My Uncle was on that flight and ended up getting to LAX 24 hours later. He was also going business. What should he fight for?
Was your free flight in Business? Also is it transferable?
This is the letter he is writing to CEO any points
The following is a blow by blow description of a trip that turned into a nightmare:
1. On the outbound flight, on January 16, 2012, we flew on Delta flight number 121, connecting through JFK, in New York to flight number 268. This flight itself was uneventful, however, while exiting the plane in Tel Aviv, my wife tripped on a hole [or groove] in the jetway and badly injured her foot. During our entire ten day visit to Israel, she was barely able to walk and her activities were severely limited. Upon returning to Los Angeles, she got an x-ray on her foot, which confirmed a fracture; she must now wear a boot for 4-6 weeks and her activities are, once again, severely limited.
2. Then, during our trip home from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles, we experienced one problem after another that turned a trip that should have been 18-20 hours, into a 48 hour ordeal:
a. We were scheduled to depart Tel Aviv on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 12:40 am on Flight number 269, connecting to flight number 120 to LAX.
b. After boarding all 300+ passengers, the Captain urged all passengers to take their seats, so we can have an on-time departure (so far, so good; or so it seemed).
c. A few minutes later, after we observed several yellow vested maintenance people enter the cockpit, the Captain makes another announcement that they were experiencing a minor problem with a faulty oxygen mask in the cockpit, and that it shouldn’t take too long to repair.
d. Every 10 minutes or so there was another announcement [including one that identified a whole different problem: a communication problem] that it shouldn’t be much longer, but meanwhile the clock was ticking toward a very onerous deadline. The airport in Tel Aviv shuts down for two hours at 2 am, so if you don’t take off by that deadline, you cannot take off for at least 2 hours. [Most of the passengers were oblivious to the approaching deadline, but we knew about it from our previous travels].
e. At approximately 10 minutes to 2, the pilot informs everyone that we will not make the deadline and that we will not be taking off until 4 am. People were in shock and very upset, especially those traveling with children, or those who had connecting flights, like we did.
f. Initially, the pilot announced that we are to stay seated and that they were going to do the meal service, while we were on the ground, passing time.
g. After an hour or so, at 3 am, with no meal service having taken place, the Captain announces that the flight was cancelled and rescheduled for 5 pm Thursday afternoon. We were instructed to pick up our baggage and those needing accommodations would be put up for the night in a hotel. To add insult to injury, we had to wait on line and go through Passport Control, even though we never left the country.
h. We got to our hotel approximately 5 am and were told to return to the airport at 1:30 to check in for the 5 pm rescheduled flight. We were also given card that urged us to call Delta’s 800 number in Atlanta, if we had any questions about the flight home, or any connecting flights.
i. Before going to bed at 5:30 am I called the 800 number in Atlanta to make sure we got booked on a connecting flight to LAX, so we can get home by Friday morning. To our great dismay, the service representative had no record of the 5 pm flight and insisted that no such flight existed. I told her of the circumstances and that we were assured that we were being booked on the rescheduled flight number 269. After about 30 minutes of going around in circles on the phone, I finally gave up in frustration and decided that we would just go to the airport at 1:30 pm, as instructed and hopefully we would work everything out at that time. Since I believe that all customer calls are recorded, I suggest that you retrieve that call and see how incredulous it was, that according to your personnel that we were told to call for information and assistance had no record of the flight!
j. We got back to Ben Gurion airport at 1:30 pm, as instructed, and there was no sight of any Delta personnel. At approximately 2 pm, they started setting up a few stations, while passengers were jockeying for position in a jumbled mob scene that was totally disorganized. When it was our turn to check in, we learned that we would be getting in to New York to make any connecting flight to LA and would need to spend the night at a hotel at JFK and were booked on the 7 am flight to Los Angeles.
k. Once again, after boarding all passengers, the pilot announces that we were looking good for an on time departure. Once again, we observed several yellow vested maintenance people enter the cockpit and thought, ”here we go again”. After a short delay, we did pull away from the gate towards the runway and it looked as if we were about to takeoff.
l. Then the Captain makes another announcement: “We apologize but we noticed that we have a problem with the fuel level and have to go back to the gate for some more fuel.” We get towed back to the gate and there was another parade of yellow vested personnel to the cockpit checking various instruments and performed a procedure to “balance the fuel.” I’m sure this needed to be done, but why wasn’t this noticed and addressed before we left the gate the first time? We noticed the pilot and crew boarding the plane while the passengers were boarding. Why didn’t they get there an hour earlier to check everything out, so we don’t have to sit on the ground and face delay after delay. The offshoot of this, is that this flight was one and a half hour late in departing. Which means if this were a 12:40 am flight, it would have also missed the 2 am curfew!
m. After arriving at JFK close to midnight and then having to retrieve our baggage and go through customs, we didn’t get to our hotel until nearly 2 am. We barely got 2 hours of sleep, when we woke up to go back to the airport for our 7 am flight.
n. Even though we had ordered and confirmed kosher meals for all our flights, they did not have kosher meals for us on this flight [Note: we were in Business Class on all our flights].
o. Upon our arrival to Los Angeles, only 2 out of our 3 checked bags made it onto the flight. After waiting for quite a while, to be sure that all bags were out, we had to make a lost baggage report and learned that it was coming on a later flight. The bag was delivered the next day.
By the time we got to our home in Los Angeles, we had been traveling about 48 hours and were utterly exhausted from the ordeal. Besides my wife’s broken foot, my back went out from lugging our suitcases to and from the airport so many times. As a customer who paid good money for business class seats, this was, as I said earlier, the absolutely worst travel experience of our lives. While no amount of money can give us back our lost time and take away the pain that we suffered and are continuing to suffer, we do feel that we are entitled to a full refund for our travel and additional compensation in an amount to be determined.