No matter how many bad airline stories you have heard, this one will shock you. Longtime Greenacres residents Bill and Susan Liebman were vacationing with their family in California last week when they learned that Susan’s only brother had passed away in Detroit. They made arrangements with Delta Airlines to fly from LAX to Detroit, as Delta is the only airline that flies direct between those two cities. They inquired about using Delta’s bereavement fares, which are advertised as a 50% discount off the regular rates, reserved seats and thought they were set to attend the funeral. But this was not to be – due to the airlines incompetence, cold heartedness and benign neglect they never made it to Detroit.
Grief over their loss quickly turned to frustration and anger when they arrived at the airport for their flight, only to learn that due to an error by the reservation agent on the phone, they had been booked on an earlier flight that had already left. Furthermore, though there was another flight that night, the clerk would not allow them to board the plane While they made desperate appeals for help the plane left for Detroit without them –in spite of the fact that there were seats available. Stunned, they missed the funeral and had to watch a stream of the service on a laptop computer.
The Liebman’s daughter, Jessica, is the Managing Editor of the website Business Insider and wrote an account of her parent’s harrowing tale with Delta on the site.
She agreed to let us share it with you here.