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.
I’m a bit torn. On one hand assuming your scenario is true Mr Litt is certainly twisting the rules from their intended purpose to his favor. And I can certainly understand why this would draw Delta’s Ire.
On the other hand he is playing the game by the rules they created. Airlines don’t hesitate for one second to exploit every twist of every rule in their favor. It seems more than a little disingenuous when they get wound up over one of their customers who finds a way to play the game a little smarter by the rules they themselves have created. The lack of balance between airline and customer is a major failing in the system as it exists today.
I do feel strongly that at least in one respect Delta has done the right thing here by warning him before taking immediate action.
This was just speculation on my part. I have no idea what exactly he did.
Understood. I should have been more clear that my second paragraph assumed that your guess held true.
Do people EVER grow up?
Thank you Delta for having to lower your high standards for Adult low behavior.
I hate when low people put their crap on blast and want others to DO what?Look as dumb as they are?Stop wearing diapers sir and put on some big boy drawers!
The best part of any membership reward program is getting over on it. People move in and out of credit cards to take advantage of points or zero interest. Change cable companies in order to get new subscriber discounts. He just got caught but screw the companies, they make the rules and change them when they want. Keep on Litt!
At OMAAT most people there think it’s fake.
I think it’s real.
I think you’re real.
I think you’re fake.
You’re not real man
It’s real. Scroll down to the end of this article and you’ll see a similarly-formatted letter regarding a ban due to an alleged mask violation.
Lucky at OMATT also abused the airline relationship and was banned from flying on United for a decade.
Despite what the article says, I don’t think he was banned from flying United, just having an MP account. He’s actually reviewed Polaris. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/up-in-the-air-meet-the-man-who-flies-around-the-world-for-free-43961/
If you can’t verify it, why would you publish it? Seriously, this is why people give the term “fake news” any sort of credence. The order to follow is verify then publish, not the other way around. Otherwise you are just a clickbait troll.
He acknowledges the ban in the article Rolling Stone published on him several years ago.
I suspect this is a real letter, because Delta’s professionalism and service is grossly overrated — just look at how they operate things at ATL and how they abuse their employees when they try to organize. It’s also pretty pathetic — they don’t have anyone on staff who can draft a professional-sounding letter in the English language? This reads like it was written by a high school intern.
And yet, Delta’s employees are paid better overall and seem to be happier working for their company…
Any actual evidence that’s true, Aaron? Delta is headquartered in a state with some of the worst labor organization conditions in the world. Delta employees need to pay the rent and put food on the table, but surely if Delta was headquartered in, say, California or Illinois, the labor situation would be differently. Anyway, a pity that some disgruntled employee sent out this letter — it’s embarrassing.
The truth is, Unions are cancer and continuously bankrupt companies. It is is employee’s and employer’s best interests to employ people. Something that can’t be done without revenue.
Except you are wrong on FACTS. WHen unions were strongest the income and wealth gap were not nearly what it is today. It would be like saying slavery was good, because the slaves had a place to sleep and it kept products cheap. Once the slaves UNIONized it was bad. The fact is comapnies unionize EVERY DAY. They call them “trade associations”. The National Restaurant Association is one. The IATA is also a UNION of COMPANIES. So you are ok with unions of companies byt not people,. That tells me all I need to know about you
Plenty of evidence. Please don’t use this as a thinly disguised attempt to promote a Union position. Manufactured Outrage much? Bet you’re actually a Union organizer. Leave the Delta employees alone and stop using the “statistics” that the AFA/IAM use from a flawed study.
I agree the letter is rather unprofessional, there’s a way to deliver a message sternly yet professionally. But compared to, say, our Dear Leader’s letter to the head of state of Turkey, well it’s practically Shakespeare in its mastery of the English language.
Probably wrote it himself as yet another way to game the system and get more free shit.
If this is real, Delta should fire whoever wrote it. Not necessarily for the content, but for the tone and structure. My 12 year old niece could write a better structured, more professional letter. “my attention” … “have been asked” should not precede an unsigned letter. Never mind the conversational “Quite honestly”.
It feels incredibly fake. I hope it is, for Delta’s sake.
This is most likely a fake, IMHO. Second most likely possibility is that some idiot agent went broken arrow and somehow managed to get this letter through their system. I find it incredibly unlikely anybody mid level management+ would allow a letter like this to get out. If they’re going to declare war on elites who game the system, which I don’t really have an issue with, they wouldn’t do it so clumsily.
A. Litt should call L. Litt for legal counsel 😉
You’ll be happy to know at least one person appreciates the “Suits” reference!
Go Delta! If there is a Mr. Litt and he is playing the system, this letter professionally addresses his fraudulent actions.
But how did the employees’ union become a target in this story? Wake up people. Unions and working people fought for child labor laws, eight-hour days and pensions. Really, do you think we’d have workplace safety laws if we left it up to the goodness of the corporate “person”?
You haven’t seen The Current War.
Look up Hoffa.
And stop it. Like unions invented taxes for the rich….
No apparent folds in the paper.
Every letter I’ve gotten from DL has a three letter agent code at the bottom. There’s nothing here.
I am of the notion that ‘said’ letter was extremely straightforward & without the usual pleasantries that tend to irk me when recieving negative news. Well done (!) mystery letter writing person of (possibly) DELTA AIRLINES.
Agreed, I appreciate the No Nonsense and unambiguous tone. He abused the privilege too much and needs to know it’s time to stop.
“…documented with the man exceptions…”
Typo here — should say “many” exceptions.
Coming from the facebook group.
Followed that conversation for a while as this happens more than 2 weeks ago. The letter’s writing is so bad that people can’t believe it’s real. However, as times passed by, more clues suggests it’s a real letter.
BTW, as a Delta DM, I can tell that HUCA is inevitable.
Anyway, I found this letter quite offensive and asaik it’s been forward to Ed so we will see. I don’t think it’s acceptable to send out letters like this as a corporation.
Ratbags like this spoil frequent flyer programs; their greed is insatiable and they go to the most extraordinary lengths to save a few bucks. Little wonder airlines respond in kind, screwing the rest of us.
Kick him out of the program, banned for life.
Agreed, thoughtless actions of the folks who want to push the boundaries beyond reasonable limits spoil the game and its bounties for the rest of us.
If it is real, I simply despair at the poor writing skills of Delta’s corporate communicators. It sounds more like it was written by a high-school dropout.
And as pointed out already, stretching the spirit but not the letter of the rules, and to what negative effect? There’s a seat or there isn’t
Initially, I was leaning towards it being real.
But, if a customer was consistently getting exceptions in his favor, I think Delta would just attach an upper-case note to his account reading “NO EXCEPTIONS. HE’S TAKEN ADVANTAGE TOO MANY TIMES.”
Then, phone reps, presuming he could get one on the phone, would just say, “I’m sorry Mr. Litt, I’m not permitted to do that.”
Sending a negative letter like that, which is understandable, just risks negative publicity.
I AGREE IT IS BEST TO BE HONEST AND THEN AT TIMES DELTA WILL BE A BIT AND AT TIMES A LOT MORE FLEXIBLE
I’m pretty sure it’s real. Northwest Airlines did the same thing. One passenger had his account closed and lost all of his miles. He sued up to the US Supreme Court and lost.
The guy was probably a jerk and was manipulating the system. Delta is trying to help their customers and there is always that one jerk to make that difficult so in the end helpful programs are stopped and the average traveler suffers.
While I liked the article, I find your choice of wording in the headline to be despicable because I just wasted my time reading it. You headline articles to get reads, but the content is not chilling by any stretch of the imagination. Stop contributing to the circus the “media” has created with these stupid FAKE headlines just to get views. Pathetic.
Lighten up you drama queen, the article takes like 40 seconds to read, probably less time than it took you to write the comment.
Having worked in customer service, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was real. Though, a point suggested at OMAAT… what real person would actually want to show this letter to the Internet?
Late reply, but I think this letter is real. Other letters sent by Delta have been formatted in a very similar way. Here are two examples.