After spending a few weeks with family and friends in SLC, my 14-year old nephew was set to return home to San Diego on July 15th, but Delta refused to allow him on the plane because he was "too young to fly unaccompanied". They demanded another $100.00, on the spot, to return him home.
Delta had already accepted our $259 for the roundtrip flight, and had allowed him on the plane for the outbound flight to SLC, but only now were demanding the extra $100.
My nephew was with his father at the SLC airport, and neither of them had a credit card, or $100 between them. They kept trying to appeal to the logic of the customer service people at the Delta counter, including a Marcello V. and a Larue Swart (who tried to cover her ID badge), who were literally screaming at my nephew, and calling him dumb, and stupid!
Shortly after that exchange, my nephew called me to let me know what was happening. I called Delta customer service in SLC and spoke to two people, a customer service agent, and her supervisor, who both stood firmly behind their policy, and told me that they would also need to see my nephew's birth certificate, as well as the $100, to let him on his return flight!
This was going from bad to worse. And, how was I to know they would let my nephew on the plane even if I did cough up another $100? They had already reneged on the original $259 contract for the RT ticket, and they were now changing their conditions again with the birth certificate requirement! I was ready to take a 1400 mile drive to pick up the kid, and I wasn't looking forward to it.
Luckily, my sister (my nephew's mother) was a little more calm, as she hadn't been dealing with overly officious Delta employees. She went to her local airport, got Delta's assurance that the extra $100 would "do the trick "to get my nephew on another return flight (he had already missed his original flight), and we got him home around midnight.
If this is Delta's policy, regarding minors, why were we able to fly my nephew to SLC, and have him flown home, several months ago on an earlier flight on Delta without a problem?
Why did Delta allow us to purchase the tickets, and allow him on the out bound flight, and then refuse him the return flight home? If we had factored in the extra $100, we would never have settled on Delta, but would have continued shopping for other fares.
All Delta personnel we spoke to said that an error was made in allowing him on the outbound flight, and in allowing the purchase of the tickets. With the acknowledgement of those mistakes, would it not make sense to simply allow the kid to return home with his paid RT ticket?
Bad policy is never an excuse for poor customer service. These Delta agents, and their supervisors, should have been more flexible with policy, instead of acting so smug and officious.
And, is it ever justifiable to scream at a kid, and call him dumb and stupid?