This is the letter I sent to Delta. The lady I spoke to off the 800 number for customer support stated she would contact the appropriate people but I would not get any answers or apologies.
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to tell my story of the horrible and cruel experience I had on Delta Flight 2836 on Thursday September 6th, 2018. I left from gate A 19 in Atlanta, GA.
I would first like to say that I have been a loyal Delta member for more than 10 years and with some of those years obtaining sky priority status including medallion. My husband and I have flown all over the world, and in this past year have flown with my husband and infant daughter to Montana, Norway, Sweden and Denmark with zero issues and only pleasant experiences with Delta and Norwegian Airlines.
When I booked my flight to Atlanta to visit my sick mother who is under care of an Emory Neurologist, I decided to book Comfort Class as those seats are closer to the bathroom with the changing table and I thought the extra room would allow my daughter and other passengers having to be seated next to us more room. It was worth it to me to spend the extra money to hopefully have a more pleasant flight with my daughter.
On the way to Atlanta from Sacramento, I was seated in seat 10-A. I ended up switching with the gentleman on the isle seat since we were having to make several trips to the rest room to change diapers and walk. The middle seat was empty. That arrangement worked well with minimal interruption to other passengers and easy to get around being on the isle.
That seating arrangement worked so well, I decided to inquire about having my return flight seats changed to the isle seat in row 10. When I called Delta to see if I could have my seat assignment changed, I was told those seats were being held for possible disabled passengers and would be released to other passengers right before the flight and to check with the gate agent.
The day of the flight, I spoke with the gate agent at A 19. I explained to him the situation and what I was told by Delta when I had called earlier to try and have my seat switched to row 10 isle and if those seat had not yet been assigned, I would like to be considered for the switch. He told me that that seat had already been assigned. I asked if there were any other seats that had an empty seat next to it on the isle. He told me he had a seat in row 16 that had an empty seat but it was not an isle seat. I said I will keep my current seat in row 11 since I would have the extra room to get around the person in the isle seat, as well as have the leg room to put my daughter on the floor if she wanted to get down and no one in front of me since my daughter is a grabber. It was a brief, what I thought was a nice conversation. I wasn’t asking for anything I had not paid for, I wasn’t asking for an upgrade, I was simply asking for a change of seats to the isle seat in row 10 if available or any other isle seat that had an empty seat next to it.
When I boarded the plane, I saw immediately that row 11 was not going to work. There was no way to store my daughter’s small toy bag or small bottle bag so I could get her bottle and food pouches easily. I immediately told the flight attendant and explain the situation that I needed to be able to have a bag with me to be able to take care of my daughter on take off. She said I see and told me she would check with the gate agent right away. The first class flight attendant, young girl I believe her name was Alejandra (by the time I was able to look at her name tag, I was crying and not able to see very well), got in my face very rudely and said, the gate attendant offered you a seat in row 16 and you said no because you wanted the leg room and I’m sorry it is to late to move you. At this time, they had just started to board first class. I tried to tell her, that it wasn’t about the leg room, that I was just trying to do what is best for my daughter and other passengers. That I would take any seat right now that would allow me to keep my daughter’s bottle bag and food with me for take off that right now that was the most important and I hadn’t realized I couldn’t keep any items with me in row 11. She told me to take a seat, put my things in the bin before they got full and that they could not move me, it was too late.
I did what I was told, in shock that I was just so rudely spoken to and apologized to the passengers on each side of me and told them I was trying to change seats. All three of us sat there in disbelief at how rude the flight attendant was, she came back to tell me to put my small purse that had my daughter’s snacks in the overhead bin. I put her bottle in the magazine holder as it was 100 percent necessary to have that to keep her ears from hurting.
The taxi to the run way took longer than expected as we were in line for take off. My daughter became very fussy and wiggly and so I gave her the bottle hoping that it would over lap with the take off. It did not. Once we were taking off, the pressure changed and my daughter became fussy again because her ears were hurting, I had no way to help her pop her ears. I usually give her a food pouch or another bottle to relieve the pressure. I was not able to do that because of the situation and not being able to have my access to my stuff. It was miserable for her and the passengers seated next to me.
Once the seat belt sign came off, I was able to get a few things but had to get up multiple times to get various items having to make the lady seated next to me get up and she was so nice and helped me. It was miserable as I was doing the best I could to distract my daughter in her seat but only able to hold a couple of items at once because her bags were up in the overhead bins. I was in tears. I was miserable and the ladies next to me were as well. I decided to put my daughter in her carrier and in hopes that she would fall asleep. I was told I could not have the carrier on during take off. I got my carrier out of the closet and headed to the front bathroom again to grab a tissue. I was told I could not be up here unless I was going to change my daughter so I turned around to walk to the back of the plane to the other bathroom. To my surprise, I saw a half empty plane. Multiple rows with one passenger and two passengers, rarely saw a row with three people in it. I went to the back of the plane were there was three empty rows and asked the flight attendant in tears, why I couldn’t have one of these rows back here. I am in tears by this time. She said she didn’t know but would ask the other flight attendant. Another flight attendant came back and said the first class flight attendant (Alejandra I believe) had told her under no circumstances were they to move me. She said the gate agent had said he offered me another seat and I had refused it because it wasn’t comfort class. Which was not true and I told them what I had said. I started crying harder as I didn’t understand why the flight attendant was being so cruel. I told the other flight attendants my story. I am flying alone with my baby, that I wasn’t able to take care of my baby, keep any items with me to take care of her and I was making everyone around me miserable. The other flight attendants said they would get my stuff from the bins and help me move back here. So I moved to the back of the plane after two hours of being mistreated and miserable.
I had to change my daughter’s diaper again and headed to the front bathroom. I decided to confront the first class flight attendant Alejandra and ask her to her face why she was telling the other flight attendants not to move me. I was in total shock after hearing what the other flight attendants had told me, I felt targeted and abused.
I went up to the flight attendant and stated, let me tell you about my situation. Unfortunately I have to fly alone with my baby daughter to visit my mother who is very ill. It is not an ideal situation at all for anyone. I purposely booked comfort class trying to make the flight easier for everyone. When I got on the plane, I asked you to move me to any seat where I could keep my daughter’s bottles and toys with me and you rudely got in my face. I now find out that you told the other flight attendants not to move me. You have watched me and especially my baby daughter be miserable for two hours and the passengers around me are miserable. You saw and heard my daughter in pain from me not being able to get another bottle or snack to help pop her ears. She has never cried on take off before and this was her 7th flight. I asked her how she could be so cruel and mean and vindictive towards me and what did I do to deserve this and why wouldn’t she move me. I said I didn’t book comfort class for my benefit. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since I left my parent’s home, I didn’t book comfort class to have a good time. I am a mother of a baby, 100 percent of everything I do is for her, she comes first always, her needs come first, but I always try to be considerate of other people. I asked her again, why she wouldn’t move me, why she was being so cruel to me?
The flight attendant told me that the gate agent had told her to not move me. I told her what had transpired at the gate and what my situation was needing to be moved so I could take care of my daughter. I asked for the A 19 gate attendants name and she said she didn’t know. I said but you watched me be miserable for two hours yet didn’t want to move me to follow directions of a gate agent whose name you do not even know? I have flown many many times and seen flight attendants move passengers around and have moved seats mid flights before without any issues. What policy was being used not to move me? It was a half empty flight with many seats available, I had booked comfort class and was asking at this point for any seat but you would not move me. I asked her if she had children and she said no. I kept asking her for a reason why she was telling the other flight attendants not to move me and why she would not move me and she simply said she was following the gate agent. She said I know you will write this up and I will write something up stating I was following the gate agent. But I said you have been so rude and cruel to me, you can’t blame that on the gate agent, you both are on some kind of power trip at the expense of my daughter’s well being. There is no reason to treat someone like you have treated me. I gave you no reason to. At this point, I left to change my daughter.
I have cried for days. I am a registered nurse on a burn unit, and a new mother, my whole life is taking care of people. I have never felt such humiliation, abuse of power and cruelness before. I am usually a pretty easy going person, but I will not sit back and allow this flight attendant and gate agent to treat another person like I was treated. I’m sure this flight attendant is getting her story together and I will make sure my story is heard. I want answers. I want to know what type of organization thinks it is okay to treat a mother traveling alone with her baby like I was treated? How members of your organization can get away with power trips that result in causing pain and discomfort to my child? What policy was I breaking that I couldn’t be moved to regular couch from a comfort class seat?
I will continue to contact Delta until I feel my questions have been answered and that this will never happen again to me or another mother traveling alone with her child.