A Flying Leap
March 10, 2003

RANT #175: Consumer
Some Girl
Summary: Delta Airlines, how I hate thee, let me count the ways.
Full Text:

Delta Airlines is Satan.

Beyond charging outrageous airfare, not properly honoring frequent flier miles, and having a screwball webpage that doesn't show you all of the flight options available to you, the ticketing personnel are rude and the people who handle the baggage are worse.

I've had an absolutely atrocious traveling experience over the past few days. It began with security personnel, granted, but I am positive they conspired with Delta just to make my trip a personal hell. My first flight was fine - until I got home and opened up my checked bag. Lo and behold, I lift out my laptop, open it up and discover it is *covered* with doughnut crumbs. A nice little notice stating that my bag had been checked by airport security was tucked IN MY UNDERWEAR SECTION. Have these people no decency?

Anyhow, this was easy enough to fix, though the keyboard was a bit annoying for a few days. My next flight was what convinced me that flying is best left for actual winged animals. I arrived at the airport with about 35 minutes to go before my flight. Approaching the e-ticketing kiosk, it promptly informed me that my reservations required special handling and that I should go to the desk. Approaching it, I stood in line for a few minutes. About 28 minutes away from my departure time, I figure I am doing alright time-wise. Alas, upon speaking to a rather apathetic individual named Phyllis, I discover that I'm not allowed to check in.

Not allowed to check in? Apparently, I'm two minutes too late. I am supposed to check in 30 minutes before the listed departure time if I am checking luggage. I inform her that I will be gate-checking my larger bag(this is your standard-sized roll-on bag, the ones that business people and stewardesses and pilots use). She tells me it's too big. Too big? It fits in the Size-Wise basket. It's too big. Needless to say, Phyllis prevented me from getting on my 11:00 flight, and also succeeded in convincing me to hand over my suitcase(containing my laptop computer once more) and checking it through for my new flight - now departing at 3:00. Sitting in the airport for 4 hours does not make me a happy camper. On a lesser note, the first class tickets that my mother had generously procured for me were revoked, and I had to pay an extra $25 for a seat on this new flight. Grand.

I have a marvelous time on my little trip and refrain from using my computer as I'm much too busy. And in fact, my return flight was not half-bad. Other than walking around in socked feet in the airport(I'm toting guns in the soles of my shoes, apparently), it was fairly pleasant. Then, I got home.

I once again opened my checked luggage and pulled out my computer. Setting it down, I plugged it in and turned it on, and proceeded to unpack a bit before looking at the screen of my IBM laptop. The cracked screen of my IBM laptop. It appeared as if a BB had struck the bottom of the center of my screen and sent little hairline cracks running all over it. While still functional, it's extremely annoying to look at. CompUSA is incapable of finding parts for it, though if they are acquired, they'll charge 139 dollars for labor to fix it. Doing some research of my own regarding the cost of the parts, the grand total it will take to repair this computer will be over 1700 dollars. Delta Airlines, I thank you, as tomorrow I will be convincing you of the many advantages of contributing to my Buy A New Computer fund. Phyllis, I would like to personally thank you for making this claim possible. Have a nice flight. Meanwhile, I'll be flying United.

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