Update 3-12-11:

In my eighth grade group of four core classes, called BLOC, we sometimes started the morning with teachers handing out “Roses and Raspberries,” i.e., compliments and critiques (whether it was for student behavior, some group achievement/mistake, or something else, I can’t remember now).  Well, it’s time to blow a raspberry for Delta’s refusal to credit my Medallion status qualification miles for at least some of the flight segments that were canceled last year by them:

Message: I am very dissatisfied with this latest cancellation this week

from RDU to LGA. I lost my Silver Medallion status for 2011 because of
several cancellations last year. I would like to speak to a Delta person

about getting my Medallion status reinstated, exspecially as I will
have enough miles and segments to earn by the middle of this year given that I’m in a new job which requires much more air travel.

Aneil Mishra

On Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 12:38 PM, Contact Delta
<ContactUs.Delta@delta.com> wrote:

Dear Dr. Mishra,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding status match.

We have received your request for Silver status and thank you for your
interest in the SkyMiles Medallion program.

We have reviewed your past and current travel history and at this time
we must regretfully decline your request for Silver Medallion status for

We appreciate your continued support and loyalty. Please visit
www.delta.com periodically for future updates and special offers. If we
can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us via
email or the telephone number listed on the back of your SkyMiles
identification card.

We appreciate your selection of Delta as a SkyMiles customer and will
always welcome the opportunity to be of service.


Nickki Simpson
Online Customer Support Desk

Dear Ms. Simpson:

This is a completely inadequate response.  I have not been given
specific reasons for declining my request, and there were a sufficient
number of canceled segments last year for my travel with Delta to
reinstate my Silver Medallion status.

Please let me know who I should contact to discuss this matter further.



Dear Dr. Mishra,

I am sorry to hear you are disappointed with our reply to your request
for Elite status.

We receive many inquiries from customers who are unable to obtain the
required Medallion Qualification Miles total. While we would like to
offer special consideration for the many requests we receive, we
maintain a consistent policy to remain fair to all Medallion members. I
hope you will understand that we must again decline your request for
Silver Medallion status.

Dr Mishra, we appreciate that you took the time to send us your
comments. We would like to thank you for your support. We look forward to serving you in the future.


Gene Clark
Online Customer Support Desk

Update 1-30-11:

Here’s a good article in today’s New York Times about what to do when your flight has been canceled, recommending what I’ve already recommended, using Twitter to get some satisfaction.

Even though problems like bad weather, air traffic delays and mechanical issues are hard to predict and often beyond the airlines’ control, most carriers automatically notify travelers — at least those who have signed up for flight alerts by e-mail, text message or phone call. Those alerts, which many passengers fail to sign up for, combined with Twitter, can put you ahead of the pack.

Increasingly airlines, including JetBlue, Southwest and Delta, are using Twitter to notify passengers of major flight cancellations and assist in rebooking. Last year, Delta created a dedicated Twitter account for customer service issues, @DeltaAssist, with reservation agents online Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. Because of the viral nature of Twitter, with Twitterers habitually “re-tweeting” one another’s posts, customers who reach out to the airline via Twitter may get a quicker response than they would by phone or another communications channel as airlines attempt to quell any negative publicity.

Update January 2011:

I’ve been unsuccessful in getting my elite status for 2011 based on my 2010 miles and segments retained, even though I would have been able to do so if Delta had not canceled so many of my travel segments (usually, the Detroit-Lansing segment).  I’ve sent another message via the Delta website today, and I’ll let you know what happens.  They have been sending me email surveys  about each of flights recently, and we’ll see if I receive any response about my latest survey I sent back in which I had to deal with a harried gate attendant in Denver and a prolonged delay in the Minneapolis-Lansing segment in my latest trip.

Update 12-27-11:

Delta was very kind and upgraded all four of us to first class for the Minneapolis/DC leg of our trip today.  It turns out this is actually standard policy when the airlines “proactively” cancels flights in anticipation of bad weather, rather than cancels them due to actual bad weather.  Our flight yesterday was canceled, and the anticipated snow storm never actually hit,  choosing to smack NYC and Boston instead.  Even though we lost a day of our vacation, it was nice of Delta to make our trip a bit nicer, even though we had to depart Lansing at 6:45 AM.

Update 12-26-10:

Our flight today to Washington D.C. from DTW was cancelled late last night.  We were automatically re-booked on a new flight departing tomorrow from Lansing to Minneapolis, and then to Reagan (DCA).  Here we go again!


Update 11-5.10:

Delta has indeed refunded the $46.74 for each of the four of us.   Thanks, Delta!

Update 11-4-10:

Looks like different parts of Delta are not communicating, but at least my concerns and request were resolved, but I’ll be checking my Amex statement to make sure.  Once the refund is posted in my account, then I’ll be changing the title of this post to something more positive.

The submitted refund request was worked. Each passenger got a $46.74 refund for the value of the canceled portion. ^WG

Update 11-4-10:

Not so fast.  Delta’s “customer service” department independently informed that I would not be receiving any reimbursement or refund related to the cancellation of the Detroit-Lansing flight segment.  I will be following up with Delta via Twitter.

Dear Mr. Mishra,

RE: Case Number 1843890

Thank you for writing and allowing me the opportunity to further review your concerns.  On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I am genuinely sorry you were dissatisfied with my response.

I understand you feel I did not adequately address your concerns.  I was happy to review your comments again to see if there was something I missed.  Respectfully, there is nothing more I can add.  I am sorry to disappoint you, as I understand this is not the answer you were expecting.

Mr. Mishra, again, I apologize.  Your support is important to us, and I thank you for your additional time and effort.  As a valued SkyMiles member, we look forward to the privilege of serving your air travel needs again soon.


Simon P. Jude

Coordinator, Customer Care

Delta Air Lines/KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Original Message Follows:


Mr. Jude:

Would you please coordinate with your colleagues at Delta Assist on Twitter, and then get back to me?  They have requested this week that we at least receive a refund for the four of us for our DTW-LAN segments.

Thanks very much.


—–Original Message—–

From: Delta Air Lines [mailto:kana@delta.com]

Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 10:32 AM

To: Aneil Mishra

Subject: Re: Recent Travel Experience (KMM4517389V81066L0KM)

Dear Mr. Mishra,

RE: Case Number 1843890

Thank you for writing about your recent flight experience. On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I sincerely apologize for all inconveniences caused to you and your family due to our flight irregularity and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your reimbursement request.

I understand the frustration you experienced when our flight was cancelled due to crew reasons which affected your travel plans.

Moreover, I realize your displeasure as you had to wait at the airport for longer period of time. I am sorry incurred additional expenses for renting a car. Feedback like you have provided will help us to improve our overall customer experience. Be assured your comments will be shared with our Airport Customer Service leadership team for internal follow up.

Further, while we would like to offer special consideration in cases such as yours, we are unable to honor the many requests that we receive from others in similar situations. We follow a consistent policy to ensure that Delta is fair to everyone who travels with us. Accordingly, we must respectfully decline your request for your car rental expenses.

Mr. Mishra, thank you for the opportunity to address your flight hindrance. We also appreciate your support as a loyal SkyMiles customer and for trusting your business to us. Be assured, we will make every attempt to serve you well; we are focused on the future and look forward to our continued business relationship.


Simon P. Jude

Coordinator, Customer Care

Delta Air Lines/KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Update 11-2-10:

Only 20 MINUTES after I sent a public message today to Delta via Twitter, @DeltaAssist, I received a more than acceptable set of responses:  1), an apology, 2) a refund of the Detroit-Lansing portions of our flight, and 3) $125 vouchers for each of us.


I’ve read your post. 1st, I want to apologize for the nightmare experience. 2nd, I’d like to offer you & your family $125 vouchers. ^WG
Direct message sent by Delta Assist (@DeltaAssist) to you (@drmish) on Nov 02, 8:46 AM.
Delta Assist
3rd, if you can provide me with an email address, I’ll submit a request for a refund for the DTW-LAN portion. ^WG
Direct message sent by Delta Assist (@DeltaAssist) to you (@drmish) on Nov 02, 8:47 AM.
Delta Assist


Flight Info:

Depart: 07:20 pm
Arrive: 08:12 pm
Detroit, MI (DTW)
Lansing, MI (LAN)
Delta Air Lines Delta Air Lines, Flight 4369
Operated by

Passengers:  Aneil Mishra, Karen Mishra, Margaret Mishra, and John Mishra


Last night we had a nightmarish return trip from Raleigh/Durham, NC to Lansing.  Our flight from Detroit to Lansing was first listed as delayed one hour and 40 minutes.  When we arrived at the gate, I asked the gate agent for the reason for the delay, and if the flight would take place.  I was told that “gate agents aren’t informed as to to the reasons for flight delays,” and that “the flight would take off.”  I had my doubts, especially because she couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me why the flight was delayed.

Then an additional 30 minute delay was added.  Then another 60 minute delay, which would have had us depart from DTW at 10:38.   Then Delta finally canceled the flight at 8:30.  We were told that we would be given hotel vouchers, and to go to the Delta customer service desk several gates away.  Many of us hurried there, knowing that the line would be long for help, which it was.  I was not amused that one of the gate agents was in a full Halloween devil costume, complete with horns and large wings.  How appropriate.

We were offered bus transportation back to East Lansing, but not to the airport in Lansing, where our cars were.   We were told that the “Marriott would then take us to back to the airport.”  We also had to get our checked bags before going to catch the 9:00 PM bus, which by the time we actually got our bags, we weren’t going to make it.  We decided to rent a car instead, even though the gate agent told us we wouldn’t be reimbursed for because of “liability issues.”  We ended up paying about $200 for the one-way rental from Hertz, which I used as I knew it had a desk at Capital City Airport in Lansing.  Even so, by the time we got the kids home and then went on to the airport to retrieve our own cars and then back home, it was almost midnight.

I’m going to see if I can still obtain reimbursement from Delta anyway, because the cost of the car rental was about the same as the four vouchers for the bus tickets and meals ($6.00/each for a “meal”).  I’m not even going to try to get any compensation for the inconvenience of arriving several hours late when we could have gotten home much earlier if Delta had been open and honest about the reason for the flight delay, listed as”late arriving equipment to Pinnacle Airlines” on our vouchers.


Add a comment


  • By totaltrust, November 1st, 2010 at 9:57 am

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  • By totaltrust, November 1st, 2010 at 1:30 pm


    I’m with you.

    I just had a strange experience with Delta that made me wonder if it’s really the major airline I thought it was.

    I was trying to get home from Morocco last week, having booked and paid for a Delta flight months ago.

    They canceled a pretty key leg of my flight — the part from Casablanca to JFK — and never even so much as notified me. The only reason I found out about it at all was that a friend who was also on that flight got an emergency call from his travel agent. When he alerted me, I logged in to Delta.com and saw that, sure enough, the flight had just disappeared from my itinerary with no explanation.

    To this day, I still have not gotten a single e-mail or telephone message from Delta explaining, apologizing, notifying . . .

    We’ve tried to talk to them afterward, suggesting maybe they should help pay for the extra hotel night or something, at least, but the response from Delta is that they take no responsibility whatsoever.

    This is one of the oddest experiences I have ever had in dealing with a business.

    Thanks for trying to hold them accountable for something.


  • By Lisa, November 3rd, 2010 at 5:34 am

    We had a similar nightmare with Delta, except that it was around Easter instead of Halloween. After a one hour delay taking off from Florida, we missed the connecting flight from Atlanta to Detroit and were stranded there. Delta kept telling us (all 80 plus people), that we could fly stand by to get home. Flight after flight left the airport with no one able to fly stand by because the flights were so full. Even some of the passengers on those flights were bumped. Clearly, Delta had way overbooked. When it came down to it, they could not guarantee us seats to get out of Atlanta ANYWHERE in the midwest that day, and the next available flight to get us to our original destination was 2 days later! We also ended up renting a mini van for our party of five, and drove the 15 hours back to Michigan (from 7pm Sunday night, to 10am Monday morning). It took me many months and a lot of haggling to get a partial refund. And no compensation for the fact that we’d booked and paid for the tickets 6 months in advance of our flight. What irritated me the most was their lack of responsibility for the mess. Clearly, they made a lot of money that day by overbooking the flights and leaving many oassengers to fend for themselves.

  • By Ed Crowley, July 23rd, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I have had terrible experience with Delta. I am (or was – this is my last trip on Delta) a Diamond Medallion, their highest level of frequent flier. About 25% of their flights are cancelled due to mechanical failures. Today, they stranded my entire conference team due to a mechanical failure out of Lexington Kentucky. All they had to do between 2 in the afternoon and 9:30 at night was get us to Miami for a connection to Brazil. They couldn’t do it. All three flights out were cancelled or delayed due to mechanical failures.

    So, we won’t have our team there in time for the start of the conference. I won’t be there in time to present my keynote. This exposes our company to the tune of $100,000’s. Delta’s response – too bad. We will reschedule you tomorrow. And oh yeah, you won’t get there until after the conference is supposed to start. And oh yes, there are no upgrades so you will fly all night on a red-eye and then get off the plane, come late to a conference that will have a delayed start because we couldn’t get your conference team there. But what the heck, here are 10,000 FF miles in your account. Be happy!

    What idiots. We are done with Delta. They have done this. We complain – they put miles in our account, and nothing changes. We are moving our business to American. When they have a problem – it’s fixed. You are rescheduled (even on another airline) before you know there was a problem. And oh yes, their flights did all go out today!

  • By delta airlines phone number, June 8th, 2012 at 10:19 am

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  • By totaltrust, June 8th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    There is an email subscription button on the right side of our front page of this blog.


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