Membership has its privileges. Unless you’re Donna Jordan.
Every year since 2001, she’s paid Delta a $134 annual fee for a co-branded American Express Platinum card. The card allowed her to collect Delta miles for each dollar spent and entitled her to a free “companion certificate” on Delta.
Jordan had no problem collecting the miles. But the companion ticket? Not so easy.
When she tried to redeem the certificate for two flights from Portland, Maine, to Orlando, the only flight available had an inconvenient connection and would have cost $865. Or she could pay $329 per ticket for a better connection without cashing in her certificate. That didn’t make any sense to her.
She expressed her frustration in an email to Delta:
I will have to say, my free companion ticket from my Delta Amex was always a bargain in the past. Last year we went from Portland, Maine, to Los Angeles and the tickets were only about $450 each. Now they are literally scamming their customers!
Scam? Well, Delta is still offering something, so that might be too strong a word. But I was curious to see how the airline would respond to her letter. Maybe it would recognize that the certificate wasn’t the deal Jordan was lead to believe it would be when she signed up for the card. Perhaps it would bend a rule or two to make her happy.
And here’s how it responded …
I understand your disappointment in not being able to use the certificate for the schedule you want to be upsetting, and in comparison you found that the fares differ.
By way of explanation and not as an excuse, Delta offers a variety of discounted fares and each one has specific rules and restrictions. We realize that because some of these fares are so deeply discounted, there may be other fares available that are lower than the fares associated with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Companion Certificates.
However, we hope you will understand that we are unable to allow two promotions or discounts to be used toward the same ticket, which is why you are unable to use the companion certificate in connection with an Internet promotional fare, or other special discount offer. We regret the certificate does not offer significant savings for your planned trip in June.
I love the line about the answer being “by way of explanation and not as an excuse.” That’s some excellent form-letter writing.
Jordan says she’ll cancel her card.