Compensated With A Cookie And Water

August 17, 2008

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

So, this is not a flight I was on but my future mother-in-law. I am getting married this weekend and my future wife’s mother was to fly in last night on Delta Airlines from JFK to Denver. My fiancé and her mother were to have a special mother/daughter day of pampering. Her flight was scheduled to leave JFK at approximately 10:30 PM. She arrived at the airport at 3:00 PM as it took her 3 hours to get to the airport last time and didn’t want to miss her flight for such an important event.

Due to weather and her plane being late, her flight was pushed back to 12:30 AM. OK, this happens. Then it was pushed to 2:30 AM when they finally cancelled the flight.

Delta cancelled the flight. Delta refused to offer a hotel room, so my future mother-in-law spent the night on the floor of JFK. Delta refused to put her on another carrier, which would have gotten her in Denver at least early today.

As it stands now, she is waiting to catch the next flight Delta would put her on, which leaves JFK at approximately 4:30 today and goes to Atlanta, then flies to Denver, arriving after midnight tonight.

So she has been at JFK since 3:00 PM yesterday and won’t arrive until after midnight tonight. The whole mother/daughter day before the wedding is ruined thanks to Delta.

The only compensation offered was a cookie and water……and they took the water away when they had to go back through security after retrieving their luggage.

I will never fly Delta again. My future wife and mother-in-law will never fly Delta again. My parents, who live in Atlanta and have flown Delta their whole lives, plan to cancel their Delta frequent flyer Amex’s and not fly Delta again.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt August 8, 2008 at 1:26 pm

The follow up to this story: My mother in law finally got to Denver over 30 hours after her original flight, having to connect through ATlanta. She almost missed that flight because when she finally got the flight out of JFK it sat on the tarmac for 2 hours because the airlines book more flights than JFK can handle. To top it off. Her luggage did not arrive to her in Denver and was not delivered until 2 days later, the day before the wedding. She had to spend thousands on clothes for the wedding parties beforehand since she didn't have her luggage.


Matt2 August 22, 2008 at 6:03 pm

There are laws that say they have to compensate you and put you up in a hotel room. They broke the law.


Jane August 26, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Actually, if the cancellation is due to weather, it is considered an "Act of God". They are not required to compensate you, just find a later flight and maybe get you a special price on a hotel room. The only time they are required to compensate you is because of mechanical problems on their plane.


Geoff October 10, 2008 at 1:33 am

Why wouldn't your mother-inlaw pay for a hotel room, it seems to me a lot of travellers cause most of the misery themselves.


Thousands? October 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm

I could outfit myself for a month without spending THOUSANDS! Exagerate much?


JL December 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I was stuck in Minneapolis and was forced (along with my mother ans sister-in-law) to spend the night in the airport due to the fact that the hotels were all full, thanks Northworst. That may explain it. Or, you want to be able to make it onto the first flight in the morning.

No one knows why the airline cancelled the flight but I know better than to blame the passenger.


Joe April 2, 2009 at 9:41 am

JL is an idiot. Do you know how many hotels there are around the airport or off the lightrail if nothing else? I do. There is a shit-ton. Booking levels are never an issue. Whoever told you that must have thought you were an idiot and they were correct.


Rob April 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm

She had to spend 'thousands' on clothing, but spent the night in an airport?

It looks like an old wives' tale of woe and dread to explain your mother-in-law's lateness.


Daniel April 2, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Next time you or your family is going to travel before a special event it would de prudent to add a day or two cushion. Simple fact is that bad weather stops airplanes. This will never change. Second, no airline will provide a free hotel night when weather stops a domestic flight. I have been in this situation myself and learned to be prepared to get my own room if so needed. It is a hard world out there, show some grace under pressue.


Jips April 2, 2009 at 7:09 pm

To "Thousands?",

Depending on how dressy the prewedding parties are, it is very possible she did spend thousands. Weddings can be crazy expensive, and so can wedding appropriate attire.

But anyway, it seems crappy that they could have taken care of the problem by putting her on another carrier but refused to do that.


Kay April 3, 2009 at 11:50 am

If she could afford to spend thousands on replacement clothes for pre-wedding parties, why didn't she simply buy a ticket on an earlier flight on another airline so that she wouldn't miss any more than she had to?

Keep in mind that she did *NOT* know her luggage would be delayed, so that expense wouldn't have been a factor.


TravelMaven April 5, 2009 at 4:09 am

If you read the Contract of Carriage for airlines it clearly states that in situation like weather, or "acts of God" airlines are not required to compensate passengers. I love when people blame the airline directly for weather as if they control it. They are making the choice not to send a flight into bad weather and kill people. When are people going to realize that and quit whining?


Anon April 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

"The only compensation offered was a cookie and water……and they took the water away when they had to go back through security after retrieving their luggage."



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