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Florida woman says Delta never paid her for giving up seat

'I want to warn everybody,' passenger says

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Beth Anne Algie says she she will never fly Delta Air Lines again.

She said last summer, the carrier promised her $600 to voluntarily give up her seat on an oversold flight.

Six months later, she is still waiting for it to arrive.

She says she's not only mad Delta is refusing to compensate her, she's mad the airline is ignoring her pleas for help.

"I called Delta numerous times, spoke to numerous people, asked for escalation and they refused it," Algie said during a recent trip to Orlando. "I wrote emails to them, and they just refused to give me that compensation that they promised me."

Algie says it's not all about the money, it's about the way this major U.S. carrier is treating customers.

"They just don't live up to their promises," Algie said.

Algie said this happened during a trip she took to Alaska last summer.

Algie said she booked a round trip ticket with Delta Air Lines to fly to and from Anchorage, Alaska.

On Aug. 2, 2018, she arrived for her return flight home to Florida, and she says Delta workers approached her, stating Flight DL1601 was overbooked and asked if she would consider taking a later flight for compensation. She says she agreed and was booked on a later flight to Fort Myers. 

"They asked me to non-board, and I said, 'Sure, I'll spend another day in Anchorage and come home tomorrow,'" Algie said.

She says Delta instructed her to complete an online form and said her compensation would be mailed to her in seven-10 days.

Algie says Delta offered her $600 in the form of a Target gift card. 

Her records show Delta even sent her a confirmation email, thanking her for her generosity for volunteering her seat and confirming the $600 amount.

"It never happened," Algie said. "They say they outsourced it to another company that's totally responsible. And I said, 'Well, you're the airline, and they're not responding, so what will you do about it?' And I got no response at all."

So Algie took the case to court and won. A judge awarded her a default judgment back in December, which she says she sent to Delta.

She says she's still waiting for the airline to pay up.

News 6 sent multiple emails and submitted several calls to Delta. A media representative said they are looking into Algie’s case but would not comment any further.

News 6 also alerted the Department of Transportation about this possible violation.

"I think they are doing it because they can," Algie said.

Algie says she started doing research, and discovered Delta has been in trouble for failing to compensate passengers in a timely manner before.

She’s right.

In 2013, the Department of Transportation fined Delta $750,000 for doing so - and ordered the airline to cease and desist from further violations. The DOT also fined Delta $375,000 for similar violations in 2009.

According to DOT records, Algie was one of more than 59,000 Delta passengers who voluntarily gave up their seats from January to September of 2018. 

Records show that's significantly more than any of the other major carriers listed. 

But what it does not show is how many of them were compensated, and how many were not.

Federal aviation rules state the larger U.S. airlines must file quarterly reports with the Department of Transportation on the number of passengers bumped involuntarily from oversold flights as well as those who agreed to voluntarily give up their seats.

The Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division reviews and responds to consumer complaints, including oversales-related issues. It also promotes awareness and understanding of consumer rights, provides information on the quality of services provided by airlines, and makes it easier than ever for individuals to file a complaint with DOT about an airline experience. 

The ATCR also identifies the numbers of oversales-related complaints it received from consumers against major U.S. and foreign airlines. Complaints indicate consumer dissatisfaction but may not necessarily indicate a violation. A sample of the ATCR can be viewed here

Algie says had she known Delta's track record before, she would have never volunteered her seat.

 "I want to warn everybody," Algie said. "If they ask you to be inconvenienced and not take the flight that you booked on, don't believe them -- that they will compensate you."

According to the U.S Department of Transportation, a lot of times, airlines will either ask for volunteers, or simply bump passengers if they've oversold a flight.

In most cases, those passengers are entitled to a cash compensation of up to $1,350 depending on the value of their tickets and the length of time they were delayed. And if you do get bumped, the DOT requires airlines to give you a written statement describing your rights and explaining how the carrier decided who gets bumped. 

For a closer look, click here.

If you want to file a complaint against an airline carrier, click here.

UPDATE: Beth Anne Algie says she received payment from Delta on March 19, exactly one month after News 6's story aired.


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