402: Official “You’re an Idiot” Pass from Delta Airlines

I qualify. Believe me. I booked in March a flight on Delta from Panama City (Panama, not Florida) to Atlanta, Georgia to attend a conference for my school. Yesterday was our last day at school, and I might have been the last employee out of the building, I had so much to get done before I left. I had this much to do because the final three days were completely and totally taken up with fixing glitches with our end-of-year printed report cards, and I did not, therefore, get any of my closing-out-the-school-year chores accomplished. At least, not in a timely manner. I did finish in a sweat and lather that would make California Chrome proud.

Then, I came home and re-packed my bags. I pack exuberantly the first time, and I do this about a week in advance, usually. Then, I let it sit, and I repack again the night before I am to depart, and ruthlessly cull the initial selections down to a single backpack. I needed some recoup time before this three-week-long business trip, so that also took up part of the evening.

In all the rush and chores to mark off the list, I completely and totally forgot to CHECK IN ONLINE. I had printed my flight info back in March and knew my flight time, and I got up the morning of departure at 4 am and headed out to travel to the airport.

I don’t have a personal vehicle, and I rely on public transportation. This morning, it took an unusually long time to get to the airport, and I was starting to sweat when we got there at 7:15 for my 8:20 flight, but I was still an hour early – Oh, no, I wasn’t. The Delta rep informed me that Delta changed the flight times for those ONCE-a-day fights some months ago, and I was sent an e-mail informing me of this change – really???? The flight closed boarding a half hour earlier, now that it leaves at 7:50, not 8:20 anymore, like my flight information clearly showed.

She then informed me that she could re-book me on a flight the next morning, for this ONCE-a-day flight, for a penalty of 200 bucks and change. I don’t HAVE an extra 200 bucks, and I told her that. She sighed, and gave me a number for the Delta help desk people, and told me I could ask for a one-time (in my lifetime??) waiver of the penalty fee for being an idiot and not checking in online first. I called, and the Delta rep on the phone, obviously used to dealing with Southerners, was gracious enough to give me the “Idiot Pass,” and I am now booked in the morning. Still have to adjust the rental car reservation and the hotel reservation, and now I will be getting off the flight and going directly to the conference, instead of being able to settle into the hotel and figure my way around. Thanks, Delta.

It could be worse. It could ALWAYS be worse.


4 thoughts on “402: Official “You’re an Idiot” Pass from Delta Airlines

  1. I feel your pain. Delta is the only airline that I’ve ever had totally cancel a flight of mine. Sorry you were delayed. I don’t trust a departure time until I see it at the gate.

  2. American Airlines refused me boarding with three cats in carriers at the gate, demanding papers on the cats that were not listed on either THEIR AA site OR the Panama Embassy site, so I had no way to know I was going to need them at the moment of boarding, stranding me in Orlando for three days. Royal Air Maroc denied my friend boarding, claiming she needed a visa the German Embassy site specifically said she did not need, causing her to lose the connecting flight, too. No refunds, either. Delta was at least human.

  3. The first leg of my travel to Canada was the Panama to Atlanta flight on the 17th. We were there plenty early however the flight crew was delayed by two hours. When we got on the plane one of the attendants asked me if we’d received a phone call. I found out later that they had called my mother in Canada (my emergency contact) rather than call the Panama cell phone number that was supplied for the booking. Yep, Mom really enjoyed that three a.m. wake up call. πŸ™‚

    • I have learned that purchasing a ticket is absolutely no guarantee that things will occur as planned. I had to re-book the car rental and adjust the hotel reservation because of this. I will ALWAYS check in online in future – because you just never know. I hope my mom did not get a wake-up call, either!! πŸ˜‰

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