March 3, 2012
This post was originally to be titled… “February was so long that it lasted into March”
Then I was going to blame leap year.
But I have important things to complain about: Delta Airlines.
The cool thing about complaining online these days is that all the big airlines, like Delta, are undoubtedly using something like Reputation.com, which attempts monitor the company’s “online reputation”. This means that shortly after my post hits the airwaves, someone at Delta will probably be reading it.
Hello Delta Person. I challenge you to create a better airline experience.
It’s funny. Years ago, I had a friend who was an airline pilot and it was always his dream to fly for Delta. Way back then, Delta commanded that kind of respect. Supposedly, they even had a secret policy of only ever interviewing people once. If you interviewed with them and they didn’t hire you, they never asked you to interview again. They were the hot shots of the ski. Today, I think they are the Yugo of airlines…
Yu Know (rhymes with Yugo), I never actually rode in a Yugo but I know that it was cheap (MSRP: $3990) and I have to imagine that every Yugo owner wished they had spent a little more on something different. Beyond that, I bet it was uncomfortable and, at any given moment, its passengers were deciding whether this trip was worth it or if it was better to just hang themselves. It was just like flying on Delta.
I know Delta Person is probably thinking, this isn’t a fair comparison. For starters, you can’t have a flight attendant in a Yugo. Maybe not, but you can put one on a Yugo…
I’m really diggin’ those boots, baby…
I think Delta and I are like a couple who went through a bad divorce. Once upon a time, I loved Delta. I was a SkyMiles Double-Secret Probation Kryptonite Level Member. Then came the time that I was headed to Steamboat Springs through Atlanta in First Class. There I was at the Delta Crown Room and I couldn’t get internet access without paying a fee. Really? I guess the Crown Room Membership plus the First Class ticket “combo” wasn’t enough money for them to give me a little internet access.
Then, I board the very long flight from Atlanta to Steamboat Springs (aka Hayden, aka Yampa Valley Regional Airport) and First Class had unlimited Doritos and those damned Biscoff cookies for us to eat. That was it? I had just flown coach on Continental from Houston to Santa Ana and had a cheeseburger… for free. Not here. This is Delta where we nickle and Dime Every Last Traveler Aboard.
These days, when you try to book a Delta flight on the average travel site, you usually can’t get a seat assignment. This is their new strategy for trying to get you to buy a premium seat and pay an extra $25 or more. So you book a flight and inadvertently get assigned either no seat or a middle seat. When you look at the seat map, only middle seats are available, unless you want to pay extra. I think this makes for a deceptive business practice, since at this time, you’ve already purchased the ticket based on the originally shown price, which you had probably compared to other airlines.
Then comes the luggage thing. You want to check a bag? You guessed it. That cost more money. But actually, it cost a lot more than you think. In my opinion, when you pay to check luggage, the only thing you gain is not having to deal with your luggage, but you still have to deal with everyone else’s.
You see, because they are charging passengers to check bags, more people than ever attempt to carry their bags onto the airplane. So here’s what happens… YOU pay and check one bag, then carry-on something essential like your laptop bag. Most other travelers, however, were too cheap to check a bag, so when you board the plane all the overhead compartments are full. The flight attendant gets on the overhead paging system and says, “if you are carrying a small item, like a laptop bag, please put it under the seat in front of you”.
So now, you paid to check a bag, everyone else took the overhead spaces and you can’t stretch out your legs because that’s where your laptop bag goes. How is this fair? I think if I checked a bag, I should get priority access to the overhead space. Hell, instead of paying $25 for checking a bag, I’d pay $30 for guaranteed overhead space, so I can be comfortable and not have to deal with baggage claim and the potential for lost bags.
I think Air Tran was doing this. For about $40 you got to check a bag, a better seat with extra leg room, and priority boarding, which assured you space in the overhead compartment. Brilliant!
It doesn’t stop there..
You see, I don’t want an aisle seat just to be an airline seat snob. I actually have somewhat of a bad knee that acts up every now and then, and on long flights I need to get up and walk around a little bit. So, as a courtesy to the other passengers in my row, I’d rather sit in an aisle seat. This way I don’t have to bother them if my knee starts acting up.
But here’s my scenario… I pay Delta for my ticket, then I pay Delta to transport a bag for me to the place where the airplane was going anyway! Now I’m having to sit in a cramped seat with no leg room because all the other cheap bastards on the plane took all of the overhead space. So, I fall asleep in my seat, hoping to make this trip seem as short as possible but, because of the way I am having to sit, my bad knee ends up slightly in the aisle. Remember, I can’t stretch my leg. That’s where my laptop bag is. Well, sure enough, along comes a flight attendant pushing a drink cart and crashes it into my bad knee.
Now my knee hurts way more than usual and the goofy-assed flight attendant, who just obviously doesn’t care, says, “oh… sorry” and thinks she can make up for this with an extra dose of Biscoff cookies.
Guessing that beating a flight attendant over the head with your laptop bag is highly frowned upon by the authorities, I have to just sit there rubbing my knee and only imagining what she might look like roasting over an open fire, while trying to figure out how to get back to sleep without having my knee wander into the aisle again. Fortunately, I’d packed some ibuprophen to go with my microscopic bag of pretzels and, of course, those damned Biscoff cookies.
Growing up in South Florida, there was a time when Delta Airlines was the premiere airline that serviced us. And since it was their main hub, the joke was that if you died in South Florida, you would have to change planes in Atlanta on your way to hell. This is no longer the case. You no longer have to wait, as Delta Airline has worked tirelessly to bring hell right to you, the minute you book a flight with them.
Touch Me, Baby… Tainted Love
Driving home the other night, listening to First Wave on XM Radio, after Delta delivered me to my destination, like Steve Austin – a man barely alive, I heard a song that I hand’t heard in a long time and, quite honestly, I’d forgotten what a great song this was. They played the long version of Soft Cell’s Tainted Love / Where did our love go? combo. It’s actually 9 minutes long but it’s excellent.
Now, I usually try to feature live performances as the musical guest, but the sound quality on the studio version is so much better. The research department scoured through a number of the You Tube videos out there and decided that if we were going to play Soft Cell, we’re going to link two videos.
So this is for you, Delta Airlines… Where did our love go?
And if you want to see them in a live performance, enjoy this one…
Well, I think that’s all I have for today.
Happy Birthday, Stone-Z!
See you in two weeks.
Safe Travels (to everyone - stay off Delta.)