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Thoughts on Public Relations, Communications, Social Media, Sports and anything else in my life…

Care For Your Customers

Deaths in the family happen. When they do, it’s always a hassle to secure transportation, funds and make any necessary arrangements before you leave to be with the family.

I recently had an aunt pass away and my parents needed to get to Wisconsin quickly. My dad called Delta, who he flies with frequently and has accrued massive amounts of sky miles with, and used his sky miles to purchase two tickets.

His experience went south fast. After explaining to the customer service rep that this was an emergency, the rep made no attempt to find an alternate flight in that would not require a five-hour layover. Then, the rep told my father that in order to use his sky miles, he was required to have a Saturday-stay and could not book his return flight until Sunday. Finally, after spending over 60,000 sky miles, they rep informed my father that he had to pay an additional $360–out of pocket– in fees and for the phone call. Really, a phone call?

There needs to be some empathy in the airline industry for emergency situations such as this. I understand the economy has placed airlines in a crunch, but treating loyal customers poorly is not going to help your bottom line. Not only have they taken away time my parents could be spending making arrangements with the family, they made them use more sick-leave and “vacation” time to stay through Saturday.

Delta dropped the ball on this one. Though my father must fly Delta for business trips, he has guaranteed to use other airlines for personal travel from now on.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

2 Responses

  1. Meg Roberts says:

    Hi,

    I’ve been wondering about this process for some time now, especially not that I live far away from home on an entry-level salary. Emergencies happen and I don’t think any of the airlines I regularly travel with are adequately prepared in customer relations to help me in this situation. It would be interesting to look into the different airlines and see what protocol for emergencies they have (if any!) in place.

    Also, sorry for the loss of your aunt!

    Best,
    Meg

    • nathanielfuller says:

      Hey Meg,

      Thank you for the thoughts. I’m not sure either if the airlines have any plans in place for such situations. After my father emailed Delta about their actions, they sent him a reply loaded with the normal jargon (Delta strives to be such and such) with no sincere apology or offer to make good on this bad situation. Poor customer relationship management if you ask me.

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