by Jeff Sovern
When last we left my daughter, she was in Atlanta, bagless, and Delta was clueless about where it was. On Sunday, she returned to the Atlanta airport for her return flight. Fortunately, checking in went faster than for her departure flight because she didn’t have a bag to check! She cleared security, only to learn that her flight home to LaGuardia had been cancelled. She desperately sought an alternate flight. Finally, a Delta employee found her a flight to Detroit. From there, she could get on a plane to the White Plains airport, and from there she could take a Lyft home, arriving home at 2 a.m., about five hours later than her originally-planned return.
By the time her flight arrived in Detroit, she had only minutes to make it to the connecting flight. She ran to the gate, only to discover that the flight was overbooked by some twenty people. Delta offered people compensation to surrender their seats and postpone their flight until the next day, and finally my daughter got a seat. Of course, the fight was delayed by computer glitches. Meanwhile, the flight was still overbooked and so Delta kept raising its offer. Finally, my daughter decided that arriving the next day with compensation beat arriving home in the middle of the night. She took the offer, only to be stuck in the airport until 2 a.m. anyway while Delta attended to the logistics of booking her hotel room and flight back. She spent the rest of the night at an oddly-smelling airport motel, got on a flight the next afternoon (which was, naturally, overbooked and delayed by an hour), and arrived back at her home the following evening.
Her bag remains lost, and she still hasn’t received the promised compensation, despite spending nearly an hour on the phone yesterday trying unsuccessfully to get it. Maybe they put it in her suitcase. But at least she no longer has to fly Delta. Until, of course the next time she flies a route that only Delta serves. Ah, the benefits of an oligopoly.