Bad Service and a Busted Jet Bridge: A Poor Delta Flight from New York to Tampa

by Anthony Losanno
Delta Livery

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Over the past few years, I have moved much of my flying to Delta Air Lines and have enjoyed the experience. Almost every flight attendant, gate agent, and pilot has been warm and friendly. Service has been solid and Delta has won my loyalty. Last night, my flight home from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Tampa International Airport (TPA) was so bad that it was almost comical.

It started with boarding. The gate agents were on their phones discussing how they would get someone to print their W-2s before they left the airport. We managed to board late, but depart early. Even though we boarded a few minutes late, it was a quick and easy boarding. The flight attendant working the front cabin was in the galley playing with her phone throughout boarding (and it was her personal phone since her Delta-issued device was also on the counter). No predeparture beverages were offered and we took off.

Delta A321

Almost immediately, I could tell that the service was going to be bad. The flight attendant named “Von” who is based in Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) had an attitude from the get-go. She came around to confirm meal orders and was annoyed (for some reason) when I said that I was going to skip the meal I ordered and only wanted a ginger ale. She then went into the galley and set up a snack basket. This was never served. She helped herself to some chips, but never served the passengers.

Meals were served and cleared. Drink refills were never offered. I asked for a second ginger ale when she walked by and she audibly huffed. When she came back I put the wrapper from my Lysol wipe on her tray and she again made a noise as if that was a high crime. She spent most of the flight playing with her phone in the galley. Little things like not providing napkins with beverages were noticed (and yes they were catered because they were also on the counter).

DL 320

We landed over 30 minutes early, but had to wait for 30 minutes because the jet bridge was having an issue. This was further exacerbated by Von not responding to the gate agents knocking on the door after it was fixed. She was standing and looking at her schedule (oblivious to the gate agents). I said to her that they were knocking and she ignored me.

Delta 320

The captain opened his window and then asked her if she was going to open the door. She finally did. Upon deplaning, she did not say a word to any passengers (within my earshot) and continued to play with her Delta phone. The gate agents were annoyed and I told them how the flight went. They asked me to write into Delta because they also noticed she was playing with her phone while they were knocking.

Anthony’s Take: One bad apple can spoil the bunch. Von might have been tired or having a bad day. That’s fine, but passengers should not get bad service because of it. I’m hoping I don’t have to fly with her again.

(Featured Image Credit: Delta Air Lines.)

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3 comments

NedsKid February 7, 2024 - 1:04 pm

Sounds like my typical Delta experience over the last year. What took the cake on my last meal flight was the F/A never came back after putting out meals, and finally almost an hour later as we were starting to descend, and people had been stuck in their seats, I finally grabbed the trays from my row so we could get up to go to the bathroom and walked them to the galley to hand to the F/A who went ballistic, claiming he’d been in the cabin. That comment didn’t go over well with the folks in row 1 who chimed in with how they’d watched him sit in the jumpseat eating and playing on his phone the last 45 minutes. Combine this with last IROP (for my flight, not ATL in general) and the Sky Club told me to call the 800 number or go stand in line down in the concourse since they “aren’t supposed to get tied up helping just one person.” So sad considering Delta used to be so much better. If Delta was only 75% of the airline it thinks it is, it would be tolerable.

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Rac February 8, 2024 - 12:49 am

She sounds like a total bitch and a disgrace to the Delta brand. I’m glad your experience with Delta is normally positive. DL is a really good airline!

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Lars February 8, 2024 - 9:53 am

My thoughts are that DL obtained its hard-earned reputation on the efforts of employees who are mostly no longer there. Many long-time employees took packages to retire when covid hit, and many (not all) of the younger generation replacements don’t have the same level of pride in their work that the former employees did.

Based on our own recent experiences, my family doesn’t view DL as necessarily being any better than AA, WN, or others. We are “free agents”. And while AA is seldom anything to write home about, at least its miles are still worth something.

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