My wife is a Public School Educator and she recently had a national conference in Houston TX concerning a program which helps underprivileged kids. Given that my work can be done anywhere, she asked me to travel with her and I agreed. My only concern was that while I ounce traveled quite a bit in my younger years, I have not done much post 9/11 traveling given the increased hassle factor with TSA and all their rules and the Airlines and all their rules.
When it came time to leave, I got a pre-checkin email from Delta, the day before we left. I logged into Delta system and I was able to purchase a checked bag, I was able to check and change my seating, I was able to request a wheelchair, and I was able to get my electronic boarding passes.
Now, one sidetrack on this story. Two months ago I sprang my ankle and tore a muscle in my calf pushing a car uphill. The car hit a high spot on the asphalt and when it started coming back on me, and I started losing ground, I bore down and really gave it the heave-ho. When I did that, something snapped in my leg and I went down in extreme pain. Now two months later, for some reason (of which I hope to get the answer at the orthopedist office Monday), I still can not walk for any distance greater than to the bathroom in my house without crutches.
Back to my travel story to Houston. Knowing my issue with my leg and knowing I would be unable to do three airports out to Houston and three airports back home, I requested the wheelchair service. This is significant because, because one of my heighten concerns for the trip was my ability to get around.
My daughter pulled up to the Delta baggage check to let me and my wife out. We checked our baggage using my receipt on my phone. The redcap radioed to the inside crew and viola’ I had a wheelchair and a person to push me around.
Now for brevity, I am not going to detail everything little detail, so I am going to summarize. Let me just say, that every “wheelchair assistant” (at every leg I had a wheelchair waiting to take me to the next location with a “wheelchair assistant” to help), was nothing but nice and did anything to make our travels through the airports stress-free. Bathroom breaks, no problem. Stop for coffee, sure. Stop for food, of course. The “wheelchair assistants” were very accommodating and made sure I got where I needed to be on time. At every gate, we had nice accommodating gate attendants which allowed for early boarding and help anytime it was needed. Onboard, we had polite helpful airline stewards, one of which on the flight out to Houston, was quite helpful with places to go, places to eat, types tips.
To summarize, my airplane travels both to Houston and back home, only one of the four TSA employees I had dealings with was an ass, and 100% of the numerous Delta employees I dealt with, was at minimum polite, helpful and professional. I think that is an outstanding trip. With that kind of success, I may try again soon. So, does the huge Delta Corporation still know how to take care of customers? With one data point (this one trip), I think that maybe they do. I will try them again, and again, until they are not competitive or until they prove my opinion wrong. Good job Delta!