In June 2011 I flew from Santiago, Chile to Boston. I was fishing on the Magalloway River when I suffered an acute reoccurrence of sciatica which left me immobile. I managed to get back to civilization the next day but I had missed my flight to Indianapolis from Boston. I could not have flown in the state I was in and could not call Delta for lack of cell phone coverage in that remote area of Maine. That afternoon I received an email from my travel agent informing me that my tickets had been annulled by Delta for "no show". I called the Delta 1-800 number, told the rep to forget BOS-IND because I couldn't sit that long, but I needed the return to Chile in 3 weeks. The rep told me that I could pay fees and rebook the same flight from IND to SCL for another $900. I had no idea that missing a flight would annul all other flights on an itinerary and it was not mentioned by the travel agent. I was dazed and instead of saying "yeah sure, just charge me again for that flight" I told the representative that I would get in touch with the travel agent first.
They contacted Delta reps in Santiago and I was told that they had reached a solution to rebook the original flights which would cost $377 at check-in. About a week before planned departure I stopped at the Indy airport Delta ticket counter to pay the $377 in advance. The rep made several calls and told me that the solution that Delta Santiago had offered had been rejected by Delta Atlanta and I simply had no ticket or reservation of any kind with Delta. Shocked again. The rep suggested that I contact the travel agent again.
The travel agent said that Delta never notified them that the $377 fix had been rejected. They then asked me for proof of my sciatica condition which I provided, but Delta wouldn't accept it. As the return date approached, I called the Delta 1-800-number repeated the story and asked for the original fix at $900. I was offered a one-way ticket from IND to SCL for $2461. I booked a roundtrip on American Airlines for $600 less.
I know, Delta policy is clearly stated on their site. But I didn't buy the ticket there or see the policy statement. What I object to is total indifference Delta showed to a once loyal frequent flyer customer. It was no, no, no and no, sir. You paid once, we cancelled your flights and you're going to pay twice if you want to go home. I was furious with Delta but always kept my calm in dealing with them. I won't fly them again if I have a choice. The American Airlines flight was delayed from Miami. They gave me 30,000 award miles as compensation and, once going, the service was better and faster than Delta. Maybe they're all alike, and maybe AA only seems to have a more customer friendly policy, but I've seen Delta's and it stinks for sure.