I've got an update to the post A hate/love relationship - Delta Airlines customer service and thought you'd like to see it. A representative of Delta's customer service department responded to my Email. It appears that the company has decided to refund the $150/ticket change fee that it charged me when I had to change my flight plans due to a medical emergency. I'm very thankful.
Here's a snippet of that response:
Dear Mr. Kusnetzky,
RE: Case Number xxxxxx
Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the change fee you were charged. On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I want to extend our best wishes for your wife's good health.
I understand this must have been a most stressful time for you and appreciate the opportunity to review this matter with you. Under the circumstances, we will certainly refund the change fee for you and your wife's ticket. Hence, I will be asking our colleagues in Passenger Refunds to issue the appropriate refund for ticket number xxxxxxxxxx and yyyyyyyyyy. The refund will be processed as follows. Credit card refunds are electronically processed to the original form of payment approximately 7 business days after handling. It may take up to two billing cycles for the credit to appear on your statement.
Please allow the time frame designated above for the refund to process. A refund status can be checked by calling 800-847-0578. You may also write to Passenger Refunds at the following address. We thank you for your patience while we process this request.
Delta Air Lines Passenger Refunds PO Box 20537 Atlanta, GA 30320-2537
Mr. Kusnetzky, I hope I have been able to resolve your concerns. Your support as a Platinum Medallion member is important to Delta, our Connection Carriers, and SkyTeam partners. We look forward to your continued patronage.
While I'm pleased with the outcome, I must admit that I'm not pleased with the process. One could most certainly ask why does Delta (and other major U.S. airlines) charge such ridiculous change fees and fees on everything but the air in the cabin. A $150/ticket change fee for a sub $300 ticket is clearly an abuse.
Business travelers I've chatted with are increasingly angry with the treatment they receive at the hands of the air carriers. Most haven't found a way find address the issue. They simply need to get from here to there to conduct business.
I know that I've stopped using the local airport and drive some distance to a larger hub. Why? I need to get certain places at certain times and no routing from my local airport works. Driving 1 1/2 hours rather than 20 minutes also allows me to trade my time and travel costs for a lower airfare.
I also have driven 5 hours to get to an appointment in Ft. Lauderdale or Miami rather than fly. In the end, it takes about the same amount of wall clock time, I don't have to deal with the indignities of TSA and I don't have to rent a car at the other end. Driving to Boston or New York, however, is out of the question - for now.
When are the airlines going to wake up to the fact that money-grubbing today is going to lead to customer losses tomorrow?