“She actually sounded like she cared”

baggage1A legacy airline with outstanding customer service? Give me a time machine, and I’ll show you one.

Christina Conte didn’t have one, but remarkably, she experienced it anyway on Delta Air Lines. I’m happy to bring you her story because whenever I hear something like it — and it’s not often — I think: There’s still hope.

Delta broke the clasp on my husband’s golf bag when we arrived in Calgary.

They gave us a claim slip for damaged luggage and promised they’d have it to us by week’s end so we could use it to take the golf clubs home (HUGE LIE). We obviously ended up having to buy another golf bag ($80) in Edmonton the day before we flew out as no one contacted us or returned our calls.

After numerous phone calls and chasing my tail, I finally spoke with Mary in Delta’s baggage headquarters in Georgia who was VERY helpful. She actually sounded like she cared.

But solving Conte’s golf bag problem was easier said than done. The Delta folks in Calgary had given Conte the wrong paperwork, so her luggage couldn’t be tracked properly. Mary tracked it down and promised the bag would arrive in Los Angeles the next day.

When I went to pick it up the following day, no one had any idea what I was talking about and there was no golf bag in sight. Our previously “damaged” bag was now either lost or stolen!

We never did get our golf bag back.

So what did Delta do? Rather than asking her to fill out yet another form, an airline representative in Atlanta jumped into action.

After hearing what we’d gone through, he just asked me to send him a link to a Web page with a comparable golf bag, added $80 (without even having me send proof of purchase of the golfbag we had to buy) and sent us a check for $280. I know from experience that this could have gone on and on for weeks and months before any resolution, so I was very pleased that Delta at least realized they’d flubbed up big time and tried to make amends.

Although, they have much to be desired on their baggage handling and the people that are dealing with the claims, they are on the right track with cleaning up the mess, which I suppose is something!

It sure is. Take it from me. I deal with airline customer service complaints every day, and Conte’s case could have dragged on a good while.

Delta did great.

(Photo: nhanusek/Flickr Creative Commons)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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