The Pathetic Compensation Delta Offered My Dad For An 8+ Hour Delay

Filed Under: Delta, Travel

A bit over a month ago I wrote about how I was helping my dad book a flight between Tampa and Los Angeles, and was trying to decide between booking him on Delta and Spirit. As I explained at the time, it was hard to justify not booking Spirit, given that he could book a “Big Front Seat” with a carry-on for about the same price as an economy ticket on Delta.

Many of you pointed out that the issue with airlines like Spirit is their bad operational performance, and that when things go wrong, you don’t have nearly the number of options that you’d have if flying Delta. All of that is true, though unfortunately luck wasn’t on my dad’s side yesterday.

I’ve had some bad delays in my life, though I don’t think I’ve ever had a delay on a domestic flight that’s as bad as what my dad experienced yesterday. That’s a real shame, because I try to book travel for my parents in a way that makes it as easy for them as possible. After all, my dad is in his 70s, and while he’s generally in good health, I don’t want him to be stuck at the airport forever, and try to make sure he’s flying at times where he can drive home at reasonable hours.

Well, my dad’s Delta flight from Los Angeles to Tampa yesterday was delayed by over eight hours. The plane had a mechanical issue, and it turned into a rolling delay. It’s one thing if they right away delayed the flight by eight hours, but rather they kept pushing it back, so he kept hanging on, rather than “ditching” the trip. I encouraged him to just book a hotel and try again the next day, but he said he needed to get home.

The flight was supposed to leave at 10:15AM but ended up leaving at 6:20PM. Instead of arriving at 5:43PM he landed at 1:28AM.

That’s a horrible delay, though stuff happens. What’s even worse (to me) is what Delta offered him for the delay.

Delta’s “gesture of goodwill”

On one hand I commend Delta for proactively offering something to passengers on the flight. At the same time, I can’t help but feel like it’s an insulting offer. Here’s the email they sent him after his flight:

We know we disappointed you today with the delay of Flight 725 to Tampa. An unexpected technical issue with the plane had to be addressed before the flight could depart Los Angeles. After troubleshooting the issue it was determined that a replacement plane was needed. Unfortunately, the replacement had to be flown in from another city adding to the delay. This wasn’t the experience we wanted you to have with us and I’m sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

We Appreciate Your Business
As a goodwill gesture, I’ve deposited 5000 bonus miles into your account. Please allow three business days for the mileage to be posted.

Thanks for Flying Delta
We look forward to seeing you on another Delta flight.

Delta offered my dad 5,000 miles for an eight hour delay. Delta likes to peg the value of a mile at about a penny, so they’re basically offering him $50 for an eight hour delay, which is $6.25 per hour… in miles. Seriously, Delta? Would it have killed them to offer 10,000, or even 15,000 miles for this awful delay?

To me this raises a much bigger issue with US airlines.

US airlines need to be more heavily regulated when it comes to delays

In general I’m not someone who thinks the government is the solution when it comes to making air travel better. However, I do think there needs to be some government regulation when it comes to the way that airlines treat passengers in the case of irregular operations.

If I book a Delta ticket a year in advance and need to make a change 30 hours after booking, Delta will charge me $200 for the privilege.

If Delta changes the schedule on my flight, or delays my flight by eight hours on the day of departure, they owe me nothing.

That doesn’t seem fair, does it? Simply put, US airlines have almost zero obligation under the law when it comes to how they have to compensate passengers in the event that things go wrong.

On the other end of the spectrum you have Europe, where the government regulates that passengers receive 200-600EUR of compensation in the event of delays, depending on the length of the delay and the length of the trip. If EU261 laws applied in the US, everyone on this flight would have been owed 400EUR. For a full flight, that means the airline would owe passengers about $100,000. While that’s perhaps extreme compensation, you can bet airlines would approach things differently if they were subjected to such regulations.

Some will say “well, mechanical delays can happen on any airline.” That’s totally true, but the issue is the lack of incentives that airlines have to prevent these, and to minimize delays when these do happen. Safety should always be the top priority, but you can bet airlines would handle things differently if they’d be held accountable more:

  • They’d be more likely to have a spare plane at an airport, or at least not to schedule flights as tightly, so that there’s more room to fix things when they go wrong
  • They’d be more likely to have spare parts at an airport, so they don’t have to be flown in from elsewhere
  • They’d be more incentivized to rebook passengers on other routings, and even on other airlines
  • They’d be more encouraged to offer an agreeable amount of compensation proactively, based on the agreement that passengers won’t file a claim requesting cash compensation

But right now there’s zero regulation. An airline can literally delay a flight by days and owe passengers no compensation. To me that’s ridiculous.

Some will say “well government regulations would just lead to higher airfare.” Yes and no. The cost of airfare isn’t heavily correlated to the cost airlines incur from providing transport, but rather is based on supply and demand. That wouldn’t change here.

Hopefully the primary thing airlines would take away from more regulation is to do what they can to mitigate major delays, which they don’t currently have an incentive to do.

Fortunately my dad was a great sport about the delay, despite the fact that he says it was handled poorly. But for them to offer 5,000 miles as a “gesture of goodwill” seems like more of an insult than a genuine customer service gesture. You can bet I’ll be responding to the email on his behalf and requesting that they do better than that.

What do you think — is 5,000 miles fair compensation for an issue like this? Does the government need to step in and provide some sort of regulation when it comes to delays?

  1. That’s sad considering I was given 15k miles for a blind spot on my IFE last month from ATL-MUC.

    Don’t know if I got extra miles for being a Platinum member or not.

  2. @Lucky. I think it is still better than Swiss. My ZRH-BUD flight got delayed by 4 hours because of aircraft problems (finally we left on the third plane). Wrote to Swiss, they told me that they do not owe me anything. I sent them screenshots of the display screen showing the rolling delays. Nothing. Not even a 1,000 miles bonus.

  3. It’s perspective. Not everyone wants comp. People are far too greedy nowadays and just want compensation for everything.

    They offered 5000 miles. It’s an insult. Did not offer anything. It’s an insult. To some even 50,000 is an insult

    The Eu regulation gives ridiculous expectations and why did they come up with these figures of 400 or 600 euros?

    Any comp should be proportional to the ticket price excluding taxes

    If you pay $150 you shouldn’t get $500
    And for many a four hour delay is not a big deal

  4. Kind of surprised they even offered him anything. He could have used the app to rebook himself on a connecting flight throughout the rolling delay.

  5. Coach or Premium?

    15k sounds high for coach (even though I feel it’s deserved when I’m delayed that long) since that’s about what they would want for a saver award (or whatever they call it). I don’t think, in general, that they will offer compensation in excess of the ticket’s value (you won’t get a $200 voucher on a $150 ticket).

    I agree 5k is too low.

  6. @ Daniel B. — It sounds to me like you should be entitled to EU261 comp? Did you try requesting that?

  7. It’s the rolling delays that are the most frustrating part of this. If you knew it was going to be a 5+ hour delay, you could have found him a flight maybe through Atlanta and gotten him home 2-3 hours later than planned.

    Yesterday a friend was on a 2 leg trip and the first leg was about 40 minutes delayed and that shortened the connection to 15 minutes. Called, the airline was really good and even switched him to another airline and he arrived 20 minutes earlier than planned. but it’s tough to “ditch” a non-stop flight if you think the delay will only be another hour.

  8. @ Jeff — There were no flights that would have gotten him to Tampa the same day. The only other options were redeyes with connections.

  9. For what it’s worth, I complained to Delta about my broken IFE on a 2 hour flight and they gave me 10,000 points.

  10. @ Icarus — This was an eight hour delay (not a four hour delay), and I’d be very curious to learn who doesn’t think a four hour delay is a big deal (even better, do you know someone who doesn’t think an eight hour delay is a big deal?)?

  11. There are 2 DL flights to ATL and 1 to DTW that leave within about 2 hours of his original flight- all have good connections to TPA. Frustrating because he likely could have gotten on one of those and been home before midnight.

  12. No, we don’t need EU style comp regulations in the US. That will just drive up ticket prices and we’ll end up paying more in cumulative fare increases that we will receive in individual compensation events.

    Did Delta offer any rerouting options?

    Did your Dad ask for more compensation? What the airline offers proactively is not necessarily the same as what they will do if you complain?

    Does your Dad have any status? When people sing the virtues of being a “free agent” – this is where they pay the price

  13. Last Christmas my SFO -> LAX Virgin flight ended up in the penalty box for about 2 hours due to an aircraft blocking our gate. Shortly after disembarking, I received an email from Virgin/Alaska with a 75$ voucher.
    Pretty impressed by the way they handled this situation.

  14. I understand the rolling delay if it’s a mechanical problem. Often you can’t predict how big of a problem it is and the time needed to fix it until you get in and start working on it. Happens in auto repair also, and cars are much simpler.

  15. Got a 24-hour delay on a United Express flight in January due to a rolling mechanical. I had paid $99 as a last-minute upgrade to domestic “First”.

    The compensation? A $100 travel credit with a 1-year expiry date. Not even a refund for the upgrade.

  16. @ DCJoe — I immediately looked online at the options being offered. Neither of those had availability. Also, at the time I’m not sure I would have actually rebooked him on one of those, since for the first two hours it looked like his flight would be leaving soon. It was only after a few hours that they pushed the delay till evening.

  17. @ Bob — The only rerouting options were redeyes. An email has been sent asking for more compensation. He has no status, but does have 996,000 lifetime MQMs with Delta, so was a very loyal customer at some point.

  18. @Lucky. Yes, I did, and wrote a very specific letter regarding that. The disappointing thing was that the gate agents gave out leaflets to all of us about the EU rules, giving us the falso hope that we will get compensated. Anyway, then I researched my options, and after contacting Bott & Co (see, but they said that they do not have jurisdiction. I found AirHelp, where I had submitted all the documents (screenshots showing the rolling delays, boarding passes etc). No news from them just yet. The travel took place in mid March. To be honest, after your and others’ experience with Swiss, I am not hopeful about any compensation.

  19. Last year I was on Alaska SFO to Palm Springs. Both legs were delayed for about an hour after boarding. The crew kept us informed on what they were trying to do. Afterwards, they gave me $25 credit for each leg. I was surprised to get anything to be honest.

    The 8 hours rolling delay is horrible. What are you supposed to do other than hanging out at the airport or rebook another flight. But will chase compensate you with one night hotel in that case because you won’t know it is going to be more than 6 hours delay!

  20. @ Ben — I’m not sure of your Delta status (Platinum??), but perhaps you should intervene on his behalf. I agree 5,000 miles in insulting.

  21. I’m fine with the general premise of setting some kind of minimum standards, but I take issue with one point you make:

    “Some will say “well government regulations would just lead to higher airfare.” Yes and no. The cost of airfare isn’t heavily correlated to the cost airlines incur from providing transport, but rather is based on supply and demand. That wouldn’t change here.”

    You don’t think the supply of seats is generally correlated to the marginal profitability of seats? If every seat becomes X% less profitable because fewer tight turnarounds for planes, it seems reasonable that at the margin some supply of seats would fall. That might not seem like a risk today with flights full, but the next shock in demand (oil, terror, recession, etc.) would probably have a more acute impact on supply if you’re raising the overhead and operating cost of every US bound route.

  22. I totally agree, the European compensation laws are great. Paid 110 eur for FRA-LHR on LH. First flight was cancelled, finally got a seat almost 7 hours later, I was paid 200 eur for the delay. LH also gave me a 20 euro meal voucher.

    In essence, I was paid 90 euros to fly to Heathrow on a free ticket, and I was given a free meal in the airport.

    The way DL did your dad is laughable.

  23. Just been offered a $100 paper voucher from AA for a 5 hour rolling mech delay… I live in the UK… what a joke, isn’t it?

    Hoping Congress can work together to deal with this + Sun Country + etc…

  24. It is cheaper in the end for them to give without passengers asking- most will be like sheep and accept the crumbs offered – an 8-hour delay warrants 20k miles or $200.00 voucher – the ticket price has nothing to do with the minimum compensation -it is not just for your dad — most do not have lounge and need to just sit around the airport waiting and waiting and waiting ,,peoples time matter

  25. I flew a few months ago with Alitalia…BUT because of an 1 hour scheduled delay (they called me the day before) I got voucher for 250 Euro for use on other flight…

  26. Re replies mentioning EU261 driving up flight prices, that’s not true. The reason is that the EU flight market is more competitive than the US (48 different airline groups). Granted it is about twice the population. As an example, look at any flights out of London to anywhere in Europe a few weeks to a few months in advance and you’ll rarely pay more than $250

  27. I’m sorry about your father’s delay, it’s difficult for anyone to be delayed by 8 hours, but especially so for more mature travelers.

    I commend Delta for PROACTIVELY issuing any miles as most airlines don’t bother (this is one of many reasons why I refuse to fly UA). I assume Delta also provided drinks and snacks off carts at the gate during the delay, as is there SOP. The challenge, as you’ve noted, is with rolling delays where it looks to the gate attendant and Delta flight ops that the plane can be repaired and sent on its way, only to find out that it can’t. It happens to all carriers on all planes with limited options to bounce-back through re-bookings now that aircraft utilization is at optimal levels (ie very few empty seats flying).

    I don’t want the government mandating customer compensation because: 1) this won’t create higher aircraft reliability and 2) it will only result in increased costs to passengers on all flights as airlines will look to recover these costs. A windfall for a delayed customer might make that customer happier, but comes at a cost to all customers, and statistically, most of the time customers are on-time flyers benefiting from relatively low ticket prices based on historical levels.

  28. A month ago my flight from Seattle to Detroit got delayed by 12 hrs and the only thing checkin desk person told me was “sorry”. I had to literally call delta customer service to ask for compensation and they provided $100 voucher and 2 meal voucher for that day. So with US airlines you have ask until you get it.

  29. The vast majority of staff handling complaints are seemingly not empowered to do much in the way of meaningfully compensating customers.

    Whenever Delta refuse to have a reasonable discussion about issues they cause, I tell the person I’m talking to that my next call is to my card issuer to instruct them to raise a chargeback for the transaction – this normally gets results.

    When it doesn’t, I follow through. This always gets results.

  30. Europe has insanely cheap inter-Europe flights by all the carriers, and they have generous EU 261 rules, yet the posters here think that if we enact a similar law in the U.S. then airfares will go up. Does not computer.

  31. If the airlines are forced to compensate more, the prices will go up. The money has to come from somewhere…but I am for clear regulations.

    @ Daniel. Switzerland isn’t part of the EU. Swiss doesn’t have to play by the same rules as EU carriers. This has been the case for a long time now. They basically pick a chose how they respond. Usually if you have status or J/F revenue ticket you get treated well.

  32. Having experienced these very long delays on Delta in the past (left them in 2008), I was never offered anything, not even an insulting 5000 miles. For me, this type of delay could easily result in misconnecting to an international flight and force a delay of 24 hours, forfeiting a hotel room at my destination and having to pay of a hotel room in a connecting city and then missing a day of work. It’s a very big deal to some of us.
    I’d pursue more compensation for your Dad – you have nothing to lose.

  33. Still bitter that my flight was cancelled three weeks before departure and I found out on my own 4 days earlier. After a fight with Air Seychelles and Expedia, Air Seychelles refunded me the flight, but the whold ordeal still cost me $600 to reaccomodate myself.

  34. If you continue to vote for the party that loves to put business above people you will suffer.

    There was an article about teachers in Arizona striking for more pay. One of them said ” they were die hard republicans but the party was failing it’s people”. And I am like you voted for this and you are still die hard republican? You don’t deserve sympathy. You deserve to die of hunger or overwork or whatever it is that republicans throw at you.

    Americans are the most stupid fucks ever. No wonder they gladly go and die in Useless wars. Stupid fucks!

  35. One. Did you try booking him on spirit air once you learned about the 4 hour delay tht eventually became 8 hours? That way, he would get a full refund from Delta and still make it to LA.
    Considering you fly around the world in business class and you only secured him a crappy coach seat? Hmmm…

  36. That really sucks and I’m sorry your father had to go through that. Normally when I hear the reason for a delay is mechanical, I almost always try to rebook either through a stopover to another city or to the next flight (if the route has several flights a day.) In your case, it seems like there were no other options. Delta is actually great at waiving fees if the original flight is delayed — even if the delay is only a minute!
    I’ve flown Delta a lot the past 4 years and will admit they rarely cancel a flight but they’d happily delay a flight again and again and again all in the name of safety. This can be seen both as a pro and a con.

  37. @ jeremy — The Spirit flight left an hour after the Delta flight, and at the time it looked like the Delta flight would just have a minor delay. A one-way first class ticket would have been $1,500. I’m not sure why you’re guilting me for booking him a “crappy coach seat?”

  38. @Cedric. I of course know that Switzerland is not part of the EU, I am originally from Europe. Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member ( However, it was the Swiss gate agent who gave us the leaflet about the EU compensation and said that Swiss voluntarily joined that ………. whatever that is :-))), and we will get compensation. I am sure that she knew it would not happen……….
    But you are absolutely right regarding what you said in your last two sentences.

  39. I had a busted IFE system from LHR to IAD last year in VS Upper Class. I got 10,000 miles. I didn’t expect anything, but it was nice. Transferred to Hilton and topped off for a stay at the Conrad Tokyo.

  40. I would imagine these automatic compensation offers are tied to status and fare class then. I was on a United flight with a 4 hour delay and 3 plane switches. Received an offer for $125 (or miles) and upon complaining further to the 1K email they gave me another $200 voucher. So $325 in total comp for a 4 hour delay on a ticket I paid $600 on (one-way). Not bad though I spend ~$40,000 on United per year and this was the only flight I went out of my way to ask for further compensation in the past 12+ months.

  41. Whatever one thinks of EU261 and whether the US should have something similar, 5,000 miles for an 8-hour delay seems paltry to me. Bear in mind that Delta probably values these miles at much less than 1cent/mile on their balance sheet (consider how many passengers won’t end up using them), so they’re effectively offering him much less than even the $50 valuation @Lucky placed. These days, airlines will give out 5,000 miles for a lot less than an 8-hour delay. I don’t know what the right compensation is, but I would feel it’s much more than 5,000 miles. For whatever reason, my experience makes me think 15,000 is closer to the mark.

  42. Would have been quicker to take a flight to ATL then TPA but those things are hard to predict.

    5,000 miles is so little. 10,000 miles would be nice and economical for them, 15,000 miles is better.

    They might figure that now one might earn 800 miles for the flight so 5,000 is generous.

  43. @lucky- sorry, wasn’t implying you should have been able to re-book him on one of the other options. Was saying that if you had known from the start it was going to be a long delay, you would have had the option of looking and rebooking if there were available seats. But the rolling delay killed that- it’s almost always the right call to stick with a non-stop vs. adding the risk associated with connecting, so you/your dad made the right call.

    The frustrating part is that they couldn’t be up front with you about the approximate length of the delay from the beginning.

  44. I wonder how good some credit card travel insurance is? Many don’t have much except if you die. Some better coverage includes the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard that Lucky mentions often and sometimes has a link to. However, my guess is that is for 12 hour delays or more.

    I don’t think there’s any that permits a one hour delay to book you on another flight if the airline doesn’t.

  45. American rolled my delay for 4 days once, offering no food, miles, or booking on another airline. I reached out to the FAA, and AA claimed weather. However, they kept canceling the flight for flights they deemed more pressing.

  46. Last year I had an AA flight after work that was supposed to leave at 1720 and kept getting delayed (something about a cracked cockpit window). We didn’t leave until nearly midnight (5+ hrs delayed). It was a long 23 hr day. I believe I received 10,000 miles after I sent in an email. (Meals were not served due to the long delay.)

  47. Sounds like a lousy experience to say the least and I can feel your family members frustration
    But after decades of hating Delta just because they are an airline that is available doesn’t mean one should book flights with them.But book they do lol
    Its of no major surprise to me that they rip off the traveling public at every chance possible on ancient planes
    I have to say if you choose them one has to expect the following
    If there are flight disruptions due to mechanical issues they will likely never proactively inform you of your passenger rights or do a reasonable good will gesture.For an airline they can charge up to 500k for a one way award to Sydney to or from the US
    Quite frankly you get what you sign up for by doing business with them in the first place
    If folks haven’t woken up to the fact that this is the most greedy airline run by criminals I don’t know when they will ever get it.Expect nothing and you may be delighted by Delta
    Alaska did 3 x that compensation for me when my luggage never made it to my final destination after a 2 hour mechanical delay and it wasn’t requested!
    Amazing carrier vs the flying crud of the earth.Yes Delta complete crud

  48. Just love this moment..reading how terrible the American regulations are and some of your comments!..and by the way it will be staying like that for a long you really think they will implement a similar regulation like EU 261?..the US airlines will rather file bankruptcy rather than give pax more rights and compensations than they use to.
    Sorry for your father Lucky..but you should have helped him far more better. You are capable of booking tickets in almost every where in the world and in whatever time zone you are. This one moment where you know that he is waiting for hours at the airport in his age!?!..I would not do that to any person in his age..relatives or friends..yes. I am sincerly disappointed of you!

  49. …or… next time just book him through Allegiant, obviously they won’t stop for maintenance, nor smoke, nor fire… or if you don’t want an 8-hr delay, then look at Sun Country – you won’t have to worry about a delay on that plane… what plane?

  50. I had over 12 hs with delta, over 1 year ago, I arrive at LAX at 6am , tried to board the 7am flight to SFO but the moron at the gate did not allow me, had a flight at 9am, which was cancelled, them one at 12 that was cancelled, then one at 4 that was cancelled after literally crying they put me on the last flight which was delayed 2 hs but at least it left and I arrive in SFO at 1am!!! The morons offered me a voucher which I never used as I doubt I will fly Delta again!! It’s a nightmare of a trip, I had an overnight flight from Hawaii which i did not sleep….though I was in business but the had a shite plane and business class, and I left LAX ove 15hs after arriving, spending the whole day stressed at the airport, and every time I was booked in a flight they cancelled it..sat there seeing other people leave was killing me. Thankfully I had priority pass and managed to get food and drinks there (no delta never offered me anything). I cannot recall a trip that was that much of a nightmare as that one. If I can I will avoid Delta as the plague!

  51. So basically you’re using your position as a blogger to demand Delta reimburse your dad with more points?

  52. I was on a delta flight from Atlanta to lax about a month ago and it had a rolling delay that lasted about 4 hours, including boarding and deboarding the business class cabin of the plane because of an equipment swap from a 777 to a 767. the flight attendants were super frustrated and angry. I received nothing in compensation aside from an email that basically said “your flight was delayed and you’re probably mad. Oops”

  53. Random United anecdote. Had a broken DirecTV screen from Berlin to Newark. I sent customer service a message and only asked for like $8 so I could get free DirecTV on a future flight. They gave me $100 voucher instead.

  54. @ DLPTATL

    “I don’t want the government mandating customer compensation because: 1) this won’t create higher aircraft reliability”

    So you think the airlines, faced with otherwise massive compensation bills, will not do anything at all to reduce delays…?

    I know we think most of them are poorly managed, but the EU experience is that airlines *do* then try to reduce delays.

    That’s why the compensation is both high and unrelated to the ticket price: it’s a system designed to change airline behaviour, *not* to be a giant ATM lottery for customers which results in all airfares increasing in price. And that’s how it’s worked.

    You see – governments and regulations can be good!

  55. Considering that Delta SkyPesos can be worth just a fraction of cent, I’d say your dad got hosed.

  56. “The cost of airfare isn’t heavily correlated to the cost airlines incur from providing transport, but rather is based on supply and demand. That wouldn’t change here.”

    Any increased costs to the airlines (of which these regulations demanding extra compensation would necessarily entail) would be borne either by increased prices or decreased expenses in other areas (or some combination of the two). Since airlines have little to no control over its two largest expenses (fuel and labor), the likelier scenario includes price increases to cover the additional costs that might be borne.

    To the extent that prices change for airfare, supply and demand will determine how much of the price increase can be borne by the market, but since all US airlines would have the potential of being affected equally (and given the relative inelasticity of air travel demand), I really don’t believe that this would be as much of a mitigating factor as you might think it is.

  57. @ rjb — I’m not sure there would have been a useful way to leverage credit card travel insurance here?

  58. For people saying EU style regulation will lead to price increases: have you ever flown outside US, maybe even Europe? You can fly from West to East of Europe for 10 USD.

  59. @Radu: “For people saying EU style regulation will lead to price increases: have you ever flown outside US, maybe even Europe? You can fly from West to East of Europe for 10 USD.”

    And then you get the pleasure of paying for absolutely everything else. The fare is not the only revenue source for the European LCCs – in fact, it’s probably the least significant revenue source – but having that low fare makes for awesome marketing.

  60. identical offering from united whilst the plane was ‘undergoing repair’ for 6 hours….a whopping $50 certificate and a rolling delay with the announcement by the gate agent every 15 mintues, ‘don’t go far from the gate, we may leave anytime.’

  61. I’ll start this off by saying that Delta is my go to airline for travel. However, last year the wife and I were in Guayaquil Ecuador and flew AA there from the US. Our return flight was mechanically delayed 15 hours from GYE to MIA arriving at 9 pm instead of 6 am. There were no more connections in MIA to our destination so we got stuck there an extra night. By the time we got home it was 22 hours later than we were schedule to arrive. AA gave us 6 meal vouchers each, put us in hotels for two nights, and gave us the option of two $500 vouchers or 20k points each. I feel like the 5k for an 8 hour delay is pretty low.

  62. Are you telling the truth Lucky? will not try help your father!? I highly doubt that DL does not know about Lucky’s blog..there are readers from DL PR section here..
    By the way charming to ignore my recent comment..I know the truth hurts! I could not do that to my parents..I would rather buy a ticket..the price is irrelevant..for the next possible plane instead of letting them be stranded and such moments children should do whatever they can..they let you do your travelling etc. and support you wherever they can..
    than in that one particular situation your rather let him wait for hours and hope for a better compensation from DL..
    Jeez, I get goose bumps..such coldness and calculable way!

  63. I find it hard to believe the crowd that says the sky will fall if the USA had something like EU261. Have fares dramatically been higher in Europe after EU261? Also the reason fares may be higher or may get higher is that the government has allowed so many mergers. If there were not these mega airlines, each one would have to compete more on product, service, amenety, etc. instead of making the US market more like a commodity market, and allowing Wall Street to push the airlines in to their race to the bottom! For example, even Alaska is joining the race to the bottom with Saver or basic economy fares. I flew a lot in the 1990’s when many airlines were all the time in and out of Chapter 11, and it didn’t affect me as a consumer. Maybe it even helped me as a consumer! I also like the idea of some foreign airlines that compete on service, and they don’t care at all or much about profitability. Again, that makes my life good as a consumer. I don’t care about the same things Wall Street cares about! Also it seems even in the tech sector, the Europeans aren’t just doing corporate welfare, they have the guts to stand up to massive corporations where as the US government does not since the corporations fund politicians! We need regulations because the airlines are being run in to the ground by Wall Street bean counters who don’t care about brand standards and service, where as in the past I don’t think people in the financial background had key positions in airlines say 20 years ago.

  64. 8 hrs is a good time to do some aircraft spotting. Eat and drink and watch planes at KLAX is not a bad thing i would be very happy with that and get 5k points. Thank you very much!

  65. Is funny how many users thinks that having any type of EU261 in USA will increase the airfare price!!! the reality is is no, airlines will not increase the price because in USA most flights are based on competition.
    I heard a lot things like this and most of the time (but not always) come from republicans, is one of their excuses to avoid any type of government regulation. I’m ok with regulation like that, we need more that will protect consumers instead of business, we need to stop those lobbyists.

  66. @ Myles — You’re a real oddball when it comes to your comments. “Such coldness,” really? As I’ve stated above, there was no other routing to book him on the same day. The next nonstop was a redeye, and for the first couple of hours it looked like the delay wouldn’t be very long. By the time it was determined that the delay would be long, there were no other flights that would have arrived the same day.

    I’m pretty good at this stuff, but there’s not really anything I would have done differently here, other than perhaps insist that my dad fly the next day instead (but he insisted he needed to get home the same day).

  67. 5,000 is a joke. For perspective—Alaskan gives you 2,500 miles if your checked bag doesn’t come off the conveyor belt within 20 minutes of landing. I’ve found the Citi Prestige travel insurance quite valuable in situations like this.

  68. Given a 2-3 hour known delay window: a Cab to the best Restaurant in Town, a nice ($$$$$) meal, stop at a Walgreen’s on the way back for toiletries, Nordstroms for change of clothes, could be well within the $500 Trip Delay Protection per person offered by your better Credit Card Companies.
    (though they may deduct $50 due to carriers compensation of the 5000 miles)

  69. I would rename this topic as ” a
    patethic excuse of a son for leaving his father alone in a 8 hours ordeal”…this the righteous title..who cars about 5K..selling your father for what 50k? Would it make your father happier or you??

  70. First off, I sympathize with your dad. The worst delay I have ever had was on a DL afternoon flight out of SFO about 13 years ago where they ultimately cancelled the flight. I wound up on a redeye out of OAK. I had to miss an additional day of work and I think all I received in compensation was a dinner voucher after we switched airports.

    That being said, I don’t think the answer is additional government regulation, especially since this is not a rampant problem. All those suggestions you made about stowing additional parts, aircraft, etc. would more often than not be unneeded and result in higher costs to the airline. As someone who works in pricing, I agree with you that, at least in this market, prices are not necessarily highly correlated to cost unless there are routes on which there is limited competition. However, higher costs do impair profitability and you can rest assured if regulation forces additional costs, the company will seek to offset this somewhere else. That leads to more of the cuts in soft product as well as even greater nickel-and-diming with fees, neither of which you like. A better solution is market regulation as your are doing here!

    Publicizing and unacceptable level of compensation is the way to urge the company to undertake policy changes. Look at the aftermath of the Dr. Dao situation. United made changes as a result of a swift and loud uproar over what happened. Granted, a delay will not attract as much attention, but you have a visible platform and you are helping to push DL to a more customer-friendly policy. Absent egregious problems that are beyond what the market can reasonable regulate, – for me, a very high bar admittedly – self-regulation via market forces are far more preferable to that of government with its almost inevitable unintended consequences.

    Bottom line, I get the frustration, but given the rarity of such extreme delays, there is little need for a fix that relies on the inflexible, heavy-hand of government. This is likely to cause more pain for customers over time than the rare delay.

  71. @ Daniel, @ Cedric,

    While Switzerland isn’t a part of EU, they have signed up to comply with EU 261 rules, so you should check to see if you get compensation.

    I agree 5K is way to little. From my personal experience, Delta compensate customer the worst when it comes to delays and unexpected events.

  72. System Says: No status, no MMer = 5000 miles comp. Computer did it. Maybe a human will see the email response and compassion will engage?

  73. @Federico: “Is funny how many users thinks that having any type of EU261 in USA will increase the airfare price!!! the reality is is no, airlines will not increase the price because in USA most flights are based on competition.”

    And since all of the competition will be subject to the same regulation, there is no incentive for the airlines to not pass on as much as the market will bear (particularly for a market whose demand is fairly inelastic).

    This might be a valid argument if one or only a few airlines had to bear additional costs, but this isn’t the case here – it would apply to everyone.

  74. I believe JetBlue automatically issues $50 voucher for 2 hour delay or something. 8 hour delay and $5k miles are plain ridiculous.

  75. not get me wrong..he is 70 years old..of course he wishes to fly the same day..but as soon as you have got the oversight that he would not be flying should have stood up and decide the best for him.. another earlier routing with transfers or just send him to a hotel..he is 70 years old he needs more rest and assistance from you..often you as a younger person has a lot of oversight and quick judgement of situations..
    I am not here to tell you how to be a good son..I just would not surrender so easily as you did and let him face his situation..We could do this argumentation till you have 1000 comments or more! It is no use to cry over spilt
    it is over now and luckily he arrived alright, I hope so? Now try your best to get the best compensation for him..and try to be more a better you would have less bad karmas in your next trips!!

  76. @Myles what the hell are you talking about? None of your comments ever make sense… like on any post ever. Your writing style suggests you’re either pretty old yourself or very mentally slow. Either way, try reading and comprehending the article.

    Lucky, prolly best to ignore him. No value added by engaging with nonsense. You did what you could. Not sure what else you could do. He deserves more than 5k, and as people posted above, they got 10k or more for minor problems. Possible they’re targetting older people with lower compensation since they won’t know how/can’t ask for more? I usually get a good response via Twitter.

  77. @Matt

    And you think Snowflakes like you make all the sensible comments here..stop being stupid and ignoring the fact that he could have help his father far more better..
    Who are you his sidekick or one of his frequent traveller companion?..
    Lucky can defend himself and does need you to speak for him..or does he?

  78. 5,000 definitely seems pretty pathetic for this long of a delay. Our flight was canceled from SLC-MSP back in April of last year when Delta had trouble catching back up after some pretty nasty thunderstorms in Atlanta. They managed to reaccommodate us on a flight leaving only 2.5 hours after our original flight and still gave us 20,000 miles each (without having to ask) for what was really no big deal in the end. Delta’s customer service representatives have usually been really friendly and sympathetic every time I’ve called or emailed them, so hopefully they’ll manage to come through!

  79. @DLPTATL

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. The US airline market is run by cowboys with an “anything goes” mentality. Customer service on the ground and in the air has gone by the wayside and express disapproval with the way you’re being treated and you could be offloaded or arrested. This simply doesn’t happen anywhere else in Europe, East / SE Asia or Australasia. When competition comes in the form of the 3 ME Airlines, US Airlines scream, not because they couldn’t compete financially but because they can’t compete culturally with a service first mentality. So, DL proved that an 8 hour delay is worth just 5000 Miles on the assumption you need to fly with them again! Interesting!!!

  80. There is a reason I do not fly delta anymore … they pretty much blamed us for the baby car seat they broke …. we apparently did not bought one that could sustain being rolled on by their tug after it failed of the cart … yes there was the tire thread mark on it …. for me regulation is needed … and no competition do not help raise the bar !!!

  81. How about this for annoying?
    Travelling first/business class (and ExPlat) to Ecuador from PHL on AA, we get a text notice that the flight to MIA will be 3 h delayed, leaving a 35 min connection time in MIA.
    We repack to have only carry-on luggage, but my wife has an extra small bag that the eagle eyed gate attendant spotted and forced it to be gate checked despite my protestations that it would never make the connecting flight, which proved to be the case, despite her insistence that it would. Cannot protest too much b/c of possible threat to be “written up” which has happened in a similar situation in the past.
    Had to live without the bag for the week in Galapagos.
    Finally collected it before boarding the return flight to MIA, another waste of time.
    Compensation offered: Nothing, of course! (did not waste my time formally complaining, though).
    BTW, my wife was recently given 5000 miles for the much lesser inconvenience of her seat screen not working on a trip back from Paris, so go figure!
    Thanks for letting me vent!

  82. In Mexico since the end of 2017 we have a new Civil Aviation Law regulates that airlines with delays over 4 hours or more have to compensate the passenger with not less than 25% of the ticket value.

    I’ve paste the information. Sorry to paste in spanish but you can translate using one of the multiple apps.

    III. El pasajero tiene derecho a un trato digno y a contar con un alto nivel de información, que le permita conocer sus opciones y tomar alternativas en caso de requerirlas. Por ello, los concesionarios o permisionarios están obligados a informar de manera rápida y expedita al pasajero en caso de que se produzcan cambios en su itinerario o cualquier otra circunstancia que pudiera afectar el servicio contratado. Lo deberán hacer a través de llamadas telefónicas, correos electrónicos, mensajes de texto o cualquier otro medio electrónico, con al menos veinticuatro horas de anticipación a la salida programada.

    De la misma forma, si los cambios se produjeran dentro de las veinticuatro horas previas a la salida programada, el concesionario o permisionario deberá informar al pasajero tan pronto tenga la certeza de que dichos cambios son inevitables, sin que esto exima al concesionario o permisionario de su responsabilidad frente al pasajero.

    La Secretaría supervisará que los concesionarios o permisionarios informen de manera oportuna a los pasajeros de posibles cambios, retrasos o cancelaciones en su itinerario.

    V. En caso de que exista retraso en relación con la hora de salida estipulada en el boleto y la causa sea atribuible al concesionario o permisionario, el pasajero será indemnizado y/o compensado por el proveedor del servicio de acuerdo a los siguientes criterios:
    a) Cuando la demora sea superior a una hora e inferior a cuatro, se compensará conforme las políticas de compensación de cada permisionario o concesionario.
    Las políticas de compensación deberán incluir como mínimo, descuentos para vuelos en fecha posterior hacia el destino contratado y/o alimentos y bebidas, de acuerdo a lo establecido por los permisionarios y concesionarios y conforme al principio de competitividad.
    Si la demora es mayor a dos horas pero menor a cuatro, los descuentos incluidos en las políticas de compensación no podrán ser menores al 7.5% del precio del boleto.
    El permisionario o concesionario deberá presentar y registrar cada seis meses, ante la Secretaría y la Procuraduría, las políticas de compensación, las cuales serán públicas.

    b) Si la demora es mayor a cuatro horas, el pasajero será compensado conforme a este artículo, además accederá a las opciones y, en el caso, a la indemnización establecida por esta Ley para la cancelación del vuelo, cuya responsabilidad sea atribuible al concesionario o permisionario.
    En todos los casos, el proveedor del servicio deberá poner a disposición de los pasajeros en espera acceso a llamadas telefónicas y envío de correos electrónicos.

    VI. En caso de producirse la cancelación del vuelo por responsabilidad atribuible al concesionario o permisionario, éste, a elección del pasajero, deberá:
    a) Reintegrarle el precio del boleto o billete de pasaje o la proporción que corresponda a la parte no realizada del viaje.
    b) Ofrecerle, con todos los medios a su alcance, transporte sustituto en el primer vuelo disponible y proporcionarle, como mínimo y sin cargo, acceso a llamadas telefónicas y envío de correos electrónicos; alimentos de conformidad con el tiempo de espera que medie hasta el embarque en otro vuelo; alojamiento en hotel del aeropuerto o de la ciudad cuando se requiera pernocta y, en este último caso, transporte terrestre desde y hacia el aeropuerto.
    c) Transportarle en la fecha posterior que convenga al mismo pasajero hacia el destino respecto del cual haya sido cancelado el vuelo.
    En los casos de los incisos a) y c) anteriores, el concesionario o permisionario deberá cubrir, además,
    una indemnización al pasajero afectado que no será inferior al 25% del precio del boleto o de la parte no realizada del viaje.

  83. Fascinating to read this account by Lucky about his dad’s DL delay. Like the US, Australia does not have an EU-type law mandating compensation. In practice, Qantas and Virgin Australia often help, particularly if an enforced overnight hotel stay is involved.

    A couple of years back, Virgin was going to cause us to miss a critical domestic connection and we had to buy last-second tix with Qantas. Travel insurance didn’t cover it. After a couple of emails, VA gave us about $500 worth of points which more or less covered the emergency tickets with Qantas. We appreciated it.

  84. A couple of years ago I flew with AA from STL to MAN (well actually ended up being LHR) and it took me 56 hours! Tech problem in ORD, next day tech problem in JFK, compensation…10,000 miles.
    Last year I had 4 award tickets with AA, MAN to JFK. Flight cancelled, rerouted via LHR arrived about 6 hours late, compensation €2400 for tickets I didn’t even pay for!
    Which is right???

  85. Switzerland may not be an EU member state, but it has a very special relationship with the Union. As a result, Swiss Confederation is binded to a great part of EU legislation. As a matter of fact, Regulation (EC) 261/2004 is applicable in Switzerland too. Swiss International must conform to the very same rules as every >a href=””>EU airline.

  86. I would have flown Spirit airlines. I fly out of Detroit and would rather drive than fly Delta. Spirit’s fleet is newer than Delta’s. I fly Spirit a lot and I’ve never had a delayed flight. Delta is another story. Every flight I’ve had with them in the last 30 years has either been delayed or sitting on the tarmac after landing because they don’t have a gate. Northwest was even worse.


  87. Heh, and I got 7500 miles on TK because they turned off the wifi due to an issue in the middle of the night when no one was even using the wifi. Free miles? Yes please!

  88. that was america, why would anyone with working frontal lobes be surprised? Hu$tler corporations by and for corporations.

  89. Lucky- EU261 may not apply in Switzerland since it is not part of the EU. But I must believe that there must be some type of compensation since Switzerland tries to mirror as many of the EU lawas as possible.

  90. For Those who are interested about travel insurance…
    Chase Sapphire Reserve travel insurance does not cover the cost to change flights

    I had a rolling 10+ hour delay on Sun Country in February
    We were in Puerto Vallarta but our plane was diverted to Dallas

    I thought flight would get canceled for sure

    So I bought a ticket on Delta ($535) instead hoping Chase Sapphire travel insurance would cover difference

    Sun Country refunded my ticket ($285) and gave all passengers who stayed on flight a $200 voucher.

    I was hoping Travel insurance would cover the $250 difference, but they would not

  91. Clarification
    We were in PVR but the incoming flight was diverted to Dallas, causin 10+ hour delay

  92. I read in one of your blogs that this year Delta and American Airlines have resumed flying each other’s stranded or delayed passengers without an additional charge. Of course neither will tell you this, you have to ask (it happened to me). I would have checked to see what American had going next. Did you consider this option?

  93. I can’t believe some of the comments that I see people writing in this blog. For those of you who are against EU style compensation, you are completely out of your minds. In this case, this man was delayed more than 8 hours, an extreme inconvenience for a person in his 70’s or at any age. He arrives at 1:28 am which to his body it is actually 4:28 am and probably arrives at home at 5:28am. This is hard on any person let a lone someone in his 70’s. This is not about whether one receives $600 compensation on a $200 ticket. It is about the stress and negative health effects. It is about a gross and not minor inconvenience. And why????? Because Delta flies crappy old airplanes just to pad the bottom line. These are old crappy airplanes that will start falling out of the sky soon but Delta does not care because their insurance company will cover the lawsuits when these planes cause people to start losing their lives. Shame on you for defending a company that could care less about you. Only care about your money. That is simply Un-American or at least it used to be

  94. Our first international flight was to Costa Rica, on Delta, about 10 years ago. Our flight was delayed 10 hours because of a broken part. Staff in the airport was clueless, first we were going to a hotel, then we weren’t, etc. We ended up getting a $7.00 voucher each to buy food at the airport . It bought a burger at Burger King. We landed at Atlanta before customs was open. We were given breakfast vouchers as we had a connecting flight. That was it for compensation. On the other hand, I had a 9 hour delay in Europe a couple of years ago. It wasn’t KLM codeshare with Delta, and I had no trouble collecting on 261 with Delta.

  95. Last week I had a four hour delay on Southwest on the BWI-PVD segment. They had already notified us about 2 hours before takeoff that it would be 3 hours late. When we hit the 2 hour mark, we immediately got $100 vouchers issued on the spot. When it went past 3 hours, we got another $100 voucher issued on the spot. I had paid $340 for the ticket and my husband was flying on my companion pass (in other words we paid $5.60 for his flight). From what I understand, SWA has set standard rates of compensation based on the hours of the delay.

    Contrast this to a 6 hour delay due to mechanical I had on AA in January CMH-PHX. No compensation offered or given. And this was on a $700 ticket. And then on the way back we had a weather divert into ORD. They theoretically were offering hotel rooms but after waiting 1.5 hours, I gave up and booked my own since I was traveling for work and my company would pay anyway. I got home 18 hours later than planned. Again, no compensation although this wasn’t their fault – the CMH airport was closed & 5 other flights diverted.

    This is why I now am A-list and my AA status keeps dropping a level lower each year…

  96. @Myles – I don’t think you’re taking into account that until fairly close to the end of the delay, Ben didn’t know how long the delay would be, and that his father specifically said he had to be home that night. If he had know the delay was going to be 8+ hours up front, Ben’s response (and his father’s) would likely have been different.

    @Fernsie – there is absolutely no evidence that Delta’s “crappy old airplanes” are unsafe. Airplanes don’t age like cars. And if there was any evidence that Delta’s planes were going to “start falling out of the sky soon”, their insurance companies would be cancelling their coverage. Please try to learn how business works.

  97. This is what happens when the government lets the airlines merge to monopolies.
    Did your dad or you look at rule 214 to see what they will do?
    I agree the miles they gave your dad is peanuts

  98. @Daniel B.
    As someone who has battled Lufthansa as well as Swiss for compensation already my strong advice is to contact “flightright”

    You’ll lose a part of your compensation, but there’s zero risk for you.
    If there will be no compensation, then they wont charge anything.


  99. I wouldn’t accept the 5,000 miles given that it was an 8 hour delay (rolling or otherwise). The DOT should really set a similar compensation regiment as EU 261.

    Just an example … Say passengers are entitled $50 for every hour they were delayed beyond the original scheduled arrival time with a minimum delay of 3 hours for flights less than 1,500 miles and 4 hours for flights more than 1,500 miles. The maximum compensation cannot be more than double the price of the ticket paid by the passenger or $1,000 whichever is lower. So let’s say your on a SFO-JFK ticket that was delayed by 10 hours on arrival you get $500 (if you ticket was at least $250).

    EU 261 is really a punitive compensation for airlines which is why I can understand the high-ish amounts. The EU wants to discourage airlines from delaying passengers (after all time is money) and airlines can be brick walls when it comes to passenger welfare during delays/cancellations, often only doing the minimum of the law. Think of the passenger compensation as a penalty on the airline in the same way that ‘no-show fees’ are a penalty on the passenger that airlines imposed somewhat arbitrarily for ‘business reasons’.

  100. I think $500 flight credits sound much more reasonable. After all it’s a full day of delay. 5000 miles is an insult. I hope your dad got some meal credit at least. Or get to wait at a lounge?

  101. This blog would have been more useful to teach wronged travelers how not to accept the first offer of compensation whether that be zero or ???. Debating whether European style rules or what number is sufficient is tiresome.

    I did wonder like many others why Lucky’s father was flying transcon in economy. Seems odd for a son who reviews premium class cabins forca living to stick Pop in the back.

  102. My B6 flight from BOS to BUF last year was also hit by rolling delays due to weather at the JFK base. 8:55PM flight ended up departing close to 1AM, and received… nothing from JetBlue.

  103. Don’t feel that bad. I booked my son and his wife on BA, MIA-LHR, in premium economy. No food, they ran out of meals. No entertainment system, it was inoperable. Offer of compensation- a $15 voucher for use in the future. Unknown to BA I have banned them from our company. We will not reimburse employee expense if they choose to fly BA. Maybe if other companies start doing this abusive airline policies may change.

  104. At least they proactively offered the miles and he was in the airport. Last july i was stuck on an American plane for nearly 5 hours before we took off from PHL to SEA. It was an FAA stop on runway then timed out back to gate. Given an option to deplane with carryon for the delay waiting on new time. Gold had about 30 mins then back on plane to wait some more. I tweeted AA my displeasure and got some miles but no apology after the delays at all.
    Lucky for me i carry my own food so i could eat but others were SOL until up in air. The first class breakfast near 1pm instead of 8am was of little help to the very hungry folks.
    I think that delays like this should be regulated. The FAA stop was due to NYC weather not PHL.
    that flight to Seattle was 12+hours on the plane! thankfully no children or babies that day! passengers were actually patient and captain honest and frustrated too.
    when i finally arrived at the Four Seasons Seattle they welcomed me with champagne (special that day) and after hearing of my flight offered another glass!

  105. On January 31st, my Emirates EK770 flight from Dubai to Cape Town was scheduled to depart at 8:55am at C13. When it was time to board about 8am, the gate area was full of people but no one was boarding. They announced a delay of about half an hour. But they asked that the passengers in Business Class go back to the lounge and wait there. When we got there, they told us that it would be a 2 hour delay…might be a mechanical problem. At 8:32am I received a text that the flight would depart at 11:00am.

    Because I was going to be picked up in Cape Town, I sent an email to the tour company that I was going to be late 2 hours. I was not sure if they would wait for me as they had to pick up other people as well, so I told them that they should not wait for me and I could find my way to the hotel myself. I then ask Emirates to try and schedule their limo pick up for me in Cape Town.

    After 9am, received another text. The gate for EK770 is changed to C7 and boarding starts at 10:15am.

    And that is exactly what happened. Went to the C7 and boarding began at 10:15am and the flight took off at 11:00am.

    I was amazed that in less than 2 hours, Emirates moved another 777 plane to gate C7 and moved all the baggage, food and personnel from the original plane to the replacement plane. It was seamless and there was no problem with seats assignments. And in Cape Town….my limo driver was waiting for me.

  106. I was offered 5 bucks to buy a lunch from AA a long time ago for 12 hour delay which was a combo of bad weather, mechanical issue then followed by flight attendence hour issue. I did not get a single email until I complained through their customer service. As you probably know, there was no food under 5 bucks at airport. It was pure insult.

  107. For any delay on Delta of 4 hrs or more, I automatically request a $200 voucher, and my request has always been granted.

  108. @ elijah

    why do not just pass by , so we can discuss the meaning of right! I knew it, too much of a chicken!! Next!

  109. To everyone, especially to those paid sidekicks of Lucky..first he can defend himself..does he really need you to tell his side? How pathetic is that and that is deeply concerning if you can not defend your own but really on your clique!

    Second, I am more interested in how his father is dealt with than the stupid compensation..okay, to give Lucky the evidence of the doubt..the delays are the culprits. So how many delays do you need in order to respond rightly to your situations. Please do not give me the amateur attitude here! I know and we here all know..a lot of you are professional FF. You can switch your itineraries in a matter of minutes or a few hours. You know how to find a solution in every possible ways if you are not happy in what is happening with your plans. You will construct every difficult routes and transfers just to get out of your misery, sometimes whatever it costs!

    Yes, this is a topic or a point which I definitely believe Lucky should have done far more better!

    And I am telling you all how disappointed I am as it his father of 70 years old who is the victim and not him. We would have been laughing or joking if it is Lucky. This has happened in the US where the are a lot of options and this mayhem is not happening in the Seychelles or Angola or Saudi Arabia etc..where you surely might have more restrictions and therefore genuinely doomed!

    I still respect you Lucky but regarding this matter..there is a dent in the way I see you from now on!

  110. Miles,
    Your obsession with Lucky and his father has been noted, take your meds and go to bed.

    A couple months ago I was sent a email that my LA to Paris Air France flight was delayed 2 hou rs due to a late arriving aircraft. Didn’t matter that much to me, just left for the airport a little later and enjoyed the lounge. They gave me a $250 credit without even asking. Was this the EU rules?

  111. Totally agree US airlines need to handle delays better. I wouldn’t even say lack of compensation is the worst part. It’s (1) how they’ll hand down a many hour delay in 15 minute increments so you can’t rebook or have a leisurely meal or go to a lounge, and (2) how every time you talk to a different airline employee about getting rebooked they give you a completely different set rebooking options.

  112. RE: I can’t believe some of the comments that I see people writing in this blog. For those of you who are against EU style compensation, you are completely out of your minds. In this case, this man was delayed more than 8 hours, an extreme inconvenience for a person in his 70’s or at any age. He arrives at 1:28 am which to his body it is actually 4:28 am and probably arrives at home at 5:28am. This is hard on any person let a lone someone in his 70’s. This is not about whether one receives $600 compensation on a $200 ticket. It is about the stress and negative health effects. It is about a gross and not minor inconvenience. And why????? Because Delta flies crappy old airplanes just to pad the bottom line. These are old crappy airplanes that will start falling out of the sky soon but Delta does not care because their insurance company will cover the lawsuits when these planes cause people to start losing their lives. Shame on you for defending a company that could care less about you. Only care about your money. That is simply Un-American or at least it used to be

    @Fernsie, your comments are SPOT ON!

    Anyhow, sorry to disappoint the haters, but no need for an epic rant on this coz the sitch pretty much speaks for itself! 😉

    1.) Yeah, yeah, I’ll just say it for the haters! Yes, there I go again using the “O” (as in Oligopoly) word!

    Use whatever other term(s) one wants, Cartel, desperately lacking competition, etc., etc., etc. At the end of the (very long) day for Lucky’s dad (or any of us), the lack of competition speaks for itself!

    If we’re 8-mins late, let alone 8-hours, for a flight, we’re screwed with all manner of fees, penalties & punishments regardless of the reason with even medical emergencies or death of a family member being next to impossible to get refunds for!

    But when an airline is late they (and their equally pathetic apologists) arrogantly & dismissively say they owe nothing & its perfectly fine for a **service business** to still treat us like dirt.

    What a load of crap! But in the absence of competition and/or any kind of consumer protections, they get away with this greed fueled arrogance bc they know they **can get away with it**.

    Like I said, what a load of crap!

    2.) FYI fans of EU regulation 261:

    Airlines on the other side of the pond are now seeking to substantially weaken and/or get rid of EU Regulation 261 as the cancer that is the Ryanair inspired & USA-based airlines’ perfected “Race to the Bottom” featuring awful customer service without apology is spreading like the unwanted, toxic disease that it is to Europe as airlines there seek to copy the abject greed and arrogance business models/selling practices of Ryanair & our debased, degraded, anti-consumer airlines.

    Those that believe EU 261 is a **good thing** would be wise to fight for it before airlines there succeed in their now ongoing campaign to get rid of it!

    “Just sayin’…”

  113. Are there any readers who do coding who can make a browser plugin so we can click ignore on Myles like some other sites have? I used to think debit was the most annoying troll here but he has been stepping up his game lately.

  114. @ seanorse

    Try some reading glasses first, it is MYLES..
    Second..who cares what you think! Meds?..Probably you are the one who is taking some because of your excessive protection of Lucky! Mind your own business!..or are you one of Lucky’s clique or payable sidekicks? Well, it is obvious as you have to do your job and just keep on coming to his rescue! Do what you want and show here how biased you and your clique! Of dare I to confront Lucky! ..Well, not every one just shut up his mouht and say amen to everything..Oh I forgot, you did!

  115. As you’ve had many comments on this article already, I’ll just briefly mention two points:
    1. It depends on what you complaint. You have to be reasonable in your request and they will likely give you what you are asking for. If you leave it open ended to them then they will try to give you the best possible compensation as far as the airline is concerned.
    2. In my experience with Delta, it could take quite a few complaints about the same issue before the total equals adequate compensation.
    The article is out of context because you don’t discuss the body of your complaint or if it was an automatic gesture of “good will” but rather just their reply and the specific details of his travel (e.g. type of class, status, etc).

  116. @Myles: the problem isn’t that you “confronted” Lucky. The problem is that your objection was asinine and your comment riddled with bizarre accusations.

  117. @ luckyspaidsidekickh

    I stand to my point..Lucky should have helped his 70 year old father ASAP! If he was in that similar situation, he would have moved the whole world just to get the next flight instead of waiting continously for 8 h.
    I do not need someone’s blessing to justify my objection and if it is agreable to your or someone’ s satisfaction.

    There is no bizarre is so clear..he left his father wait and wait until he could finally take his flight.. how can you expect a 70 years old man think quickly about his delays and situation.

    Lucky can pay so much sidekicks and persuade his traveller clique to rescue him VB or argue for him..regarding this my eyes he failed miserably as a son!

  118. LOL I had a 12 hour delay on AA the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I didn’t even get miles! All I got was meal vouchers.

  119. Sounds as pathetic as the 10h *rolling overnight* delay I had with AA flying JFK-LHR. Handled absolutely appallingly and I had to escalate to CEO level to get *any* compensation.

  120. It makes you wonder.
    While it is obvious that Lucky was distressed with the situation this delay and it’s affect it had on his elderly father. I was equally amazed that one of his readers felt the need to take up almost as much space as the article with his concern for this elderly man. Was it true concern? Or simply an opurtunity to make snarky remarks in the guise of real concern?
    I read all 9 of the posts and still have serious doubts. Might we all hope that this reader will go off and start his own blog and relieve the rest of us of this petty attitude? One can only hope.

  121. I just had a terrible experience with Delta at LAX that blew me away. Our flight was to leave at 5:55p on Friday. Mechanical issues made it delayed and then we eventually got off the plane at 8p. They had a spare plane ready to go at 9p. We sat on that plane for about 45 min and the pilot pulled out and drove around and then pulled back in. Turns out they were wasting time because the pilots had timed out. So we go back into the airport in a different terminal than what we came in and they say they have a plane but no crew. That was at 9p. They should have something by midnight. At around 11p they told us they will have a new crew at 3a. All 200 of us were irate. Delta went into panic mode and got on computers and phones and looked like they were trying to do something. But instead they told us they had no hotels to keep us in and no time to bring us food. The airport completely closed at 12a and we slept in the terminal with the few blankets we took from the plane. There were families, elderly, wheelchair bound people, all of us finding a spot on the floor to get some sleep. At 3a they said the crew didn’t make it and it would be 4a. Then at 4a they said 6a. At 6a they said for sure at 9a. They finally brought us breakfast subs at 7a and gave us $15 food vouchers if we asked. Delta phones were blowing up because we all called corporate. Eventually a representative got in touch with all of us and offered us a $200 voucher for our troubles. We missed birthday parties, work, family meetings. We all lost sleep. One grandmother and her grandson were flying to Memphis to visit his 18 month brother who has cancer. Instead of seeing him for two days his trip got cut to one day and they almost decided not to go because of everything we went through at the airport. It was a terrible experience where we felt lied to and strung along like idiots, no hotel accommodation, no food, no blankets, and they didn’t seem to care. Plus, $200 voucher to fly with them again? No thanks. To top it off, the flight that left right before our final boarding time, got offered $800 in cash if they caught the next flight, to 10 of their passengers. What a slap in the face to us who had been waiting 15 hours.

  122. Delta Airlines used a “rolling delay” that lasted overnight into the next day for 16 hours total before they could put together a flight crew and flight attendants due to the drunken pilot that
    was pulled off the flight and arrested. Beware of Delta Airlines they do not treat their passengers
    with dignity and respect when things go wrong. STAY AWAY FROM THIS AIRLINE!!!

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