Delta: Take these Skymiles and … give them to AirTran

My blogs have been a little Apple-centric lately so I thought I’d unleash the hounds at another enterprise engaging in poor marketing and PR: the Airlines.

What started this? A few calls and one claim form sent to Delta. A couple weeks ago, as their website suggests, I booked a flight in advance so that I could receive the lowest fare. As I booked the cute little Best Fare Guarantee logo icon on the screen misguidedly reassured me.
So naturally when I saw that Delta had reduced the fare for a weekend sale, I was annoyed because a) that was just my luck, par for the course and b) I was going to have to jump through some hoops.

Well forget hoops. Try ring of fire, two customer disservice reps, and being forced to listen to the automated on-hold sales pitch extolling the virtues of the Best Fare Guarantee program while waiting for a third. The final indignity was the last phone rep who was not so subtly questioning my interrupting her day along the lines of: “Why would you want to do the guarantee, you would have to pay our excessive rebooking fee, you half wit? You don’t expect us just to give you the difference.”

On the flipside, Macy’s does exactly that. My sister recently brought back a dress she had purchased a month earlier, and since it was now on-sale, they gave her a price adjustment and credited her account. With a smile no less!

So I completed Delta’s online claims form, which I knew was fruitless but what they heck. And of course Delta replied that they do NOT have honor their guarantee because of mitigating fine print.

So to end my little rant, while it may be common practice to have 148 different terms and exclusions that keep you from honoring price guarantee policies, it is bad customer relations to push them in your marketing program when they are essentially worthless.

Retailers like Macy’s that strive to do right by their customers earn loyalty and goodwill. The struggling airlines should sit up and take notice. Delta can keep my Skymiles and I will see if AirTran can do any better.

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