Delta Demands $1100 From Passenger At The Airport, Then Loses Her Wedding Dress The Next Month

Airline Facebook pages are among the deepest depths of human despair and basic confusion. They’re worse than YouTube comments. And, sadly, I wound up in an odyssey of Delta pages after seeing the tweet of a woman whose “wedding attire” was “CONFISCATED” by Delta.

I thought someone at @delta might want to know: the story of my daughter's CONFISCATED wedding attire is going viral on Facebook. Make this right! @Delta

— Donna Partow (@donnapartow) July 27, 2022

This is actually quite a sad story. The bride-to-be was flying Delta out of Jacksonville, Florida and connecting to Air France and on to Aegean Airlines where she would get married in Greece.

She was flying first class, her mother says, and Delta’s gate agent informed her that “her wedding dress counted as a carry-on.” This, though her mother says “everyone knows a wedding dress is always cheerfully placed in the First Class coat closet.”

So the “carry-on with her wedding veil, shoes, clutch, jewelry, toiletries, trousseu and special bridal makeup” were checked and then lost. Her fiance’s bags were lost too. And the maid of honor’s bags were lost, though she was on a United Airlines itinerary. It is not clear what the woman chose to carry on in lieu of her bridal items which were clearly, also, more than just a single dress in a garment bag that might have folded over as a personal item.

Understandably the bride is upset (“vomiting in her hotel room, crushed by the stress and needless cruelty”).

Basics of carry-on versus checked bags:

  • You can bring a carry on bag and a personal item. Each one has allowable dimensions. Some airlines, such as in Europe and Australia, may impose weight limits for carry on bags as well and actually check.

  • If you check a bag, there’s a reasonable chance it will be lost. That’s double true in Europe right now.

  • And if you pack just a carry on, to avoid this risk, but you are among the later passengers to board then the airline may run out of overhead bin space. Then you’ll be forced to check your bag, and they may lose it.

In this woman’s shoes I might have changed into the wedding dress, and otherwise reconfigured bags to ensure nothing was checked. I might have planned carry on bags differently, but I know what to expect and many do not, so I don’t entirely fault her though some readers may.

But when I went searching Facebook for the story I saw on Twitter, I actually came up with a different story this same woman shared this month to Delta’s page (and it turns out she shared it more than once).

It seems only weeks earlier the woman was traveling with her daughter, again on Delta, enroute to Bogota. She flew out of Jacksonville and met the daughter in Atlanta. They were supposed to fly together from Atlanta to Miami to Bogota. Because of a weather waiver, she says, Delta was willing to schedule them on the Atlanta – Bogota non-stop the next day.

However when they reached the airport the daughter couldn’t check in. Skipping over drama about employees fighting and the woman’s explanation that she has “a global entry pass” and knows what she’s talking about, it seems that the daughter had a reservation but no ticket associated and Delta wanted payment for travel. To her, though, they had seat assignments so therefore they must have had a ticket.

They were traveling to Colombia so that her daughter who “has already had more than $300,000 worth of surgery” could receive more. The incident, which apparently happened on June 5th, cost them $1,126.20.

So this should actually be a very simple situation to sort through: were they charged for the ticket originally. If not, they needed to pay for travel. If they were charged, then there’s an error and Delta needs to issue a refund. If Delta charged twice for the same travel and refuses the refund, file a consumer complaint with DOT.

It does seem to me, though, after a June trip on Delta that went wrong the daughter might have taken extra care in planning to travel on Delta again the next month. Is that wrong?

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