Day 1: Philly to Apgar Village

Trip Start Aug 10, 2013
1
5
Trip End Aug 16, 2013


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Where I stayed
Apgar Village Lodge

Flag of United States  , Montana
Sunday, August 11, 2013

Today began early at 5:00 a.m. We left the Microtel Inn and Suties, which we stayed at on Saturday night, at 6:15 a.m. to catch our flight at 8:00 a.m. in the Philly airport. We boarded our flight on time only to have the captain tell us that a hydraulic part on the plane was broken and that we would have a 4 hour layover in Philadelphia while the part was flown in from Atalnta and then the plane would be fixed while on the tarmac......yea that sounds really safe! A couple seated across from us told is that this is the third time this has happened to them while flying on Delta Airlines tring to get to Montana. 

As we made our way back into the terminal Delta gave out their drinks and snacks that they issue on the plane to the hundreds of people stuck in the terminal in Philadelphia. The other Delta plane in the terminal next to ours was also broken down with an engine problem also trapping all those people bound for Atlanta. So there were literally two planes full of angry Delta customers trying to rebook various connecting flights being handled by about 4 agents total. It was a mess!

We stood in line for about two hours before finally getting waited on. They gave each of us a lousy $25 voucher that could be used for food and informed us that we would be missing our connecting flight in Minneapolis because the Philly flight would not leave until noon. Our original connection was supposed to be at 11:30 in Minneapolis. And then to top it off they informed us that the best Delta airlines can do is get us on a flight that departs at 9:45 p.m. to Kalispell, AN 8 HOUR LAYOVER IN MINNEAPOLIS!  This means we missed our entire first day of vacation! Needless to say I was royally pissed off!

Unfortunately there was nothing we could do. We called our car rental company in Kalispell and told them that instead of being there to pick up our rental at around 2:00 p.m. as we were supposed to be that we would be landing at 1:30 a.m. if we were lucky and would get our car after that. We also had to call the Apgar Village Lodge and inform them that we would not be checking in until around 3:00 a.m. Both the car rental and the hotel held our reservations very graciously for us. I would recommend Budget and Apgar Village Lodge

We finally got on our flight from Philly to Minneapolis at noon, I have to say I was nervous about going up in a plane that I knew was broken and fixed very quickly on the tarmac. It seemed very unsafe and irresponsible of Delta to just not get us another plane and take off as soon as possible to avoid this whole fiasco but as we learned Delta doesn't care about their customers. 

Once we landed in Minneapolis we immediately went to the Delta customer service area located between C1-2 terminals to find out if they could get another plane to get us to our destination any sooner. We met about 15 people who were on our flight also headed for Kalispell, MT. We figured with a group of about that size that there was something that Delta could do for us. I had been on a United Airlines flight a few years back and we missed our connecting flight because of an airline problem and they had a small charter plane waiting at our next airport to try to get us where we were going as quickly as possible, I figured Delta would do the same thing....WRONG! 

When we explained what happened in Philly and the amount of time we were being expected to wait for another flight plus the inconvenience we were enduring and missing days of vacation and the expense we were incurring and politely asked about the possibilty of Delta getting all of us a small charter plane to take us to Kalispell we were rudely told that in order to do that "we would have to wake up the President of Delta on a Sunday and he wouldn't like that" because apparently he is the only one in this three-ring circus of a company with the power to make decisions. I do not feel that Delta supplying a charter was an unreasonable request. They had 4 extra hours while we were in Philadelphia to make the arrangements to get a plane in Minneapolis for a group of 15 people. To ask us to wait 8 hours in Minneapolis plus the 4 in Philadelphia is 12 hours....half a day in the airport, that's fucking ridiculous! They told us they could give us a $75 credit to use toward another Delta flight as an apology....as if I'd ever fly with them again. 

So we took our losuy $25 food voucher and went to the TGI Friday's in the airport and drank Delta's money. We walked around the whole damn airport just trying to kill time, we went in all the shops. Eight hours is a really long time to spend in an airport. So since they have wi-fi at the airport I got online and found Delta's complaint department online and sent them an email about what happened. I figured it was better to get the ball rolling earlier rather than waiting until returning from vacation......supossing I ever got to Montana!

As we were waiting around one of the other passengers headed for Montana found out his baggage was sent to J.F.K. airport and then to Salt Lake City, Utah. So I went online and also found that my baggage was sent to Salt Lake City, so yet another problem to contend with! LOST BAGGAGE!

Our flight finally got underway and we arrived in Kalispell at nearly 2 a.m. I then spent about half an hour trying to find someone in this deserted small airport who could open up the baggage claim to see if my luggage made it. Luckliy for Delta my luggage was there, or else I may have had a nuclear meltdown! We got our rental car and programmed the GPS to take us to Apgar Village.

We finally arrived at about 3:30 a.m. instead on the 3:00 p.m. time it should have been, an entire day of vacation shot with an aggrevating 14 hours spent in the airport....thanks alot Delta!
 
I do not recommend flying Delt airlines. I'd suggest anyone book either United or Southwest to avoid this clusterfuck!

Update - after returning from vacation I found that my email was answered and I was offered a $75 credit to fly with Delta, as if that would replace an entire day of my vacation or make up for this fiasco. I got on the phone and started calling. I got ahold of a Delta agent and her reply was to me that "I am not authorized to give you a refund, I only work here" so I demanded to speak to a supervisor. After a nice hold time I got a supervisor and explained what happened on my trip from Philly, to the rude customer service agent in Minneapolis, the landing time in Montana and how the start of my vaction was ruined. I explained that I was not interested in the $75 future trip voucher with Delta as I would not be flying with them ever again and told her that I wanted a refund as they did not deliver their part of a landing time of 1:30 p.m. in Montana that I paid for. She informed me that Delta DOES NOT DO REFUNDS. They will not credit back any money to your credit card but what they will do is offer you a gift card in the amount of $150 but you must call Corporate Care 1-404-773-0305. I did that and explained the situation all over again, Delta sent an email where I could pick from several of what I assume are there partners to select a gift card from....there was Macy's, Gap, Ohmaha Steaks, a car rental place, a flower shop......ridiculous. I just want to get money back on my credit card but this was the best I was going to get. Delta may have cheaper flights than most but they obviously don't service their planes well or they wouldn't have so many broken down planes in hangers stranding all their passengers who paid good money. Their customer service is a joke and completely rude, all they want to offer you is future money to fly with them again, yeah right! Spend the extra 50-100 dollars and fly Southwest or someone else. 

 
Glacier National Park info: http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm

Apgar Village Lodge: http://www.westglacier.com/apgar_village_lodge.php

Lake McDonald area info: http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/lakemcdonald.htm

Delta Complaints: http://www.delta.com/contactus/pages/comment_complaint/index.jsp

Airline Passenger Bill of Rights: http://lifehacker.com/the-air-travel-rights-you-arent-aware-of-and-how-to-g-508983488


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