What would you do if you received a stern warning letter from Delta telling you to shape up or face consequences?
Delta’s Stern Warning To SkyMiles Diamond Member
Runway construction at SFO earlier this autumn led to widespread flight delays and some flight cancellations. In an effort to alleviate congestion, Delta (and other airlines) issued a temporary travel waiver which allowed for rescheduling flights, even if your particular flight was not delayed or cancelled.
But some passengers, apparently, exploited this waiver in a manner far beyond its original intent. As shared by Rene’s Points, Delta sent one Diamond Medallion member, Andrew Litt, a rather stern letter:
This letter is being issued to express our concerns regarding your ticketing practices in the past months. Your actions have been brought to my attention and I have been asked to contact you on behalf of Delta Air Lines.
Our reports indicate that most recently you were trying to use the San Francisco construction waiver to change the length of your itinerary at no charge. Quite honestly, your SkyMiles account is heavily documented with the many exceptions to our policies that you ask for and fare rules that you try to get around. You repeatedly call our Reservations and High Value Customer desk to get what you want and if you don’t you hang up and repeatedly call until you get what you want.
Your manipulative practices are unacceptable and we are sending you this warning letter to caution you that we will not allow this to continue. If you persist in engaging in this type of business practice, we will be forced to review your current Medallion benefits as well as your current status.
Going forward, we strongly encourage you to conduct yourself in an honest and respectful manner and treat Delta with the respect that we give you.
Delta Air Lines
Real or Fake?
It is worth asking the question whether the letter is real fake. Delta refuses to comment and it does seem a bit odd (why did no one sign it?).
But my gut tells me this is a real letter. We still need more details, though, to analyze whether the letter is reasonable or capricious.
After all, the SFO waiver was broad and did cover all flights.
This is just speculation, but I bet Litt booked flights about a week out, taking advantage of advance purchase discounts, then moving his flights to same-day or next-day without fee due to the waiver in place.
“Oh, hi Delta. I’ve got a flight to SFO next week but I am afraid that the runway construction may delay or cancel it. I see you have a waiver in place. Can we push the trip up tomorrow? It looks like my original fare class is not available, but I’m hoping you can make an exception for me so I don’t get stranded.”
Pretty clever, no?
The letter is a clear reminder that airlines can shut you down if they so choose. Thus, it is smart to play by the rules.
Trust me, I’m intrigued by this sort of game. But I would never put my United lifetime status on the line to save a few bucks. It was actually nice that Delta gave Litt a warning rather than shutting down his account immediately. Whether reasonable or not, we are stuck playing the rules of the airlines if we want to enjoy the benefits of their loyalty programs.