22 July 2008

Are Airlines Cheating on Flight Cancellation Compensation?

Dearly beloved

Every year there are a large number of hassles with equipment and weather outages. But this is to be expected in any times. In 2007 we had several major - indeed spectacular - disruptions in the winter of discontent that saw jetBlue meltdown its operations on two separate occasions.

So where are we now? In 2008 so far this year according to published news reports things are not good. Thus far for the first 6 months of the year there have been over 65,000 flights canceled. That is twice for all the number of 2007.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2008043947_webcanceledflights10.html

But don't worry the FAA and DOT have implemented new compensation for passengers whose flights are disrupted. That should fix it right?

Er - actually no. Now anything that is what it is gets labeled as a "weather disruption" and is not subject to any compensation.

For your reading pleasure I enclose a response to a request for compensation due to Delta's policy - not weather disruption.


Start with my formal complaint (at the bottom) and work back up to the reply at the top.

Sounds remarkably like a catch 22 problem. Don't you think? So are the airlines cheating? The numbers indicate that they are - the amount paid out according to the DOT has not increased yet the number of flights canceled is running at 4x. Something doesn't sound or feel right

Thanks Delta - my loyalty to you shows no bounds.

Timothy

EMAIL CONVERSATION FOLLOWS:(Hint start at the bottom first).


Dear Mr. O'Neil Dunne,

Thank you for your e-mail describing the problem you experienced.

Our goal is to make your travel experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible, and we regret you didn?t receive the high level of service we strive to provide. Our airport representatives are expected to always be responsive, and offer precise, complete information. It sounds like that didn?t happen in this case, and we will continue to make efforts to improve in this area.

When traveling from U.S. Cities, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all passengers must be at the gate at least 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Passengers who do not comply with the published check-in times are subject to having their seats released and subject to re-assignment.

Federal regulations require an airline to give compensation to a passenger who is denied boarding on a flight due to an oversold situation. This particular rule is not applicable in the event of a flight irregularity such as a mechanical or weather delay. Accordingly, we must respectfully decline your request.

Mr.O'Neil Dunne, thank you again for giving us an opportunity to respond to your concern. We very much appreciate your Medallion loyalty to Delta and look forward to the privilege of serving you again soon.

Sincerely,

Mandisa T. Reid
Manager
Customer Care


Original Message Follows:
------------------------

PERSONAL INFORMATION:

Name: Mr Timothy O Neil Dunne
Email Address : timothyo@t2ni.com
SkyMiles Number: 0543535041

COMMENT DETAILS:

Email about Past/Future travel: Past
Nature of Comment: Complaint Concern
Email Pertaining to: Flight_Delay_Cancellation Email about Other topic:

Comments:

Below (in reverse) is my itinerary.
03 Jul 2008 Delta Flight 1051 from Atlanta, GA to Seattle, WA (YV)
02 Jul 2008 Delta Flight 4481 from Manchester, NH to Atlanta, GA (L)
30 Jun 2008 Delta Flight 5169 from Cincinnati, OH to Manchester, NH (K)
30 Jun 2008 Delta Flight 1632 from Seattle, WA to Cincinnati, OH (KV)
The nature of my complaint is twofold.

1. The decision to fly or not fly was not provided by Local Staff in Manchester and no attempt to accommodate passengers was made. Given that the flight would have been an illegal connection, the ground staff should not have boarded passengers such as myself with tight connections.
2. At Atlanta we arrived technically early and i could easily have made the connection except for the fact that the ground staff took 30 minutes to get the hand bags off the aircraft.
3. On arriving at the gate with 10 minutes to spare (the agent closed the door on me) I was told i had arrived late. On looking at the boarding list I saw that in fact the ground agent had in fact closed the flight early (at 2025)and had actually given away my seat BEFORE the due time.
4. The accomodation desk in the terminal was inaccurate with information provided to passengers and failed to accommodate me correctly. I was told SPECIFICALLY that i had a confirmed reservation on the next day - which turned out not to be true. If you investigate the PNR history you will see that in fact the seat was only cleared when I called to the agent and had them re-book the seat on the flight as opposed to the standby status the airport agent had booked me on.

Therefore in light of the fact that I was unable to travel on the correct flight - not to mention the appalling way customers are being treated by your airport staff - i request a DOT mandated compensation as the misconnect was due to Delta action not the stated Weather related delay which contributed but did not actually cause the misconnect.
Would you like a reply to your e-mail?:yes

FLIGHT 1:

Flight Number : 4481
Date : 02jul08
Departure City : MHT
Ticket Number : 2347270848

1 comment:

met19 said...

how can they claim you arrived late it was their ground workers fault. i hope a complait is filed with dot