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Have you ever missed a cruise because of airline meltdown . I would be so &*#@*&


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Got stuck in Atlanta overnight last year, on the way to a cruise departing from Trieste, Italy.  Mechanical issues that wore on for hours and then the cockpit crew timed out.   By that time it was nearly midnight and most other TATL flights had already departed so no way to rebook anyone to get them there the following morning.  Delta rescheduled the flight for the next day.

We had allowed an extra day, so were fine to wait a day, and Delta covered the hotel expense.  BUT there was a group of people on our flight that were supposed to be boarding a different ship the very next day.  We spoke to some ladies seated across from us on the plane....I believe Viking had helped them arrange private transport to the first port of call to catch up to their ship but it cost them something like 500 euro

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1 hour ago, jsn55 said:

I did not have any issues with Expedia, but I was never very comfortable ... third-party booking sites don't have the level of customer service that I want.  So I'm glad it's 'all Chase again'.  

 

You do realize that the Chase travel portal is.....drumroll......a third party booking site?

 

 

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2 hours ago, jsn55 said:

If I am in the midst of a true disaster, like being stranded at EWR, my only priority is to get to my destination.  I wouldn't be worrying about who is paying the bill.  If I didn't have the resources to deal with problems, I wouldn't be flying.  


 

No offense intended. You prefaced your remarks with a comment about good service from Chase Sapphire Reserve. Just trying to separate the card benefits from travel services.

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Some years ago my wife was flying from Winnipeg to Vancouver on the 12:30 flight.  It pushed back on time but then sat for several minutes.  The pilot announced that he was not happy with one of the instruments and had called maintenance.  The woman sitting next to her got a bit agitated.  After a while, the pilot announced that the problem could not be fixed and the flight was cancelled.  Now the woman was really agitated.  She was heading for a Holland America cruise sailing out of Vancouver at 5:00pm.  Where were her brains?  I've said it before:  her faith in the airlines is touching and totally misplaced.

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This was the letter I sent about my Feb 2023 flight failures

Thank you for the token 7500 SkyMiles but I need you to understand the failures of Delta Flight Operations during Flight 1378 from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale on February 24, 2023. 

I was originally scheduled to fly from MBS/DTW/FLL on 2/23/23 but the first leg was cancelled due to expected bad weather that did not occur.  I had tried to complete Check In at 5:20 am on 2/22/2023 and since my regional upgrade certificate cleared on my returning flights, I need to call in to the Platinum Line to have an agent reissued my ticket.  I was on hold for over an hour while that was completed, with no mention that part of my outgoing flight was cancelled.  I found out two hours later when the agent could have rebooked me on an earlier flight. 

On February 24, Preboarding/First Class/Diamond started on Flight 1378 with a plane full of happy passengers heading to cruise ship ports leaving on 2/25/23 so getting to Fort Lauderdale on time was critical.   

Preboarding starts on time and then pauses for at least 30 minutes with no word 

Passengers start coming off the plane and scan their tickets-no announcements 

Pilot comes out and says "they put too much fuel on the plane and now they need to "defuel" 

Boarding starts again about 11 am and we sit while waiting on "paperwork " with no announcements until 1:30 pm  

Then announcement that a flight attendant has timed out but no worries, Detroit is a Delta Hub so a new flight attendant just needs to walk over from the Lounge. Just 10 minutes. 

Still waiting another hour when they announced "Oops, there was no flight attendant sent but now there is" 

They announce it takes time to do the paperwork to confirm if others were timing out.   

Then they announce the pilots have timed out and we need to exit the plane...2:45 pm ish 

The gate agents told us as we exit to get to Customer Service to see what they could do. 

Since a number of people were off before me and went to the Customer Service one gate away, I ran 20 gates down just to be told "there is nothing we can do, there are no flights and your flight isn't cancelled".  What? 

Run back to the gate where the gate agent is now announcing that two pilots are on their way, their plane will gate right next to us and they will be here soon. 

Gate agent announces that we will be getting meal vouchers sent to us BUT don't go far or eat in a restaurant since we would not hear any updates. One $15 voucher arrives at 2:59 pm (and second one for $30 arrives at 3:06 pm) so I run to the Food Court at the opposite end of Terminal A to grab food and run back.  Please note these vouchers say "All voucher amounts must be redeemed by 2/25/2023" rendering the $30 one useless.  If the vouchers had been distributed 3 hours earlier when we were at the 2 hour delay, they would have been more appreciated.   

When I get back, they announce our new pilots will be arriving at 4 pm and now an estimated departure of 4:53 pm.  People are relaxing a bit since we are hopeful our vacations will be saved. 

The pilots arrive and are greeted with applause.   

The pilots board and within a few minutes, the gate agents start Preboarding. 

"Hurry up and take your seats so we can get you to Fort Lauderdale" 

Announcing that people have noticed that some of the same flight attendants are still present, yes, that they are going to also time out but they will stay over and get us to Fort Lauderdale. 

Sitting and waiting before the pilots announce "we need fuel since they burned 6000 pounds running on the tarmac, the toilet tanks weren't emptied while the plane sat on the tarmac for 5 hours" even though he called it in ahead of time.  There was an audible gasp since it was a fueling issue that started the comedy of errors. 

The lead flight attendant who was cool, calm and friendly throughout the day said, no worries, takes two minutes per tank, top off three tanks and we are out of here but we do need to open the door during refueling.   

We sit for over 30 minutes for this 6 minute activity while watching maintenance guys boarding, going to the cockpit and exiting several times increasing everyone's stress levels before the pilot announces that the mechanics were flipping the wrong switches outside but said the pilots did. 

We sit for another 30 or so minutes to wait for a "fuel slip".  The pilot apologized and says they have never seen such a total meltdown in Detroit and after the number of phone calls he made we were able to fly. 

We touchdown after 9 pm in Fort Lauderdale, 8 hours late. 

To add insult, another DTW to FLL flight that was scheduled to depart after us, arrived first and got their luggage first. 

While I was unable to enjoy the time I planned in Fort Lauderdale, I was able to board my cruise ship Saturday morning.  I thank the crew members who made that possible. 

The failures here were all on Delta Operations.  Fueling and crew schedules are math, not magic. If the first fuel mistake was rectified immediately or even the flight attendant was replaced during the defueling, the original pilots would have stayed onboard.  It just seemed like after each Delta error, no one felt any urgency to correct the errors.  Then the paperwork delay created another issue, then paperwork, then another issue. 

 I read your Tarmac Delay Procedures consider the “mood” of the passengers to determine the Delta response.  I think passengers on this flight kept very tight grip on their emotions given the potential of missing our cruises was real, the longer we sat the fewer options were going to be available, we didn’t have access or were offered food or beverages while on the plane for hours and information was scarce.  I would like additional compensation at least half of the 86,000 SkyMiles I used for this flight.  Thank you for your consideration. 

 

The follow up was I received 17,500 Skymiles as "good will"  Not once did I see or hear passengers berate gate agents or Flight attendants.  Most of the plane was cruise passengers going out the next day and without this flight, our vacations were over.  There were no more flights out with seats due to other cancellations.  We were one giddy bunch of happy, exhausted people as we waited for our luggage.  

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35 minutes ago, Elaine5715 said:

This was the letter I sent about my Feb 2023 flight failures

Thank you for the token 7500 SkyMiles but I need you to understand the failures of Delta Flight Operations during Flight 1378 from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale on February 24, 2023. 

I was originally scheduled to fly from MBS/DTW/FLL on 2/23/23 but the first leg was cancelled due to expected bad weather that did not occur.  I had tried to complete Check In at 5:20 am on 2/22/2023 and since my regional upgrade certificate cleared on my returning flights, I need to call in to the Platinum Line to have an agent reissued my ticket.  I was on hold for over an hour while that was completed, with no mention that part of my outgoing flight was cancelled.  I found out two hours later when the agent could have rebooked me on an earlier flight. 

On February 24, Preboarding/First Class/Diamond started on Flight 1378 with a plane full of happy passengers heading to cruise ship ports leaving on 2/25/23 so getting to Fort Lauderdale on time was critical.   

Preboarding starts on time and then pauses for at least 30 minutes with no word 

Passengers start coming off the plane and scan their tickets-no announcements 

Pilot comes out and says "they put too much fuel on the plane and now they need to "defuel" 

Boarding starts again about 11 am and we sit while waiting on "paperwork " with no announcements until 1:30 pm  

Then announcement that a flight attendant has timed out but no worries, Detroit is a Delta Hub so a new flight attendant just needs to walk over from the Lounge. Just 10 minutes. 

Still waiting another hour when they announced "Oops, there was no flight attendant sent but now there is" 

They announce it takes time to do the paperwork to confirm if others were timing out.   

Then they announce the pilots have timed out and we need to exit the plane...2:45 pm ish 

The gate agents told us as we exit to get to Customer Service to see what they could do. 

Since a number of people were off before me and went to the Customer Service one gate away, I ran 20 gates down just to be told "there is nothing we can do, there are no flights and your flight isn't cancelled".  What? 

Run back to the gate where the gate agent is now announcing that two pilots are on their way, their plane will gate right next to us and they will be here soon. 

Gate agent announces that we will be getting meal vouchers sent to us BUT don't go far or eat in a restaurant since we would not hear any updates. One $15 voucher arrives at 2:59 pm (and second one for $30 arrives at 3:06 pm) so I run to the Food Court at the opposite end of Terminal A to grab food and run back.  Please note these vouchers say "All voucher amounts must be redeemed by 2/25/2023" rendering the $30 one useless.  If the vouchers had been distributed 3 hours earlier when we were at the 2 hour delay, they would have been more appreciated.   

When I get back, they announce our new pilots will be arriving at 4 pm and now an estimated departure of 4:53 pm.  People are relaxing a bit since we are hopeful our vacations will be saved. 

The pilots arrive and are greeted with applause.   

The pilots board and within a few minutes, the gate agents start Preboarding. 

"Hurry up and take your seats so we can get you to Fort Lauderdale" 

Announcing that people have noticed that some of the same flight attendants are still present, yes, that they are going to also time out but they will stay over and get us to Fort Lauderdale. 

Sitting and waiting before the pilots announce "we need fuel since they burned 6000 pounds running on the tarmac, the toilet tanks weren't emptied while the plane sat on the tarmac for 5 hours" even though he called it in ahead of time.  There was an audible gasp since it was a fueling issue that started the comedy of errors. 

The lead flight attendant who was cool, calm and friendly throughout the day said, no worries, takes two minutes per tank, top off three tanks and we are out of here but we do need to open the door during refueling.   

We sit for over 30 minutes for this 6 minute activity while watching maintenance guys boarding, going to the cockpit and exiting several times increasing everyone's stress levels before the pilot announces that the mechanics were flipping the wrong switches outside but said the pilots did. 

We sit for another 30 or so minutes to wait for a "fuel slip".  The pilot apologized and says they have never seen such a total meltdown in Detroit and after the number of phone calls he made we were able to fly. 

We touchdown after 9 pm in Fort Lauderdale, 8 hours late. 

To add insult, another DTW to FLL flight that was scheduled to depart after us, arrived first and got their luggage first. 

While I was unable to enjoy the time I planned in Fort Lauderdale, I was able to board my cruise ship Saturday morning.  I thank the crew members who made that possible. 

The failures here were all on Delta Operations.  Fueling and crew schedules are math, not magic. If the first fuel mistake was rectified immediately or even the flight attendant was replaced during the defueling, the original pilots would have stayed onboard.  It just seemed like after each Delta error, no one felt any urgency to correct the errors.  Then the paperwork delay created another issue, then paperwork, then another issue. 

 I read your Tarmac Delay Procedures consider the “mood” of the passengers to determine the Delta response.  I think passengers on this flight kept very tight grip on their emotions given the potential of missing our cruises was real, the longer we sat the fewer options were going to be available, we didn’t have access or were offered food or beverages while on the plane for hours and information was scarce.  I would like additional compensation at least half of the 86,000 SkyMiles I used for this flight.  Thank you for your consideration. 

 

The follow up was I received 17,500 Skymiles as "good will"  Not once did I see or hear passengers berate gate agents or Flight attendants.  Most of the plane was cruise passengers going out the next day and without this flight, our vacations were over.  There were no more flights out with seats due to other cancellations.  We were one giddy bunch of happy, exhausted people as we waited for our luggage.  

I'm sorry to tell you that nobody at Delta is going to read this very long letter.  I couldn't read it all, and I'm interested in your problem.  The people reading complaints hear the same stories over and over.  They are totally uninterested in all the personal details.  Using a term like "I need you to understand ... " will likely get your letter 'set aside for later' ... much later.  Your job is to make the person reading your letter understand what happened very quickly.  You want that person to WANT to help you. 

 

Your letter should be polite and businesslike.  Setting out the major issues as bullet points is usually the most effective.   Boil down all the information into a listing of the facts.  Be crystal clear about what compensation you are seeking.  Have someone unfamiliar with your problem read your letter and tell you what it says ... so you can be sure you've laid it all out logically.  You'll be more successful by removing all the personal information and just stating the facts.   Good luck.

Edited by jsn55
clarity, new thought
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39 minutes ago, jsn55 said:

I'm sorry to tell you that nobody at Delta is going to read this very long letter.  I couldn't read it all, and I'm interested in your problem.  The people reading complaints hear the same stories over and over.  They are totally uninterested in all the personal details.  Using a term like "I need you to understand ... " will likely get your letter 'set aside for later' ... much later.  Your job is to make the person reading your letter understand what happened very quickly.  You want that person to WANT to help you. 

 

Your letter should be polite and businesslike.  Setting out the major issues as bullet points is usually the most effective.   Boil down all the information into a listing of the facts.  Be crystal clear about what compensation you are seeking.  Have someone unfamiliar with your problem read your letter and tell you what it says ... so you can be sure you've laid it all out logically.  You'll be more successful by removing all the personal information and just stating the facts.   Good luck.

They did read it, mentioned specific points  and responded with an additional 17,500 SkyMiles (on top of the 7500 already refunded) but I neither asked for your assistance or poor advice.  

Edited by Elaine5715
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7 hours ago, Elaine5715 said:

They did read it, mentioned specific points  and responded with an additional 17,500 SkyMiles (on top of the 7500 already refunded) but I neither asked for your assistance or poor advice.  

To be sure posting on a 'public forum' does invite comments (acceptable or not by OP's or others).

 

Sometimes we like the support or responding post, sometimes we do not.

 

IME many responding posts are meant to be constructive and critical but not nasty even though they may read as such.

 

When we do not want any response to any of our posts, then we need to consider not posting...

 

Given the series of events and potential for missing your sailing, it is good that you made it... and I surmise a good sailing as well.

 

bon voyage 

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I can only say to the very long missive above (and no, I couldn’t get through the entire rant), the general public usually has no idea of what is really going on and how much work is happening behind the scenes during an irrops.  I would agree, just as I tune out pax who are going off on a long tirade when I’m just trying to fix their problem, and don’t need to know every detail of their day, no one had time to really seriously read that letter.  They just threw some miles out as a customer service gesture so they could close the complaint. 
Sometimes it’s apparent why someone had a problem.

Edited by 6rugrats
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23 minutes ago, 6rugrats said:

I can only say to the very long missive above (and no, I couldn’t get through the entire rant), the general public usually has no idea of what is really going on and how much work is happening behind the scenes during an irrops.

 

Absolutely correct.

 

Even during a "normal" flight situation, folks have no consideration of the multiple levels of coordination and the details that must be attended to before an aircraft can push back from the gate.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Elaine5715 said:

They did read it, mentioned specific points  and responded with an additional 17,500 SkyMiles (on top of the 7500 already refunded) but I neither asked for your assistance or poor advice.  

Sorry to offend ... if you're happy with the SkyMiles, that's great.  If you don't want assistance or advice, it would be helpful to mention that in your post.  

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5 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

To be sure posting on a 'public forum' does invite comments (acceptable or not by OP's or others).

 

Sometimes we like the support or responding post, sometimes we do not.

 

IME many responding posts are meant to be constructive and critical but not nasty even though they may read as such.

 

When we do not want any response to any of our posts, then we need to consider not posting...

 

Given the series of events and potential for missing your sailing, it is good that you made it... and I surmise a good sailing as well.

 

bon voyage 

(not posting)

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not sure "cruise air" vs. "direct air" really makes a difference here.

Heck, even flying GA/private might not, either, with airfield closures..

 

But we always go 1-2 days early. It absolutely saved us flying from East Coast to Seattle in June.

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1 hour ago, lindros2 said:

not sure "cruise air" vs. "direct air" really makes a difference here

 

Yes, it can make a difference.

 

The thing to remember is that often, the tickets bought from a cruiseline are bulk tickets that have different underlying fare rules from published fare tickets bought from the airline.  Those fare rules may severely restrict how you can obtain relief during an irrops situation.  Some tickets may prevent you from being re-routed to another carrier.  Other tickets may even restrict you to flying the exact same routing, irrespective of any operational issues.  Other tickets may have additional restrictions that can impact your travel.

 

So when you hear "well, they are for the same flights", don't assume that you have the same ticket.  Because the odds are that you don't.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I came very close to missing a cruise once. I live in MA, and a friend and I were flying to Fort Lauderdale for a cruise in February. A big snowstorm was coming. We were the last flight out two nights before the cruise. Everyone else who tried to fly out the day before from NC up missed the cruise, and had to join later. 

 

 

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