Tuesday, March 08, 2011

They Love to Fly. And It Blows.

Last year we traveled Delta on our annual vacation to Michigan and, when our flight was *very* delayed, we were given 4 $100 vouchers by Delta. While unhappy at being delayed with an infant, we felt well taken care of.

Tonight, we tried to use those vouchers online. Cindy picked the flights, entered the payment details, and then went through the painful process of entering the numbers for the vouchers (it seems that the QA folks never got to that part of the website!)

Three of them worked fine -- but the fourth returned a value of only $23 instead of $100! Cindy called customer service. It took 30 minutes, but finally someone told us: there's basically nothing we can do. Apparently, someone else had used $76 of that voucher. Our only recourse is to call and leave a message at the Fraud Hotline -- which is unfortunate because we want to buy these tickets tonight.

The CSR said that if the fraud were resolved within 24 hours they *may* be able to apply that voucher to our purchase as well.

Anyway, after nearly 40 minutes of waiting on the phone, we were told that we might as well just buy these tickets now and deal with the wonky voucher later.

So Cindy hit the "confirm" button: and the website told her that the fare had gone up while we were on the phone. We were staring at the "confirm purchase" screen the whole time -- it's not like we started a new reservation or anything. The fare went up before we confirmed payment details!

Cindy was STILL on the phone with customer service and asked if she could talk to someone about the fact that we were now being charged more because it took Delta 40 minutes to tell us that there was nothing they could do about the fact that the voucher Delta had given us apparently isn't any good -- and she was put on the phone with a rude Customer Service manager named Sarah who told my wife that she (Sarah) was not interested in helping her (her words, when my wife asked if she could give her a credit for the difference, were "I'm not going to do that.") At the end of the call, Cindy asked to participate in their customer survey...and Sarah hung up on her. Was it intentional? I have no idea. But I do know that if I were a CSR and I wanted my survey scores to be high, I wouldn't connect the unhappy customers to the survey.

To sum up: Delta gave us a voucher. That voucher is no good. While trying to resolve WHY that voucher is no good and what we can do about it, our fare went up (we were on the Confirm Purchase page in the browser -- it's not like we started a new search or anything).

To boot: we called the Fraud Hotline number we were given...and the voice mail box is full. Nice. So, as it turns out, there wasn't even really a way for us to report the fraud in the first place.

So not only are we out our $73, we're paying an additional $$$ in fare.

Yup. They love to fly. But it blows.