|« Fund-Raising Sales: How Good is Your Signage?||Perceived Value »|
Short-Sighted Customer Service
I guess the old adage about a dissatisfied customer telling 20 people is about to come true.
Today I'm flying Delta Airlines on my way home to Honolulu from my Los Angeles office - at the tail end of a business trip to Puerto Rico. I'm a Gold Medallion member on Delta which usually means I get complimentary upgrades if any are available. Well, my flights thus far have been pretty full - o.k., that happens - except for one flight where I was supposed to get upgraded but a ticketing snafu erased the upgrade. They gave me some bonus miles to compensate me and apologized. O.K., I guess I can forgive that one.
Yesterday, in an effort to ensure my upgrade today, I decided to call in and spend the 15,000 frequent flyer miles needed to upgrade to first class. The lady on the phone was very efficient and in short order assured me that I was upgraded into seat 3A. Wonderful.
I arrive at the airport today to discover that I'm actually in seat 32B. Not wonderful.
I ask the ladies at the counter to correct the problem and they inform me that the ticket was booked thru Northwest Airlines and is not upgradable. This is not what they told me on the phone. O.K., but it's a Delta plane and I've flown more than 60,000 miles on their airline in the last 14 months. There are a dozen unclaimed first class seats (they're offering them for sale for $200 each) so surely they can accomodate me right? Wrong.
As I sit here in the terminal I hold a boarding pass for 32B and an expectation of nearly 6 hours crammed into a small seat with the person in front of me reclined back into my lap.
Rather than give a frequent flyer (who has 4 more trips in the next 6 months) an upgrade (and I was willing to spend the 15,000 miles) they are going to lose me. For my next trips I'll just choose whatever airline is cheapest, I guess. For $200 they are going to lose a frequent flyer. That is pretty short sighted customer service.