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Tag: delta agents

Delta’s JFK staff continues to provide bad customer service in 2010

by on Jan.28, 2010, under Airlines, Business Travel, Vacation

Furthering my previous post from last year about Delta’s horrible customer service, I really think New York’s JFK Delta customer service (gate agents, check in agents, ticketing agents, etc.) agents give New Yorkers a real bad name. This excludes Delta’s New York-based flight attendants of course as I have not experienced consistent rudeness on flights.

Apparently Delta’s call center isn’t that much better (see Terminal D’s previous post).

In my attempt to help Delta address its customer service issues at JFK, I just sent the letter to Delta’s Customer Service Department. Let’s see what I get for a response.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I want to first commend Margie Z. at JFK’s Terminal 2 Medallion customer service department. Margie showed compassion and provided excellent customer service by booking me on a later flight because I barely missed the baggage check in time requirement (one hour at JFK vs the norm of 45 minutes at other airports or airlines). Margie is a diamond in the rough in Delta’s customer service department at JFK.

I was booked on yesterday’s (January 27, 2010) 7AM flight from JFK to SFO – Delta flight 717 – and arrived at JFK at 6:05AM. Unfortunately for me, I had to check in baggage – a snowboard for my weekend in Tahoe that I have been greatly looking forward to. When I arrived at the baggage drop off area, the baggage agent told me I was FIVE minutes too late to check in the bag. The agent then directed me to a customer service agent post next to her. The baggage drop off agent told me to stand in line and wait for a customer service representative to assist me. That line consisted solely of one person, me. There is never a line at 6:05am at JFK on a Wednesday.

While standing in “line” for about two minutes, I observed the FOUR customer service representatives each typing away on their computers almost purposely ignoring me – they were probably checking emails for all I know but they were certainly not doing anything that appeared job related. One male employee finally acknowledged I needed help and began to assist me. I told him that I couldn’t print a bag check ticket because I was five minutes late and asked if there was anything he could do. He explained to me that I had somehow missed my flight, the one that wasn’t scheduled to leave for another 55 minutes! To say I was shocked and dismayed is a severe understatement. There was no line at security. I could have easily made it to the gate, grabbed some breakfast and written a short story to boot.

After slowly comprehending the expression on my face, the customer service representative then corrected himself and said that I hadn’t missed the flight, rather I could not go on to the 7AM flight if I had to check in any baggage. He also added that I was 13 minutes late and not just a few minutes late as if to antagonize me further. Perhaps if any one of the four customer representatives had performed the most basic part of their job description I could have explained my situation sooner. To add even further insult, the customer service agent then tried to charge me an additional $50 for booking me on the 9AM flight and checking my bag despite the fact that I explained I am a Gold Medallion member and the change fees should be waived.

Upon hearing that I am a Gold Medallion member the customer service representative refused to help me any further and suggested that I see the Medallion agents around the corner.

I understand that the US airports and airlines are at a heighten security alert level and all checked bags need to travel with the passenger. However, I firmly believe the Delta agents at JFK could have easily put me on the flight and gotten my bag on the same flight if they had just tried to provide some level of real customer service. The one hour prior to departure bag check rule is there to provide the airlines and baggage handlers with enough time to get the bags onto the planes – it’s certainly not a hard and steadfast rule. I have had bags checked 35 minutes prior to departure at Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco International on United without any issues. Perhaps they are running a better and smoother operation?

In addition, the customer service representative did not need to say I was 13 minutes late which was clearly unprofessional and rude. Given the high level of service I received from Delta flight attendants and other agents like Margie Z. at JFK, I expected Delta to better train all of its agents at JFK. I am sure this is not the first time you have heard complaints about JFK’s customer service staff. I have written a similar letter to you last year about a different incident.

As a loyal Delta customer, I really wish that you would pass this letter along to the appropriate JFK manager and address your customer service issues. I would hate to give my business to another airline given the long relationship I have with Delta and the otherwise excellent service you provide. I appreciate your attention into this matter and expect a response from you soon. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions regarding this incident as I am eager to help you improve your service and retain your loyal customers.


Captain G – provided in my real name of course 😉

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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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