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- Sep 21, 2004
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Flying Delta? Verify, verify, verify
You’d think a major airline would know where its planes and partners are. But if my family’s experience Friday morning is a fair indication, Delta customers can’t necessarily count on that.
Two of us plan to fly from San Diego (SAN) to Los Angeles (LAX) on a Delta flight operated by Skywest Airlines. When my mother-in-law called to check on which terminal to use, a reservations agent told her Terminal 2.
That didn’t sound right to my mother-in-law or me. I called to double-check.
No problem, said the reservation agent. It’s Gate 3C, Terminal 2.
But wait, I said. I’m looking at a map of the three terminals at the San Diego airport. Terminal 2 is the only one that doesn’t have a Gate 3.
It says here “Terminal 2,” the reservation agent repeated. (If she were a band member in the movie “Spinal Tap,” she’d be the one whose amplifier goes to 11.) So I asked to speak to a supervisor.
Terminal 2, said the supervisor.
And I said: Really? What about the terminal map I’m looking at?
It’s Terminal 2, she said again, but just to humor me, she agreed to call San Diego and check.
Then came the hold button, and many minutes of dead air while the Delta supervisor and I waited for one of Delta’s San Diego people to answer.
After close to 10 minutes, somebody finally did. Guess which terminal the flight leaves from?
Not Terminal 2. The commuter terminal.
So Delta came within inches of making two people miss their flight, and thus their connection, perhaps ruining the front end of their vacation. Does this happen every day with Flight 4628?
Delta spokesman Susan Elliott said she couldn’t speak to the details of that particular flight, but she noted that Delta and its partners fly out of both Terminal 2 and the commuter terminal.
“We make every effort to make this as simple and convenient as possible for our passengers,” Elliott said. “But we do run into situations where we are forced to change the departure gate for our flight. … We always encourage people to double-check when they get to the airport.”
By the way, I don’t blame the Delta supervisor, who waited with me on hold and then immediately apologized for giving bad information. But Delta has a problem. The next time you make a reservation involving a Delta partner airline (they’re usually the flights with the four-digit flight numbers), you may want to triple-check in advance, before you double-check on the scene.
– Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Photo: Planes take off and taxi at San Diego airport in 2008. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 6:58 am by Christopher Reynolds and is filed under Airline travel, Angry Traveler, Business Travel, California, Frequent Flier, Los Angeles, News, Tips & Advice, San Diego. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.
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