>Boring Airport Drama aka DELTA IS EVIL!

August 6, 2009 § 1 Comment


Due to a traffic jam and other circumstances, Joe missed his afternoon flight yesterday. He was supposed to be flying to Turkey via Paris, but instead we were sent to the Accra line for delinquent travelers. Nobody knows what accra stands for.

According to google, accra is defined as:
the capital and largest city of Ghana with a deep-water port
or a Caribbean dish of salt cod fritters, often served as an hors d’oeuvre. Also known as stamp-and-go.

“Stamp-and-go” might make sense if the line had been speedy and efficient. Instead, we stood in the grossest JFK terminal, surrounded by belligerent travelers and angry Delta workers for three hours.

Three hours, people.

(The two tall gentlemen in the line in front of Joe and me are from the band, Vampire Weekend. In some circles, though not my own, this proximity would make us almost famous thanks to Delta.)

Here is one of Joe’s first attempts to contact a Delta representative over the phone.

Long story short, we made it to the front of the line. Ivan Charity, the evil Delta man behind the Accra desk yelled at Joe for missing his flight. I broke into sobs, which didn’t help because Ivan Charity has the hardest of hearts. It also didn’t help our case that the customers in line were verbally abusing the Delta employees. He told Joe that he would have to pay $3,200 plus an extra $250 to get to Istanbul.

Mercy was nowhere to be found.

Three hours in line to be told that Joseph would need to find $3,450 or else no Turkey.

(I warned you that this story was boring.)

Anyway, phone calls were made. My parents were running a command center in Florida. Joe and I were trying to get a hold of Delta and the online site where he bought his ticket. To make matters worse, the airport cell phone reception is almost nonexistent. An hour of phone calls passed and still, nothing seemed to be working.

I finally made it through to a sympathetic woman from Delta Airlines (maybe I was hallucinating) and I lost my reception.

AND THEN! Juan appeared in my life. Juan, the angel. Juan, the guardian of all good things. Juan, the hero.

I explained the situation to Juan, the Delta International customer service rep, and he didn’t seem to understand why I was distraught. He let me know that Joseph had already been reissued a new ticket for tomorrow (today), flying to Paris and then to Istanbul. No extra charge was required.

I didn’t believe Juan; how could I? He kept going away to check on things and then returning to confirm that indeed, Joseph was ready to fly away tomorrow afternoon. He gave me the confirmation number and after checking my sources (my parents), we agreed that it was true. Somehow someone had pushed a button giving Joseph a free pass.

We will never know who did this, when it happened, or why Joe wasn’t charged.

Today we returned to the airport (ON TIME!) and arrived at a whole different terminal, beautiful Terminal 1 where Air France is housed. Where Delta had run away from us when we tried to seek help, Air France sought us out and demanded to give us understandable instructions in a polite, patient, and educated manner. We were able to quickly move from station to station in a well-lit, beautiful terminal with lovable banter between the woman behind the counter and us. And she was very clear, “NEVER FLY DELTA!”

I asked her if I should be worried since next week I will join Joseph in Istanbul by way of KLM. She said that KLM is great, not to worry. Even though both Air France and KLM are affiliated with Delta, they are worlds apart.

Speaking of worlds apart, Joe is now on board his aircraft, buckled in next to “the male of a middle aged het couple with a deep tan, baseball cap, paunch. She has a copy of The Berkshire Eagle on her lap.” (As reported via text message.)

As he flies high above the confusion and distress brought on by Delta, I wish Joseph happy, relaxing travels to his final destination.


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