a paul gauguin/delta/air france story

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a paul gauguin/delta/air france story

Post: # 1426Post drib »

This is a true story that happened in 2008. No names were changed to protect the guilty.

Penny and I were booked on Paul Gauguin when it was still part of the Regent fleet. I probably booked it one year in advance. Air was not included - or maybe I just wanted to book my own air - and I did that well in advance too. I booked an Air France flight from LAX, through Delta though, so I would get Delta frequent flyer miles. We were the first persons booked on that flight, and I got a great deal on primo seats.

A few months before we were to leave, I noticed that my reservation was not showing on Delta. When I inquired about it, they told me that Air France had changed the plane and that we were no longer booked on it. Of course, I was furious, but it turns out that I have no rights when this happens prior to the day of the flight.

I worked with Delta. I worked with Air France. I worked with Regent. But there were no suitable replacement flights to be found. So I cancelled that cruise - apparently not a problem back then, or maybe Regent felt bad for me and did not charge me a cancellation fee.

And then started my letter writing campaign - in which I learned I had no rights from my Senator. But mostly, I wrote to Delta. Specifically, I wrote to Richard Anderson, then President of Delta, on the theory that although he would not deal with it personally, the customer service person is more likely to respond when delegated from the President. But the first response from Delta was rubber-stamped - thank you for writing, sorry. My second letter was less polite, but the response was the same.

My third letter, had less formality. Instead of "Dear Mr Anderson," it began "Dear Dick". And instead of complaining about the incident, I invited him to Easter dinner.

A few days later, I got a phone call from Richard Anderson's secretary, and I swear this is what she asked me: "Do you know Dick?" And then I explained it all to her, and we agreed that I deserved some compensation, and they sent me two certificates for free trips.

I bet I can still find the that last letter in my files - I'll check for it later. In any event, the joke was on them, because we never have Easter dinner at home!

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Re: a paul gauguin/delta/air france story

Post: # 1427Post drib »

Found it:
January 19, 2008


Richard H Anderson
Director/CEO Delta Air Lines
PO Box 20706
Atlanta, GA 30320-6001


Dear Dick,

I would like to invite you and your wife to our home for Easter dinner.

Easter is on Sunday, March 23 this year and we usually start eating at one o’clock. I don’t know why my wife calls it dinner, but for whatever reason, she always makes holiday dinners in the early afternoon! Whatever, it’s always good. We will be expecting you unless we hear to the contrary. If you need directions, just let me know.

Please know that I am committed to saving two seats for you at the dinner table, and that unlike your airline, I always keep my commitments! You may recall in my first letter to you, back in November, when I described the situation of how my wife and I wound up without seats for a flight we booked on Delta.com six months earlier. Even though we had to cancel a cruise, which we had planned for more than a year in advance, and even though we could not get our money back, $481, for a pre-paid post-cruise hotel room, and even though you’ve never personally responded to any of my letters, please be assured that I have let bygones be bygones. I promise you that you and your wife will be our welcomed guests!

Now, I realize that your personal unresponsiveness to my prior correspondence is probably not because you are disinterested in the everyday matters of the airline. I’m sure that you are a busy CEO! But please, please, do not redirect this letter to your costumer service department. I’m sure they are very nice people, so I wouldn’t want them to feel slighted because I am not also inviting them to Easter dinner.

Regards,

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