Mixed emotions about this blog post. It has potential to be misconstrued into something I don’t want, but I think I need to say it. Dear Delta gate agent (OK, any airline agent), do not lie to your customer. I just boarded a Delta flight from DCA. I’m on my way home now climbing through 14,000 feet. Life is good. I was a little late getting to the boarding gate today, admittedly. But sometimes, that happens when you have…..a life, a job, etc. In fact, I was so late getting to the gate that the majority of the flight had boarded, and I, a lowly
dirt Silver Medallion, was number one on the upgrade list. (I don’t make these things up.)
I walked up to the boarding agent and before I scanned my Apple Wallet boarding pass, I asked a simple question: “has first class boarded full?” I could tell I had confused things by throwing the word “boarded” into the conversation as I got a stumbled response. There was some feverish typing on the keyboard and a quick answer – yes. I scanned my phone and boarded. Of course, when I did, I found two empty first class seats.
I took my exit row seat, and now, I’m typing this blog post from the air. Here’s the thing, I’m a firm believer in #TeamBoardLast, but I can only play on that team when I’ve checked a bag. Today, I’d done just that, and had no need to fight for overhead bin space. As a result, I did not rush to the gate. As I already said, I arrived pretty late in boarding, found myself # 1 on the upgrade list, and asked a simple question. I’d be fine, except first class wasn’t full.
Now, there are two ways that conversation could have gone, the way it did, and the truth. That truth should have been something like this. “Mr. Jackson, I have a couple of people that haven’t boarded, but I have a Platinum Medallion and a Diamond Medallion ahead of you that I should give those seats to” (which I truly hope happened). My reaction would have been something along the lines of “I think it’s great that you’re taking the time to do that. Have a great day.”
Recognizing that I’m not an average airline customer when it comes to knowledge of how things really work behind the scenes, I can’t help but wish that more gate agents would just tell the truth instead of making up something that seems expedient to them. Heck, actually hearing a gate agent stick up for higher level Medallions might have inspired me to concentrate on flying Delta enough to make sure I get back to Platinum. Instead….what am I doing? Sitting on a Delta flight annoyed as hell and writing a blog post.
Airline lesson to be learned: just tell your customers the truth. It’s that simple.
-MJ, May 27, 2016
DCA DL GAs are some of the worst in the system. It’s my home airport, and I don’t think I’ve ever had one that was friendly, or competent.
Unfortunate really, since I believe that DL has the potential to expand its DC presence quite successfully.
Y’all sound like a bunch of babies!! “Poor me, I didn’t get an upgrade” There are more important issues in the world than getting a 1st class seat!!
For sure GIDS upgrade list updates as people board, names drop as BPs are scanned (upgrade priority is maintained just not shown).
For the DL app, I’m almost positive you can see the entire list.
Do names on the GIDS screen upgrade list really disappear as they board? That would be cool to see. How about the upgrade list on the phone app? It is strange that there are two upgrade lists, one for public consumption and a secret, official one for the agents.
@John, As AndyTle stated, the GIDS upgrade list updates as people board. I’m pretty sure if you look at your smartphone app, it stays static. In the end, I’m hoping they came on board and upgraded a Diamond or Platinum….and they very well may have. I’ve noticed a trend of if you board, you lose when it comes to upgrades, but more power to them if this agent took the initiative. The genesis of the post, which could apply to more than upgrades, is that it’s bad karma to look a customer straight in the eye and tell them something… Read more »
This is exactly why, with 956,000 liftetime miles, I choose not to fly Delta anymore. I earned all those miles with my butt in the seat and away from my family, and yet I have no desire to get those next 44,000 miles.
If you were late to board this just means that everyone else on the upgrade list ahead of you had already boarded. The GIDS screens will remove people from the upgrade list as they board which creates a misleading list. If there are no shows the gate agent will still fill those seats based on the actual lengthier list. She should have been honest with you though!
I don’t disagree with anything you said.
Happens all the time. Not sure why delta gate agents don’t fill up first when they know the plane is leaving with empty seats and people are still on the upgrade list. Happened to me as a diamond and when I sent in a formal comment with my flight information delta told me it was a weight balance issue. I guarantee they would have sold those two seats for 100 bucks each. I hate when they lie and give a bs excuse. And I am a lowly diamond.
Well said – a lesson for everyone in customer service.