Why won’t Delta compensate me for a missed tour?


Holley Locher’s problem is all too common, but a solution eludes her — and me. At the heart of the issue, which is in today’s “case dismissed” file, is a double standard the airline industry sets for its passengers, and for itself.

The airline in question is Delta, and the destination is Peru, a place she highly recommends.

The airline? Not so much.

Her routing was a bit circuitous and to some of my careful editors, it looked like an award booking: Minneapolis to Boston to Atlanta to Lima on Delta, and then Lima to Cusco the following day on Star Peru. Yeah, that’s a haul.

“The trip got off to a pretty horrible start,” she recalls.

Her Delta flight out of Boston was delayed for mechanical reasons, so she missed her connecting flights. They worked with a Delta agent to rebook them to their final destination, but arrived in Cusco 24 hours late as a result of Delta’s breakdown.

“The Delta agents that we spoke with in both Boston and Atlanta indicated that they had purchased and confirmed us new flights from Lima to Cusco with LAN airlines,” she adds. “They gave us the paperwork showing that we had flights confirmed. When we showed up to the Lima airport for that flight, though, LAN had no record of our ticket. We had to purchase new tickets totaling about $584.”

She wants two refunds from Delta: One for the $584 she had to spend on the new ticket, and the other to compensate her $700 for part of the tour she missed.

I’ll let her describe what happened next.

I sent all the relevant paperwork and receipts to Delta requesting reimbursement for the $584 LAN tickets and the $700 missed tour fee.

Delta just called me back and indicated that they refuse to reimburse any of it.

The person with whom I spoke, who claimed to be a manager, indicated that the ticket agents in both Boston and Atlanta should never have promised to have gotten us new tickets with LAN and that Delta agents are not allowed to do so.

I indicated that I was not aware of their internal corporate policies, that I was told there would be tickets for us, and that I want (at the very least) the airline tickets reimbursed.

I indicated that this was unacceptable and that I wanted to speak with someone else. He said there is no one else, this is a final decision.

Then he mentioned that he had emailed me two $300 flight vouchers, but I told him that I never again plan to fly Delta so the vouchers are worthless to me.

He said that I am welcome to throw them away and that I am free to take them to small claims court. He said that he is sorry for the flight delay and that he hopes I have a nice day.

Then he hung up on me.

Really? Hanging up on a customer is no way to “keep climbing,” if you ask me. Inviting a customer to sue in small-claims court? C. E. Woolman is spinning in his grave.

Let’s just say this did not go well.

I agree with Locher: if Delta promised it would rebook her to Cusco, it should have done so, no questions asked.

But on the $700 tour, I don’t think she has much of a chance of recovering her lost money. And therein lies one of the most irritating double-standards in the airline biz.

Delta, like other airlines, demands that passengers compensate it for missed opportunity costs. Every time you pay a change fee, you are essentially agreeing to cover the theoretical expense of not being able to sell a ticket to someone else.

In other words, if the roles were reversed — if somehow Locher had caused Delta to lose $700 in business — it wouldn’t hesitate to collect the money. And under its rules, it could.

I just don’t think that’s right. In Europe, consumer protection laws hold airlines accountable for delays and cancellations. The longer I do this job, and see hundreds, if not thousands of passengers with missed work time, missed vacations, missed weddings and funerals, and with airlines able to simply shrug and walk away from it all, the more I think: This is a double standard, and it’s wrong.

So reluctantly, I’m dismissing Locher’s case.

But I’m not happy about it.

Should Delta have compensated Holley Locher?

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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 chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Its a no-brainer about the $584. She should get that back without question.

    I do understand the refusal to compensate for the missed tour. The airline has no idea what your plans at the destination are. If your need to arrive at a given place is particularly urgent, then you are the best person to make appropriate allowances, whether through insurance, alternative travel plans etc.

    Suppose for example you were meeting Bill Gates for a multimillion dollar deal The airline doesn’t want to be an unwitting insurer for the couple hundred dollars it charges for airfare.

  • Randy Culpepper

    This doesn’t add up. You claim that her “final destination” is Cusco, but as far as Delta is concerned it’s Lima. I’ve never heard of an airline rebooking to cover a leg originally purchased from another carrier. Did she forfeit her original fare to Cusco? What if Delta *HAD* booked her through Cusco, would she have received an ill-gotten credit?

    This doesn’t pass the smell test to me.

  • larry bradley

    I’ve been to Cusco twice. Both times, I spent one day in Lima on the outbound portion and again coming back home as the airline tickets were booked separately. There are times you need to cover yourself

  • backprop

    I disagree that $584 is a no brainer. That figure was almost certainly for a separate, unrelated ticket from Lima to Cusco which was not part of her Delta reservation. Her Delta destination was Lima, NOT Cusco.

    That she missed a second, unconnected flight due to the delay is as much of a non-starter for compensation as missing an unrelated tour is.

    In short, her Delta reservation was to Lima, and it got her there. Unfortunately it was late to Lima (we don’t know how late), too late to make the unrelated connection, which caused her to have to get the next Star Peru flight and arrive 24 hours late to Cusco.

    Despite what she says the agent said, Delta had no responsibility to get her to Cusco. Even if the agent said so, the fact that the agent was incorrect did not cause OP to pay extra out of pocket.

    Delta did get her to Lima late, and $300 vouchers was fairly decent compensation for that. But it does not owe her for the Star Peru flight. It offers a good lesson about airline connections and making sure you leave plenty of time when you make such a bizarre booking.

  • $16635417

    I’m sensing we’re missing some information in the story. The initial rebook by Delta with paperwork supporting it, the later claim it wasn’t….the hang up…..something ain’t sittin’ right!

  • John Baker

    Reading between the lines and measuring DL reaction, I think the OP left out some critical information. Best guess is that she purchased a disconnected ticket as others have surmised. In that case, DL owes her nothing for the mis-connect.

    I’d advise the OP to file with her trip insurance company. I have yet to see a policy that wouldn’t pay out … Oh she didn’t buy one? … In that case she self-insured and she’s on the hook. Sorry with a flight itinerary like that with no lag time and only one opportunity to be successful, I’m getting a policy.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    I would sooooo love to see the actual transcript of that phone call.

  • MarkKelling

    Perfect case where trip delay insurance should pay out. Guess she didn’t have it.

  • MarkKelling

    Me too. ;-)

  • AirlineEmployee

    Could have all been avoided by traveling a day in advance to Lima (nevermind Cusco). Why do people plan this way ?? They fly the same day as the tour or cruise and it doesn’t even enter their mind that anything can go wrong ? – mechanicals, weather, cancellations, misconnects, etc., etc.
    If I spend a lot of money on the trip of a lifetime (or not), I’m going to make sure I’m there well in advance at the tour start or cruise. No sympathy here.

  • John Baker

    Yea … Some how I don’t think that the DL rep was the first to bring up a lawsuit.

  • omgstfualready

    Agreed. Manners likely went out the window fast and the rep opted to not be a figurative human punching bag.

  • Annie M

    I have to agree with Airline Employee- who books a flight to arrive so close to a tour or cruise date? Always arrive a day or two early in case something like this happens. And travel insurance would have reimbursed her. Did she buy it?

    However, if she had paperwork confirming flights on LAN, then Delta should have reimbursed her. If the agent shouldn’t have given them to her, then they should deal with the agent that booked the tickets improperly.

    I’d be posting this story on Deltas Facebook and Twitter pages. She might get a nice surprise of full payment if she posted it where someone would see it.

  • Charles

    “and then Lima to Cusco the following day on Star Peru” I understood that is exactly what she did do. Delta to Lima on the first day, then the second airline flight was a day later. She must have missed the Star Peru flight and LAN was the only other option.

    There are several destinations I’ve been wanting to visit where you have to fly this way. You fly a major to some international airport, then a local airline to a final destination. I’ve always assumed I would have to arrive a day in advance of the second flight, but now I wonder if even that will be enough. I’ve yet to have the courage (or extra travel time) to try it.

  • Lindabator

    I find it almost IMPOSSIBLE to believe any agent offered to buy them tickets on LAN when they were never booked with Delta in the first place – perhaps they held a reservation for them, but I find it highly implausible they paid for it as well. Perhaps she misunderstood, or didn’t WANT to hear correctly>

  • Lindabator

    IF she actually had paperwork, LAN would have used the booking code – the fact they couldn’t find it leaves WAY too many questions as to the veracity of this story (and since WHEN will an airline purchase a ticket it was never responsible for in the first place?)

  • Lindabator

    But if she HAD paperwork in hand, LAN would have found her reservation – so not a very likely story.

  • Common sense

    And let me guess. She didn’t have travel insurance?

  • emanon256

    I love what you do CE, but I disagree with this statement:

    Every time you pay a change fee, you are essentially agreeing to cover
    the theoretical expense of not being able to sell a ticket to someone

    Every time you pay a change fee, you are essentially paying a portion of the cost difference between a refundable ticket and and a non-refundable/non-changable ticket, and keeping the price of those non-refundable/non-changable tickets low.

  • Helio

    If the international leg was a night fly, it was correct the part “following day”. She probably departed from origin, spent the night flying, and she arrived in the following day to catch the second flight. With (apparently) no spare time for eventual troubles…

  • emanon256

    Not only arriving early, but also taking a more direct flight. MSP-BOS-ATL-LIM? Yikes! I’ll connect through a hub, but I will never risk connecting in a spoke to get to another hub to connect to an international flight. DL doesn’t have MSP-LIM that I can find, so perhaps MSP-ATL-LIM would have been a better choice. Also, as far as I know, airlines are going to prioritize flights to a hub with connections over flights to a spoke where people dont normally connect. In doing mock bookings on Delta, on some days MSP-BOS-ATL-LIM is about $100 per person less than MSP-ATL-LIM, on other days its the same. I wonder if the OP booked this way to save $100? Like I always say, the cheap comes out more expensive.

    Whenever I book an international flight connecting to a local carrier, I always use an agent who can monitor my flight, and re-book the local carrier if there is a delay. I also try to use an international carrier who can interline with the local carrier.

  • Helio

    In my first reading, I had the impression that Chris gave up very easily in this case, after all in the beginning she claimed she had the Lima-Cuzco confirmed ticket and the associated paperwork from Delta.

    But during the “transcript” of her conversation with the supposed manager, she didn’t mention the paperwork existence, only the promise from ticket agents. In other hands, it may indicate she didn’t have any paper trail, which potentially made Chris work very difficult, alas impossible.

    In other hands, she received two US$300 vouchers, US$600 total. Despite all the problems and restrictions to use the funny money, it’s about the same value of the US$584 tickets she had to purchase to reach Cuzco.

  • sirwired

    Firstly, it’s a no-brainer that they’ll refuse to cover the tour. No common carrier, ever, (we are talking about centuries here) has EVER been liable for you not getting to do something you planned to once you arrived at your destination. For them to do so would open up a 100% unaffordable can of proverbial worms. (i.e., you missed out on signing a $1B business deal because your ship/train/horse-drawn wagon/plane/etc. was late. Do they now owe you $1B?)

    And the flight to Cusco, given that it wasn’t originally booked through Delta, would also ordinarily be a no-brainer too. If your ongoing flight isn’t on the same PNR, you are on your own. (Trip insurance will help out massively here if you allowed enough connecting time to meet their requirements.) Star Alliance could have gotten her all the way from MSP to Cusco; why on earth did she decide to take Delta (SkyTeam) and split into two PNR’s? You certainly can do this if it’ll save you massive bucks, but you pretty much always want to book an overnight in a crash pad near the airport to avoid disaster like this.

    Chris, have you seen this paperwork confirming the reservation for the ongoing flight? If it exists, then yes, Delta should pay, under the theory that once something is promised (even if it’s outside policy) it should be provided.

  • sirwired

    She most certainly purchased two different tickets. Delta/SkyTeam does not fly from MSP to Cusco; she should have taken Star Alliance.

  • sirwired

    She shouldn’t have been on Delta/SkyTeam at all; she should have booked AA/LAN MSP-MIA-LIM-CUZ or MSP-DFW-LIM-CUZ. (MIA would be the best choice, as their is a huge number of flights to Latin America out of MIA.)

  • sirwired

    The $584 isn’t a no-brainer, unless the paperwork showing this alleged booking can be produced. I don’t know why any agent would ever promise to book tickets (and eat the cost, no less) to a destination to which neither they, nor any code-share partner, flies. (CUZ is served by LAN Chile and Avianca, neither of which is Delta/SkyTeam.)

  • sirwired

    Well, normally I like trip insurance, but I thought I’d point out that not all policies cover mechanical delays. (This is pretty sneaky, but true.)

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I’m assuming that the paperwork can be produced.

  • Stereoknob

    I don’t agree at all. It may be a different airline but there is no indication if it was a code share. IF it was a code share, then Delta should be held accountable. They were the agent that arranged the ticket and they were the ones comfortable enough with this secondary airline to commit their customers in using that travel. If Delta isn’t willing to stand up for their decision, then they should have just not done it. But we’re working off of a lot of assumptions and guesses here.

    My other issue is if a trained and paid employee, acting as a recognized representative of an organization says that their company will be providing a service, then the company needs to provide that service. If the employee made a mistake, then it’s my conclusion that the company suffers from poor training. A company having poor corporate culture and not investing in their training program should not come at the cost of the customer.

  • Stereoknob

    If the log reflected intonation, that would be a huge plus for sure. That conversation as relayed doesn’t lend itself to sounding in favor of the OP.

  • Dutchess

    If they promised her tickets on LAN they should reimburse her for those tickets. Her $700 tour, no way. That’s what travel insurance is for.

  • cscasi

    Trip insurance would have taken care of all this, wouldn’t it? I know it costs, but she would have been better off having it than not and getting nothing.

  • $16635417

    Agree. When I worked customer service over the phone, we were trained that if someone mentioned lawsuit to no longer attempt to satisfy their request and politely end the call, leaving it for the legal team to handle…if it went that far. (Essentially calling their bluff.)

  • DavidYoung2

    If you have connections that aren’t part of one itinerary, leave yourself an extra day. Same rule that applies whenever you have a ‘can’t miss’ connection (think cruise, tour, etc.) Not leaving at least one day time buffer is just plain stupidity on the part of the OP.

  • MarkKelling

    Can’t get to Cusco on a Delta flight, not even on a code share (at least not now going forward, not sure about when the OP booked. Things could have changed). AA you can because they code share with LAN, but not Delta.

    Maybe the paperwork noted in the article was only for the flight into Lima and the OP saw what they wanted which was all the way to Cusco.

  • MarkKelling

    “why on earth did she decide to take Delta (SkyTeam)?”

    Mileage redemption I am willing to bet.

  • MarkKelling

    I had to check my policy for my upcoming trip after reading your comment. It states that any delay by my airline of more than 6 hours will be covered no matter the reason for the delay. And coverage includes providing alternate travel arrangements at no additional cost to me if required to make a connection or meet up with my tour. Only thing not covered is bankruptcy of the airline originally booked on.

    I will be sure to check that before purchase going forward.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Invectives aside, you make innumerable assumptions. It may be that one simply does not have the option, e.g. work, vacation schedule, coordinating multiple schedules, price, etc. Without knowing the LW’s circumstances we cannot speak intelligently.

    The wise course of action would be to consider travel insurance under these circumstances.

  • bodega3

    Don’t think that the EU passenger rights would help in something like this. Swiss Air turned down our request when our flight was 5 hours delayed. It was a mechanical reason, which they said was ‘unexpected’ and didn’t qualify for compensation. It all sounds good in print but was worth zero for us.

  • bodega3

    Bankruptcy is usually not covered it you take out the coverage on a carrier that is already in bankruptcy. If you have the coverage and then the carrier files/ceases operation, that is usually covered.

  • Michael__K

    I have yet to see a policy that wouldn’t pay out

    The Allianz policy that Delta sells does not cover unused prepaid deposits for Travel Delays (i.e. the $700 missed tour).

    And it wouldn’t cover it under “Missed Connection” coverage either because this wasn’t a “severe weather” cancellation.

    allianztravelinsurance . com/documents/library/certs/TI_101_01_P_V2.pdf

  • sofar

    Good advice. Sad thing is, even a day-long buffer often isn’t enough. I was in a similar situation a couple years back with South African Airways. We left ourselves a 24-hour layover in New York. But then our SA Airways flight from NY to JHB was delayed by … wait for it…30 hours. The plane at JFK broke, and, turns out, they don’t keep spare planes at JFK. They keep them at JHB. So, they had to fly another plane from JHB to JFK. Took 16 hours. And then that one broke too, leaving us unable to board for hours while they fixed it. We missed two days of our tour.

    Had another similar issue with a cruise that we BARELY made after more than 24 hours of mechanical delays. And another time, on the way to Germany, a mechanical problem led to a missed-connection nightmare that caused me to arrive three full days late — even though I planned a 24-hour buffer with a hotel stay to make our international connection.

    All airlines suck, almost without exception these days. I understand telling people to leave a 24-hour buffer, but it’s not fool-proof advice. All the planning in the world means nothing, when airlines suck as much as they do. You can get travel insurance to make up for some of your losses, but, when we’re talking priceless vacation days missed, you’re still coming out behind.

  • bodega3

    You should NEVER purchase ‘insurance’ from a vendor.

  • bodega3

    I agree, but if you cut things tight, you might not get what you wanted. Traveling from NA to SA is a long journey and not allowing a couple of days beforehand to be at a needed destination is a huge mistake many travelers make. It is a given these days of delays and that should be factored into your itinerary travel needs, in both directions.

  • Michael__K

    Which is neither here nor there. The same insurer (and others) sells exactly the same coverage on it’s own and also through travel agents.

  • John Keahey

    Yes, Delta should have compensated her for the tickets. It was, after all, a mechanical delay. But I’m sure that many commenters here have said this. If they haven’t, I will: When connecting with a tour, always, always, leave a day early to allow for unforeseen delays (weather, mechanical, etc.). And, for heaven’s sake, did she not get travel insurance? This report didn’t mention either of these scenarios as a warning to readers. Maybe Chris didn’t want to make the OP feel worse than she already did, but it would have been a good service to others.

  • bodega3

    Yes it is important. A vendor selling insurance can not insure their passengers against default.

  • bodega3

    When traveling as far as the OP was, our agency would recommend more than one day for unforeseen delays. As for being compensated, that isn’t ever a given. If you want to protect yourself, book a through fare, don’t break your itinerary.

  • emanon256

    When I supervised a call center we had a similar policy. If any mention of taking legal action was made, we were to tell the caller that we can no longer communicate with them, and our legal department would be expecting the their filing or a letter from their attorney, and to politely disconnect the caller.

    We also had a policy that if a profanity was used, or a threat of any kind was made, to politely tell the caller that if they make another threat or use another profanity we would have to end the call. If they repeated their action, we were to politely tell them we must end the call and then hang up.

  • Michael__K

    If a travel agent or anyone else sells that same policy, it still wouldn’t cover default because Financial Default is a General Exclusion on Allianz Basic plans.

  • Mark Carrara

    I sure wish I worked for a company that gives you extra vacation days to let you make your connections, because in the world most people live vacation time is very limited. Not many bosses will say “go ahead leave a day early for your cruise, we’ll cover it.”

    Just one more reason I have gone from 3 or 4 vacation flights a year to 1 every two years. At least with driving, if I’m late it is my fault.

  • bodega3

    So why buy it? This shows you how bad a policy it is. Do your homework! We don’t sell Allianz.

  • sunshipballoons

    I don’t get why Chris isn’t pushing this one. It seems very likely he could get her the $584 ticket price back.

  • bodega3

    If you read this site often, you would know which posters have worked for the airlines and they say this isn’t a carrier’s responsibility. Now if the OP had not broken her flights into two separate PNR’s, she could have had her flight to her final destination taken care of. Looks like he had a mileage ticket for part of her travel and so she set this up and has to take responsibility for the misconnect.

  • SallyLu

    What I find so sad about this whole thing is so many of the commenters are saying that it is a given that she should have allowed an extra 2 days on each end of her trip to allow for delays, and this is “normal”. So, because the airlines are so unrelable, if we want plan a vacation and book tours, etc to make the most of the days we’ll be spending at our destination, then to return in time to go back to work when expected we have to take off 4 (at a minimum) extra days off work to insure that we can actually make it, and take out insurance to protect ourselves from the airlines unreliability.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Why can’t you go after the refund for the tickets she had to buy twice?
    I mean, the tour is a lost cause, but if she was confirmed on a seat by Delta from Lima to Cusco and then they moved her to a LAN flight…which she had to pay for a second time…that she deserves.

    The tour, nope.

    ETA: Did she book the Lima to Cusco leg separate or not? I’m confused.

  • random_observation_source

    I think the crucial piece of evidence is in this statement:

    “[Delta] gave us the paperwork showing that we had flights confirmed”.
    Either the paperwork can be produced, and presumably Chris’ team has seen the paperwork (assuming she kept copies), or someone is having a Princess Bride moment on the word ‘confirmed’ (I do not think that word means what you think it means).

  • bpepy

    None of you people are reading the OP,s letter. She was supposed to fly to Cusco from Lima, the next day, on Star Peru! And apparently Delta booked this. And she did give herself a 24 hour buffer. So it is Delta’s fault–I doubt that Star Peru is a Delta code share either.

  • Randy Culpepper

    “…apparently Delta booked this.”

    How is that at all apparent?

  • Nathan Witt

    Unfortunately, US law is that short of an involuntary denial of boarding for an oversold flight, Delta owes her nothing – for pretty much anything it does wrong. Passengers are motivated to pack light, show up on time, schedule in extra days for delays, etc., because there’s a cost to passengers if they make mistakes. I really don’t see why there’s not a cost to the airline when it makes a mistake, too. After all, the quickest way to get airlines to do it right is for there to be a cost to them when they do it wrong.

  • TonyA_says

    And why doesn’t the team say if they investigated the destination of the Delta ticket. That will put a lot of arguments to rest.

  • backprop

    This is correct.

  • backprop

    Get it “back”? Back from whom?

  • backprop

    She was not on Delta (or a DL codeshare) from Lima to Cusco, best I can tell. It was another ticket.

  • sunshipballoons


  • TonyA_says

    Her routing was a bit circuitous and to some of my careful editors, it looked like an award booking: Minneapolis to Boston to Atlanta to Lima on Delta, then Lima to Cusco the following day on Star Peru.

    To a flight expert, there’s the dead giveaway.

    Delta(DL) and StarPeru(2I) do not have an e-ticket agreement.
    And most DL (excursion) fares to Cuzco from MSP have this flight restriction:

    In other words, the likelihood of Delta issuing an e-ticket with a segment on StarPeru (2I) is quite improbable.

    I would NOT have adviced the team to take this case.

  • bpepy

    It sounds like she paid Delta for the whole thing and ended up having to pay extra for the new flight. If she paid Delta, they must have booked it all.

  • TonyA_says

    Worse, they booked on StarPeru :-)

  • TonyA_says

    StarPeru is a LCC. They are not an ARC particpating airline and I don’t believe they partipate with any of the large gds. And with no interlne agreement between the two, the scenarios you are proposing are operationally quite impossible. That said you are still entitled to an opinion :-) even if you can’t prove it’s Delta’s fault.

  • bodega3

    FYI, you can have confirmed flights, but no ticket. You can hold a seat on a plane via GDS without ticketing.

  • TonyA_says

    Delta has a MSP-CUZ fare. It allows for several interline airlines /connections between LIM and CUZ. LAN is one of those allowed. StarPeru is not. If the OP said they had StarPeru flights, they have had to have been on separate tickets. This makes the rest of their story unbelievable.

  • TonyA_says

    Technically there is no missed connection since the tickets were separate.
    Not sure what kind of insurance would have helped here.

  • BubbeJ

    When we were delayed in Copenhagen on SAS, the captain came out into the cabin to address the passengers, apologized and made sure we got a generous food voucher and ongoing flight arrangements. Believe me when I say, I will always book a European carrier over an American carrier for that reason. I am treated with respect. I am tired of the way the American airline industry treats its customers.

  • flutiefan

    Confirmed means a seat has been held for ticketing. The airline must be paid for it to go from “confirmed” to “book”. It’s basically holding the seat until you pay for it. I’m thinking DL held the seat for them, and the OP was supposed to pay for it all along, and either didn’t understand that or didn’t agree with it.

  • flutiefan

    Simple. You just don’t take a vacation that requires the extra days. Life is limited. It happens that you don’t always get what you want, desired vacations included.

  • TonyA_says

    Even more interesting is if DL 151 was 24 hours late then why weren’t they placed on the same 2I flight from LIM to CUZ? Why move them to LAN when 2I had 4 flights? DL151 is scheduled to arrive LIM at 1120PM so the LIM-CUZ had to be the next morning.
    DLY 2I1111 LIMCUZ 655A 805A
    DLY 2I1113 LIMCUZ 800A 910A
    DLY 2I1181 LIMCUZ 845A 955A
    DLY 2I1117 LIMCUZ 905A1015A

  • TonyA_says

    That would be a great lesson for this article instead of some cheap shot at Delta.
    The other lesson is why one should not buy (or at least understand the risks and costs of) separate tickets if they intended for connecting flights.

  • TonyA_says

    or Mileage Run

  • TonyA_says

    Her first mistake was not buying a through ticket to Cuzco.

  • bodega3

    With the internet, people think they know what they are doing.

  • JamieLW

    I wish in my call center job we could disconnect if a customer threatens taking legal action or uses profanity. We are never allowed to hang up on a customer unless there is an alert on the account, and I have only seen that once in 9 years.

    For profanity, we have to ask them to stop using it and if they continue to, then we have to invite an actual manager on the line. We don’t use fake “managers/supervisors.” For legal action, we simply provide them the address and then move on with the conversation. Afterwards, we ensure it is reported to our legal department.

  • http://travelingwinechick.com/ Elizabeth Smith

    I don’t have enough facts to figure out what they owe her, but this I know as a passenger and travel agent: Delta has an interline agreement with LAN. I flew roundtrip recently TRI-ATL-SCL (Delta metal) – MDZ (LAN metal) and back, all segments purchased through Delta. So Delta is capable of booking and confirming an interline ticket with at least LAN.

  • Helio

    The majority here sugested an extra day in the beginning of the trip to avoid problems. Few suggested two days – which I agree is too much, but you always can use these days know the intermediate city, in this case Lima.

    And I don’t advocate the need for extra days returning home – I believe you can always negotiate with your employer an eventual compensation. Well, I was able to, at least ;-)

  • backprop

    She didn’t pay Delta for the tickets to Cusco. Delta was not responsible for getting her to Cusco. They got her to Lima. Star Peru was the next carrier, and even though the story doesn’t say it, the local experts have confirmed that Delta does not interline or codeshare with Star Peru.

    Long story short: Delta’s flight was late, and they gave her $300 vouchers. They do not owe her Star Peru tickets, tour cost, or anything else.

  • TonyA_says

    The cheapest StarPeru fare was about $83 oneway.
    The fare difference for DL between LIM vs CUZ is about $210 roundtrip. Considering they took a circuitous routing in the first place MSP BOS ATL LIM and then bought a separate ticket for LIM CUZ, it is easy to see why they have such a weird story afterwards :-)

  • Hanope

    If this was an ‘award booking’, i.e. frequent flyer miles, it goes to show just how worthless these are many times. In order to use your miles, you have to take the more inconvenient (to you) flight so that the airline can fill its seats on a less popular route. But then, when something happens causing a delay, you get stuck with the consequences, not the airline.

    Just like how the airline charges for these change fees because they “might” not be able to resell the ticket, when everyone knows the airlines overbook flights to begin with. There is never a chance of not reselling the seat. I can’t remember the last time I flew that every single seat wasn’t filled (which is why my family can never sit together – airlines fail at tetris).

  • Lindabator

    Exactly – they are not a partner OR a code share.

  • Lindabator

    Exactly why you should speak to someone with more knowledge if you need a complicated flight booked.

  • Lindabator

    Compensate her for what? Tickets they had nothing to do with? A tour that they had nothing to do with? That is what insurance is for.

  • Lindabator

    Nope Star is NOT a codeshare or partner, so new ticket all together – and I find it hogwash DL would pay for LAN tickets they never purchased from them in the first place – likely scenario is they made a RESERVATION for them, but they would have to pay – and she does not want to.

  • Lindabator

    He would NOT have come on and given you a free ticket on Lufthansa to Frankfurt, tho. And that is in essence what she wants here.

  • Lindabator

    But not with Star, who she WAS booked on. So my guess is they made a complimentary RESERVATION for her, but they are not paying for it, and she wants them to.

  • Lindabator

    You are uninformed — based on WHEN you book, it is based on what is still available, so the earlier, the better options. Secondly, they charge change fees as a way of charging you the difference between the NONREFUNDABLE ticket you bought and the cost of the REFUNDABLE you actually wanted.

  • mythsayer

    And they CAN actually get you on another airline’s flight. Delta put me on a united flight to california from Seattle once bc my connecting flight after arriving from Osaka was way way delayed.

  • mythsayer

    I posted above that delta put me on a united flight when my connecting flight from Seattle to california (coming from Osaka) was delayed. So it happens.

  • sunshipballoons

    I get your point about codeshares, but I think that if you miss a flight because another flight was late, it’s the responsibility of the airline who got you there late. I don’t think she should have to accept vouchers.

  • Hanope

    Yup, that’s why the charge is exactly the same no matter what the flight. And I believe Elliott will back me up that the airlines t use the absolute cheapest seats they can for frequent flyer miles, which tend to be on the flights that have more open seats, i.e. less popular. At a minimum, they may have 1-2 seats available for frequent flyer miles on popular flights and 10-12 available for less popular flights. Sure, if you time it just right, you can get that 1-2 seats, but that’s difficult to do most of the time.

  • bpepy

    I’m not a travel agent so I don’t know about all this. It just seems that if Delta collected the money for these flights, they must have booked them.

  • bodega3

    All fares are capacity controlled and a mileage ticket has a booking code just like any fare has a code. Often, closer to travel, seats that weren’t available will open up, but on other flights, if you don’t book as soon as space opens up at , you may not get one seat to open up at all. Chris Elliott actually doesn’t know how this works, but LIndabator has a lot of knowledge on this, as she use to work for an airline. Also, cheapest seats equates to cost and means fares so you are incorrect on your comment. A fare isn’t a seat, it is just space available, which are not the same. You can get a low fare and may or may not find a seat to get assigned on carriers that do advance seat assignments. If you need more information, contact a travel agent who can educate you on how all this works.

  • bodega3

    As stated yesterday, if the connecting fight was in the same PNR, that can be true. But according to the article, she had separate reservations, which is always a risk one takes when trying to save money.

  • TonyA_says

    Yes bpepy. What we are saying is Delta only collected money for MSP to Lima and not to Cuzco. So Delta is not responsible for getting the LW to CUZ.

  • TonyA_says

    +1. I think this was the most likely scenario.

  • Lindabator

    Again – UNINFORMED — I have worked for the airlines, and am now a travel consultant – and I do have a better understanding of how this is set up. ALL flights will offer nonrev seats they use for FF tickets, free tickets they give away, etc. Has NOTHING to do with unpopular flights. Granted, the longer you wait, the more likely the only thing still LEFT are the less popular (hmm, wonder how that happens). And the change fee HAS to be a set price, as that is mandated by the FAA (any fees must be loaded into a pricing grid, so can NOT be arbitrary).

  • sunshipballoons

    Yes, I understand that Delta has no legal obligation to pay for those tickets. I’m still pretty certain my original point is correct: it seems very likely Chris could have gotten her the $584 from Delta. He has certainly gotten people less legitimate refunds than this one in the past.

  • Crissy

    Yes to the flight of $584, no to the part of the tour she missed. When I am taking a tour, particularly one with a long and complicated flight route I always book and extra day before – helps with jetlag, getting settled in the location and provides a buffer if there are flight issues.

  • IGoEverywhere

    Maybe……………? How was the tour booked? Was the tour purchased with the airline ticket, was insurance purchased, (bet not) Did Delta book the land tour. Each question has a different responsabie party. This is not an unususal occurance. This has been discussed by Christopher for years. This is a time for a travel agent. They would know what’s going on.