What Went Wrong With Delta

I recently tweeted about my frustration of our flight back from San Francisco with Delta Airlines. I have since then scanned a few other reviews and Delta rants and though I admit that we were comparably lucky I still would try to avoid flying with Delta in the future. Here’s why:

1. The organization at SFO was a mess. A tiny man kept pointing people in rows and though this is just an impression seemed completely overwhelmed by the task. Please note that though there was quite a queue it seemed like a totally manageable queue. Yet we were told to wait in line there then told to go to the line where we originally came from. Then they kept letting people cut the line for no apparent reason. I overheard that their flight was taking off at 6am, which was exactly the same time our flight was going and yet they seemed in no hurry to let us check in.

2. We had a little extra bag because we bought a couple of things and couldn’t fit everything in the suitcases we came with. Please beware: additional bags on Delta Airline international flights cost 50$. Now, I could have checked that on the internet, but I didn’t. So while this could be said to me my fault, it still made the mood worse. The bag was small enough to take as hand luggage, but of course we had smartly distributed liquids in all the bags and didn’t want to repack everything, so we sucked up and paid.

3. Nearly everything on the flight from San Francisco to Atlanta cost extra. Only soft drinks, coffee, peanuts and pretzels were free. Now, that I had read on the flight confirmation, so we were prepared and brought sandwiches on the place, but still. You even get stuff free on two hour flights to Poland and this was a four hour flight. They also had in-seat screens, but that didn’t really help, since all movies had to be paid extra. I didn’t check music and TV shows. Now I admit, I hardly watch movies on the plane, but it was just another thing to add to the dissatisfaction building up.

4. On the flight from Atlanta to Düsseldorf, the pillows were close to non-existent. Now, I have yet to see a comfortable airplane pillow, but this was definitely the worst I’ve had so far. No in-seat screens (which I can deal with) as well.

5. They ran out of chicken about halfway through the plane. Fine with me since I wanted pasta anyway, not so fine with my husband and even less fine with the girl behind me who had a dairy allergy and couldn’t eat cheese, which was apparently stated on her ticket but no-one seemed to care. She didn’t miss much (which I told her), since the food was pretty bad. I don’t expect much from airplane food, but I have had some pretty decent stuff on my last flights. This was nowhere near decent. Anyway, at this moment I would have expected some flight attendant to come up with a solution. Like, „upgrade“ to some business class meal or whatever, but that didn’t happen.

On the plus side, the staff on the plane was generally friendly, flights were on time. The ride was a bit bumpy, but I’m pretty sure that was the weather’s fault, not Delta’s.

I think the problem here is that I have had very good experiences with Air France so far, both on my trip to Vietnam and on the flight to San Francisco. Very professional and efficient, good service on board, manageably comfortable and actually pretty good food and drinks.

I’m pretty sure a lot of people had positive experiences with Delta and others had negative ones with Air France, but it’s still my very own experiences that I base my (flight booking) decisions on. Nothing went seriously wrong with Delta, but it went wrong enough to have me try another airline next time before I book a flight with Delta again.

By the way, the in-flight security video from Delta Airlines is Awesome (yes, capital A). I watched it with fascination on both flights and then again on YouTube, because it’s so much not what I’m used to:

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