Delta isn't having the best Memorial Day Weekend … and that's putting things mildly. Heading into the busy travel weekend, they began proactively canceling flights all the way into August to avoid an embarrassing meltdown. But that wasn't enough: Delta has scrapped more than 900 flights and counting since Friday, the second consecutive weekend with mass cancellations.
As travel plans get wrecked and customers face lengthy Delta call wait times (again), tempers are understandably running high. But even among the countless complaints flooding Delta's social media accounts this weekend, this exchange on Twitter Friday night from a customer pushing for help stands out.
Let's get this out of the way: This is probably not how Delta (or any airline, for that matter) wants its service representatives interacting with customers. Airlines from American to Ryanair have been spicing up their social media presence in recent years, but this is another level.
The customer in question had repeatedly tweeted at Delta throughout the day Friday, demanding help after the airline canceled a flight for Saturday morning with less than 12 hours notice. Delta gave the customer in question occasional updates as they tried to find a solution, but not before things boiled over. Telling a customer to “calm down” is rarely a good look – especially after a problem that the company itself caused.
… but we're all human, and that includes Daisy from Delta. The response lit up the internet on Saturday, with readers alternately scorning Delta for the unprofessional response and others declaring themselves #TeamDaisy. The customer in question initially responded: “Calm down? Been on hold for over 2 hours, Daisy. Really trying.”
Fortunately, it all has a happy ending.
If nothing else, let this serve as a reminder: When things go wrong with your flight…
- It's not your flight attendants' fault.
- It's not the gate agents' fault
- It's not the pilots' fault
- It's not the fault of the customer service agent on the phone
- And it's certainly not the social media representative's fault, be it Daisy at Delta or any other airline.
The problems we're seeing with air travel lately are bigger than Delta: Mass cancellations are bound to continue as airlines struggle to catch up with surging travel demand. Like it or not, this is going to continue happening.
Let's be clear: Daisy's snarky response doesn't excuse Delta's woes over Memorial Day, nor for repeatedly failing customers by overpromising and underdelivering over the last year and change along with every other major airline in the U.S. That's why we've called for greater passenger rights and protections when airlines cancel or delay flights.
But that frustration doesn't give you and I license to get angry or lash out at others when things go wrong. Kindness and patience can also go a long way to reach a resolution when things go wrong. It might not be their fault, but many airline employees have tremendous power to solve problems and make a bad situation much better.
Plus – and this is the important part – kindness and patience are always free.
Read our tips on what you can do when flights get delayed or canceled!
Quick Tips for Reaching Delta this Weekend
OK, so maybe you don't want to hit up Daisy from Delta on social media. Or maybe you do, I don't know.
At any rate, if you're dealing with headaches from Delta and trying to reach the airline, you're certainly not alone. Here are some helpful hints:
- Flying within the next 48 hours? There's a dedicated number for travelers with urgent needs: 1-855-548-2505
- Is your flight further out than just a few days? It's not a bad idea to follow Delta's advice and try again another time. The airline is clearly focused on digging out from the mess this weekend. You're bound to get a better (and quicker) response later on.
- If you're trying to change flights, cancel them, or use Delta eCredits, try online or via Delta's smartphone app first. It's not a slam dunk, but Delta has made great strides in improving its online self-service options over the last two years.
- Delta killed off a “secret” customer service number with short hold wait times recently, but there's still no need to sit hold for hours: Send Delta a text instead!
- DM'ing Delta directly on Twitter is no longer an option. But if you tweet at Delta publicly, the airline will sometimes open up a messaging channel to chat and solve your issues more quickly.
Check out the rest of our tips on how to contact Delta!
Please induct Daisy from Delta into the Customer Service Hall of Fame immediately.
Unprofessional? Maybe. Understandable? Probably. Legendary? No question.