Delta Air Lines Inc has resolved this gripe by Heather York

This resolved gripe is influencing  314,793 people  thru 2,403 friends and followers

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  • Shared with 381 people, who influence 49,530 friends on Facebook by Heather York
  • Shared with 381 people, who influence 49,530 friends on Facebook by Heather York
  • Shared with 61 people, who influence 7,930 friends on Facebook by Andy Frederick
  • Shared with 192 people, who influence 24,960 friends on Facebook by Ron Pine
  • Shared with 192 people, who influence 24,960 friends on Facebook by Ron Pine
  • Shared with 381 people, who influence 49,530 friends on Facebook by Heather York
  • Shared with 381 people, who influence 49,530 friends on Facebook by Heather York
  • Shared with 381 people, who influence 49,530 friends on Facebook by Heather York
  • Shared with 971 people, who influence 126,230 friends on Facebook by Elizabeth Davis-Berg
  • Shared with 971 people, who influence 126,230 friends on Facebook by Elizabeth Davis-Berg
  • Shared with 798 people, who influence 103,740 friends on Facebook by Rachael Blaske
  • Shared with 381 people, who influence 49,530 friends on Facebook by Heather York
Support This
Posted May 16 2012 via website

What Happened

When I flew Omaha-Minneapolis-JFK on Delta Airlines and then to Peru through Lima-Iquitos on another airline, my luggage was separated from me in Minneapolis. The baggage personnel with Delta at JFK assured me that my luggage would be forwarded to me at my address in Iquitos within 2 days. Instead, it never arrived. I spent 12 days in remote Amazonian rainforest, trying to teach high-school students and conduct biological research, with a single change of clothes, only the toiletries I was allowed in my carry-on, and no professional equipment. I endured a bout of traveler's diarrhea, my menstrual period, and daily rains, not to mention the hot, sweaty work I planned to do, essentially in the same clothes for almost 2 solid weeks. Since I was 14 hours by boat from the nearest city and needed to remain with my students, simply buying what I needed as a replacement was impossible. Having become convinced -- through occasional satellite phone communications with someone in Iquitos -- that my luggage was permanently lost or had been destroyed as abandoned, I was thankfully reunited with my belongings in Lima (not Iquitos, as was promised) only after 2 days of calling around once I returned from the field. By that time, my husband had flown to Lima with a complete set of replacement items for me (things we already owned), as we planned to continue our travels for another week. This meant that he had to limit his own belongings and that, ultimately, I was carrying twice the amount of items I needed. Because I had to fulfill my duties as an instructor and researcher with no access to my belongings and with no way to replace what I needed, I have asked Delta for compensation for the minimum amount of clothing and equipment I would've purchased to replace my missing items (not even the full replacement value for all of my missing items), had I been able to do so. I'm also requesting reimbursement for satellite phone and checked-bag charges associated with trying to carry and later locate my luggage.

Unbelievably, on top of all of this, I wrote a detailed explanation of the incident, my complaint, and my request for compensation to Delta, who assured me a response within 30 days. It has been 35 days, and I have not gotten a response to my initial complaint or to my reminder. Delta Airlines' customer service has been abysmal while I've been seeking fair compensation for upset, hassle, and lost productivity that resulted from Delta's mistake.

I Spoke With

Baggage personnel at JFK; email from customer service

What It Would Take to Resolve This

I would like $1502 in compensation for necessary clothing and equipment, satellite phone charges, and checked-bag fees. Travel vouchers would be a considerate gesture too, although I am hesitant to fly with Delta again.

  1. Heather York commented on this

    I just heard back that my complaint has been forwarded to a baggage claims manager and that I should expect a response in 2-4 weeks. At least my complaint has been acknowledged after having collected dust for over a month, but this additional delay is ridiculous!

    May 16 2012
  2. Kim commented on this

    I contacted Delta Air Lines Inc @DeltaAssist and informed them of your gripe. Hopefully they'll be in touch soon. Best, Kim (Gripe Support Team)

    May 22 2012
  3. Heather York commented on this

    Thank you Kim! I heard back from baggage claims that nothing but my satellite phone charges would be considered for compensation. I consider this unacceptable, so I am keeping this gripe open and asking for additional support from my friends, family, and colleagues. Thanks, everyone!

    Jun 6 2012
  4. Rachael Blaske commented on this

    Heather, what else can we do to help?

    Jun 6 2012
  5. Erin Questad commented on this

    Wow, I had a late bag on united and they volunteered to give me a travel voucher. And it was only one hour late! As someone who travels a lot, I will be less likely to choose delta, especially of I am traveling with students or my family.

    Jun 10 2012
  6. Heather York commented on this

    Ultimately, Delta offered to reimburse the satellite phone expenses and the checked-bag fee, along with offering travel vouchers. Since I'd like this to be resolved and appreciate that my difficulties were finally acknowledged, I will consider this done. Let's hope for no problems when the vouchers are used! Thank you, everyone, for your support.

    Jun 13 2012
  7. Heather York marked this as resolved Jun 13 2012
  8. Rachael Blaske commented on this

    I admire your tenacity and diligence, Heather. Congratulations.

    Jun 13 2012
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