I don’t typically use my blog as a platform to talk about non food/health topics. However, I am fuming mad and simply cannot keep the injustice of this situation to myself. I had a horrible experience flying Delta on my recent trip to Europe. As a consumer who avidly votes with her dollars, I am ashamed to say that I chose them and have been a loyal Delta customer over the years. This is a mistake that I will not be making again.
Before you read my letter to Delta, you should know that I also spoke to 3 different agents on the phone and 3 different agents in person at the airport before sending this complaint through their website. Each person just turfed me off to the next or transferred me to another department. Way to make a girl feel special, Delta. No hugs, no kisses, straight shaft!
My name is Kyndra Holley (Travel was under my maiden name of *****)- Skymiles #9215******. Our trip confirmation # is HGS***. My husband and I recently traveled for a 10 day trip to Europe – For which we paid just under $5000 for our airline tickets. Our flight out was on Delta flight 4849. From there we flew to Vancouver, Canada, continuing on to Amsterdam and to our final destination of Venice. We arrived at the Venice airport after nearly 24 hours of travel only to find that my bag was not on the carousel. We went to the Delta/KLM lost baggage counter in the Venice, Marco Polo Airport. The reference # for that claim is VCEKL13986. We were told that my luggage was never loaded onto my flight in Seattle. (My initial flight was not a partner airline, but DELTA. It was DELTA that failed to load my luggage on one of THEIR planes) We were told that it would be coming on a flight connecting through Amsterdam and arriving 4 hours later. To avoid the risk of it getting lost again, we stayed at the airport for 4 more hours, despite the fact that we were extremely exhausted and were now missing dinner with friends in Venice. Imagine my surprise when after waiting for 4 additional hours, my bag was never loaded onto that flight and I once again stood at an empty carousel. I was then told by the agent that the status and whereabouts of my bag were unknown. It was 7pm by the time we left the airport. We had now been there for 6 hours after our flight landed. We took a taxi to our hotel and made sure that the concierge had the information. We were to board a cruise at 10am in the morning. We were told that it was not likely that my bag would make it to me before then but that I would get it at one of the ports along the way. At this point, I literally only had the clothes on my back. I couldn’t even take my contacts out or brush my teeth. 10 days worth of clothing, shoes, accessories, toiletries… EVERYTHING… lost. Forget the fact that I had two formal outfits for the formal nights on the cruise. I washed my undergarments in the sink (Mind you these are the same clothes I have now had on for approaching 40 hours. Then I spent what should have been breakfast time, sprinting through Venice in an attempt to find something to bring on the boat with me in the way of clothing. I managed to find a couple of dresses and a skirt before it was time to board the boat. I kept checking in on the status of my bags only to be told repeatedly that it had been located, only to be lost again. It was lost by Delta, KLM, Air France and Austrian Air. Each time I saw that it had been located, only to find out that it was lost again, was just ruining my vacation that much more. It was not until the night of my 7th day of vacation, YES 7th DAY!! that I got my bag back on the port in Santorini, Greece. By this time my bag had traveled to more countries than I had. I had two days left of vacation before going home. I spent my vacation washing my ONE pair of underwear in the sink each night and using the blow dryer in my stateroom to dry it each morning. I had my contacts in for 5 days. I had no hair product, face wash, etc. I missed the formal dinners on the cruise for lack of attire. It was hands down the most miserable vacation I have ever been on. $5000 in airfare and I can’t even get my luggage until the 7th night of my vacation. I had my luggage back in my possession for 2 days before flying home. Imagine my shock and dismay to arrive home in Seattle after my vacation had already been ruined, to stand at the carousel and once again not find my luggage. Yes, Delta lost my luggage on my return flight as well. I only had it in my possession for 2 days before it was lost again. I was promised that it was coming on a later flight and would be delivered to my home no later than 6pm. Guess what, I went to bed that night with no luggage. It was delivered to my house the next day. That claim # is SEADL51652. Most people don’t get their luggage lost in their entire life and mine was lost multiple times in one trip. When I called about this, I was transferred around from department to department with no one taking any ownership or pride in their position. I was simply told to fill out another claim form and send an email through the site. I have been a loyal Delta customer for quite a long time. I will definitely be voting with my dollars going forward and will never make that mistake again. I certainly hope that you understand the gravity of this situation and the impact that it had on my vacation. A vacation I spent a lot of hard earned money to go on, only to be ruined at the hands of Delta. In my book, this is simply unacceptable. As a small business owner, I would without a doubt be out of business if I operated the way that Delta does. I guess when you are the “big fish” in the pond, you can treat people however you want. I will not be making the mistake of flying with Delta again
Thanks for nothing,
Kyndra D Holley
***I should also note that this was the second complaint email I sent through their site regarding this. The first one never received a response at all. That one was even sent during the last day of my vacation in Venice – BEFORE they lost my luggage a second time.***
This is a picture of my very well traveled bag once I received it on the evening of the 7th day of my trip.
I have been told that Delta has been generous in their resolution of situations like this in the past. Even through my annoyance and frantic typing of my complaint email, I still felt that they would make it right. To my core, I felt this to be true. How could they not, right? WRONG! The first slap in the face came when I went to the Delta counter at the Marco Polo Airport in Venice, Italy, for my return flight home. I explained what happened with my luggage, and how this affected my vacation. I showed them the claim letter that I had for my missing luggage. I was hoping that they would at least upgrade our seats on the flight home. This seems like the smallest gesture they could possibly make as a show of good faith and in an attempt to right their wrongs. (Mind you, there were a substantial amount of open tickets in first class, business class and economy comfort) I was simply told “Your flight and luggage situation on your first flight has nothing to do with this flight” OUCH!!! Nice business model Delta. My situation could have been smoothed over and I would have been a happy traveler if only you upgraded me to one of the 8 EMPTY, UNBOOKED SEATS in the first class cabin. But no, why do that? Why do that when our tickets were only $5000? That would just be a stupid way to fix the situation. (Extreme sarcasm here…)
Hey Delta, If I invited you over to my home for dinner and was going to cook you one of the delicious recipes from my cookbook but simply forgot to cook the food, wouldn’t the simplest option be to offer to cook you an even better meal and maybe even throw in a dessert? Perhaps I should take a page out of the Delta employee training manual and just tell you that what you ate for breakfast has no bearing on the fact that I didn’t feed you dinner. Yeah, that sounds about right.
We fly home and after another extremely long day of travel, we arrive back to Seatac International Airport. We go through customs and make our way to the baggage claim. My husband grabs his bag off the carousel and we are standing there waiting for mine… Waiting… Waiting… Bueller… Bueller…
The number of bags begin to dwindle and I hear “Will the following passengers… (they ramble off a list of names that could only in a parallel freaking universe possibly include mine) please see your nearest Delta representative regarding your bags.” I rub my ears in a giant exaggerated “I can’t believe my ears” motion. I am so freaking tired… to the depths of my soul, emotionally and physically exhausted. How could this really be happening to me AGAIN?
During my trip, as I washed my underwear each night, and used a blow dryer to dry it each morning, my friends would joke and say things like “Well, at least you got your one lost luggage for life out of the way”. We joked about how I would board the plane home, clutching my giant suitcase against my chest with feelings of severe separation anxiety if anyone tried to make me check it. We laughed (They laughed, I cried) about how 7 days of European travel without any of my things was traumatic enough that I would buy a seat for my suitcase on the way home so that I didn’t have to have it out of my possession again. My friend Vanessa actually said “You would have to be a statistical anomaly for them to lose your bag again on the way home.” After that voice blared over the loudspeaker, as I fought back the tears of anger before walking over to the Delta rep, I texted her the following message – “I am officially a statistical anomaly…”
The rep told me that my bag was lost and that it should arrive on a later flight from Amsterdam but that he couldn’t guarantee it. He told me to go to the Delta counter and file another lost luggage claim. ANOTHER ONE!! The women at that counter told me that she was able to verify that it would be coming in on a flight that evening and would be delivered to my home no later than 6pm. As you already read in my letter, I went to bed that night with no returned luggage and certainly no call from Delta. It was delivered the next day. Delta, why you no even call?
Here is the message I received from Delta today in regards to my complaint letter above:
Thank you for your e-mail describing your recent experience with our SkyTeam partner, KLM. We realize it was a trying experience, and regret that it happened.
We will consider reimbursement for any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred during the delay of your luggage. Please complete the attached expense reimbursement form and return it to us, along with your receipts. You may either reply back to this e-mail with the completed information attached, or you may send the information via U.S. Mail or fax to:
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Baggage Service Recovery
PO Box 20598, Department 989
Atlanta, GA 30320-2598
Again, thank you for writing. We appreciate your selection of SkyTeam and will always welcome the opportunity to be of service. For more information about the SkyTeam alliance, please visit SkyTeam.com.
Delta Baggage Service Center
Now here’s the catch about that letter… I was told that if my claim was approved, I would be refunded up to a maximum of 100€. That’s it. I’m not saying I have super fancy things, or crazy expensive taste, but that wouldn’t even replace my toiletries, let alone 10 days worth of clothing, 2 formal outfits, etc. I had 20 minutes to shop before boarding a cruise ship. I was able to snag 2 identical dresses, a skirt and 2 shirts. Just those 5 articles of clothing cost me nearly 300€. I’m not sure if you have ever been to Venice, but it isn’t exactly a place to find inexpensive clothing, let alone clothing in a hurry. It isn’t exactly the kind of place that has a random underwear store right in the middle of the city. Not exactly an easy place to find full toiletries either. I realize that people that live there have these same basic needs and have been getting by just fine for centuries. However, they have more than 20 minutes to shop, speak the language and aren’t frantically running the city on foot, minutes before boarding a cruise ship. If I took more time to shop, I would have missed the boat. Get it?
Now Delta, are you kidding me here? Am I on Punk’d!? Is Ashton Kutcher about to jump out with Dax Shepard and a camera? Your only resolution for this whole experience is to pass the buck to your “SkyTeam Partner” and to “consider” a small reimbursement? Remember the part where I said that I was specifically told that it was initially lost because Delta failed to load it onto my plane in Seattle. That was a Delta flight, NOT a KLM flight. For shame Delta!
Delta, I feel I must tell you that the Venetian sun has set on our relationship. I am breaking up with you. My flights this past year to Italy, France, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Spokane, Salt Lake City (x2) meant nothing to you. I refuse to be your sugar mama any longer. I have no less that one flight per month from now and continuing into 2016. You can rest assured that these will not be Delta flights. I will find a new airline boyfriend to abuse me and take my money. You can also rest assured that I will not be having you over for dinner any time soon.