Wednesday, January 11, 2006

An Alert and a Trick

Due to restructuring, Delta has had to reschedule a pile of already booked itineraries. This onerous task is left up to a computer. Once a passenger has been reassigned, he receives an email outlining the new itinerary. Should you receive one of these emails, examine it closely, because in certain cases your itinerary might have changed dramatically--or, in my recent case, preposterously.

According to my original itinerary for an upcoming trip, I was supposed to arrive in Atlanta at 5:30 AM (that's right, I fly red-eyes!) and then hop a DC-bound plane at 6:30. But when Delta's computers altered my itinerary, I found myself arriving at
6:18 and departing for DC at 6:30--a whole 12 minutes to make my connection. When I dialed SkyMiles Customer Service, the agent lamented the occasional glitch in the computer and quickly moved to place me on a later flight to DC.

But seizing a golden opportunity, I asked instead to be flown into a different airport--one much closer to where I live. Was I insane to ask this? Absolutely not. If Delta causes a change in your itinerary due to mechanical problems or restructuring (but, alas, not weather), the rules say that you're entitled to change your destination within a 100-mile radius at no cost to you. So, Delta's mistake, far from inconveniencing me, saved me a nightmarish busride from DC to my hometown.

This story underscores an ongoing theme of this blog: you must complain, whine, argue--or sometimes, simply ask--when an airline screws up or reneges on its end of the bargain. You'll be amazed at what can happen.


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