65% New Yorker. 100% Texan. Likes: baking, puppies, beauty products, great meals, and the color yellow. Dislikes: poor grammar, Nutella, name-droppers, mushrooms, canned corn, and one-uppers. And yes, I use the Oxford comma. If you'd like to inquire, try lizlemon.tumblr.com/ask or lizlemonnn at gmail dot com. Sorry, but you cannot have my username.
Dear Delta Airlines…
Let’s talk about the last 21 hours of my life, shall we? Actually, let’s read the timeline. This begins last night at 6pm, when I attempted to fly home for the holidays. I was scheduled on a non-stop JFK-IAH (Houston-Intercontinental). I’ve recorded my experiences for the record, my amusement, my impending letter to the CEO of Delta, and so that others may be educated by my hell. It’s probably worth the read, but was written mostly at 2am so I apologize if it doesn’t make 100% sense. Enjoy!
6:00PM – Arrive at JFK. Check in, check baggage ($50 fee for second bag?!), go through long and incompetent security line.
6:40PM – Arrive at Gate 18, see flight board. Flight has been delayed till 8:55PM. 1 hour and 35 minutes after projected departure. No gate agents at ticket counter to answer questions/help. Call mother, curse.
7:20PM – Flight is supposed to leave. Sitting in terminal, eating French fries. Call Delta 1-800 number and spend 30+ minutes on hold to reach no one.
8:00PM – Check board again, flight has been further delayed till 11:55PM. Call mother, curse.
8:15PM – Finally speak to desk agent who informs me that the flight is delayed due to weather issues in Chicago, where the incoming flight is from. Told that the flight is now taking off in Chicago and the 11:55 departure is reasonable.
9:00PM – Check flight board while procuring second order of French fries (don’t judge), find departure has been upped to 11:00PM. Call mother, happily curse.
9:05PM – Nap on the floor at JFK. New low. Children running all around screaming. Feel like an old, cranky lady.
10:00PM – Check flight board to discover flight is no longer listed at gate 18. Call brother, curse. He checks online and informs that it’s been moved to gate 19a. Curse the fact that 19a is actually a bit away from 18, like two moving sidewalks away. Uncool. Hustle to 19a.
10:05PM – Sitting at gate 19a, eating and reading a magazine, hear the faint calling of boarding for Houston. Think to self, we can’t be boarding, the flight isn’t taking off for 55 minutes! Walk up to the ticket agents at 19a and ask. Am told the flight is closed and to see the desk agents. Confused, join very long line at gate 19.
10:10PM – Desk agent calls all Houston passengers over. Informs passengers that the flight had a weight balance issue due to too much fuel and could only take 22 passengers. Out of 75. 53 tired and angry people are informed that their flight has already left without them. With all of their baggage, too much fuel, an hour ahead of schedule, but without any of them. Mob mentality causes shouting and threatening. Passengers are told to wait in line at gate 20 and they will receive a rebooking, a hotel voucher or ground transportation, and a $200 Delta credit. Call mother, curse.
10:15PM – Fourth in line, yay!
10:30PM – Still fourth in line. One agent for 53 rebookings? Good call, Delta. Call Delta 1-800 number and spend 30+ minutes on hold to reach no one. Déjà vu.
11:00PM – Third in line. Call mother, curse.
11:05PM – Mother texts encouraging texts.
11:10PM – Brother on phone, reading rights, researching flights, fine-tooth-combing Delta’s Code of Carriage. Love the brother.
11:30PM – Second in line.
11:45PM – Original Houston arrival time. Still at JFK. Still in line.
12:00AM – After much research and denial of better flights, ticket agent rebooks. For Tuesday morning. At 6am. With a connection in Cincinnati.
12:05AM – Inform ticket agent that I will not be taking the $200 credit and would like the (200% of ticket value) cash I am entitled to via section 245 of Delta’s Code of Carriage. She informs me that she doesn’t know where I am going to get cash at this time of night. I tell her that’s not my problem. She takes my voucher back and says a manager will be over to talk to me. Call brother, happy.
12:30AM – Manager arrives to help ticket agent with rebookings. I ask to be seen and am told I’ll have to wait until they’ve cleared the line. The hell they are. Ignoring this instruction, I stand by the manager until she acknowledges me.
12:31AM – I’m told the cash is not 200% (“The fuck it’s not.” –Brother) and am treated like a total annoyance. For asking for something that’s well within my rights. Manager takes ticket agent behind a wall to discuss, comes back and informs me that they’ll get me a check for $454.50 after they clear some of the line. Call brother, happy. Discuss the potential ramifications of informing the entire line as to the rule. Brother emails me the text of the rule in case I want to cause a scene by educating my co-passengers.
12:45AM – Seated, facing the manager, waiting patiently for money.
1:30AM – Manager asks for name and address, goes to write check.
2:00AM – Still waiting…
2:14AM – Check in hand. Manager calls “ground transportation” for me, gives me a voucher, sends me on my merry way. Text brother, happy.
2:30AM – “Car” arrives at terminal. It’s a minivan. Riding in style. Driver is pissed that he had to circle, yells at me.
3:00AM – Dropped off at Duane Reade near my apartment, purchasing essentials.
3:20AM – Home. Crash.
—-Sweet, sweet sleep—-
12:45PM – Wake up to call from mother informing me that luggage is not, as promised, in Houston. Begin to freak the fuck out.
1:00PM – Call Delta 1-800 number and spend 40+ minutes on hold to reach a woman who is no help whatsoever.
2:00PM – Call Delta 1-800 baggage number. Spend 30 minutes on hold to reach a woman who is no help whatsoever. Informed that ticket agent lied to me and my bags are at JFK. They’ll attempt to send them to Houston, but can promise nothing and I’ll have no way of finding out unless I call the number back and sit on hold. Continue to freak the fuck out.
…To be continued