I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this story.
In the olden days — before “no waivers, no favors” — fees were routinely overlooked by helpful ticket agents. But in the era of ancillary revenues, where airline employees are evaluated based on the amount of money they collect from passengers, even a few dollars can be cause for celebration.
And Sara Davis is celebrating. Delta forgave a $30 mileage transfer fee, an act that she says she’s “blown away” by.
My husband and I recently booked a trip to Jackson, Wyo., from New York. When I checked online, I was thrilled to see that we could book flights on miles. Although he was a little short, the purchasing of enough miles was much less expensive than purchasing a full ticket.
To make a long story short, I booked my flight and then discovered I had the last remaining seat at that level of miles, necessitating the purchase of more miles. Lesson learned – what I should have done was call Delta and make sure there were two seats and booked them at the same time, rather than one at a time under our different accounts.
I’m used to traveling alone for business, what can I say?
Well, each time you transfer miles there is a surcharge. I completed the transactions and then wrote a letter to Delta explaining the whole process and asking if they would be willing to refund one of the $30 transaction fees. Just one – not all of them. Not an outrageous request.
I also explained that while I had managed to make Silver Medallion status the prior two years, my company had cut back on travel and I would not be qualifying for 2010, although I continued to fly Delta as often as possible.
Davis all but forgot about her request. Until yesterday. That’s when she received the following email from Delta:
I received your transfer transaction fee waiver request. While we do not normally refund these fees, we have decided to do this for you under the circumstances. The refund was processed today in the amount of $30 back to your original method of payment. It should take approximately 3-5 business days for you to see the refund. Please feel free to reach out to me if there are any problems with this process.
Thank you for your business and for your loyalty. We understand that travel plans are being cut back as a result of the economy, but hope that when you do fly you will continue to choose Delta.
What a nice gesture.
I think I’m laughing — and crying. Laughing, because it suggests there are people at Delta who want to make their customers happy. And who do.
And crying, because I remember a time when waiving a $30 fee was no big deal. We even expected it.
Ah, those were the days …
(Photo: ponte1112/Flickr Creative Commons)