All airlines have had long hold times, but Delta’s have generally been the longest. And their website doesn’t do a lot of the things you might need, like handling schedule changes well and erroring out with simple tasks.
I covered just how bad things had gotten, and I believe I was the first to do so, highlighting wait times for top tier Diamond members that have gotten as long as 41 hours to speak to an agent.
Dawn GIlbertson asked Delta CEO Ed Bastian about hold times during the carrier’s earnings call, and the airline no longer responding to help requests via Twitter direct message.
- Bastian said they’ve already hired half of the two thousand staff they’re bringing on in reservations. They’re also trying to get employees who had taken early retirement to come back.
- He acknowledges that call volumes are beyond the high point of 2019, with “handling times substantially longer” because customers “have more questions” their first time back to travel.
- However he disputes how long hold times really are, pointing out they have “call back features in place” (which don’t always call you back when projected, and if you miss the call in the middle of the night you start over at the back of the queue). He claims that the average longest hold time for any customer group has been “in the one hour time frame” which doesn’t the experience of any customer I’ve heard from, though I’m likely dealing with a biased sample (people speak up when things are bad).
- Pressed on the lack of options, Bastian said “Just email me, I’ll take care of it.” Delta’s email convention is generally FirstName.LastName@delta.com.
I’ve heard from readers who have gone to the airport to cancel flights, in order to retain flight credit, because it appeared they weren’t going to get through to Delta prior to departure and didn’t want to lose the value of their ticket.
And while things are challenging for Delta, and Delta’s CEO says ‘imagine how things would have gone if we hadn’t gotten subsidies’ (this was the argument Skuft was trying out, they clearly haven’t done what was promised in exchange for roughly $10 billion in subsidies.
The very fact that they took the money and still reduced their headcount points to the airline not remaining ‘ready to service customers when demand returned’ which was supposed to be the point of the money. Bastian, during the earnings call, even emphasized that they ‘really didn’t take on that much debt’ during the pandemic.
When you can’t get through to Delta, try ringing their Singapore reservations line. And when that doesn’t work, wait a little while and try it again.