Delta Compensates Passenger With 15,000 Bonus Miles Over Cabin Smoke

Pilots are ultimately responsible for everything that happens on the plane they are flying; that means that your life is in their hands for the hours you spend in the air. This can understandably make people feel uneasy about flying. You may be wondering if the people responsible for you safety – pilots and stewards – are actually trained well, remember what they’ve learned, and/or have the skills to handle emergency situations.

Excellent customer service can go a really long way when it comes to turning skeptical travelers into loyal customers.

Delta Air Lines is the latest example of a company that’s likely to benefit from providing stellar customer support at exactly the right moment.

According to Inc’s Chris Matyszczyk, the carrier recently awarded 15,000 bonus miles to a passenger who was delayed after his flight from New York to San Francisco returned to JFK Airport when a smoky odor filled the cabin.

Delta Boeing 767-400ER: PHOTO: Delta Boeing 767-400ER. (photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

The incident occurred on November 16 and no injuries were reported.

My flight from JFK to SFO (DL 2282) does an emergency landing to JFK after smoke fills the whole aircraft shortly after takeoff, all passengers are safe!

The man, identified only as Matyszczyk’s very good friend George, said he phoned customer service from the airport to have the airline rebook him on a flight the following day with no change fees so he could go home for the night.

The next morning, Delta had already emailed him with a pleasant surprise.

“I know you weren’t expecting your flight to San Francisco to return to New York this evening, especially after being significantly delayed. A smoky odor in the cabin needed to be evaluated before we could continue. Please know that emergency vehicles met your flight out of an abundance of caution. Unfortunately, we were unable to depart last night due to sparse resources due to the winter weather yesterday in the New York area. This wasn’t an experience we wanted you to have. I’m really sorry for the disruption to your travel plans,” wrote Delta’s Troy O. Tidman via Inc.

“As a goodwill gesture, I’ve deposited 15,000 bonus miles into your account. Please allow three business days for the mileage to be posted.”

Matyszczyk described George as a “cheapskate” who typically flies with whichever airline offers the best deal. However, he said Delta’s kind gesture was meaningful enough to inspire George to write back and thank the airline for its customer-focused attitude.

It’s safe to say it won’t be the last time George flies Delta.

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