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Delta air check in is horrible!

New York City, New...
posts: 5
reviews: 11
Delta air check in is horrible!

Horrible experience at gate. Would only fly Delta again if only carrier to my needed location. Upon time of check in, staff at gate, led my Maria L, at gate S5 on 3/15/13 at Sea-Tac airport for flight 182 Seattle to JFK, states repeatedly that "flight is full", there will be too many overhead bags, need volunteers to gate check overhead bags". The carrot offered is that passenger can board earlier (why would one need to board earlier if you don't need to find an overhead bin anyway?) Several people offer, most don't. Maria L then proceeds to go around the seating area picking out random bags and telling the customer they MUST check in their bag, like the Gestapo, several with small children, who complain bitterly. When people resist, she leads them over to the sizing bin, places their bag on top, and informs them that their bag is too big anyway. Then check in starts, and when zone 3 , my zone (the back) gets ready, she now states that all passengers MUST now check their bags. I resist, stating that several valuable gifts, which may be fragile, are in my bag. She tells me to take them out and check the bag. I ask her what am I supposed to do with these gifts, hold them on my lap for 5 hours?? She doesn't care. I tell her I would have packed differently if I had known this. She doesn't care, and insists that I check the bag, or I will hold up boarding the plane. She checks us in under duress. The kicker to the story?? We get to seats 30 d and f. When the plane door is about to close, my wife and I look up, and the overhead bins in our entire section are EMPTY!! My wife asks the stewardess why this happened, they deny any knowledge and state this is a gate decision. Maria L, from the gate, makes her final pass through the plane. We ask her why, she gives no answer. I ask for her last name and she states she is not required to give it to me, nor her badge number. My wife and I then are panic'd that our gifts are damaged the entire flight (they were not ). Who needs this? Seems to me this a result of bag charge fees, wherein everyone carries on more. Also emailed to Delta.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 2,843
reviews: 43
1. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

I <heart> Maria L.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,188
reviews: 348
2. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

Overuse of the term "Gestapo" is common. You trivialize what the Gestapo did. Do you really think the treatment you received is the same as what those persecuted by the Gestapo did? And, of course, you make sweeping generalizations based on one experience. Good luck with other airlines.

North Carolina
posts: 1,139
reviews: 23
3. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

I wish there were more Maria L's. It's about time US airlines got serious about their carry-on rules.

posts: 3,812
reviews: 38
4. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

This seems to be standard procedure with recent heavily booked flights.We've seen it more at SeaTac than anywhere else. We had the same issue but we are always prepared to check a bag. I suggest you always keep a flat shopping bag (or similar) in your carry-on. People are bringing bags that are taking up too much room--they ARE oversized, based on the measuring box. I'm glad they finally started cracking down on some of this excess (as well as the entitlement). We usually see this where there are lots of coats and travel pillows and too many personal items. Pax are putting what should be under a seat in the bins. FA's see they are filling and tell the gate agent. I disagree about the last boarding zone being targeted, until someone checks space in the back. We had that situation SEA to DTW but we were happy to give them our 2 carry-ons. Everything of value to us was in our personal cases.

I'm glad nothing was damaged. When everything takes the attitude that they won't check a bag, it causes animosity and gate crews have to enforce it best they can. But, as I said, the zone 3 thing shouldn't be pressed on every pax automatically.

Hope you'll have better situation next time.

posts: 41,254
reviews: 87
5. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

Good for Maria L.

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds
posts: 7,395
reviews: 130
6. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

Gotta agree with the others. If only all check in bags were measured & those too large checked. Then we wouldn't hear stories like this making out how terrible <insert airline name here> is.

posts: 3,812
reviews: 38
7. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

At least you have the Gate #, time and flight # and date. I'd avoid all the gestapo comment, be matter-of-fact in all your complaint. I am not certain it's company policy, but in this case, she should have offered her info. We just discussed this and we've never seen this zone 3 rule anywhere else. We couldn't recall it anywhere else (too late to edit my post above). I think we encountered same GA S gates Wednesday.. Ask if this is company policy at other airports, as well as the issue of her ID refusal. BTW--too late now, but you should have asked for a supervisor immediately. I think this is a former NW employee; they have a tendency to act more as "control freaks" than customer service agents. There is a reason for their nickname NorthWorst, when attributed to CS.

New York City, New...
posts: 5
reviews: 11
8. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

Wow that was quick.

Firstly, as a Jewish person, I never trivialize anything regarding to the Gestapo.

Secondly , my one check in bag was NOT too big, just that I was unlucky to be in zone 3.

Thirdly, as I said, the upsetting thing was that all the bins ended up EMPTY: by what means are they gauging number of bags?

And thank you Kyshel for recommendation to bring flat bag just in case!

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,797
reviews: 15
9. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

"Firstly, as a Jewish person, I never trivialize anything regarding to the Gestapo."

So you legitimately think that asking someone to check a bag compares to the actions of the Gestapo?

When will people learn that stating a comlaint without the use of ridiculous hyperbole means a lot more people will take it seriously...

New York City, New...
posts: 5
reviews: 11
10. Re: Delta air check in is horrible!

Obviously the analogy was a poor one and I apologize to you or anyone else it offended.

We had never experienced such a situation before, we played by the rules, she was curt, certainly did not appear to be trying to help us, and ultimately she was incorrect .