Delta reassures customers as delays continue through weekend

Delta reassures customers as delays continue through weekend

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Delta passengers wait in line in hopes of catching their flight out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday, April 7, 2017.  HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Delta Air Lines continued to struggle with delays and cancellations over the weekend even as the airline giant assured customers its operations were “stabilizing.”

A storm in Atlanta—the airline’s largest hub—on Wednesday last week caused a domino effect resulting in the cancellation of more than 3,500 flights. Thousands more were delayed.

The company apologized in a statement, saying that the ongoing disruptions were a result of limited availability of flight crew, whose working and rest hours are mandated by law for safety reasons.

“We know this is extremely frustrating for our customers,” the statement read.

One of those frustrated customers was Rachael Dylenski, who was supposed to fly from New York to New Orleans Friday.

Instead, her flight was delayed and then cancelled, and she was placed on standby for four different flights that were either full or cancelled. All told, Dylenski said she spent more than 30 hours at the airport and “hundreds” in cab fare back and forth. She also lost money on the hotel in New Orleans.

“And the kicker is my best friend who I was supposed to vacation with is down in New Orleans alone,” Dylenski wrote in an email. “This has really been the worst travel experience I’ve ever had.”

Dylenski’s baggage did make it to New Orleans, she added, but she’s not sure when it will be back.

Catherine Seal planned to arrive in Madison, Wisconsin, a day before she was scheduled to give a speech to the state bar association.

Seal, who is president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, said when she arrived at the Denver airport, not only was the Delta mobile app not working, but there were no Delta representatives in sight.

“The agents had fled,” Seal said. She and the other stranded passengers stood in line for hours to use phones directed to Delta customer service.

Seal ended up driving through the night to reach her destination.

Seal, an elite member of Delta’s frequent flier program, said she understands weather can be a problem. It was the response, or lack thereof, that was prompting her to consider switching allegiance to another airline.

“I’ve never had Delta fail me this spectacularly and be impossible to talk to,” she said.

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