thursday. I say, “Read my e-mail to them! I don’t want to talk about it!”

  28. I recently flew to Chattanooga from DFW (hi, neighbor!) and, because I was willing to extend my stay by one day, I saved enough on my tickets through Delta to stay an extra night and have extra spending money at LibertyCon. I had never flown with Delta before but my experience was nothing short of amazing. I am disabled and have to have a porter with a wheelchair meet me at the gate to get me to the plane, at the plane to get to my next gate, and so on. The flights were DFW->Atlanta->Chattanooga and the reverse coming home. At each point both directions, I was met promptly by people who knew I had to have a wheelchair to get anywhere from the plane. They were on time (as were the flights), courteous, and accommodating; at each point where I had to wait at a boarding lounge, the porter made sure the gate agent knew I was there, where I was and that I needed extra time to board. They made what is usually a trying situation just as pleasant as it could possibly have been. American has been rather blase’ about taking care of my need for extra help and I usually have to remind them about needing a wheelchair at every stop, even though it says that on my ticket information. It’s Delta for me from now on.

  29. I had several horrible experiences with Delta. They were extremely rude to people traveling with small children and would never help me in any way. I no longer have small children but I still have negative thoughts about them no matter how often I fly with them. They have gotten so big it is inevitable they picked up some nice people along the way.

  30. I would have sued the HELL out of Delta if I were you back then.

    1. I would have, but was too sick. After the experience, I had pneumonia until almost April :(.

      1. Oh my gosh! No wonder you just let it go. The bad luck fairy had it out for you bad around then. 0_o Glad you’re much better now!

  1. […] after that, I read this post by Kristen Lamb. What struck me the most (aside from the airline travel horror stories) was the the story she […]

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