My father-in-law's brother passed away today and he never got to say goodbye.
My father-in-law, in his 70s, and a SkyMiles member for decades, was recently a victim to "the fine print". For decades, he traveled with Delta and earned hundreds of thousands of miles. As he has gotten older, he has stopped traveling regularly, does not use email, and only received paper statements in the mail with account balances.
Most recently, his brother became gravely ill and the need to cash in some miles came up. He was informed of his 24 month inactivity and was denied the miles unless he paid the reactivation fee. This is pure punishment and what I refer to as PAYING FOR THIN AIR.
We attempted to communicate with the lovely Indian telephone representatives (each consecutive phone call), but you can draw your own conclusion on how that went. Eventually we paid the fee so, when the time came, he could book a last minute flight.
In the mean time, I pleaded with customer support online to have a heart and to make an exception or to at least have a representative/supervisor pay the respect of a short phone call. Instead, I continued to get rote email responses from 5 different agents rejecting my request and a final note essentially telling me they would not respond to this matter any further.
Nobody is perfect and historically I have found that customers usually get at least a second chance. NOT WITH DELTA!
DON'T LET YOURSELF OR OLDER FAMILY MEMBERS BE VICTIM TO DELTA'S STRICT POLICY TO CAPITALIZE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SCREW THEIR CUSTOMERS. DID YOU KNOW DELTA CHARGES A $150 FEE FOR CHANGING A TICKET BOOKED WITH MILES???
Not being a wealthy man, he could not simply book a ticket with the miles he EARNED, because he was afraid of the extra fees!!!! He took a chance, hoping for the best, and lost the bet.
Avoid Delta every chance you can!!