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“Horrible Experience ”

Written on: 18/02/2013 by boodythebest (1 review written)

On January 11, 2013 I have purchased a Delta ticket with departure from Montreal to Monrovia (Liberia) on January 31, 2013 and return flight for Ottawa on February 10, 2013. I have paid directly on Delta site.

My flight experience was so negative both ways that I had to write two separate parts of this Review: one is about generally unpleasant and unprofessional customer service on my way to Monrovia and absolutely horrific experience on my way back.

My first flight, Montreal – JFK 4231 was delayed for so long that my trip was rerouted through Paris with Air France. I went to clarify the situation before moving to the International flight section from the USA zone of Montréal airport since I was already checked in for the NYC flight and went through the USA passport control. The Delta Agent was extremely rude, when I asked her about my flight details, she refused giving me any information, then she looked at her colleague, giggled sarcastically and said with patronizing voice: “I hate repeating, I just said it twice already!” I am not going here into further details about being sent back and forth by Delta and Air France representative, and through USA customs, Canadian Borders, and International customs in order to simply arrange my seat and to have my luggage transferred. When I got on my first plane that night of 25 hours flight I felt like I already travelled the world and was very exhausted. I have purchased comfort seats from Canada to Monrovia, and it took me a while since the available seats showing online were not available, and i had to call few times to fix the issue (apparently Delta offices between Canada and Accra do not communicate and the seats booked from Accra do not show on their system). When they moved my flight to Air France, they refused to give me Economy comfort, and they told me to check in Paris airport with Delta/Air France counter, which I did. However, I was informed that there is no proof i have economy comfort, even though I had the RECEIPTS in my hand and showed them to the agent, She actually called Delta airlines and to my shock and surprise, they said The passenger did not purchase any comfort seats. I didn't know what to say, and some passengers behind me in line were even more surprised since I had the receipts in my hand, for comfort seating, 99$ for each flight. There was nothing I could do and I had to just call back later of course.

The most outrageous situation however happened on my way back to Canada. This time I was accompanied by my brother who was flying to Michigan. After Delta’s response to our complaints, We are forwarding them to the Canadian Transportation Agency and to the US Department of Transportation respectively. What happened to us is unbelievable and insulting and we will pursue this case until it is clarified to our satisfaction including a possible legal path.

On February 10, 2013 I checked in online with my luggage on Delta flight 27 from Monrovia. I printed my boarding passes and we both arrived to the Delta terminal 1 Hour and 40 minutes before the flight in order to drop off the checked in baggage and to board. To our biggest surprise and shock we were told by the terminal security that Delta agents directed them not to let anyone on the plane anymore as we are too late and the plane is closed. Holding my Boarding passes we requested to be allowed on the plane however they refused to let us in and sent us to a Delta representative. Behind me were approximately 15 other people who were refused to be let in.
We run to the Delta office, few steps away from gate. At the office, sitting behind a counter, a Delta representative, playing Angry Birds with her iPad, refused to look at me then yelled at me (still not looking) “There's NOTHING I can do” before I actually say anything to her. I explained to her that we were already checked in and have boarding passes printed. She said (still playing Angry Birds) “It's not my responsibility and you should talk to the Security”. So we got back to the security gate the guards said that it was not their fault and it should be dealt with DELTA… This humiliation went on and on for a while. During that time few newly arrived people were LET IN! The security agent tried to convince me they were already checked in. At this time I was completely desperate and we tried to explain to those people that I am also already checked in and have my boarding passes.
The security took our passports and boarding passes but came back in 5 minutes refusing us on board since “we are too late by now”! We actually offered them to let us on board without our check-in luggage so we would arrange it to be sent later at our expense but we were bluntly refused.
At this time, another Delta agent came out, looked at our luggage, CHUCKLED and said: “You have luggage and trying to get in? Yeah, nice try!” Then she left.
A bit later (still about 40 minutes before the departure) a Delta Stewardess came out and announced that the plane is almost ready for the flight. When I tried talking to her she rudely and dismissively told me to step away, that it's not her fault that I am late and not "checked in" on time.
I called Delta Customer Service in North America and I waited for 27 minutes on my Canadian phone with Roaming in Africa which is about 4$ a minute before someone answered me. The agent told me “Sir if you already have your boarding pass you should be able to get in. what's your confirmation number?” She checked her systems, and insisted that I am not checked in! I told her that I am HOLDING THE BOARDING PASSES in my hands that I received from online check-in. She replied that there must be something wrong with their system and I need to check-in again. She asked me to pass my phone to the Delta agent in the office. Then, the same non-stop Angry Birds playing Delta representative told her colleague on the phone “Yes he was very late for his check-in and there's nothing we can do!” I asked her why is she lying and she just gave me my phone back, and went back to her game.
After that exchange the North American representative over the phone told me that I would be put on the flight next Friday! That Delta decided I have to stay for 5 more days in Liberia. I requested to talk to a supervisor. I explained my situation to the supervisor and asked, since it was Delta’s fault, if I could be refunded the second part of the trip so I would book a closer flight or otherwise who would compensate for my loss of work for 4 days and accommodations? She completely refused to refund or even discuss anything, and she said: “We don't compensate for anything on Delta and I can't do a refund because "you were late" and you "didn't check in"… I asked for her name and she gave me [name removed], I am not sure if that is even her real name. She told me there is nothing she can do and she won’t refund me and there is nothing that she can do but book me a flight on Friday. Later that day I called Delta airlines number in North America again (the office in Liberia is closed on Sundays), I waited for 47 minutes, talked to some agent who said he will put me on hold and hung up on me …
When later I managed to call though and finally talked to some sane people who found my original check-in, got shocked over all those absurd notes made on our reservations and put me on the closest Air France flight on Tuesday February 12, 2013 I still could not believe that all that actually happened to us. I arrived on Tuesday to the airport 4 hours before the check-in, but we were not let into the airport till Delta Agents opened their counters, which was 3 hours before the flight. We went in (checked in and boarding passes printed), and up until less than 30 minutes before the flight, they were still letting people check-in and board the plane. I asked security personnel with Delta badge: “How come they are still letting people in and we are in line boarding the plane, he said it’s because these are the First Class people. I found out later that was actually a lie: these people were seated in the same economy class with me. I have photos of people checking into Delta Terminals up to 30 minutes before the flight, with the actual time showing.
To add to the story, I booked comfort seats (80$ Canadian plus 80$ US for our seats) on Delta flight from Paris to Michigan because it’s a 9 hours flight, I get on the plane, and the seat infront of me had a huge black box under it, and my seat had the safety vest dangling under it, I couldn’t extend my legs neither backwards nor forward. I told the stewardess and she said there are few seats available and I will be moved as soon as the plane is in the air. However, as soon as the plane was in the air and the seatbelt signs got off, people from economy seats rushed to the front, took all the economy plus seats, (couple of them took the whole middle row with 4 seats and just slept there throughout the flight). It was outrageous since none of the staff said anything and none of these people paid the extra money for those seats… I don’t think they’ll allow that for business or first class, but for economy plus it was a total ripoff. I contacted Delta, and they apologized but refused any refund saying I paid for the seat I’m sitting in and it was the staff’s responsibility to fix the issue !!! ????

To conclude the story: the situation on our departure that was created entirely by Delta personnel is unacceptable. We were humiliated, insulted and lied to. We lost money, we lost time. I was charged for Calling Delta to fix my ticket 25$ every time (phone reservation fees) There was not even a little fault from our side while we were unceremoniously blamed for obvious Delta technical and staff issues.
With regards to my financial loss:
- 2 days of uncompensated salary
- Over 2.5 hours of overseas phone call to Delta in roaming form Africa, over 600 CAD
- Expenses while in Liberia from February 10 to February 12, 2013.

I forwarded this complaint to Delta, and they replied by offering me 25$ gift certificate to be redeemed in few places in U.S.A. Which is beyond insulting and frustrating and just adds insult to injury.

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