Saturday, December 07, 2013

Delta Airlines, into the burlap sack with you.

Last weekend, I was leaving somewhere it gets harder to leave every time I go...

We were out for dinner, and I got an automated voicemail and email informing me that my flight had been delayed by half an hour. I figured at very least it would make getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport less stressful. However upon arrival at the airport I was unable to print off my boarding pass... not awesome, so I talked to some guy at customer service who informed me that my flight had only been delayed 4 minutes and unless I had my own printout, or the mobile boarding pass I couldn't go through security - even though I had checked in the previous evening.

He then waved me in the direction of "Special Services" however I ended up at the automated check in kiosk, waiting for an attendant and scrolling through the flight options while calling my friend to say "You might not be rid of me yet..."

The first option I was looking at was an hour later that evening and had the ambiguous option of "No standby available" and then a "Standby only" button. WTF does that mean?!?!  ...and when the attendant was able to assist me, she looked at me like *I* was the crazy one, as if somehow I had magically gone to some screen she'd never seen in her life.

*raises eyebrows* are you kidding me? What do you mean you don't know?!?

In any case she pointed me in the exact direction of "Special Services" where I got a very helpful lady, who listened carefully, pulled up my details and reacted.  She called the gate, explained that she needed to print me a boarding pass, got off the phone and said "They aren't going to hold the plane for you, but if you can make it through security in time, they'll let you board." as she handed me my boarding pass she said tell them that you need to be expedited at security.

And with that I was running to security.

Somehow, there was a gap in the flow of people... magically they opened a second security line as I was standing there and almost everyone moved into that line, as I was waiting to go through the body scanner the security guard pulled me around through the metal detector effectively bypassing that line... and my things were just coming out the other end of the x-ray vision machine.

All I could think of while I was trying to jam things into my backpack was that I never would have survived the fire in the first story of the hunger games.  My movements were awkward and it took way too long to get my laptop back into my bag...

I ran out of security frantically searching for 51A, and saw 51B... 52... 53? Where the hell did they put 51A?!?! Over the loudspeaker I hear "...this is the final boarding call for passengers VINCENT and SOMEOTHERGUY with service to San Jose" *grrrrr* I spun around back towards security, and there tucked around the corner, nestled in there far enough to be easily overlooked is gate 51A.

I hustle over, hand the lady my boarding pass which she scans disregarding my id completely... and I board the plane.

I don't even mind that I'm sitting next to a slightly inebriated 21 year old.  I'm on the flight I'm supposed to be on. I'm not going to have to call and change my shuttle again.

As the flow of information... sights and sounds slowly returns to normal no longer tightly focused to getting on this plane, I realize that I'm not the last person on this flight, and that we aren't quite leaving yet.


We did finally end up leaving somewhere after the time I had been automatically informed my flight had been delayed to, but I am still less than impressed.

First of all, don't bother informing me of a delay unless it is actually delayed... Secondly as your customer I should not have a "delay time of half an hour" when everyone else who looked at it on their terminal has a delay time of four minutes. Thirdly, for how cool I thought it was that you were keeping me in the loop... I have now lost all confidence that your notifications are correct, making them completely useless. Also, being next to a guy at Special Services who actually missed his flight due to your faulty notifications makes me even less impressed.

To mitigate this, you should have sent another update when the flight was changed to back on schedule.  Thanks for trying, but you have a long way to go before I'll put any stock in your notifications again.