Monday, April 6, 2009

"This is Delta, How Can We Help You?"

On Thursday, my three minute delay quickly turned into a three hour delay, which prompted me to call Delta's hotline and request a move to an earlier flight. The conversation went something like this...

Me: Hi. I'm scheduled on the 5:46 flight out of Birmingham into Atlanta, final destination Raleigh/Durham, this afternoon and I see that it's three hours delayed. Can I get on an earlier flight to Atlanta?
Simonne: (pause) We have one at 4:17. Could you make that?
Me: What time is it now?
S: It's 2pm.
Me: That's perfect! Can you please switch my seat to be on that flight?
S: I can.
Me: Is there an earlier flight I can take from Atlanta to Durham, or will I need to wait for the 9:45 flight?
S: No, all the other flights are fully booked, but at least this will get you to Atlanta.
Me: Definitely.

So it sounds like it's going well, right? Then it starts to spiral...

S: So let me get you all finished up here. You want to cancel the flight into Durham then, right?
Me: No. We're just moving the first leg of my flight up. You said no other flights were available into Durham, is that right?
S: Yes, that's right. Ok, I've got you all booked on flight 2290, final destination tonight in Atlanta...
Me: NO! Simonne, wait. I'm going to Durham.
S: Oh yes, that's right. Ok, I've got you booked on the 5:46 flight out of Birmingham.
Me: No no no. We moved that up to the 4:17 flight, right?
S: Oh yes, my apologies. And you wanted to go ahead and cancel the returns on Sunday, then?
Me: No! Don't cancel anything! Can you read me back the itinerary?

She read it back and, shockingly, it was accurate. This it got worse again...

S: Tell me your email address and I'll go ahead and mail this new itinerary to you.
Me: Ok, it's a-j-o-h-n-s-o-n-0-5 -- the "0" and the "5" are numbers.
S: So it's h....
Me: h-n-s-o-n-0-5, where the "0" and the "5" are numbers, not letters.
S: a-j-o-h-n-s-o-n-the letter 'o'-the number '5'
Me: No. That's not right, the zero and the five are numbers. ajohnson. the number zero. the number five.
S: Ok, I think I have it now.
Me: I'm actually driving to the airport now, so you don't need to email it. It's 2:45 and I've got the make the plane.
S: Ok then. Can I help you with any hotel or car rental information today?
Me: Oh no, no thank you.

As it was, I ended up on the 2:30 flight out of Birmingham, which actually left at 4:15, and then bought my way onto an earlier flight out of Atlanta, which is good because my original flight was cancelled altogether. But wow, that was painful. I've never been more thankful that the wedding is slowly moving into the near future. That's the last time I'll fly to visit B in Durham until it's my home, too, and then hopefully we'll be flying places together. And if we need help, we're definitely not calling Simonne.

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