Welcome to a weekly feature on the Eye of the Flyer blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
I always enjoy talking to Delta360 members when I fly. They are a unique select bunch of Delta flyers that spend more with the airline in a year than I may spend in my lifetime. They truly are people Delta loves the most. It is also funny to talk to them about what they don’t like about Delta and the things they do like. Some could care less about SkyMiles while others are really upset over the changes. Others, their biggest complaint is simply this: They don’t like fees or as some people call them “junk fees” for just about anything like a change or cancellation or you name it. Now here is the thing, Delta, if they ask, will always waive the fee for a Delta360 member – all they have to do is ask. But it bugs them that they even have to. Truly #FirstWorldProblems.
But that takes us right in to this week’s rookie topic, that is, if you are willing to ask, or even ask the right person, just about anything is possible with Delta. Don’t like a quoted fee? HUCB, that is, hang up call back and ask the next rep. Get the same answer from the next rep, wait a bit and HUCB again or even ask for a supervisor. Don’t like that answer, call the Asian call centers. The point is just by being tenacious and calling again and again (or even calling Asia – E9) you will, most times, get a different answer every time and will most times get someone to waive a fee if you push hard enough.
Then there are other ways of getting things done that you are told cannot be done. There are online choices like Delta Assist (DA) that can do amazing things. Take the screen shot of the error I got above trying to check in for a flight. I had no seat assignment and it was “blocked and under airport control”. Have you even been told that one? I got DA to lock in the seat. Then there are Sky Club reps. I have had Delta Red Coats tell me no, cannot do this or that no way no how and then waltz into a Sky Club and had a most helpful and kind rep fix what I needed in a matter of minutes (are we starting to understand the point of if mom says no, ask dad yet)!
Sometimes it takes creativity and effort. This is also why I almost always get to the airport early and especially so if something is not perfect in my reservation / trip. Now this is not a real world example that has happened to me but I could see it happening. Say you and a friend are traveling on the same flights but they want to charge your friend a bag fee even though you have the Delta AMEX card <-LINK. Officially that perk is only for those on the same PNR or record. But here is the thing, there are SOOOOOOO many things that can cause a record to be split. And once it is, it is impossible to put it back into one (yeah, this one really IS impossible – think “humpty dumpty”). But, what if you walk out of line and tell them you want to consider this. Then, you out of ear shot call Delta and get someone to cross reference or LINK the two reservations and to “note the record” that the two are joined as one. Then, go back to the desk, plead the case again and mention that they “check the record” as the two are for the same itinerary and linked and you should not have to pay the fee (again, if mom says no, ask dad). You could expand this idea to a great many things.
Delta made, and continues to make, mind boggling income from fees and “junk fees” each year. I think that is just great. That is as long as it is not from me or a RenesPoints reader. So understand no, can’t or not possible is most times just an obstacle to be worked around. You just have to find the right person or the right way to get it done! – René
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