dear delta

Monday, December 20, 2010

dear delta,

while i do not belong to your platinum elite flying club
i do consider myself a frequent flier and
i fly delta whenever possible.
and in an industry full of choices,
i repeatedly choose to fly delta airlines.

but after my travel experience yesterday
i am beginning to rethink my decision.
i understand that the holidays are a busy time for travel.
but this is not a surprise to anyone.
you know this, so why weren't you better prepared.

my husband, 10 month old son and i
arrived at the airport two hours before our flight.
i had checked in online the night before,
paid for our baggage and printed our tickets.

when we arrived at the airport at 5:30 am
there was a line at the delta counter.
not a big deal, except upon further inspection
it was 3 lines funneling into one line.
there was one agent working the ticket counter
who had no idea what was going on.
it was clear that there was no order,
no system and no organization.

we stood in line for 30 minutes without moving.
i finally made my way to the counter
and asked  what individuals were supposed to do
if they simply needed bag tags.
she told me to use the kiosk
and then she would call my name.
i followed her instructions and
finally we were able to checks our bags.

when i made our reservations
our flight from Atlanta to Albuquerque was full
and i could not get seats together.
i did not think this was a big deal.
but i called an agent to double check
and to request the bulkhead.
you see we chose to buy our 10 month old a ticket
and the car seat fits better in the bulkhead.

when we arrived in Atlanta
the gate agent told me that there was not
anything she could do to sit us together.
i told her that she could not let a 10 month old sit alone.
i also mentioned that we had requested the bulkhead.
she replied that this was for handicapped and she could not seat us there.
we did eventually get two seats together, and my husband changed seats with
someone so we all sat together.

but when we boarded the plane
i noticed that there were three young members of our
military sitting in the bulkhead.
clearly not handicapped.
when i asked the flight attendant about the bulk head policy
she told me that it was not for handicapped or children.

this is the second time this has happened to us with the bulkhead.
the first was on a flight to Europe.
we are told by reservation agents to request ahead of time.
and that the gate agents will release them before the flight.
then we are told by the gate agent that they are for the handicapped.
and then told something else entirely by the flight attendant.

as someone who travels to Europe once a year with a child
as well as domestically i would like some clarification.
or else i will have to rethink my decision to repeatedly choose
to fly delta airlines.

happy holidays

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