Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Delta Airlines is Sorry for the Inconvenience

Two things kept me from going into a complete rage the last couple of days: the love of Jesus in my heart and Xanax. I flew on Delta Airlines to LAX and back home all within two days.

I have learned that Delta's corporate slogan is (or ought to be) "We are sorry for the inconvenience." Those words came readily to the lips of the amiable but unhelpful Delta personnel that I encountered. They should be emblazoned on t-shirts that the staff should have to wear. I don't blame the individual staffers. They didn't lose my baggage or delay my flight. I should be gateful that they did not even bother to feign surprise or dismay at the foul ups I experienced. That way I know that foul ups are an expected and accepted part of doing business at Delta. It will take a lot to get me back on a Delta flight, and I intend to dissuade my friends from taking a chance on that airline.

Delta didn't so much "lose" my luggage as simply neglect to put it on a plane in the first case. I expressed some worry when I checked in and the nice lady at the check in kiosk assured me that she would do "her part", ie label the bag and stick it on a conveyor belt. I got the impression that she was unwilling to vouch for what her fellow employees might do, and it turns out that she had good reason. The very next person in the chain fouled up My luggage stayed home and was waiting at my front door when I arrived this afternoon after a hellish journey. Losing your luggage entails waiting around like an ass to see if it ever comes out on the carousel until someone tells you to get in line with the twenty other saps whose luggage was unaccounted for. Two lost baggage clerks were available to serve us, and the requisite apologies for the inconvenience flowed forth like involuntary tics while they gave the decided impression that they figured you for a dumbass for trusting the airline with your stuff.

On the way home, the second leg of my itinerary was inexplicably delayed, always for just a few minutes ("not more than fifteen") but ultimately by nearly three hours. No explanations were given unless pressed for, but apologies for the inconvenience were dutifully repeated and even displayed on a screen which promised details but never delivered them. For all I know, they had to sober up the pilot.

At least I wasn't killed on any of the flights. I did at several points envy the dead.

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