So why am I so hard on Delta Airlines?

If you follow my twitter feed, then you’ll note that as of late, I’ve had some not very nice things to say about Delta.  Now don’t get me wrong; they are a big airline, and they have a very nice route map.  But I have to say it’s not the route map or the size of the airline that you get to know – it’s the people that fly with you in the sky.  And I have to say that the experiences I’ve have had over the just the last two weeks is enough to make me say, “ENOUGH, ALREADY!”

It’s no secret that I give each flight crew that I fly with a bag of chocolates.  Just a little $3.50 bag of Hershey’s Miniatures that I buy every week, and then give them to the crew.  As you’ll find out in the official AirSnark book that’ll be out late this year or early next year, I’ve had only a handful of bad experiences.  For instance, I was boarding a flight and handed the lead FA (flight attendant) that was greeting us boarding passengers a bag of chocolate.  They look at it, looked at me, and then said, “Well okay then,” and then tossed the bag in the trash.

I thought that was a one-off, but no, Delta tries to go that much further.  When I flew out of Portland last weekend, I handed the lead FA a bag of chocolates, which they accepted with a smile.  When that FA found me ten minutes later, she turned to the FA behind her and said, “This is the nice gentleman that brought us the chocolates.”

The second FA just looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said, “People’ll do anything for a free drink these days.”

Listen, asshat – screw you.  I don’t do it for a drink.  You can ask FAs that I’ve flown with on many, many occasions; I actually rarely ask for anything, food or drink.  I’m probably one of the most low-key/low-need passengers that you’ll ever fly with.  But no, this guy just knew that I was trying to “gain the system” or something for a free drink, when all I was trying to do was do something nice to brighten up someone’s day.

Coming home Thursday, the unthinkable happened again.  Except this time, the lead FA didn’t say a work – they just dumped the bag of candy in the trash.

Just because you’re one of the biggest airlines, and you have a monopoly on the busiest airport in the world doesn’t mean you have the right to be an asshole to your passengers.  Unless you’re trying to alienate them and get them to fly your competitors.  But at least in my case, it’s working.  I’m going out of my way (and saving the client $450/week in airfare) by flying into a secondary airport for my final destination, all because Delta has probably the worst reputation of any one of the majors when it comes to customer service in the sky – where it matters.

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Filed under “WHAT IN THE HELL?”

So skimming the headlines today, there’s the normal stuff about the oil spill in the Gulf, some cool stuff about Emirates taking their total number of A380s up to 90, and the rest of the stuff.  Then I got to this headline:

As capacity falls, people find more joy in flying

My first reaction was, “What the hell?”, followed by a quick, “No way!”.  You see, the reason I say this is – well – maybe I see the snarky side of air travel in general, because I travel all the time.  Look at Facebook postings; when Alaska Airlines posted a comment on Facebook about upcoming meal changes (nicer meals, better options, etc), a good number of the respondents said something to the effect of, “I’m already paying too much.  I should get a free meal!”, etc, etc.  And of course images of cots in O’Hare, the plastered “DELAYED” signs all over airport flight screens, etc are all fresh in my head.  It just freaks me out that, with all of the capacity cuts and nightmare stories of people trapped on planes overnight, and hell, even the three passengers lately that have fallen asleep on the plane and been left by the crew.  And people are finding joy in flying?

Oh well.  At least congratulations are in order for my favorite, Alaska Airlines, in topping the traditional carrier charts in the survey, and JetBlue for topping the LCC segment!

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