Yesterday I wrote about Delta’s response to my lounge denial incident at LAX. Now SkyTeam has weighed in.
I received an email from Michael Schutzbank, Director of Customer Loyalty at SkyTeam. His email stated:
On behalf of SkyTeam and our member airlines Korean Air, Aeromexico and Delta, we sincerely apologize for you being denied access to the Delta Sky Club at LAX Terminal 2. While there is nothing we can do to turn back the clock and rightfully admit you to the lounge, we have taken additional training measures to ensure this type of scenario does not play out in the future.
While we regret the inconvenience the situation caused, I’m glad you were able to enjoy a great breakfast in the lounge nonetheless.
We thank you for your continued business and we look forward to welcoming you to a SkyTeam lounge and on-board in the near future.
A few things to note. First, he knew I was on a Korean Air issued ticket, which shows attention to detail. Second, he confirms I “rightfully” had access to the lounge. Third, he states “additional training measures” have taken place to ensure this will not happen again. I wonder what those are?
But then he throws in a bit of facetiousness, which made me laugh. He highlights that I was still able to enjoy a great breakfast in the lounge. And that’s true. Eventually I was. Eventually, though. It took some time to find an alternate avenue into the lounge and it wasn’t on the basis of my Aeromexico reservation.
> Read More: The BEST Airport Lounge Breakfast I’ve Ever Had…
Michael is a good man. I met him at the FTU Expo in Chicago last year, but have not been in contact with him since.
This was quite unexpected and arrived after yesterday’s post or else I would have placed both in the same post. But hopefully a little pressure from SkyTeam will also promote greater awareness and understanding across the SkyTeam lounge network and the elimination of any “local rules” that bar customers from rightful lounge access.
> Read More:
Normally when I read an airline’s generic response about ‘sharing your feedback and working with the staff to ensure this does not happen again”, I take it as a total brush off and expect that no real action will be taken. In this case, given the two responses you received, it does seem like they’re taking this seriously and I wouldn’t be surprised if it does actually lead to some retraining in that lounge. Kudos to you for elevating this and for potentially saving another traveler from going through this frustration in the future.
I still say a repeat visit with the same sort of award ticket to the same lounge is in order to see if things have actually changed there. It’s not just about that Delta has now realized who you are and how wrong it was. It’s about the dozens or hundreds of others that have been denied service like this. This sort of service is the weak link. An airline can spend millions of dollars on lounges, customer service, benefits, training, etc. but one low level manager or agent can ruin that experience and the reputation of the airline.
How did u get in the lounge in the end?
Nothing we can do?
How about a one-day lounge access pass?
Nice to see this response from Skyteam. But as @DaninMCI said, what worries me is that this likely happened to hundreds of passengers before someone with the know-how and connections to raise this to higher levels made it an issue. There really needs to be a thorough investigation into how and why the local manager came to enforce a non-existent rule and why the service culture is such that the manager thought it was OK to make s*** up about “local rules”. All too often, front-line service staff at airlines seem to think they can fob off passengers by making up rules on the spot that serve their immediate interest. I get that they probably have to deal with a lot of ignorant passengers when enforcing real rules, but they really need to get it through their heads that in the age of social media, easy access to information on websites and increasingly informed frequent travellers, that they can’t get away with this.
Well-said. I’m trying to get more specifics from Delta and SkyTeam.
Props, Matthew, for where props are due, because as Justin suggests, “rank-and-file” flyers would *never* get this kind of a response.
(the last sentence of my reply was cut off) – thanks for chasing these guys down.
Very well said. And I think it’s appropriate for DL to say exactly how they’ve rectified the situation in a follow-up blog post on their own site, or here via Matthew. While I’m not necessarily advocating termination of employees – though I’m not necessarily against it – I think some punishment needs to be doled out for the management at the T2 Sky Club. Creation of company policy is not in the hands of lower echelon, customer-facing “management”. They implement policy ONLY. Full stop. I’d appreciate knowing the Manager that implemented this non-policy had been reprimanded or otherwise disciplined. His/Her actions are damaging to the Delta and SkyTeam brands and future managers at this location and current/future managers at other locations need to know this is wholly unacceptable, regardless of how bothered they are by customers while executing their customer service employment duties.
@ Matthew — So no lawsuit? 😉
I’m glad to see both DL and SkyTeam have at least acknowledged that the LAX club improperly denied you access, and are at least attempting to take ownership of the issue. I guess I share the same curiosity as Justin – are individual clubs allowed to institute “local rules”, and if not, what is being done systemwide to ensure this doesn’t occur at LAX or other clubs in the future? If clubs are allowed to institute their own rules, what is Delta planning to do to ensure that the website provides up-to-date information specific to that club?
Regardless, thanks for bird dogging this issue.
Since we’re on the topic of skyteam, check this out: https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/canada/2018/8/14/1_4051877.html
We really need to know how you got in for that breakfast!
So they say that they’re doing something, but won’t specify beyond “training measures”. What more could anyone ask?
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – those lounge employees need to be disciplined, not just “retrained”.
@Matthew Not sure you actually want to eat there. They have a “B” rating….seriously. Its above the soda machine on display, did you see it?
Matthew finally got a personal response to his complaint because of who he is. The rest of us would likely be ignored. I have had no trouble with Delta because I don’t fly them, but I have been told by a United agent that my discounted class “P” first class ticket purchased with cash on United.com was “not a real first class ticket,” and she wanted me to ride in the back. Only by contacting a supervisor did I get a first class seat, and when I contacted the airline later, I got a generic form letter which meant nothing. The only answer to United States airlines is to be constantly paranoid and expect problems, because that is the reality today. All too often, they simply don’t care about their passengers.
“I think some punishment needs to be doled out for the management at the T2 Sky Clubwhat is being done ”
“systemwide to ensure this doesn’t occur at LAX or other clubs in the future?”
“Ive said it before, I’ll say it again – those lounge employees need to be disciplined, not just “retrained”.
Wow…I’m sure a public flogging was in order. Get a life. The outrage! The temerity! The gall! Seriously, these forums have gotten out of hand for complaining. Read God Save The Points recent post and….chill.