A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way — TPG UK Staff Travel Success Story

Jul 28, 2019

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Last week, we brought you a TPG UK staff failure story from Nicky Kelvin and his night of travel that lasted forever. This week, we’re focusing on travel successes. Emily McNutt, TPG’s Global News Editor based in the UK, recently had an unfortunate journey back to Europe from New York on a cheap business class deal. She managed to turn a negative situation into a positive one with Delta Air Lines.

Back in April, I took advantage of a mistake fare from Berlin to New York with Delta Air Lines — £890 return in business class. Perfect for me, as I could visit family in New York and rack up Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) with Delta Air Lines. Everything on the outbound was fine. On the return, I encountered the most awful series of events: seven-hour delay, eventual mechanical cancellation at around 3:30am, 23 hours stuck at JFK, lost luggage for 48 hours and when I was eventually reunited with my bag, it was damaged.

I learned a couple things about this trip. First, be nice. After a seven-hour delay before eventually cancelling the flight, there were (understandably) very frustrated passengers. I saw travellers yelling at representatives at JFK, slamming fists on counters and fits of outrage. I kept my calm and managed to talk to the supervisor who was able to rebook me on a nonstop flight to London, rather than to Berlin and connecting on to London. In frustrating travel times, it can help to be provide a little calmness, a few words of encouragement and a smiling face among heaps of angry passengers.

Of course, when I got my bag back at home in London, it was time to file for compensation. After seeking advice from some TPG colleagues, I decided to shoot high in terms of suggested compensation. I asked for a refund, 10,000 MQMs and 50,000 SkyMiles — as well as reimbursement for my daytime stay at the TWA Hotel I had to pay for out of pocket. After more than a week, Delta got back to me with its compensation offer — an 800 euro Delta voucher (nearly the cost of the flight), 7,500 SkyMiles (in addition to the 20,000 the airline had already given me), reimbursement of my TWA stay and payment for the cost of my luggage to get repaired.

Lessons learned: be kind, be patient and ask for more compensation than you’ll expect. While I didn’t get everything I asked for (I wasn’t expecting to), I was happy with what the airline granted me. Though it was truly an awful experience, good customer service can go a long way. I’ll be keeping my loyalty with Delta.

If you’d like your own travel stories shared on TPG UK, we would love to hear them!

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