We made our trip from Orlando to Boston on Delta and then on to Paris on their Partner Air France. Delta continues to not have their act together. My wife had no assigned seat and we ended up not getting to sit with one another. The explanation was that we don’t assign all of the seats for our convenience. What about the customers convenience was my first thought. When we boarded Air France in the business section, no less, Priscilla’s seat was in the row behind mine. Luckly a nice lady changed with her so we could be together.
As I discussed with my grandson how poorly Delta Airlines is managed he said the main difference Papi is, Delta says NO and Southwest says YES. Interesting how kids get right to the point.
I have come to the conclusion that Delta leadership does not understand the difference between services and service. All they talk about is how they are improving services like kiosks for check-in, more flat beds in the business section, better website, better lounges in the airports and so on. They talk about how they are getting bigger and better. Bigger yes, but not better in my opinion. This is what happens when you have leaders whom do not understand service and this is why they will continue to be rated as one of the worst US airlines.
Services are easy to replicate, it just take funding. Great people with great attitudes about serving the customer are very difficult to replicate and takes great leadership to accomplish. You can’t fund attitude and caring. You have to cultivate it over time.
The boarding process in Orlando was a nightmare. Southwest boarding process is smooth and hassle free. Delta has beverage carts in the aisle so you can not get to the bathroom or get back from the bathroom. Southwest takes your order and keeps the aisles clear. Delta charges for baggage, Southwest does not. If you want to change your flight Delta charges 150.00, Southwest does not. If you cancel your flight on Delta you lose all of your money. On Southwest you get a credit to use for a future flight. This policy alone is why I now do not use Delta and always try to use Southwest if at all possible. Delta does not communicate well on what is happening for late flights. Actually in my experience they don’t communicate at all. Southwest continually communicates what is happening.
Soutwest has high employee pride. Delta people often do not speak well of their company to me. A recent Delta flight attendant told me, “The company does not care about us.” A recent Southwest flight attendant told me, “I love our airline.”
The following quote was from the January 13, 2011 Wall Street Journal: This was for 2010.
“Delta, the largest carrier after its merger with Northwest Airlines, was
second-worst in punctuality and baggage handling, and it had the highest rates
of canceled flights and consumer complaints filed with the DOT.”
I am sure Southwest has their problems but they sure do have a great attitude and they hussle to get the job done and turn those planes around and they in general have passion for their company. With passion and a can do attitude almost anything can be accomplished.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that our Delta flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta goes well for our family of 7 on July 15.
Below is a message an associate of mine sent to Delta just three days ago. Do you see a trend here?
I originated on Flight 4127 from FWA. This flight had a delay due to mechanical
problems. These problems were known before I ever arrived at the airport but no
notifications were provided to passengers. I was connecting to flight 621 from
MSP to NRT. This flight took a delay due to hydraulic problems with the plane.
This flight was subsequently cancelled and I was rebooked on a new flight the
next day at 10am. I was given $26 in meal vouchers and a night stay in a dirty
and unacceptable hotel-Ramada INN MOA. We were told service recovery would be
provided the next day at check-in. This didn’t happen. We were not given our
luggage but were given a dopp kit with a tee shirt. We were told that this new
flight would be a new plane, but I left for the airport to checkin without
notification from Delta only to learn that the flight was delayed to NRT until
4 pm causing a misconnect in NRT for my final destination in TPE. My
notification occurred 90 mins after I arrived at the AIRPORT FOR A 10AM FLIGHT.
I was rerouted through Portland to Narita so I could make my connection in TPE.
Now, the flight is scheduled to leave at 2:30pm. I am really frustrated with my
recent service with Delta. Several weeks ago mechanical delays caused me to
misconnect on my flights to Baton Rouge. Delta does not give its front line
employees authority to make it right with the customer. Delta does not timely
notify its passengers of delays that it knows about well before the passenger
departs for the airport. Delta seems to have lots of mechanical issues lately
which raises concerns in my mind if it is taking care of its planes. I missed
my recovery delay if I get to TPE. I spent an enormous time in the airport on
both 6/10 and 6/11. My customer recovery was 1 dopp kit , a night in a run
down, dirty hotel, and $26 in vouchers for a nearly $7000 round trip flight. I
would like to see Delta make this right and truly live up to its slogan that it
is building a better airline not a bigger one. WHAT SHOULD A FREQUENT PASSENGER
EXPECT FROM DELTA? I WILL WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU DO.
Delta sent him a do not reply message that said, ” YOU will hear from us with-in five days.” In five days you can fly around the world a couple of times!
More to come as I write my new book on service. I am pretty sure that Delta is going to get their own chapter…..Take care everyone….Lee