Triangle Trip

Delta’s JFK Ticketing staff is the worst in the US

by on Mar.02, 2009, under Airlines, Business Travel, Vacation

I’m a Delta Gold Medallion member and was running late for a 4:40 flight. I tried to check in via Delta’s mobile site but the site was going through some maintenance since it was over the weekend. I got to JFK at 4:12PM, just missing the kiosk 30 minute check in window. Instead of arguing with a machine, I thought I could just talk to someone at the Medallion desk as I was in Terminal 2.

I met up with an agent at the Medallion desk to explain to her my situation, and the first thing she said to me was: “did you know that you are late.” Then the agent said Delta has given up my seat and the next flight was sold out. I then asked her for a receipt of my original flight so I can get pass security to make the 4:40PM flight as it is parked 90 feet away once I clear security. I also told her I am a Clear member which allows me to skip the security line. Terminal 2 was empty. I may have skipped two people had I used my Clear card.

The agent refused to help until I calmly asked for a supervisor. The agent finally printed me a standby ticket for the 6:50PM flight and the time was 4:25PM. It took me nearly 15 minutes to get an agent to complete a task that takes 2 minutes at most.

I was able to breeze through security and got to the gate at 4:30PM. I went to talk to the gate agent who was calling standby passengers. He quickly gave me a seat and told me to board the plane. Unfortunately it was a middle seat but it saved me a few hours at the airport and having to deal with the standby list. Had the agent at the ticketing desk, I would have had a better seat.

While I was pleading my case with the ticketing agent, I also noticed another agent was telling another passenger the same story on the next counter. That passenger was trying to get a ticket printed for a 4:50PM flight and I believe he was a Gold Medallion as well.

I don’t understand Delta’s Medallion service desk at JFK. Here we have two Gold Medallion members trying to make a flight with a paid ticket and the flight is not full (as I got on). Instead of helping your loyal customers with status board the plane, Delta agents at JFK are looking for ways for the passengers to miss the flight and go on standby for a following flight which causes more work for the gate agents.

As a frequent traveler in and out of JFK using Delta, I have also noticed Delta ticketing agents at JFK likes to argue with passengers. I have seen multiple arguments between ticketing agents and passengers – over sized baggage, confirmation fees, etc. I had a similar experience with Delta’s LAX crew and the were very accommodating – I got to LAX at 12:10PM and boarded a 12:35PM flight without any issues. Delta management needs to take a hard look at its JFK crew and reprimand the staff. I have written letters to Delta customer service about my experience but only got a standard reply. I will escalate this to senior management to ensure action is taken. I urge everyone spend some time to do the same. It is the only way to be heard. We all must keep in mind that there are still choices for air travel. If you fly 50,000 miles a year in this economy with an airline, they should take notice and respect your input.

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1 comment for this entry:
  1. Delta’s JFK staff reconfirmed that it can continue to provide the worst customer service in 2010 - Triangle Trip

    […] my previous post from last year about Delta’s horrible customer service, I really think New York’s JFK […]

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