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Business

A hate/love relationship - Delta Airlines customer service

I often find myself ranting and raving about Delta's customer service. I've recently had two experiences that shows the wide spectrum of Delta's approach.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

I often find myself ranting and raving about Delta's customer service. I've recently had two experiences that shows the wide spectrum of Delta's approach.

Back in July my wife and I tried to enjoy a vacation in Maine. Her condition made travel very difficult. While in Maine, she had a medical emergency that required that we cut short our trip and come home immediately. Delta charged us $150 per ticket to move our flights from Monday to the same routing on Sunday. That fee, by the way, was more that we paid for one of our tickets!

The fact that it was a medical emergency and that I'm a platinum frequent flier on Delta didn't make a difference. We had little choice, however, we had to get her back for pain management so I forked over $300. I must admit that I was and still am very angry about that fee. The seats were obviously available. The marginal charge for moving information about in Delta's datacenter was insignificant. Less than 10 minutes of agent staff time was used to make this change. A $300 punitive fee in such a situation is simply unacceptable. I guess I need to find another airline that will get me where I need to go when I need to be there.

Yesterday Delta customer service showed its other side.

I flew up to Boston to speak at a customer event. When I arrived in Boston, I turned on my mobile phone and found that I had a voicemail message from my daughter. My wife was doing poorly at Tidewell Hospice and Palliative care's facility in Sarasota, FL. I was told that I needed to return home immediately. (I intend, by the way, to post something about Tidewell and the angels who work there some other time.)

I gathered my things and walked over to the Delta Sky Club in the Boston airport. I told my tale of woe to the desk agent who brought me over to another agent. That agent performed scheduling magic and I was on a plane heading back in less that 45 minutes. During that time I was able to take steps to reschedule the presentation and cancel my hotel reservation.

I've got a hate/love relationship with Delta. At one time, it was my favorite airline. Now, I see it as an unreliable business associate that needs to be watched all of the time because of questionable performance.

This time, Delta's customer service agents made it possible for me to get to my wife's side when I most needed to be there.

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