Update: My Airline Customer Complaint Saga Continues…

Update: Click here to read part #3 of my ongoing dispute with Delta Air Line’s Corporate Customer Care Center.

As promised, I wanted to provide an update on the customer service complaint I filed with a major airlines “corporate customer care” department two weeks ago. You can read the entire complaint letter here, but here’s brief summary:

The co-pilot for my flight showed up on time but he was dispatched to another flight (that left before mine), because their co-pilot failed to show up. My flight was delayed close to 3 hours while we waited for a new pilot to arrive.

As a result of this crew scheduling error, I missed my connecting flight in Detroit, MI and had to spend the night away from my family. Not because of weather, or even a mechanical failure; I missed my flight due to the airline’s inability to properly manage personnel.

As part of my letter, I request two things:

  • First, I wanted to be reimbursed for the hotel I had to charge to my own credit card (even though other people on the flight were put up at the SAME hotel at XXXXX’s expense).
  • Second, I wanted 25,000 of frequent flyer miles credited to my account for “compensation” for having to spend another day away from my family (I was on a business trip).

You can only imagine how frustrated I was when I received an from a customer care representative who told me that he would gladly reimburse me for my hotel stay but that he could only reimburse up to the amount of the contract price the airline had with the hotel.

You can also imagine how frustrated I was when I was also told that my request for 25,000 frequent flyer miles was “respectfully declined” and that I would only receive 9,500 frequent flyer miles.

Below you’ll find my response to the airline representative’s “offer” of service recovery:

***As a last ditch show of faith on my part, I am still withholding the name of the airline.***

Dear Mr. XXX

In regards to your statement:

“It is also important for me to mention that the reimbursement will be honored as per the contracted rates we have with the hotels”.

This would be acceptable to me if XXXXX’s contracted rate with the Hampton Inn is equal to the amount I was charged for the hotel room, but I suspect that it is not. My expectation is that I receive full reimbursement for the price I was charged. Had XXXXX provided me with a hotel room in the first place as they did other passengers on the flight (instead of rudely telling me that hotels were only provided in special circumstances), I wouldn’t of had to pay the “higher rate”.

Furthermore, in regards to your statement:

“XXXXX uses many factors to determine compensation for our passengers who have been inconvenienced through no fault of their own. Accordingly, we must respectfully decline your request for a credit of 25,000 frequent flyer miles.”

My request for 25,000 medallion qualification miles is by no means unreasonable and I find an uneasy amount of humor in XXXXX’s “counter offer”. I never expected that XXXXX’s Corporate Customer Care Department viewed customer complaints as a “negotiations process”. If I knew XXXXX made a game out of customer service, I would have started the “bidding” higher instead of making a honest request for fair compensation.

Mr. XXX, I realize that as a customer care agent you have a great deal of pride in your affiliation with XXXXX (you wouldn’t be in your position if you didn’t), and I hope that the dissatisfaction over my most recent dealings with XXXXX do not come across as personal attacks to you.

If this experience has taught me anything, it is becoming more and more apparent that XXXXX has simply become to big to care.

Stay tuned to Trees Full of Money as this ongoing saga continues.

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