I have come to expect only the minimum of service when I fly. The gate will be noisy and dirty, the boarding process will be moderately choreographed chaos, my neighbors will likely be surly and the food will be predictable. Oh, and if I am flying between LGA and ATL, I will probably be delayed. OK, it is what it is.
Not last week. I had an experience that turned my stomach, but was remedied by both the flight attendant and subsequently by Delta.
I fly early – usually on the 6:00 or 7:00 am flight. I only have coffee, but like the feeling of the warm mug while I try to empty my in-box. I was sipping my coffee, typing out emails when I looked into the bottom of the mug. There were 2 clear coffee rings; stains from at least 2 prior uses. It was gross!
I showed the flight attendant – she was extremely apologetic. She went back and inspected all of the mugs on the plane – it seemed all the others were clean. She offered me a fresh cup of coffee, but I was no longer in the mood. She also suggested I send an email to Delta. I was already online, so I did. Again, my expectations were low, but Delta exceeded them. Here is the conversation (read from bottom to top…):
Dear Mr. Dubner,
RE: Case Number 8XXXXXX3
Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the coffee cup that was provided while traveling with us. On behalf of everyone at Delta Air Lines, I sincerely apologize for the concern you have experienced due to being served coffee in a coffee cup that was not properly cleaned.
It must have been very frustrating and disheartening for you to finish your coffee only to find the cup appeared to be soiled from not being properly cleaned. I am truly sorry for the incident you described.
Feedback like yours will help us improve our inflight processes and overall customer experience. Please know I will be sharing your comments with the Inflight leadership team for internal follow up.
As a gesture of apology for the concern this incident has caused you, I have added 4,000 bonus miles to your frequent flyer account. Please allow three business days for the miles to appear in your account.
I hope I have been able to resolve your concerns about your flight to Atlanta. Your support as a Platinum Medallion member is important to Delta, our Connection Carriers, and SkyTeam partners. We look forward to your continued patronage.
Coordinator, Customer Care
Northwest/KLM/Delta Air Lines
Northwest Airlines is now part of Delta Air Lines
Original Message Follows:
Name: Mr Todd Dubner
Email Address : firstname.lastname@example.org
SkyMiles Number: XXXXXXX
Email about Past/Future travel: Past
Nature of Comment: Complaint Concern
Email Pertaining to: Onboard_Aircraft
Email about Other topic:
This morning I flew from LGA to ATL. I ordered a cup of coffee, drank my coffee and was horrified. At the bottom of my mug there were 2 clear coffee stains as if the mug had not been cleaned after 2 prior uses. While the news is filled with stories about H1N1, to get an obviously dirty mug on a plane is not acceptable. I am a very frequent flier and hope that you can help me resolve my complaint.
I am satisfied with the result. It was painless for Delta and they responded immediately to my issue. 9 more disgusting mugs to a free flight? I hope not…