Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fun with Delta Customer Service

I can certainly procrastinate with the best of them! I have a trip to L.A. this week for a wedding I am in. I've known about this trip for about a year, but only recently started looking at flights.

When I first started looking, direct flights were around $300. I decided to wait just a little longer. Well, a mere 4 days later, the direct flights had gone up to $1000 and flights with 1 stop were $700.

Alright.....better take some action! I live in Cincinnati, and was told that flights out of Dayton, which is about 45 minutes away, are a lot cheaper. Upon further review, a flight with 1 stop to LAX out of Dayton was only $400. Here's the thing - the 1 stop is in Cincinnati.

So, I start booking the $400 flight out of Dayton with 1 stop in Cinci. Halfway through, I decided to call Delta, and thus begins the downward spiral.

Here is an account of my conversation:

Annoying "Customer Service" Lady: Thanks for calling Delta, how may I help you?
(I have every reason to believe A"CS"L has been speaking English for about 1 week)

Baba Ganoush: I live in Cincinnati and am going to LA. I am looking at a flight from Dayton to Cincinnati to LA. Do I have to drive all the way to Dayton, or can I just show up in Cincinnati and go to LA?

A"CS"L: No, sir, you have to check-in in Dayton.

BG: Why.

A"CS"L: That's just our policy.

BG: You do realize making me fly from Dayton costs Delta money? Someone to check me in. Handling my bags. Plus all the peanuts that I'll eat (I actually didn't go to the peanut reasoning).

A"CS"L: .....

BG: Okay, can I at least just not take the final leg to Dayton on the way back home?

A"CS"L: No, you have to fly back to Dayton.

BG: What's to stop me from just not getting on the plane in Cincinnati and going home?

A"CS"L: Your bags would be in Dayton.

BG: I will just carry them on and go home from Cincinnati (I realize this isn't getting me anywhere).

BG: The lady that I was talking to before said you could get me a better rate than what was online?

A"CS"L: Yes, let me see what I can get for you.....Looks like I can get you from Dayton to LA for......$800.

BG: I was halfway through booking for $400 before I wasted all this time talking to you.

A"CS"L: Sir, the rates are constantly changing.

BG: Are you seriously telling me that the rate went up $400 in the past 5 minutes?!?!?

A"CS"L: Let me check again for you.....Looks like the current rate is $800.

BG: I am still online and halfway through booking for $400!

A"CS"L: It is now $800. The rates are constantly changing.

BG: .....

A"CS"L: .....

BG: Is there someone else that I can talk to?

A"CS"L: Yes, I can get you a manager.

While waiting for the manager, I ended up just completing my $400 booking. The manager was actually very nice. We had a nice conversation about the fact that I was driving to Dayton to take a $400 flight to LA, which would take me through Cincinnati and ultimately on the $1000 1-way flight.

So now my travel is all set. Now I have to figure out what in the hell I am going to say for my best man speech. I really do not know the bride very well, so I am really having quite a bit of trouble coming up with something. Maybe I'll just indulge in multiple adult beverages and see what happens. Too much pressure.

Baba Ganoush, OUT!


Anonymous said...

I hate flying...not so much the flying part, but the service, strange pricing, etc. Why is it MORE expensive to fly out of Delta's second largest HUB? Why?

JLee said...

$400...ouch! I was almost gonna fly to L.A. today to meet a Blogger friend for a concert, but I decided it was too last minute. A couple of weeks ago it was $213 from Dallas! That is fantastic you get to be best man, make the speech something from the heart and not too long! lol

JLee said...

oh yeah, and I HATE those CSLs that do not speak good English and they keep repeating the same thing like a broken freaking record!! AAAAAAAH

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or are you SOOOO tired of taking off your shoes and stripping down through the security gate? I always get the random search due to my old last name and dark hair and skin tone. I travel for business, so my cell phone, pager, boots, laptop, and make-up bag are always searched. I even was told once that my eyelash curler could be used as a weapon!

The Absent Minded Landlord said...

Hey, a fellow 'Naty man! I have done the drive to Dayton (or Louisville) only to have a layover in Cincinnati. It is rediculous, but they are very avid about it. I can pack light enough not to continue on during the ride home. My wife has a little harder time with that though.

Baba Ganoush said...

Hey Landlord. Nice to meet a fellow tri-stater.

I live in Mason, and I think Dayton was actually quicker to get to, but the trip back to Cincy just drove me crazy. At least I did not have to treck to Concourse C.

Lala said...

How'd the speech go?

Baba Ganoush said...

Hey lala,

The speech went well. I did not know the bride too well, but after about 5 hours of being around them together, I had my material. I got a little choked up too, which added to the mood.

My friend is a comic and his wife is a comic/actress, and they had 2 people speak after me that did a great job because they are infront of people all the time. I was glad I did not have to follow them.

Lala said...

Talk about pressure! I a proud to hear that you held it together and got a laugh!! :) Congrats!