Skip to content

Thanks, Delta Lady

I have been on a wild ride for two weeks — and almost didn’t get off, thanks to another Delta error.

Due to a chain of events beginning with a delayed flight out of Albuquerque last Sunday, I never made it home. Delta ultimately rebooked me into Boston, where I was flying the next day, so I never touched down in Tallahassee. (But for this trip, I had lots of clean socks and undies from the trip to Target I made when Delta lost my bag for 36 hours… and let’s be clear: by “Delta,” I mean the baggage handlers in Tallahassee, on what was the quietest afternoon I’ve ever seen at that airport.)

Arriving in Boston a day early, I would have had to shoulder the cost of a hotel room plus one more day on the rental car. But my connecting flight from Cincinnatti was overbooked, so I volunteered to spend the night there. The Airport Marriott turned out to be a lovely new place with flat-screen TVs, fancy computer desks, and beds like angels’ clouds, plus I got 400 “Delta Dollars” and enough food credits to buy a nice salad. I reached my destination a little early, with a nice perk in my pocket.

So, all’s well that ends well, right?

I thought so, until I got suspicious early this morning when I realized I hadn’t received my usual “It’s time to check in” message from Delta.

The creative soul in Albuquerque who booked me straight through to Boston had made an error — notifying Delta that for very good reasons having absolutely nothing to do with User Error, I wouldn’t be on the flight out of Tallahassee. So I was a no-show, which meant that I was on the list of Naughty Passengers Who Don’t Abide By The Rules and Now Have No Reservations, as opposed to Good Passengers Who Get To Fly Home.

Now, I could fume at that person. Surely this isn’t the first time Delta has had to reroute some poor Ancient Mariner directly to a destination, bypassing some place in between. But it was a mistake by a pro handling a long line of confused people, including a guy behind me who paced and snorted, hands on hips.

(In such situations, I turn on the charm. If nothing else, it puts the desk people at ease, and I do understand they don’t break airplanes and in fact, would much prefer not having to rebook anyone, ever.)

But what I really appreciate is the woman who helped me today, despite the crack in my voice and my obvious inability to understand everything she was saying. (I kept saying, “But DELTA broke the airplane! I’m just the passenger!”) She was soothing and calm and efficient, and when I explained my phone connection was poor (or maybe it was the sound of the blood rushing in and out of my veins), she slowed down and spoke even more clearly.

Then, when I logged in to my Delta account, lo! There was Me, with My Reservation! So she wasn’t just pleasant… she was accurate. There’s a combo to remember.

All I need to do now is check in a little early and sign an affidavit. I’m still not entirely understanding the affidavit — which I suspect does not read, I, Karen G. Schneider, Being Of Sound Mind and Sound Body, Do Affirm I Did Not Break The Airplane and It’s Not My Fault — but at this point, I’d sign almost any document to get home and wash my clothes.

(Assuming my bag gets there, too…)

Posted on this day, other years: