Open Letter to Delta, Air France and Turkish Airlines

I am not sure if I ever sent this letter to the airlines after the trip in 2009, but I wanted to publish it here. It is a nice story about the airline personnel doing everything they can to help a passenger in need.

 

Dear Delta, Air France, Turkish Airlines:

The reason I am writing this email/letter to you is not to complain, it is actually quite the opposite. There has been quite a lot of individual incidents that accumulated one after the other and created an interesting story. I wanted to recognize the main characters and thank them for their great efforts.

I was one of the passengers flew on scheduled flight Delta 8345, operated by Air France on Jun 22nd, 2009. My original itinerary was to fly MIAMI-PARIS-DUSSELDORF-IZMIR. It turned out to be quite an interesting journey.

Right at the beginning at MIA, lines for Delta check-in was a bit confusing. I was issued a paper ticket by Travelocity and I couldn't use the kiosks as usual. There were two apparent check-in lines for Delta, "Kiosk Check-In", and "International/Domestic Check-in" as displayed with the LED signs. I went to the International/Domestic check-in and after about 20 minutes, when I get to the head of the line, I was told that this was the wrong line, and they wouldn't be able to help me as I didn't have a boarding pass. They referred us to the "Kiosk Check-In" line, after another 20 minutes I was again at the beginning of the line, and this time I was told that I was again in the wrong line. Since the flight was operated by AirFrance I was supposed to be waiting in that line, and Delta crew couldn't help. We had to wait another 20 minutes at the Air France check-in this time, and during all this time there were about 10-15 people following us between lines. What I noticed was that Air France had a crew-member waiting at the Business Check-in, directing people, which helped a lot. Another traveler and I decided this was something we should bring to Delta's attention. He suggested to write a letter but I'm not sure if he will do so.

When we finally arrived to Paris, France, we arrived at terminal 2F. I needed to switch terminals to catch my flight to Dusseldorf, which was leaving from Terminal 2D. However the border police reminded me that Turkish Citizens needed Schengen visa to fly within EU. I absent mindedly booked a flight that I couldn't fly. I went to the Air France booth at terminal 2F and I was helped by 2 supervisors and 2 crew members between 8am and 11am. All of them were very friendly and extremely helpful. The first person I spoke to, first called Air France to book a new flight to Istanbul. The ticket price would be 1237 Euros. Then she spoke to Delta over the phone. After about half an hour of discussing the matter (in French, which I do not speak), she informed me that Delta was going to change my ticket, from PARIS-DUSSELDORF-IZMIR to PARIS-ISTANBUL-IZMIR. She even went and collected my tickets from another terminal since I couldn't leave terminal 2F.

My flight to Istanbul was very nice, until I get to Istanbul. Due to air traffic, the control tower requested our plane to circle around Istanbul for about 40 minutes, and we didn't have enough fuel to do so. As a result our captain landed the plane to Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul, refueled the plane, and took us back to Istanbul Ataturk Airport. The crew members on board the plane were extremely kind, and explained the situation several times as best as they could. When we got back to Istanbul Ataturk Airport, most of the passengers, including myself, missed connecting flights. My flight was scheduled at 7pm and I believe we arrived a little after 7pm.

Once again I was lucky enough to meet an extremely capable airport crew in Istanbul, this time from Turkish Airlines. They managed to change the last segment of my already altered itinerary, which was issued by  Delta Airlines, and modified by Air France. Even the reason why I missed my flight had nothing to do with Turkish Airlines. So once again I was on my way thanks to a highly capable, hard working airline crew.

I am writing this at Istanbul, and I haven't made it to Izmir yet. There I need to check for my luggage, but I am sure by the help of another great crew I'll be able to obtain it without any problems.

I actually couldn't believe that all of the above happened to me on the same trip, and I'll still be able to make the whole trip in about 26 hours. I am writing this email to show my appreciation to the airline personnel I met during this trip. I'll be grateful if you could forward this email/letter to the offices/crew members I mentioned.

 

Kindest Regards,

Batuhan Osmanoglu.