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Welcome to Part 2 of my Delta Airlines experience– the return flight.
Yup, so much happened over the course of one round-trip that I couldn’t fit it all into one post.
If you haven’t read Part 1, you should check that out, but today we are going back to November 29, 2015, the day we checked in for our return flight.
For this flight, we didn’t purchase Comfort+ seats, so this is more of an overall experience rather than a Comfort+ review. It’s quite an interesting story. Read on.
We couldn’t possibly have two crappy flights in a row, right?
After the horrors, (okay, being overly dramatic there,) of the first flight, we were looking forward to a smooth, relaxing flight home. After all, John had work at 7:00 the following morning.
Just like for our first flight, we checked in on the DeltaFly app 24 hours prior to departure. The dismay was real when we saw that our flight was over 3 hours delayed, and wouldn’t be departing until about 10:00 PM. Delta pinned the new arrival time at 1:23 AM. Fantastic.
Should I be grateful or insulted?
The app offered for us select to a new flight. It gave us two options– 7:30 AM or 8:30 AM on November 30th, which would mean we’d basically forfeit our last vacation day. Not to mention having to leave for the airport practically in the middle of the night to deal with LA morning traffic.
Seriously? This is all you can give us?
John called customer service to find out why the flight was delayed, and ask if we could switch to another flight in a similar timeframe. From the sound of it, the customer service representative was not very customer service oriented. According to her, all the flights were completely booked, and she consistently skirted the question of why the flight was so delayed.
She did nothing to solve the problem, unless she believes explaining to John why we’re wrong is being helpful.
Customer service depends greatly on who you talk to
The next morning John called again to attempt to weasel some answers out of them. The rep he talked to this time was equally unhelpful. After another precious vacation hour wasted on the phone, the conversation turned away from “what happened?” and “I’d like a new flight” to “I want a refund for all of the extras we paid for!”
John is a real go-getter, and he doesn’t let people take advantage of him. I listened to all his points about how the entertainment system was down on the first flight, how the “dedicated overhead bin space” promised was not nearly as stress free as they claimed, how the snacks were quite depressing. The examples went on and on. The rep stood his ground and dutifully defended Delta for the better part of an hour. I commend him for that.
Eventually though, I suppose he got tired of listening to John’s ear-piercing tirade of completely logical arguments, and he agreed to put in a request for refunds for the upgraded seats we purchased, plus $150 in flight vouchers, good for one year.
“Gee, it would be nice to get that refund after all this…” I said.
“We’re not gonna get a refund,” John scoffed. “But it doesn’t hurt to try.”
Doesn’t it drive you nuts when the rep knows whats up, but refuses to fill you in?
While on the phone, the representative kept insisting that we should wait until after the flight to complain. Um, why? Are you expecting more things to go wrong, or are you expecting so many things to go right that we’ll just forget about this whole thing?
Subway sandwiches and an all-you-can-eat snack bar
When we arrived gate that night, (right after eating overpriced airport cuisine, of course,) an interesting surprise awaited us. As consolation for the flight being so badly delayed, and our arrival time now being the most inconvenient time ever, Delta set up an all-you-can-eat snack buffet complete with full cans of soda, juice, packs of Oreos, Skittles, Pringles, and more. Basically everything I was expecting from the Comfort+ premium snack basket on the flight over.
So this is where all the good snacks go.
Additionally, the gate agent also announced that they ordered Subway sandwiches for everyone on the flight, and they hoped they would arrive before the flight was set to depart. We didn’t hold our breaths for those.
We did appreciate the snacks though; it was a surprisingly nice gesture coming from a major airline, I must admit. Surprisingly, the sandwiches arrived just in time for us to begin boarding at about 9:00. Since the new departure time was 9:50, we were hopeful that we’d actually leave early, (relative, of course.)
Things seemed to be looking up, but then…
I’ve never seen so many people board a plane so quickly. By 9:25 everybody was settled in their seats and ready to go. But we weren’t moving. By 9:50 we still weren’t moving.
At this time, I suppose the crew figured they couldn’t keep the passengers in the dark forever. A flight attendant came on the PA and said there was a “small mechanical issue” (*gasp) with an interior closet door latch malfunctioning,” (*groan) and that we were waiting on repairs.
“We don’t leave until everything is 100% good. Not 99%, but 100%. We should be on our way by 10:30.” Another audible groan.
Not a whole lot happened in the next 45 minutes, and we pushed back from the gate at about 10:35 PM. A little late, but at least they were sort of right. I just wanted a comfortable flight home.
People blame the airline, but it’s often the other passengers that make the experience miserable
On the flight over, I had smelly underpants lady seated in front of me. This time, I had disobedient seat recliner lady. Anybody who has been on a flight, ever, knows rule is that you keep your seat in the upright position for takeoff and landing. You also obey the flight attendant’s instructions on when reclining is allowed.
Well, this woman figured she was too good for that, slamming her seat back as soon as the flight attendants strapped themselves in for takeoff. Ugh. At the end of the flight, flight attendants asked all passengers to return their seat to upright position for landing. Again, she uprighted herself while the FA’s roamed, and slammed back down once they left.
I wish I had taken a video and sent it to the @passengershaming Instagram.
The icing on the cake
To top it off, while the entertainment system worked on this plane, my particular set did not. No matter what I tried, my touch screen was so unresponsive that I just couldn’t use it. John’s worked though.
The AC wasn’t working well either; it was the first time I was ever too warm on an airplane. I became pretty mad at this point. Overall, it proved a very uncomfortable flight.
We finally arrived home at about 2:30 AM, a total delay of about four hours. Four hours wouldn’t have been that big a deal if we were still within reasonable waking hours, but we were far beyond that.
In keeping with the hospitality around the whole debacle, Delta offered passengers taxi vouchers to cover rides home or to hotels. All the rental car companies were closed, and for all us locals, our family rides were home sleeping. So that was nice– at least we didn’t have to bother anybody to pick us up, or incur and extra cost we didn’t plan on.
Delta may have screwed up two flights, but they tried their damnedest to make it right
The aggravation faded over the course of the next week as we returned to our normal routines and our internal clocks reset themselves. We almost forgot about the refund conversation.
Amazingly, we actually did receive a refund for the extra $258 we paid for the Comfort+ seats on the way over, and the $35 for the preferred seat on the way back. Not to mention the vouchers. I definitely wasn’t expecting it.
Yes, lots of things went wrong on the two flights, but Delta went beyond expectations to make it right. From the Subway sandwiches and snacks, to the taxi voucher, to the refunds and flight vouchers, I am quite impressed with Delta. “I’ll definitely keep this in mind when choosing an airline for my next trip.
*Update 8/17/16: We decided to give Delta Comfort+ another try. We booked two flights using the vouchers for our next trip. I’ve also heard that Delta is working on improving the Comfort+ experience, so we’ll what’s changed almost a year to the day after this adventure. Surely, I will update again.
If it doesn’t end up being any better, then we’ll be crawling back to the Hawaiian Airlines, the airline of our homeland. 🙂
That’s all for today!
Have you seen part one of my Delta experience? Click right here >> Delta Airlines Comfort+ Storytime Review Part 1
If you found this post informative, interesting, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments below. And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time! ♥︎
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