Sorry for the delay posting this report but, as you will see later, I have been awaiting developments from the trip. I have listed this under VS110 although it also involved a Delta flight. My markings for service etc all relate to VS110
This is a Trip Report from the Upper Class cabin
Food & Drink
Our 6 week break in Naples was over so my wife and I were due to fly back to Manchester from Fort Myers via Atlanta on Tuesday April 4th. We were scheduled on the 3.18pm flight from Fort Myers due Atlanta at 5.10pm giving us 2 hours for our onward connection to Manchester on VS110.
Weather reports on the Monday were for storms in Atlanta on that day and for the following Wednesday. However Tuesday looked good and we were not envisaging any problems. Around 9.15am on the Tuesday we received the first email from Delta advising that our flight DL1765/VS5282 was delayed and would now be departing at 4.11pm arriving ATL at 6.03pm leaving us 67mins to catch our connection. We spoke to VS and they confirmed they thought the timing tight but achievable. At that stage I checked on Flightradar24 as to the aircraft operating the flight. It transpired that it had been at Atlanta since lunchtime on the Monday as it's afternoon flight had been cancelled. It was currently enroute to Miami having departed Atlanta 2 hours late.
An hour and a half later we received a further Delta email to the effect that the flight was further delayed and would not now depart until 5.04pm arriving ATL at 6.56pm. No mention was made of our ongoing connection which was under the same Booking. I, therefore, spoke to VS and agreed with them to transfer us to the following day's flight but that we would still travel to Atlanta that night and stay over at the airport. This turned out to be a wise move.
At 12.19pm we received a further email that the flight would not now depart until 5.42pm arriving ATL at 7.42pm and that they were rebooking our onward connection. this was the last communication from Delta.
We drove up to RSW from Naples and at check advised the agent that we only wanted our bags booked to Atlanta as we required them for our overnight stay. This seemed to be a problem and she had to go and seek advice but, eventually, this was achieved but there was no mention of having to incur an overnight stay at Atlanta.
The flight eventually arrived at RSW at 5.14pm just as the 5.15pm flight to ATL was departing on time as had the 1.30pm departure before it. . Unloading and reloading began. This took a long time as you load the front rows, Zone 1, first rather than the European practice of loading the rear seated passengers first so that they do not block the aircraft aisle putting carry-on into the lockers. When everyone had boarded the Captain announced that there would be a further delay as he was waiting for Maintenance to come and check the tread on a nose-wheel tyre. The flight eventually departed Fort Myers at 6.38pm arriving in Atlanta at 7.58pm almost 3 hours late.
As my wife has Platinum status with Marriott we collected our bags and checked in to the Marriott GICC at the airport and on going to the room discovered they had upgraded us to the Presidential Suite. This was fantastic and I think larger than our home!!
The following morning dawned to torrential rain, thunderstorms and tornados. At breakfast one of the guests had a picture of a 'twister' taken from his bedroom window. It was no surprise that the airport was closed and flights cancelled or delayed. As we had time to kill we took the Skytrain back to the airport to speak to Delta Customer Services. After asking several agents we were directed to an agent at an unmarked desk. She advised that the agent at RSW should have arranged for us to collect hotel vouchers on arrival at ATL and gave us the email address of customer services.
At lunchtime the weather had improved somewhat and we made our way to the International Terminal and checked in. We repaired to the Delta lounge where we had some lunch. The offerings do seem to have improved and there were a couple of hot dishes as well as soups. We watched 'Miss Sunshine' arrive on time from MAN which boded well for an on time departure.
Around 6.20pm we wandered down to the gate and were surprised that there was nobody waiting as they had already boarded. We followed suit and as we were putting our bags in the locker the FSM came up, introduced herself, and called us by name. The cabin was virtually empty and she explained that, whilst it was a full flight, with all the delays and cancellations she wasn't sure how many passengers would make the flight. Talking to her we discovered that there were about 8 other passengers who had been on our flight up from Fort Myers the previous day and they had all had to make their own overnight arrangements.
We pushed back about 5 minutes early with a load of 61 passengers and 12 flight crew! The first hour was very rough with passengers and crew remaining seated. We then had about an hour clear for the meal service which you could say had the 'personal touch' . There was certainly no problem over meal choice. We encountered further bad weather over Boston and it was a case of hang on to your glass as otherwise you would spill your wine and there was the sound of cutlery crashing from the galley. Thankfully the remainder of the flight went off fine .
Since arriving home I have emailed Delta setting out the problems and the lack of any advice from their agents. It was useful to be able to quote the aircrafts actual journeys using the information from Flightradar24. A week later we received a good email reply from Delta Customer Services apologising for the poor service provided by their agents and advising that they would be issuing 2 travel vouchers for $150 each and requesting our bank details so that they could reimburse us for the cost of the hotel. They have now advised that the 'check' is in the post.
Sorry for the length of this report but I thought it would illustrate the problems that you can encounter and that the airlines do try to put things right eventually.