Monday, June 19, 2006

Delta's return to grace

If I didn't have tons of miles in their frequent flyer program, I would've hated Delta. But I loved Song, their low-fare effort that came and went in the wink of an eye.

Song was spunky, flight attendants had a sense of humor and energy like Southwest has. Their flight times were weird.. leaving SFO in the afternoon, reaching Boston late night. That meant empty seats and I didn't mind forking out a few extra bucks to get three empty seats for some nice sack time. Delta being Delta, they got rid of Song and plan to incorporate that in their new cross-country services.

Delta was fun too. They'd waive all kinds of cancellation fees, but not when the op moved to agents in India. Just when you thought our Indian siblings would be nice and give us a home discount, they instead stick by the rulebook. So if you expect a waiver, dream on. You can try, sure. Charm better be at 100% and be ready to chat up about cricket and Sachin Tendulkar.

If that isn't shibby, don't even mention your reservation number: go straight to "I want to talk to your manager." Ok, a bit rude, but results needs aggression. And every $$ counts. Just hope you don't marry that person in the future. Spouse will recognize your barking voice, and demand a divorce. Weirder things have happened, and Delta can make anything happen.

I'm on my way to New York (past dated), and an attendant just barked at a bunch of people exchanging seats "What's wrong?" Say, what in the world happened to "how can I help you?"

So that's my story. Criss-crossing USA as my life moves into transition period bearing Delta flights and needing a weekend to recover from the shock of it.


Blogger Chick Pea said...

hate delta, trying to use up all my miles. the only part that i love about them, is living here for 4 years and traveling a crapload.. i've become silver medallion and get bumped up 80% of the time to first class.. it's nice.. esp when it was an international flight to spain... que bueno.. otherwise they SUCK as an airline... service..and food..and everything else

7:52 PM  
Blogger venus said...

and they call Mumbai the rudest city!! Probably they have not flied in any delta yet..

10:23 AM  
Blogger RPM said...

@khakra: I have had two fantastic experiences with Delta call center reps. I was trying to book a ticket for someone using my miles and then I called again after a couple of hours to change that reservation.

Both the times, I ended the call with 'I must say, you have done a wonderful job today'! And if you know me and my experiences/impressions of call center customer service personnel, that is HUGE!

Of course, I was not looking for extra discounts or any such thing, simply trying to get consistent results :-) I guess I had my expectations set a little lower.

And yes, I have a ton of miles with Delta too, and is it me or have all the airlines started making it more and more difficult to earn and redeem miles nowadays? (Yes, even Southwest has 2 types of rewards now!)

8:30 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I took Delta to Mumbai almost two years ago. We have one of those Sky Miles Amex cards that the hubby uses for work, so we have a zillion miles. Therefore, we are taking Delta back to Mumbai this year for a friend's wedding. $28 and change for each roundtrip ticket out of Houston, TX. However, we have a layover in Moscow and have to fly Aeroflot (Sky Team partner). I am terrified of Aeroflot. I have read bad things...

I travel Delta a lot in the US. So I did note that the most broken down, worn out Delta plane in the fleet has to be the one that flies back and forth from Paris to Mumbai.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Khakra said...

rpm: best way to use mileage? upgrade, like chick pea! skymiles seats are totally out of radar unless you want to plan your travel around the skymiles seats available.

ashley you crack me up! because the plane from paris to mumbai sucks, choose moskva as a layover? you rock! and watch your cash at sheremetyevo. it's not that bad, take my word for it. treat it like being on bombay or madras airport. but if you're going to domodedovo, you are.. well.. experience it.

7:19 PM  

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