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Monday, March 18, 2013

Delta-- 2013 And Still The Worst Airline Since Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi Jumped Off The Galata Tower in 1638

Let me start with the end of the story. I bought a business class ticket on Lufthansa from L.A. to Florence for $3,112. There's a stop in Frankfurt coming and going. The departure and arrival times are all perfect and the wait times in Frankfurt are minimal. Two free bags in cargo and two free bags in the cabin. The plane has WiFi. The whole procedure of buying the ticket took 20 minutes, tops.

I had spent the better part of the day before that-- something like four hours, on the phone, mostly on hold, trying to buy a ticket from L.A. to Florence on Delta. I know, I know... Delta is the worst airline in the western world and only an idiot even attempts to try on it. The problem is one of my credit cards-- an American Express card that I almost never use any longer (because of Delta's affiliation) had racked up tens of thousands of miles on Delta years ago and I've never been able to use them because Delta has a policy of putting up every obstacle imaginable to prevent their customers from ever using miles. Have I mentioned that Delta is the worst airline?

Anyway, I would love to get rid of those miles... so I tried booking a ticket. My dates were flexible and, although I was trying to get to Florence, I told the agent I would be willing to fly into Rome, Milan or Pisa is nothing was available into Florence. I said I didn't mind a layover in any European city if that was necessary. I made it as easy as I could. It didn't matter. Nothing was available. OK, how about if I buy a coach ticket and I use the miles to upgrade to business? She said that she could do. OK. Hours later-- and I'm sure it was more grueling for her than it was for me, who, after all, was just sitting here writing a post about the catastrophe in Cyprus while she scoured the Delta system and the system of all Delta's partners.

Eventually she came up with a somewhat inconvenient flight for $3,400 and something (in coach, but upgradable to business for 50,000 miles). I said OK. I gave her all the info right through to the secret code of the back of my credit card. But by the time she tried to finalize the deal the price had jumped to $6,000 and something. I said, "No, let's find another flight." She made up a story that she had spent more time with me than she was allowed and that she would have to transfer me to another agent. I said OK. She didn't transfer me to anyone, just put me back in the wait line.

That's when it dawned on me that it was CHEAPER to buy a business ticket on Lufthansa (as well as half a dozen other airlines) than an upgradable coach ticket on Delta. I can't believe Delta stays in business. Really, I can't.

1 comment:

DrFix said...

If you thought Delta Airlines management was half baked here is more evidence. Maybe all the evidence needed to prove the case. This week Delta posted a job opening bid at the Minneapolis- St. Paul Airport (MSP) for someone who could drive a Porsche. Why does Delta need a sports car driver? The plan is to ferry platinum and diamond members of SkyMiles (Delta’s frequent flyer program) from arrival gate to departing gate when the connection is tight. It isn’t clear why Delta thinks it cannot do this with electric carts inside the terminal. Apparently someone at Delta has their heart set on further cluttering up the tarmac with more non-essential traffic. Where is the FAA and the MSP Airport Commission when we need them?