When you board a flight you must scan your boarding pass. In the case of Delta the computers will acknowledge you are on the right flight (as well as the day of flight and your seat and more). If you happen to try to rush onto the plane without scanning your boarding pass, and then refuse to leave the jet, this is what can happen to you:
One other strange thing can happen, that is, you may need to sometimes scan two boarding passes for yourself. One of my favorite posts I have ever written in well over a decade of blogging is my post about booking an extra seat for yourself and how gate agents react to you. But another reason you may book two seats is because you have an Amex BOGO cert and just want extra space for free (well mostly free). With Delta all but selling out 1st class nowadays this can be a wise move.
But back to the story at hand that my friend and consumer advocate Chris Elliott posted about earlier today. He tells us what happened to Nic Hnastchenko on a Delta Air Lines flight back in August:
“Delta scanned and boarded me,” … But when he got to his assigned seat, there was someone already sitting there.”
Ruh roh. You can all but guess what happened next. Chris goes on to report:
The Delta crew member demanded that he leave the aircraft at once. “They threatened to call the police if I did not deplane,” he recalls. “It was very confusing.”
Disappointed and embarrassed, Hnastchenko found his way to the Delta customer service counter. There, an agent informed him that his ticket was for the next day.
You should read the post to see what compensation the passenger was offered and what Delta, with prompting from Chris, finally did to make the situation right.
My biggest question is how in the world this happened. A boarding pass for the wrong day should not have allowed him to board the flight. Heck I have even scanned the next boarding pass for a connection and the computer yelled at me that it was not the right boarding pass. So what in the IT went wrong?
From the tone of the post it sounds like the flight was oversold and the gate agents were trying to get the flight out and get as many onboard as possible and went too far (this is just my guess – not the facts – buy maybe what happened). Once the error was made it was time to make stuff up (yes gate agents do that as we have seen first hand).
I guess I would love your take on this one. What do you think the real reason was that this went down the way it did. Do you think Delta paying out, after help from Chris, the required (by law) denied boarding compensation is admission they messed up or just a hope that no one would notice what they tried to get away with it. You tell me! – René
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