#931939 by julmops
26 Jan 2017, 15:12
This report is a little particular in the sense that the whole experience with Delta this time was particularly frustrating and not nice …
We arrived at MCO around 11.30 for a 1.25pm departure to Atlanta.
Check-in was busy but as we were connecting in ATL onto VS104 in UC, we could use the Sky Priority desks.
All 3 pieces of luggage checked through to LHR.
While at check-in, I asked the very nice lady if we had access to the Sky Club lounge and she informed me that I should go there and ask.
Through passport control and security in about 10 minutes and we were onto the train to the gates.
There, we decided to try our luck at the Delta Sky Club and were pleasantly surprised to be welcomed without any question, contrarily to what I had been told by Delta Customer Services.
We were also informed that our flight had been delayed by 90 minutes and that we should keep checking the screens for further information.
We settled down with a nice glass of chardonnay and a few bits and bobs to eat.
After 20 minutes, I double checked and saw that further delays had been announced due to massive storms over Atlanta and it was becoming very clear that we wouldn’t make the connection there.
Once again, I went back to the desk and asked for advice.
The very nice lady (which was far away from the usual dragon) checked and agreed that the connection was impossible so she duly started to find an alternative solution for us.
As it was taking a long time, she told me to get back to my seat and that she would call me when she had found something.
After another 20 minutes, she called me but looked really embarrassed and this is where the nightmare started.
She had checked every single possibility to get us back to London on the day and the day after and she couldn’t find any business class seat (or any Premium Economy for that) at all.
The only option was a double downgrade to Delta’s main cabin via Atlanta, which we didn’t have the chance but to accept. She was really apologetic about it but nothing else she could do.
So we were booked on the DL28, leaving ATL at 19.17 on the same evening but by then it was already 14.50 and I was seriously starting to doubt we would make that one either.
We left the lounge and walked to gate 87 to find complete chaos and only one agent to deal with all requests.
Finally an empty plane arrived at the gate and we were told that this was a replacement plane as the original plane had been hit by lightning in ATL and was unserviceable.
The original plane was a A321 and the plane at the gate was a B738 that actually was still tech and needed a new part that luckily had been sourced and was on its way.
Another hour passed and then the pilot realised that cleaners and caterers hadn’t come round yet so it added some further delays.
Once the plane was ready to board (still with only one agent to deal with a full plane load), they realised that obviously the seat map had changed so every single boarding pass was wrong and had to be reprinted.
We finally left MCO 4 .5 hours late …
By then, we knew that we would miss the DL28 too …
The storms that had triggered that mess had moved from ATL but were actually on our path to there so it was a bumpy ride to say the least …
Finally arrived in ATL around 7.05 so definitely too late for the DL28 and at gate A20.
As we were connecting to an international flight, we had to catch the train to terminal F.
Once there, we joined the queue at the Service Center to see what could be done for us.
After 30 minutes in queue, we finally saw someone that rebooked us on DL30 leaving at 2139.
No empathy, no sympathy, no apologies were presented.
We were given our boarding passes and ended up in 40C and D, instead of the original 1A and 2A.
We were very unhappy about the whole thing but nothing could be done.
I will report on DL30 separately.
#931940 by SlimpyJones
26 Jan 2017, 15:23
Ack, what bad luck you had. Sorry to hear of this. Sounds like it was a mix of weather and technical issues, so I have no idea if this would fall on DL's shoulders, nor what you can get re: the double downgrade. Right at the back of the plane as well. I wonder what your travel insurance covers?
#931943 by David
26 Jan 2017, 15:31
Julmops,

I have come to quite like the whole connection thing with delta and indeed have connected many times now through JFK and ATL but have become quite cautious about it after a recent experience.

Was due to connect via JFK back to LHR then up to EDI, MCO to JFK flight gained a 30 delay, then 1 hour then 1.5 hours then 2 and connection was becoming quite tight and I normally leave a good 3 hours between flights.

Literally run from the arriving terminal to the train and as luck had it, needed only one stop to get to VS check ins, got caught up in security and arrived at the gate just as they called Upper so no clubhouse that time.

Was on G's as well so quite panicky about what might happen, so now give myself a min of 4 hours, probably over cautious but takes away a bit of the stress.

I'm guessing that you were probably relieved to get home, but not a nice ending to a holiday !

Have DL / VS compensated you for the downgrade or are they each blaming each other ?

David
Last edited by David on 26 Jan 2017, 15:54, edited 1 time in total.
#931944 by julmops
26 Jan 2017, 15:43
Thanks all for your answers. We had 2.40 hours for the connection, I believed it would be enough but obviously not ...
Practice is quite obscure but I called Virgin first and got my 40000 miles back as the seats were G's and the refund of the taxes as well but they blame Delta for the rest so I've also contacted Delta for the delay, the double downgrade but also the fact that our luggage got stuck in ATL and we only got it back on Tuesday evening ... I still have to hear from them.
#931945 by SlimpyJones
26 Jan 2017, 15:45
Sounds like the best course of action. I think VS are correct in saying that Delta are to blame. I would manage your expectations with what you may receive though, US airlines are not the most generous when it comes to compensation, so I hear. I'd anticipate a voucher of some sort.
#931946 by julmops
26 Jan 2017, 15:48
SlimpyJones wrote:Sounds like the best course of action. I think VS are correct in saying that Delta are to blame. I would manage your expectations with what you may receive though, US airlines are not the most generous when it comes to compensation, so I hear. I'd anticipate a voucher of some sort.

I'm not expecting much to be honest, it's more a matter of principle ... It won't prevent me to fly with them as it really was bad luck all in all but I didn't like the way we were treated ...
#931961 by Hev60
26 Jan 2017, 17:46
Hi julmops, When I read your outbound trip report saying your return had been a nightmare I wasn't really prepared for this list of horrible events you have had to experience.
I feel so sorry for you. Hope you enjoyed Orlando and your cruise though.

Firstly it seems VS are changing people's flights either outbound or return quite a lot lately. Same day time changes are bad enough but lately there are so many stories about whole day flight alterations. I understand there has to be reasons behind this but I don't think 'they' can take on how this impacts on an individual's vacation plans especially when the flight has not been booked as a package. There are so many other factors which get affected by a change of flight day.

The weather can play a major factor especially when connections are involved and departing from Florida is one of the worst areas, no matter what time of year it is storms are awful. I have experienced this so many times in the past and have vowed only to arrange next day connections, even if I end up staying in an airport hotel overnight. One time we allowed a six hour connection at JFK, flying up from Tampa, but got delayed by a storm and missed our flight. Fortunately VS managed to put us on another very late flight that evening but in economy.

The way I see it, you have been badly let down by Delta for loads of reasons but your return journey problems orignally stemmed from VS cancelling their flight. Horrible ending to your holidays.
#931991 by hiljil
27 Jan 2017, 08:24
I can only add my sympathy for a horrible set of circumstances which ruined the end of your holiday.
Do hope you actually had a great time in Orlando & on the cruise.
#932176 by julmops
01 Feb 2017, 12:27
Quick update as I've contacted Delta on Monday via Twitter ... They have 30 days to reply to queries so I've been asked to be patient ... I will keep you posted when (if) I get an answer ...
#932290 by julmops
04 Feb 2017, 09:13
Hi all,happy to report that I've received an answer from a Delta regarding the hellish journey back home from Orlando ...
We received standard apologies email plus, and it's definitely more interesting, a credit voucher for $1000 each !!!
Very impressed !
That will certainly help towards our return flights to NYC next January... really pleased ;)
#932320 by honey lamb
04 Feb 2017, 23:37
julmops wrote:Hi all,happy to report that I've received an answer from a Delta regarding the hellish journey back home from Orlando ...
We received standard apologies email plus, and it's definitely more interesting, a credit voucher for $1000 each !!!
Very impressed !
That will certainly help towards our return flights to NYC next January... really pleased ;)

Wow! Well done you. Enjoy NYC courtesy of Delta (well partially)
#932480 by ColOrd
09 Feb 2017, 22:34
Glad to see you got a good response out of them.
#932699 by marshy11
14 Feb 2017, 10:21
A good result. Thanks for updating, it's always helpful to hear how things are resolved.
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