For years, basically since Keb was a baby, I have REFUSED to fly Delta. We had a bad event, to say the least.
I had booked a red-eye into Des Moines (through Chicago, I believe) thinking that this would allow both of us to sleep, use the flying time well, and generally keep Keb from crying during the flight. Because I was a paranoid mother who was going to need the car seat anyway, I bought and paid for a seat for Keb and his car seat. Yes, I called and grilled the people about whether his seat would fit an airline seat.
San Jose is and was a very interesting airport. I remember thinking how quaint and old-fashioned it was the first time I flew into San Jose and they used “the stairs” for us. I had visions of The Beatles, JKF, and other dignitaries having their pictures taken. Between 1994 and 2001, the airport had done a lot to upgrade. Well, not as much as I thought.
I had to carry Keb in his car seat and our stuff up the plane stairs. No, I couldn’t go early and settle because having a baby was no reason to go early. No, I couldn’t get any help because of “security” issues. Sigh. This means trying to get a car seat into an airline seat without help — no one to put the seat in or to hold the baby. All the while being told to “hurry up.”
At some point in this process Keb woke up with a start and began to scream. The flight attendant hurried back down the aisle to confront me and ask, “How long is that baby going to scream like that?” Being the ass I am, I replied, “At this rate all night.” I’m lucky I didn’t get booted; however, in retrospect, who wants to be the one who refuses to help and kicks off a baby and his mother at 10:30?
None of the other flights or flight attendants were any better, and I chalked it up to why airlines are failing. I went on to fly primarily United, but also American or Southwest when needed. Not Delta.
However, that changed this fall when I needed to get to Des Moines by a certain date and did NOT want to spend loads of money doing it. Through Priceline and every other airline price compiler, Delta came up as having the best priced flight. So I went for it. (Disclosure: My Facebook friend and high school buddy, Steve, works as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines)
This time my experience was lovely. The flights were on time, the attendants at all locations were helpful, and there were generally no hiccups. Save for one.
I originally had planned to return to San Jose on November 13th. When my mom was returned to CCU (critical care unit) on Thursday morning 11/10, it was pretty clear she’d be in the hospital longer than we’d originally thought. I HAD to change my flight. While I had called in to work, booked my sub for another week, sent lesson plans to my colleague Pam (who IS an angel), I hadn’t gotten this done. I had gone so far as to call the “insurance” that I booked with the flight to get the claim-stuff rolling. This was not a process I was looking forward to, having undertaken it this summer with Keb. Mostly it’s faxing and re-faxing everything until the insurance company gets the idea that you aren’t going to give in. Then they repay you.
I finally called Delta Saturday morning and got the loveliest person on the planet. I told him what I was doing and why, when I wanted to return, and he did it all without charging me a penny. Oh, he did ask my mother’s name, the hospital, a phone and address for the hospital, as well as the doctor. But then he just moved the flight without making me pay extra.
I was so happy and relieved. You cannot imagine.
My flights back to San Jose were equally good. No drama, decent people, very accommodating flight attendants. For once I couldn’t say enough good things about Delta and its crew.
I guess Delta is now back in the mix of carriers I am willing to fly with. Congratulations!