Thursday, May 16, 2013

Delta Airlines may meet Murphy's Law instead

I guess I had a minor case of Murphy's Law today. It was one of the more unlucky and miserable trips I have made yet. As I think I mentioned before, Delta Airlines made me pay the extra baggage fee again. Even though I had paid it already through KLM. However, they assured me if I had actually paid it (which I did) I could get it back easily.

Here comes the long version, but for the people who go "woah too long didn't read it chika" the summary is: Delta Airlines and KLM have communication issues, they send me on a wild goose chase and I suffered because of it and on top of it all I apparently decided to follow Murphy's Law today. Yihah.

So, double paid luggage. Delta in Brussel told us to go talk to KLM Brussel to get our money back, KLM Brussel told us to talk to KLM online. That's alright so far. Nothing I can complain about yet. I go on my holiday and stuff, have a good time. 2 days before I leave the States I have some online contact with KLM. And I do have to say that they were helpful and polite.

Their conclusion was, that because I paid more money at Delta (70 euro, I paid 56 euro for the baggage at KLM), it would make more sense to ask THEM for my money back. I could see the logic of this and called Delta.

Now before I go on, I have to get off my chest that I was under the impression that the USA companies always treat their customers as kings. Apparently I was mistaken.

I called Delta and this woman on the phone was short with me right off the bat. Well good morning to you too lady.
She had a hard time understanding my problem. Once she did understand, she made it very clear that she thought it was all my own fault. "Well you should have brought a receipt with you that showed you had paid for it. AAALWAYS bring the receipt with you, I always do." Yeah great lady, just what I want to hear right now. Anyway, she put me on hold and made a call. Then we struggled through the various numbers on my receipts to get her the proper information and after a couple of annoyed sighs and tsks we finally managed through that.
Now here is where she sees that I paid cash. Oh God forbid, I paid cash. How could I.

"Well I see here you paid cash, is that right?". "Yes, that's right.". "Well there's your second mistake, never pay cash. Always pay with credit card, cause how else are we supposed to refund your money?".

First of all, is she serious? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to ASK FOR MY ACCOUNT NUMBER and transfer the money.

Secondly, I don't like this lady talking to me as if I'm a child. Telling me I made mistakes, no kidding Sherlock, that's why I'm calling. I don't need you to tell me I have a problem. I'm clearly aware, and contrary to you I'm trying to solve it.

I stay polite however, I gently suggest that they could perhaps just ask my account number and transfer it digitally. Well... Apparently that's impossible. Almost unthinkable. I think I might have caused minor brain damage with that suggestion. She goes on and on with giving me attitude how she doesn't see how they can solve this.

I sigh. One of those deep ones you know. The one your mom used to make when you gave her a headache.

My brilliant and enlightened suggestion of giving the money in cash back to me on my flight back baffles her, and she decides it's the appropriate action. She puts a note in the system besides my name so they'll know I have talked with them before and get my 70 euro back.

On the day we fly out, I have everything ready to go and I'm prepared for an argument. I get at the Delta Airlines Kiosk and merrily tell her of my quest. Of course, it starts with a deep frown and a deep sigh. She might actually have to work today. We go through the 5 minutes back and forth of "it's impossible". This time the argument is that I paid in EUROS and not DOLLARS, so how is she supposed to give my money back. It seems they have never heard of currencies. She convinces us we have to do it in Brussel. She prints out a paper which says Delta owes us 70 euro.

Well that's something, how can it go wrong, I got proof and all. This is where it was starting to be clear that Murphy's Law was being invoked.

Michael and I part ways, we cry, we're sad, yadayadayada, that's not important right now. We're focusing on my anger towards Delta here, stay with me.

After being sent from Delta, to KLM, KLM, Delta, Delta, - I was "referred" 5 times by now- I was having a bad time. I take my flight, which went well. The Delta people on the plane were marvellous. Nice and so kind. I was mind blown with the difference of the ground personnel. If only everyone was that nice.

When we land it appears that the Belgium Luggage workers are on strike. I can't even blame them, they had a good reason. How it affects us; we are delayed 1.5 hours because everyone goes on the ramp to locate their own luggage. See picture. We went with 10 people at a time, so it was slow going. Bad luck, but it happens to everyone. So after a 21h travel time by now I was exhausted and tired. I missed my train already, and I still had to get my money back.
getting our baggage ourselves

I make my way to the departure hallway where the Delta Airlines Kiosk is located. This is what I see when I arrive.
the front line, I never saw it move and I was there 15 min

the middle line (same line still)

An almost endless line. I'm so sick of it by now. I want to go home, and I want my freaking money. The proof is right there in my pocket, dying to get out. But there are at least 40 people with luggage in front of the line and it isn't moving. Because of the strike, every kiosk is lined up to the fullest. If I was going to get in that line, it'd be 2-3 hours more before it was my turn. And then I just had to hope they would actually give my refund for once. I decided to go to the KLM kiosk which was empty for some reason to ask them for help. After all, I originally booked with them. Shouldn't they solve this?

Well, this French Belgium KLM guy was incredibly mean and rude. Unbelievably so. I can't believe they put people like that in a customer helping position. He tried to tell me that KLM (his own company) was in the wrong for selling me the extra luggage because I was flying with Delta. He claimed it didn't matter that I booked with KLM, I should have booked it with Delta. I should go to the online KLM site and get my 56 euro back. I would never get my 70 euro from Delta back he said.


I want my 70 euro back.

Never, impossible, were the uncaring words he threw in my face. I just broke down. I called my dad and cried and raged and asked for help. All he could offer was that he would try to call KLM for me if I gave him all the papers. But that didn't help me NOW. Then I called Michael to cry and rage at the injustice of it all.
Normally I wouldn't be so emotional, but I just left my boyfriend behind to not see him again in 6 months and I was fed up and exhausted. Michael couldn't help me much either but promised to call Delta Airlines and get it figured out. I told him he should get someone fired up there for all my troubles and hurt and then hung up.

With tears half drying on my face and trying to calm my self down I got my suitcase that I had been dragging with me everywhere and briskly made my way to the train. After ten steps a news crew stopped me, hoping to get a good story about the strike out of me. I guess the tears gave them hope. "Has the strike affected you?!". I already knew where this was going and assured them that my story had nothing to do with their untimely strike. They still wanted the summary. After I gave it to them they all looked disappointed and walked away.

Great, my misery isn't the "right kind of story". Asses. Throwing salt in my wounds.

Bought my train ticket. When I arrived in Antwerpen it was clear I missed my connection by half an hour. I was going to have to wait for 1.5h until the next one to the Hague came. Shrugging, I simply took the slow train to the first city over the Dutch border. It maybe took an hour, but I didn't have anything else to do anyway. When I finally arrived in Holland I could use my internet on my phone again and communicate with my boyfriend. The train came, I got on it and asked Simon to pick me up from the station.

He said no problem. But unfortunately he got called while we was getting ready so ended up leaving 15min too late. Then he texted me that the road was under construction and he had to take another way. After half an hour of waiting I call him and ask where the F he is. He was at the wrong station. He read my text wrong.

Of course that would go wrong too. So finally he picks me up at the right station and I get home at a quarter to 4 in the afternoon. Completely beat up. A total of 24 hours of travelling, door to door.

Never again please.

And you know what? Still don't have my 70 euro.