Initially this campaign was started to address a broken policy of an even larger broken system. After reading some responses, it has become clear that Delta's entire bereavement travel system is in need of a serious overhaul.
FIRST ISSUE "I can't fly because my father has just passed away...wait, no refund?!"
My father passed away in January, 2011. It's been the most difficult and painful life event that I've experienced to date. I had plans to go on a trip abroad later in January but, for obvious reasons I was forced to cancel travel plans and flights. I asked numerous different representatives at Delta and tried emails, Twitter, Facebook, phone calls. After getting passed around for months they continually said they were "unable to refund" the money. They said "it is against policy to refund. Well, Delta, your policy is broken" O n top of the already painful events of losing a best friend/parent, I was forced to deal with Delta's broken policies on a daily basis. PS- This type of refund is expressly permitted by their policies! The Delta website purports a refund in the event of "The death of the passenger, immediate family member, or traveling companion." --quote from Delta's refund FAQ page @ http://www.delta.com/help/faqs/refunds/index.jsp. This policy has been in effect since Aug 2003, and the time at which I asked for a refund was January of 2011.
SECOND ISSUE -"How much do I have to pay to mourn with my loved ones?!?!":
From Facebook user: "We had to fly back to Pittsburgh in December for the same reason (my wife's father died suddenly), and the airline offered a 5% discount on the fare. As you know, the next day airfare is the most expensive price for a ticket. To echo Roderick, the policy is broken." I did some research and this person is right! I just got off the phone with Delta representatives, and here's what I learned:
Bereavement fare on Delta departing Austin to Portland (for an example)
---Leaving in two days from date reservation was made: $1145.19
---Same flight without the marginal bereavement discount: $1298.30
There is clearly a lot of money for Delta in people's grief, even with a discount. What's saddening is that the airlines (in this case, Delta) are the very companies whose primary job is to unite people!
It's time for us to take accountability for allowing this type of mis-treatment to be perpetuated
Big companies make big profits hiding behind policy. It's time for Delta Airlines to take a deep look at their customers & policies, and learn some compassion. Let's help Delta learn how to better serve the public, particularly in a time of loss and mourning.
We need to teach the corporations that they exist because of us, the consumer, and this is a bond to be respected and nurtured
Let Delta's CEO, Richard H. Anderson, and their board of directors know that this is not the right way to treat people. I'm truly thankful that so very few people have to know what this particular experience feels like -It's completely disheatening and utterly miserable to know that I'm just a $ to Delta. I sincerely hope that no one else ever has to experience what I did last January. Let's make sure of it right now, please sign!
--If you want to change an industry, you have to start with one business.
Please Read, Sign, Share, and Act!
Reform Refund Policies - Refund Fares when a Family Member Dies
My father recently passed away in January, 2011. It's no doubt the most difficult and painful life event that I've experienced to date. I had plans to go on a trip abroad later in January but, for obvious reasons, was forced to cancel travel plans and my flights for myself and a creative partner; we're working on a shoestring making a documentary. I asked several representatives at Delta to refund the cost of the tickets which I purchased. After getting passed around for a month and a half, (while grieving the early passing of my father) they said would not/could not refund the money for the two plane tickets. Their stance was that it was against their policy to refund, to which I replied, "Well, your policy is broken." So on top of the already painful events, I was forced to deal with Delta's broken policies on a daily basis.
Delta did offer to provide me credit for a single future flight, but after the kind of treatment I received, I cannot imagine anyone would want to fly in their planes.
It's nearly a year later and I have yet to see any real compassion or change from Delta Airlines. Personally, I'm not a fan of hiding behind policy. It's time for Delta Airlines to take a deep look at their customers and policies, and learn some compassion.
Let Delta's CEO, Richard H. Anderson, and their board of directors know that this is not the way to treat people. I sincerely hope that no one ever has to experience what I did last January. Let's make sure of it right now.