Those of us who hail from the Twin Cities have become accustomed to being trapped by our air carriers.  We remember Republic, Northwest Orient – which became Northwest, and now Delta.  In any decade, we haven’t had many choices.  But this recent communication from Delta surprised me.  I actually think someone read my letter.  Not Richard Anderson, the CEO.  But, still, this letter shows personal attention that has me feeling OK about my continued entrapment in the Delta monopoly on Twin Cities flights.  What do you think?  Is this enough?

From: Flora Delaney
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 1:48 PM
To: Anderson, Richard , Delta CEO
Subject: DL1055 06SEP DTW to MSP

I am a Delta member #XXXXXXXXXXX and my husband and I enjoyed a trip home to Detroit over Labor Day weekend.  Check ins were fine, bags arrived, flights were on time.  As a frequent flyer, I can tell you that the flight home that night was no better and no worse than any other I have been on in the last few years.  Every seat was sold.  There were families, old people, business people getting a jump on their week.  The male flight attendant (He was NOT wearing a nametag: glasses, short dark hair.) began to harangue the passengers telling them they needed to put their items under the seats, that the overheads bins were full, that closed bins meant they were full and to move on to the open bins, that the flights was GOING to depart on time – but we were holding it up.  Finally, he got on the phone and decided to tell the couple hundred of us passengers that “when you buy a ticket on this airline you are buying the seat.  You are not buying the overhead bin space.”
Needless to say, when we landed in MSP, I saw him and the rest of the flight crew leaving for their cars.  It was their final leg of their shift.  They were probably tired and were losing patience with passengers on a holiday weekend.
But, don’t you hire people who say they want to work in the hospitality industry?  Don’t they know that it is their job to be pleasant in the face of frustration?  I was sitting next to a much older woman and I can tell you the look on her face when he decided to give everyone a lecture was priceless.  Your guests on that plane paid for their ticket, filed in when their zone was called, found a place for their stuff and settled in to make the best of their 2 hours with Delta.  This “gentleman” decided it was his right to take a verbal dump on every passenger on the plane because he was unhappy with the speed of getting people on board.
And the overhead bin situation is one that Delta has created by charging passengers for checked bags.
Living in Minneapolis, I dont have much choice.  I have to fly Delta nearly everywhere I go.  But you have a choice in whom you hire, how you reward them and what behavior is tolerated.
I’d be ashamed if an employee of mine ever treated a few hundred of my customers that way.

Flora Delaney

Dear Mrs. Delaney,

RE: Case Number 1378003

Richard has asked that I extend his sincere apology on behalf of Delta Air Lines for the poor impression left by our employee on board Flight 1055 on September 6.  We want to provide a higher level of service to our customers than you described.

I can see why you wanted to share your concerns.  Your comments serve as an excellent reminder that the actions of our team members can make a significant difference in passenger preference.  The emphasis at our airline is on polite, professional service.  We know that we have an opportunity to make a good impression each time we serve a customer, and we regret that your experience on our flight was to the contrary.

Mrs. Delaney, I am at a loss to explain why the flight attendant was so rude during your return travel from Detroit.  Please know that when we receive a report such as yours, a thorough review is accomplished with the individual; a repeat incident is cause for severe consequences. Rude behavior is never tolerated.

As a genuine gesture of apology for the rude behavior you reported, I have added 5,000 bonus miles to your SkyMiles account. This exceeds the normal amount of compensation because you redeemed two award tickets. Please allow three business days for the miles to appear.

Again, I apologize for the rude behavior of our flight attendant. We appreciate you as a Silver Medallion SkyMiles member and hope you will always select Delta as your airline of choice.



Executive Assistant

Delta Air Lines/KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

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