Archive for January 14th, 2012

January 14, 2012

How a Friday the 13th nightmare in Buffalo turned out okay in the end

delta airlines

Delta and other U.S. airlines have a bad rep with consumers for a reason.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — “If I can get people on a plane and moving, that’s what I’m going to do,” Andrew Martin said shortly after doing the completely unexpected: Booking me a first-class ticket to New Orleans when no one else at Delta Airlines would do any more than place me on standby for a possible coach seat sometime in the next two days. This even though it was a system error that caused me to miss my initial departure. Under such conditions, airlines or ticketing agencies must get their customers to their final destination on confirmed flights, not standby. But no one at Delta’s reservations center would acknowledge an error on their part, trying to blame it on Hotwire, the third-party agent with whom I had booked my flight. Hotwire, in turn, was adamant Delta was at fault for the failure to notify me that a 1:30 p.m. flight had been rescheduled to 1:12 p.m. It was an episode that showed how consumers can get stuck in a pass-the-buck game that causes expense and frustration.

Martin, though, showed class and reason, and saved Delta’s reputation in my eyes. He is a Delta supervisor at Buffalo Niagara International Airport and his efforts, along with the diligence of customer service rep Mari Ainsley, got me into New Orleans on the same day and without any extra fees tacked on.

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