A Delta customer’s baggage was sent to the wrong state. The customer actually caught the error and brought it to the attention at the ticket counter where he learned that his luggage was already in route on another plane. The agent agreed to re-route it, but there was a problem and it took the customer longer than anticipated to get his luggage. Does this sound familiar to you? But, that’s not the end of the story. More significantly was the physical state in which his luggage was returned to him. The customer claimed someone urinated on his luggage, stole personal property, and squirted toothpaste all over his toiletry bag. Do you believe him? Well, I’m not sure Delta did either because his complaint went unnoticed…until the customer submitted a video on YouTube titled, “Thanks Delta Airlines for using my baggage as a toilet!” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SIF-R2lzek).
Take a look at the video…now do you believe him???? Well, since I don’t see him picking up the luggage, opening it, nor are there any witnesses, I can’t verify how this damage happened. Nonetheless the video is compelling and damaging. What’s worse is that the customer posted the video to Reddit, which had 500 comments, and Gawker listed 27,437 views. Interestingly, when I went to look at the comments on YouTube, the following message appeard “Adding comments has been disabled for this video.” Well after scrolling through some comments on Reddit, it does seem people are worried about travelling, luggage, and bomb sniffing dogs that urinate on luggage (as explained in some of those comments).
I read in PR Daily that Delta finally responded to the customer on YouTube leaving the following message:
“This is Susan Elliott with Delta. I wanted to apologize that you were unable to successfully communicate with us regarding your situation.
We want to talk more with you about this matter to figure out exactly what occurred. If it is determined that your bag has been mishandled in this way, know that we find this unacceptable. Let’s connect so we can determine our best course of action and how we can offer you resolution.”
Again…I can’t confirm this was a comment, but I do believe in Michael Sebastian’s reporting at PR Daily, and that this is accurate and true. But taking down the comment section is just plain suspicious to me.
According to PR Daily, “…the airline won some accolades for its swift response.” I’m sure the customer is less frustrated, but still not happy. We don’t know how Delta responded to this, if the customer is satisfied and how Delta plans to ensure luggage safety and final arrival baggage. Do you feel comfortable flying Delta??? Well, we don’t have all the facts to make this decision yet. As a PR professional, would advise Delta to respond to this, provide an apology, look into who vandalized and stole his property, and finally how Delta is going to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other customers (which should be made available online)
As for this mom’s playground perspective…perhaps PT101 is in order (Potty Training 101).
Below are the links:
YouTube video, the title “Thanks Delta Airlines for using my baggage as a toilet!” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SIF-R2lzek).