Airline Fresh Hell Story

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 19, 2011 12:20 AM GMT
    The Tale of the Travelling Bag or Why Not to Use Delta Airlines!

    So I left Wednesday evening after seeing online that my flight was on time. Get to the airport and of course there are lots of people in line, getting tickets. But clever me, I did my homework and printed of the ticket info and sauntered right up to the kiosk and checked in and checked my bag and proceeded to the TSA line. Met a fellow gay traveler in the line who chatted my up a bit. So I get through the scanner without being zapped (Charlotte-Douglas International uses scanners exclusively). My first casualty of this flight (1st in ten years) was the ear piece of my blue tooth device. I put it in the tray with my other stuff and when I put everything back on, the ear hook was missing. They took it apart! But I digress. So I make my way to the Delta gate and am in line for a bit because of the reworking of Atlanta folks whose connections in Atlanta are either cancelled or delayed because of the snow and ice storm the weekend before. This particular passenger was not the least bit happy. Finally I get to the counter, and am told I am being rerouted! I was suppose to fly Charlotte to Memphis and Memphis to Kansas City. Clearly, she is frazzled after the last passenger she dealt with so I went with it. I had to run to the other gate to catch the flight to Cincinnati and then connect to Kansas City, arriving 20 minutes early. She expedited my bag so it was going with me to Cincinnati and then to Kansas City.

    So this flight was better because only 20 people were on board as opposed to a full flight on the prior plane and off I go. Connect in Cincinnati to Kansas City without a hitch and off I go. Land in Kansas City 10 minutes ahead of what would have been my flight from Memphis. Meet Jeff at the gate and we go to baggage and low and behold, no bag. So I go to baggage claims and find out that my bag was never pulled from the plane in Charlotte. So at this point, we are thinking the bag will come in on the Memphis flight since it is delayed. 10 minutes later, that flight is cancelled. Then she goes back into the computer and finds that my bag is not in Memphis and that it never was expedited and never left Charlotte! Then she told me the bag would not arrive in Kansas City until 10am Thursday. I was livid to say the least. I was so upset that I didn’t remember her giving me a red claim ticket with the number to track on line. So we left. Jeff was great. Did his best to calm me down after experiencing similar trials and after we got to Manhattan, stopped to pick up some stuff for overnight. At this point I think I am getting my bag in the morning. (NOTE: Jeff (wildkatz) & Pharamond (journeyprotected) are the absolute best guys you could become pals with.)

    So I get up the next day, Thursday, and me, Jeff and Pharamond tooled around a bit. I had my toiletries in my backpack that I carried on the plan. Pharamond offered to look out for my bag since it was supposed to be delivered that day. He was taking a day off and wanted to veg. So off Jeff and I go. By 5pm, still no bag. Pharamond had been giving us updates throughout the day. That night, they try to distract me, especially after I had talked with no less than 5 Delta customer service reps throughout the day to no avail until finally the 6th one found out that my bag had in fact been in Kansas City since 7:30am that day!! She gave me the information and I asked Jeff to help find a rental car company in the area and I was going to go get it. Pharamond was doing some research and found a service that would go get my bag for me and bring it to a hotel that was close to us. I jumped on it. The next day, Friday, they called me because they couldn’t locate the bag. I gave him the file number and he said he would call me back. 10 minutes later, the door bell rang. I answered it and behold-there was my bag, being delivered by Delta! Along with another bag that had been assigned to me that was not mine. I just about did cartwheels in the snow. Jeff was still asleep and Pharamond had gone to work. So after, not 12hrs as the airline promised. Not even 24hrs. After nearly 36hrs, a grand total of 15 calls and 12 service reps, I had my bag. This was Friday morning. Fast forward to Sunday.

    Jeff leaves me at the airport and I check in. Mechanical problems. I did check the bag and pay the 2nd checked bag fee, thinking I will deal with it when I get home to file the claim for all the expenses I incurred because of the lost bag. My flight was to leave at 11:30am. This was fine since I had a nearly 2hr layover in Memphis so I wouldn’t miss it anyway. Then my name is called. Because the flight is delayed another hour, I am being rebooked on US Airways, a direct flight back to Charlotte. I ask about the fee. She says she voided it so I should see it on my statement and that it would be better to take my bag to US Airways. She called to have it sent up and I went to baggage to get it. I waited a total of 30 minutes and the bag was not sent up. I dealt with one of the rudest people when she told me I couldn’t make them go faster. She called down and the guys said it was pulled. I went out of the office and about 5 minutes later, she came out and made me promise not to yell at her when she gives me the update. My bag was never pulled from the plane and the plane is on its way to Memphis!!! So if it works out, I would get to Charlotte ahead of that plane. So off I go. The direct flight was annoying. Babies behind me, to the right of me and in first class. But overall, it was an ok flight considering how tired I was and couldn’t sleep. I get to the airport and find the Delta baggage claim office. After feeling like I was pulling eye teeth out, I see the Memphis plane has arrived. They finally locate the correct baggage terminal number and off I go. After almost walking away, out comes a final bag. It is MINE!!!! Yes, my bag had emerged from the Fresh Hell of Delta Baggage!!!

    So what are your airline horror stories?
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    Jan 19, 2011 1:00 AM GMT
    ErikTaurean saidSo what are your airline horror stories?
    My boss and I flew Spirit Airlines for a spur-of-the-moment overnight trip to NYC.
    The boss' wife got the tickets online while we were on the way to the airport, and chose Spirit because it was the cheapest.
    During the trip, they charged for EVERYTHING! Drinks, chips, even the fucking peanuts cost money. By the time we landed, my boss had spent over $100 in refreshments for us (ok, a few Jack Daniels bottles, too).
    Oh and the service sucked ass...flight attendants were slow, and treated us like we didn't even exist, even though we were in Business Class (not paid that way, just no seats left in coach - we got lucky).

    Never again will I fly that overpriced under-serviced airline.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Jan 19, 2011 3:21 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    ErikTaurean saidSo what are your airline horror stories?
    My boss and I flew Spirit Airlines for a spur-of-the-moment overnight trip to NYC.
    The boss' wife got the tickets online while we were on the way to the airport, and chose Spirit because it was the cheapest.
    During the trip, they charged for EVERYTHING! Drinks, chips, even the fucking peanuts cost money. By the time we landed, my boss had spent over $100 in refreshments for us (ok, a few Jack Daniels bottles, too).
    Oh and the service sucked ass...flight attendants were slow, and treated us like we didn't even exist, even though we were in Business Class (not paid that way, just no seats left in coach - we got lucky).

    Never again will I fly that overpriced under-serviced airline.


    Hey pal! I sell air and hotel vacation packages for Spirit Vacations so I know good and well how crappy that airline is. And....their reservations center is in India, so there is going to be a cultural gap right off the bat.

    I don't give a rip how cheap their fares are. I would NEVER use them.
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    Jan 19, 2011 3:36 AM GMT
    Very similar to yours, in short: last trip to Phoenix before I started flying into Mesa, baggage didn't make connection. They told me it would show up on the next flight and they would call me. Come next day, they couldn't find it still. Then it turns out it was in Phoenix about 2 hours after I was the day before. Guess who? Delta!

    They charge extra for luggage, but that then should constitue a guarantee that it will arrive with you or instant money back!
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Jan 19, 2011 3:40 AM GMT
    ErikTaurean, can I, as one who works in the travel industry, give you some tips.....?

    1. Hell is going to break loose if you travel by air in the winter months. Because of airport closures, weather issues and cancelled flights, the "fit is going to hit the shan," so to speak. Just be prepared for the worst there....You can't do a darn thing about it.

    2. Even though luggage tagging, either done by a skycap or an airline employee is better now with the barcodes, it is helpful to know the airport code of your arrival city. The front-end of misdirected luggage woes usually starts there with the bag being tagged to go to the wrong city. Since you were going to Kansas City, make sure you see MCI on there (MCI is the airport code for the KC airport). Back to Charlotte, it would be CLT. Years ago, I was checking in for a flight from Atlanta to Orlando and my bag was tagged for it to go to ORD (Chicago O'Hare). I immediately saw this and said, "I'm going to Orlando, but why will my bag end up at O'Hare? The Delta rep looked at me, then the bag and I guess he was bumfuzzled as to why a passenger would know these things, and I said, "Tag this correctly, please...and to MCO....where I am going!"

    3. You and many others are the exceptions to the rule, but in general....the traveling public is very, very stupid and ignorant....and their expectations of air travel are way too high. This is the reason why you are going to deal with frazzled airline personnel as they take a lot of crap from the aforementioned clueless public about travel. Also, these people are under constant stress not only from the public and their unrealistic expectations, but they are paid a very low wage, plus they are always worried about their jobs, given the turmoil in the industry since 9/11.

    A few years ago, I was on a US Airways flight shortly after the airline went through their second bankruptcy filing and their future looked pretty grim. Liquidation was talked about for them during that time. Upon departing the aircraft, I saw the flight crew and the pilot hovering near the aircraft door saying goodbye to the passengers. I said goodbye and thanked all of them for the sacrifices they had to make in their jobs just to be there that day. I saw smiles all around from all of them. Maybe others didn't care, but I did. Sometimes a kind word to an airline employee goes a long, long way......

    Hope this helps.....
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    Jan 19, 2011 3:42 AM GMT
    Maybe ten years ago I went to Shanghai and Beijing with a "business" group, a 12-hour flight.
    - In the middle of the night I woke up and saw a big green caterpillar crawling around on my pillow! I called the flight attendant and she had no idea what I was complaining about, couldn't speak English. Ick.
    - Shortly before arrival, the flight attendants (wearing surgical/medical face masks) are walking up and down the aisles spraying chemical disinfectant up into the air. Double ick.
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    Jan 19, 2011 3:55 AM GMT
    turtleneckjock said

    2. Even though luggage tagging, either done by a skycap or an airline employee is better now with the barcodes, it is helpful to know the airport code of your arrival city. The front-end of misdirected luggage woes usually starts there with the bag being tagged to go to the wrong city. Since you were going to Kansas City, make sure you see MCI on there (MCI is the airport code for the KC airport). Back to Charlotte, it would be CLT. Years ago, I was checking in for a flight from Atlanta to Orlando and my bag was tagged for it to go to ORD (Chicago O'Hare). I immediately saw this and said, "I'm going to Orlando, but why will my bag end up at O'Hare? The Delta rep looked at me, then the bag and I guess he was bumfuzzled as to why a passenger would know these things, and I said, "Tag this correctly, please...and to MCO....where I am going!"


    This happened to me once. The Continental person at the desk wasn't paying attention and put a tag coded for CMH instead of CVG.
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    Jan 19, 2011 3:57 AM GMT
    Worst thing that ever happened to me was that I missed a connecting flight, but my checked bag made it... that was pretty annoying. Luckily/oddly the connection happened to be in Pittsburgh where my grandparents live, and I stayed the night with them. But still, the people at O'Hare "assured" me I wouldn't miss my connecting flight, so I was pretty pissed.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Jan 19, 2011 4:00 AM GMT
    RunintheCity said
    turtleneckjock said

    2. Even though luggage tagging, either done by a skycap or an airline employee is better now with the barcodes, it is helpful to know the airport code of your arrival city. The front-end of misdirected luggage woes usually starts there with the bag being tagged to go to the wrong city. Since you were going to Kansas City, make sure you see MCI on there (MCI is the airport code for the KC airport). Back to Charlotte, it would be CLT. Years ago, I was checking in for a flight from Atlanta to Orlando and my bag was tagged for it to go to ORD (Chicago O'Hare). I immediately saw this and said, "I'm going to Orlando, but why will my bag end up at O'Hare? The Delta rep looked at me, then the bag and I guess he was bumfuzzled as to why a passenger would know these things, and I said, "Tag this correctly, please...and to MCO....where I am going!"


    This happened to me once. The Continental person at the desk wasn't paying attention and put a tag coded for CMH instead of CVG.


    Very true! And if you are flying to either Washington Dulles airport or Houston Intercontinental, you really have to keep your eyes peeled as it is very easy for them to confuse Dulles (IAD) with Houston Intercontinental (IAH).
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    Jan 19, 2011 4:01 AM GMT
    Well, I have really bad luck when it comes to baggage. About every third time I fly, something happens to my bags. Thankfully, I usually get them in about 48 hours or so. I just make sure I have my name and cell number all over the bag.

    My worst flight experience was on AmericaWest, about six years ago. We flew to Boston and back on them. My partner gets a bit nervous whenever we're traveling, so we arrived 3 hours early for this flight. They had the longest lines at each airport we stopped at (we had a couple of overnights on the way. We were taking our time). We finally got up to the front counter after 1.5 hours. There were people in front of us who missed their flight in front of us, and every which way. The flight attendants were rude and service was just awful. I could go on and on, but the bottom line, is that we have never flown them since, nor will we. The lines on the way back were the same. More people missing their flights because AmericaWest was inefficient and had too few people working. Maybe they've changed, since it has been a while, but we're never flying them again.
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    Jan 19, 2011 4:03 AM GMT
    RunintheCity said
    turtleneckjock said

    2. Even though luggage tagging, either done by a skycap or an airline employee is better now with the barcodes, it is helpful to know the airport code of your arrival city. The front-end of misdirected luggage woes usually starts there with the bag being tagged to go to the wrong city. Since you were going to Kansas City, make sure you see MCI on there (MCI is the airport code for the KC airport). Back to Charlotte, it would be CLT. Years ago, I was checking in for a flight from Atlanta to Orlando and my bag was tagged for it to go to ORD (Chicago O'Hare). I immediately saw this and said, "I'm going to Orlando, but why will my bag end up at O'Hare? The Delta rep looked at me, then the bag and I guess he was bumfuzzled as to why a passenger would know these things, and I said, "Tag this correctly, please...and to MCO....where I am going!"


    This happened to me once. The Continental person at the desk wasn't paying attention and put a tag coded for CMH instead of CVG.


    This has happened to us twice. The most recent time was in Mexico a few months ago. You really need to know your destination airport code!
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    Jan 19, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    Heres a tip. Want to possibly avoid any of this haha fly Southwest. Not 100% great with bags but alot better than Delta or American.
  • turtleneckjoc...

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    Jan 19, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    zarin saidWell, I have really bad luck when it comes to baggage. About every third time I fly, something happens to my bags. Thankfully, I usually get them in about 48 hours or so. I just make sure I have my name and cell number all over the bag.

    My worst flight experience was on AmericaWest, about six years ago. We flew to Boston and back on them. My partner gets a bit nervous whenever we're traveling, so we arrived 3 hours early for this flight. They had the longest lines at each airport we stopped at (we had a couple of overnights on the way. We were taking our time). We finally got up to the front counter after 1.5 hours. There were people in front of us who missed their flight in front of us, and every which way. The flight attendants were rude and service was just awful. I could go on and on, but the bottom line, is that we have never flown them since, nor will we. The lines on the way back were the same. More people missing their flights because AmericaWest was inefficient and had too few people working. Maybe they've changed, since it has been a while, but we're never flying them again.


    FYI and an update here: America West was purchased by US Airways a few years back. And your feelings are correct. America West had a horrible track record for service.
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    Jan 19, 2011 4:10 AM GMT
    I'm with the anti-Spirit group. I had two horrible experiences with them and will now never fly them again. By the way, what kind of crappy airline orders brand new planes with the smallest leg room of any airline and makes the seats not able to recline?

    I had a bad experience with American over the holidays where they lost my bag, delivered it to my house two days later with a HOLE in it. I wasn't very happy with that. It was a hard-shell case too that apparently was indestructible. Either AA or the bag manufacturer will replace it, but still a pain in the butt.

    I can't even count the number of bad airline travel stories about delays, etc... I have though. And customer service with an airline is basically non-existent.

    My favorite airline to date is Virgin America, though. Always had amazing experiences with them. :crosses fingers:
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    Jan 19, 2011 4:10 AM GMT
    if its less than an hr before departure, they will not remove your bags from the plane no matter how expedited or how important your status is with the airline. ooooooooh well! secondly, if she is dealing with that horrible computer system known as sabre, sometimes you think you did something to find out it didnt go through. I bet she was so swamped she forgot to call the expeditor as well. so next time, never leave without the person calling in to see if the transaction went through.

    now, as i understand, deltya owes you some money since they left you wihtout your bag for more than 24hrs. its the law! so call them and dont settle for a no...its your right!
  • cbrett

    Posts: 609

    Jan 19, 2011 4:15 AM GMT
    NakedBudd saidMaybe ten years ago I went to Shanghai and Beijing with a "business" group, a 12-hour flight.
    - In the middle of the night I woke up and saw a big green caterpillar crawling around on my pillow! I called the flight attendant and she had no idea what I was complaining about, couldn't speak English. Ick.
    - Shortly before arrival, the flight attendants (wearing surgical/medical face masks) are walking up and down the aisles spraying chemical disinfectant up into the air. Double ick.



    did you speak chinese icon_confused.gif
  • cbrett

    Posts: 609

    Jan 19, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    halltd saidMy favorite airline to date is Virgin America, though. Always had amazing experiences with them. :crosses fingers:



    ya go Virgin america the baby-sister air line to Virgin Blue and V australia
  • cbrett

    Posts: 609

    Jan 19, 2011 4:29 AM GMT
    tips of travel

    1 get to airport early
    2 put your name on your luggage and your mobile phone or phone contact
    3 no what you paid for (just a seat, food and luggage etc)
    4 be at the boarding gate on time
    5 listen to boarding call yes they can be hard to hear but their are thousands of people making a damn lot of noise
    6 when you board, just sit down dont whinge about your seat etc
    7 when the plane lands and the seat belt sign is still on stay seated its not a race to get off the plane and take all your stuff with you ie mobile phone,reading glass and that important piece of paper that looks like rubbish
    8 when you collect you luggage make sure its yours other people check in a black suit case too and they do sell muilt bright pink suit case.


    and if the plane is delayed or worse canceled please listen to the staff helping you. theyarent god so they cannot change the weather and if your plane needs to be fixed it better fixed on the ground then in the air, also luggage does go missing, they are sorry, they will do their best to get it back but if you yell and scream at someone who is trying to help, do you think they will hurry, a really good tip when you have lost your luggage make sure the staff member likes you when you leave they will fill bad for you and will try harder to locate and return you luggage

    have fun flying
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    Jan 19, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    I actually have better experiences with Delta than with most others.

    One memorable episode: As a grad student, I took "People Express" home for a vacation. The ticket was cheap-ish, but still took all the money I had. Around midnight, the flight landed in... Denver I think, and they announced "Peoples Express is Ceasing Operations. Now." No connecting flight, no hotel. They dumped me 2000 miles from home at midnight with about $35 in my pocket. I never did see my bag again, ever.

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    Jan 19, 2011 7:08 AM GMT
    jrunner25 saidif its less than an hr before departure, they will not remove your bags from the plane no matter how expedited or how important your status is with the airline. ooooooooh well! secondly, if she is dealing with that horrible computer system known as sabre, sometimes you think you did something to find out it didnt go through. I bet she was so swamped she forgot to call the expeditor as well. so next time, never leave without the person calling in to see if the transaction went through.

    now, as i understand, deltya owes you some money since they left you wihtout your bag for more than 24hrs. its the law! so call them and dont settle for a no...its your right!


    She did call the expeditor. The original expeditor tag was on the bag when it arrived and you bet your ass I am going to get that money back from Delta!
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    Jan 19, 2011 7:13 AM GMT
    cbrett saidtips of travel

    1 get to airport early
    2 put your name on your luggage and your mobile phone or phone contact
    3 no what you paid for (just a seat, food and luggage etc)
    4 be at the boarding gate on time
    5 listen to boarding call yes they can be hard to hear but their are thousands of people making a damn lot of noise
    6 when you board, just sit down dont whinge about your seat etc
    7 when the plane lands and the seat belt sign is still on stay seated its not a race to get off the plane and take all your stuff with you ie mobile phone,reading glass and that important piece of paper that looks like rubbish
    8 when you collect you luggage make sure its yours other people check in a black suit case too and they do sell muilt bright pink suit case.


    and if the plane is delayed or worse canceled please listen to the staff helping you. theyarent god so they cannot change the weather and if your plane needs to be fixed it better fixed on the ground then in the air, also luggage does go missing, they are sorry, they will do their best to get it back but if you yell and scream at someone who is trying to help, do you think they will hurry, a really good tip when you have lost your luggage make sure the staff member likes you when you leave they will fill bad for you and will try harder to locate and return you luggage

    have fun flying


    Of all the people that I talked to with the exception of the first Delta rep in Charlotte, ONLY ONE told me the truth. Did she have the ability to get me the bag? No. But I had the utmost respect and gave her supervisor the best compliment for what she did for me and that was tell me what happened to the bag, where it was,what number I needed to track it and when it would be delivered to me. If the KC baggage rep had done that, I would not have been so upset not to mention Delta promised it within 12 hours, not 36+. I will not either take 2 carry-ons, buy when I get there and ship everything back or just drive if possible.
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Jan 19, 2011 1:39 PM GMT
    Ryan air,of course.
    The airport was closed for runway work so they went to the next town they fly to & bussed us back. They drove through the destination town & on to the closed airport, leaving us in a car park with no buses or taxis, they might have well have just left us in a field.
    Not me but I spoke to someone last year who'd waited 13 days for their bags, which arrived the day before they went home. They'd had to buy clothes there & the airline was charging them for the excess luggage.
  • Midas426

    Posts: 965

    Jan 19, 2011 6:30 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear about you airline hell story. The worst of mine has been due to weather issues and having to wait 5 hours one time for a flight to take off. There was a time when my bag didn't come with me but luckily it was on my return trip so it didn't have as much of an impact. And the bag was delivered early the next day. Pretty tame compared to your story.
  • misternick

    Posts: 234

    Jan 19, 2011 6:43 PM GMT
    Guy walks up to the ticket counter and says "I'm checking in for my flight to New York."

    The helpful agent asks "Do you have any baggage to check?"

    "Yes, I have three bags. I would like one to go to Miami, one to Cleveland, and the other to San Francisco."

    The confused agent says "I'm sorry, but we can't do that."

    "Why not, you did it when I flew to New York last week!"




    Ohhhhhhhhhh boy =) I'm glad I'm too young to know what people are talking about when they bitch about how great flying USED to be.

    I am, however, old enough to be aware of what pilots used to make...
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    Jan 19, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    Here is why i will never fly delta again

    THEY HAD TUNA FISH SANDWICHES FOR A MEAL.

    i was flying in a giant labia, the whole ride for 5 hours was like a giant queef