I purchased my plane tickets to Portland, Maine directly with Delta Airlines online, which went smoothly as expected however, the pretense to save passengers like myself money in our ticket purchases by imposing baggage fees is so transparent that it makes me angry. Delta Airlines charges $15 for the first baggage that is checked-in and $25 for extra baggage. For those of you who do not know understand what it means to carry-on your baggage beyond the following definition, “The safe maximum size is 45″, in the form of a 22″ x 14″ x 9″ bag. Some airlines allow up to as much as 55″, but most do not.” (1) The luggage that I used for my trip to Maine is considered a carry-on but let me tell you; it was not fun having to lug the “carry-on” along with my backpack and purse around the airport.
Most airlines are cutting back on cost by eliminating passenger contact with staff by changing over to online booking, and checking-in at home or at a kiosk at the airport. And this is supposed to somehow translate to lower airfare for passengers. I do not see any savings. If anything, it is creating an inconvenience to passengers and as a result creating holes in our security when we fly.
Yes, I decided to not check-in my luggage because I did not want to pay the extra $15 for Delta to handle my luggage however, I failed to realize what that meant for me.
I arrived at the Delta terminal at JFK to find that there was one very long single line to go thru security check. I was baffled to see this. One single line? This is Delta Airlines, a major airline with domestic and international flights coming in and out of their terminal(s)! Is this how Delta Airlines operate?! I couldn’t believe it!
Once I passed through security check, I hustled over to my gate – not that I needed to as I had plenty of time before my flight departed. After having waited a bit, I was thinking to get something to eat but I realized that I’d have to lug my baggage with me, and then I’d have to struggle to get my wallet out and that dissolved thoughts of getting something to eat or drink. Besides, it was close to boarding time and it was going to be a short flight. I’ll get something to eat when I land.
Then I noticed it was snowing and I could see the tarmac get a light cover of snow. I was not worried as it wasn’t a lot of snow and the ground crew seemed to be busy taking care of business, and I had not heard any announcements of any flights being delayed but there was one flight that was cancelled. We were called to board on time. We walked out on the tarmac to the aircraft which was operated by Comair. On my way down, I was given a pink tag for my “carry-on” luggage to which I placed on a dolly right before I boarded on the aircraft. When I boarded the plane, I noticed the overhead compartment would not have been able to fit my “carry-on” luggage, which is why they were tagged and placed on the dolly. They were being collected and then stored on the plane by the ground crew. So I saved $15 from having a Delta Airline staff from processing my luggage, tagging it, and being collected behind closed doors, possibly checked thru by security, and then placed on the plane. All that effort is worth $15?!
My flight from JFK to Portland International Airport was supposed to take less than an hour but instead, we sat on the plane on the same spot for more than 4 hours. Apparently, there wasn’t enough ground crew to get the planes defrosted and clear the tarmac for the planes to get to the runway and take off. And even though Congress passed a rule to impose stiff penalties if airlines did not give food and water or an opportunity to disembark the plane after 3 hours. We were offered snacks like cookies, peanuts, and pretzels as well as something to drink and bottled water. The pilot offered to let anybody off the plane but also expressed he would not be happy if someone decided to disembark once they started to taxi (whenever that was going to happen). Nobody asked to be let off. During the 4 hours, I had an asshole sitting behind me whose feet smelled of corn, kicking the back of my seat as well as cramming whatever into the seat pocket, and when he returned from the restroom, he would grab the headrest of my seat and throw himself into his seat. After the second he did that, I turned around and asked him to not grab my seat again. He apologized and proceeded to explain himself with a lame excuse that he needed something to balance himself (whatever!) at which point I turned back around. After about 4 hours of waiting, the ground crew came over to us and defrosted our aircraft and then we were ready to taxi to the runway.
It stopped snowing before we took off but it was snowing in Portland, Maine when we landed. Again, we exited the aircraft on the tarmac where our carry-on was waiting for us. After I retrieved my carry-on, I proceeded to the door that took us into the airport where I had to climb up a flight of stairs. There was an elderly woman in front of me who apparently struggling to get up the stairs. There were airport staff at the top of the stair who could see the woman struggling and only offered to help when she was almost to the top of the stairs.
Portland International Jetport is a nice airport but I didn’t spend any time exploring it upon arrival and departure. Upon returning to JFK, I had to lug my “carry-on” a flight of stairs where all passengers were being checked. There wasn’t a big line to go thru security and in fact, it was a breeze. We boarded on time and just as we were getting ready to taxi to the runway, we were informed by the pilot that the plane was too heavy to take off and fly in the current weather conditions. It was a full plane; all seats were occupied. The attending staff asked the by-standing passenger to disembark and a volunteer who was offered a travel voucher of $400 plus food and accommodation if needed. The attending staff then explained that if there wasn’t a volunteer, he would then have to choose someone based on the last person who boarded the plane. Then a hand went up in the air; we got a volunteer. And then I noticed a man and woman couple of very large proportions was disembarking the plane. I wondered how they could have fit in the seats together. I hadn’t noticed if they were sitting together or not but the bystander returned on the plane to his seat, and we were ready to taxi to the runway.
The return flight was less than an hour and before I knew it, we were back in NYC! We disembarked the plane the same way we boarded the plane in JFK at the beginning of the trip. Again, I had to climb up a flight of stairs to get to the airport where everyone was waiting for their flights.
I was very pleased with the return flight as it was on time. The departure flight was terrible and really, to offer only snacks to the passengers is just not enough. They should have offered the passengers a real lunch! The late departure may not have been Delta’s fault or something they could have improved but they did very little to compensate for the wasted time of the passengers.
Articles that maybe of interest to you:
Stiff Fines Are Set for the Long Wait on the Tarmac
Know before you go: