What Qualifies as a Bad Week Part Two

I’m going to cash in my miles, sit next to you on the next flight to Mumbai.

They CALLED!!!! The boys must have had a management meeting. Speakerphone. 10:41 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Victory Suburban Martyr. I think I may have earned some miles due to distress too.

Here’s How it started:…..

Original Message Follows:



Name : Ms Surburban Martyr

Email Address : Protected

SkyMiles Number: Very Important


Email about Past/Future travel: Not Travel Related

Nature of Comment: Complaint Concern

Email Pertaining to: SkyMiles

Email about Other topic:


I’m absolutely in tears. I was a committed Delta Airlines flyer for my

ENTIRE CAREER, when I last flew in 2001 and made the decision to stay at home in Tampa with my children. I stopped flying weekly and stopped

WORKING, had three babies (2000, 2002, and 2004). Finally, my youngest

is old enough to stay with Grandma, and I can get away with my husband,

finally using my hard earned SKYMILES.

I went online today to book my ticket using my SKYMILES and 165,000 of my HARD EARNED MILES of cross country travel, red-eye travel, and connections throughout the US were GONE! In January of 2005, Delta removed these from my account. It’s not the poopy diapers, the career aspirations, or the accomplishments of my potty training that kept me looking forward to tomorrow all of these FOUR YEARS of house arrest/motherhood. It was that trip to Europe this summer, that week in Vegas with my husband next week, the trip to Boston this fall with my

mother that I looked forward to. It was going to be because I was a committed Delta flyer MY ENTIRE 7 YEAR career! Now, it’s gone. I didn’t receive a statement, a notice, a letter. Nothing to tell me that this was happening. I can’t believe it. I’m absolutely shattered.

I’ve made so many sacrifices as a mother, I guess this is a slap in the face of motherhood, compliments of Delta. I’m in tears.

Would you like a reply to your e-mail? : yes

—–Original Message—–

From: Customer Care [mailto:Customer-Care@delta.com]

Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 12:29 PM

To: Suburban Martyr

Subject: Re: SkyMiles – Not Travel Related (KMM8723361V77997L0KM)

Dear Suburban Martyr,

Thank you for contacting us through the Delta Web site. We apologize for the delay in responding to your message.

We are sorry to learn that you have not had the opportunity to use your SkyMiles account or take advantage of one of our many partner offers. As stated in the SkyMiles Membership Guide, all SkyMiles are subject to an expiration date. SkyMiles will not expire as long as there is participation in one of the following activities at least once every three years:

. Travel on a qualifying Delta, Delta Connection, Song or Delta Shuttle flight . Participate in the SkyMiles program with one of the SkyMiles program partners . Redeem your miles for a SkyMiles Award

. Receiving miles from the new Mileage Transfer Program currently being offered for a limited time – Please visit our Web site at www.delta.com/transfermiles for details

Please note the following types of account activity do not extend the SkyMiles expiration date:

. Mileage redeposit

. Posting of bonus miles alone

. Mileage transfer to a designated beneficiary due to death or incapacitation

Your account reflects no qualifying partner activity was posted within the 36 months prior to your expiration date. If you feel this information is in error, please resubmit copies of supporting documentation (tickets, receipts, etc.) for review. As a reminder, mileage discrepancies need to be submitted within six months of travel. For your convenience, you may return the documentation via fax at 404-773-1945 or mail to:

Delta SkyMiles Service Center

P.O. Box 20532

Atlanta, GA 30320-2532

We value the relationship you have with Delta Air Lines and would be delighted to have another chance to restore your trust and confidence in our service.


Sky Miles Employee

Online Customer Support Desk


So, I was fired up….

Original Message Follows:


You’re kidding right? Trust and confidence in your service? Try 8 years of full time flying on your airline. I’ve had THREE CHILDREN, within 2000-2004. Travelling has been out of the question. Now, however, I’m able to get away, to use my 8 years of accrued miles. You could hardly think that I would abandon them? I’ve been pregnant for 30 months, breastfeeding for 36, and wiping my children’s butts for 24 months. That, I would abandon.

Please, I’m begging you. I was a loyal Delta flyer. I went out of my

way to fly on Delta. I paid more than I should have to fly on Delta. Give me 12 months to use my miles, and I’ll use 100% of them.

I never received a statement, a notice, a warning that I was going to lose my miles. Had I known, I would have given them as presents to family that hasn’t been able to afford to come to visit their grandchildren. Instead, I selfishly dreamed of using them to get away with my husband! To get away to sleep in a bed without some kicking kid next to me peeing in a diaper!

I can’t believe it. I’m shocked and awed.

Suburban Martyr

Dear Suburban Martyr,

Thank you for your reply.

We were sorry to hear that you were disappointed with our e-mail. Please let me assure you that the goodwill of our customers is very important to us. We try to be responsive to all passenger inquiries and offer all SkyMiles members the same opportunities. It is our goal to offer the finest service available while maintaining the integrity of our program.

Travel statements are sent reflecting travel activity for the previous month’s reporting period, approximately two weeks after each month’s end. A statement will not be sent if there was no activity in an account during that time period. The last statements which would have been sent to you in 2001 indicated an expiration date of December 31, 2004 for your SkyMiles balance. The expiration date is also listed online when viewing your account activity for the previous six months.

Additionally, there are opportunities other than travel to accrue or redeem SkyMiles in order to prevent expiration of your SkyMiles.

In fairness to all our customers, we must respectfully decline your request. We value your business and hope you will understand our position.

We appreciate your interest in Delta Air Lines.


Another Powerless Employee

Online Customer Support Desk


So, I wasn’t done….

Dear Powerless Employee,

Integrity of your program? 168,000 miles of loyalty and 4 years of motherhood. I’m supposed to know that 168,000 miles are going to expire by Checking online? Yeah, sure, I sit and watch my airline miles like I watch Elmo. I have my Delta account on “favorites” and monitor it. Not. Give me a break. Your policy is crooked and your frequent flier program is a farce. Opportunities to accrue miles? Sure, I’ll transfer my 400K American Express Miles that I’ve also accrued over my life right to Delta…I’ll get right on that. I have never used those miles, and they are still there, year after year.

No, that’s it. You’ve lost me as a customer. I’ll be earning miles on my American Express based on buying tickets on other airlines from now on. I’ll earn frequent flier miles elsewhere, thank you very much. I will never fly on Delta again, in fairness to all of the other female customers and mothers you’ve obviously lost for the same reason. They didn’t die! They didn’t abandon hundreds of millions of miles! What man with over 165,000 miles in his Delta account takes a “four year” hiatus on traveling without DEATH? I’m sure if you look at the sex features of your top frequent fliers, they will share a key body feature. It was my experience when I was a 100+/segment a year flier (platinum) on your airline THAT I WAS THE ONLY WOMAN FLYING IN FIRST CLASS. Unfortunately women bear the brunt of raising your future frequent fliers and your frequent flier program caters and benefits the male population. My children won’t fly on your airline, my parents won’t fly on your airline. My husband won’t fly on your airline.

In my research, I have discovered that Delta is in distress. I am sure your revenues are down partly because your “expired miles” Mothers are flying on other airlines with their kids. This mother will be buying 5 tickets somewhere else. Funny how losing a smart mom as a customer can reflect multiples on your bottom line in the future…Southwest flies to Disney too. Profitable airline…hmmmmm….

Good luck, I’ll be donating the rest of my miles to Charity.

Suburban Martyr

So, then I wrote the CEO, COO, CTO, CMO, CFO, …..

—–Original Message—–

From: Suburban Martry

Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 2:59 PM

To: ‘CFO@delta.com’‘COO@delta.com’‘CTO@delta.com’‘CMO@delta.com’

Subject: Losing Customers to Other Airlines

Dear Gentlemen,

I hope this email gets to you. I’ve read all of your bios, and I know that you are all highly educated men. You’ll have to read past my humor at being a now stay at home mom who once was a top frequent flier on your airline, perhaps you have wives at home, and perhaps you should bring this email to them to read, and ask their opinion about my complaint. I’m sure your wives also gave up their own ambition for the sake of your career or your lovely offspring. Perhaps some of you have Grandchildren and daughters that are living my life of bliss and “Groundhog Day”.

I know you all value your positions and the role that you play at Delta, and your desire for the airline to continue to survive.

As for me, last I checked, I am a 34 year old mother of 3, a Sweet Briar College and St. Andrews University graduate with a major in Economics. My resume would reflect an executive level management consulting career with both Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and Touche, and IMRglobal. My clients were large and small, from directing multi-million dollar engagements with John Hancock Insurance in Boston and Blockbuster in Dallas, and San Francisco, to Frederick’s of Hollywood in Los Angeles. My expertise was in operations improvement, revenue enhancement, and finally in Web operations and development/integration.

I lived on Delta throughout my career, until I was too pregnant to fly and was grounded, along with my 195,000 frequent flier miles. My husband helps companies raise capital and refinance debt and does a lot of travel. I stopped working, stopped traveling, and kept getting pregnant and now have 3 children. 4, 3, and 11 months old.

I am also the daughter of a retired TWA international pilot, who flew his last American Airlines flight during the Sept. 11, 2001 nightmare. My father was the board representative for the pilots union and we have had many opposing debates regarding running an airline and being part of a Union. Some kids would fly on their father’s company, but I chose to fly on Delta. I knew the problems going on with TWA and didn’t was to risk building up loyalty in an airline that was being broken apart by corporate raiders and thieves. I knew that one day I was going to want to cash in my miles, and TWA wasn’t going to be there. So in 1993, when I graduated from college, I signed up to be a Delta Frequent flier.

To synopsize my complaint. I had 168,000 frequent flier miles, and have not flown since 2001. Last week, I went to check my miles and see if I could redeem them to purchase a one way ticket from Las Vegas to Tampa as I was flying out on a private jet with my husband and finally had a willing party to watch my children for three days. I had to return early to attend my 4 year old’s Mother’s Day program at his preschool and needed to fly commercial to get home in time. When I looked online, my miles had been EXPIRED on January 12, 2005. I never received notice that this was happening, or was going to happen. Your policy is now to expire the miles after inactivity on the account, but this is done without warning, or an annual statement of the account to inform the flyer that this is going to happen. If I had cashed in my miles, I would have had 1 year to use the ticket/coupon. My last statement was received in 2001, when I was flying.

You’ve lost me now as a customer, based on your policy of “fairness to the other passengers” that you have done this too as well. I donated what you didn’t expire (2100 miles…and I don’t know why) to Make a Wish foundation so that some mother can take her child to Disney and I’ll drive there.

When you sit around your weekly meeting or this Sunday with the women in your lives, please think about how much your wife, mother and daughters have given up so that you can be where you are sitting today, and how Delta’s frequent flyer program penalizes women.

Think about how Delta could market towards women traveling in multiples and continue to cater to them once they have been loyal. Maybe I will fly on Delta, I’ll transfer enough AMEX miles to fly non-stop cross country and then on to Mumbai and sit in First Class with my three kids and some of your loyal frequent traveling boys, drinking their wine, reading the paper, and flirting with the stewardesses, while their wives are at home with their kids…

When is YOUR next LONG trip on Delta? Maybe we can meet…

Yeah, you’ve got a tough job…

Very truly yours,

Suburban Martyr

Ff #The Number

So today, at precisely 10:41, I get a call from DELTA AIRLINES. THEY ARE ON SPEAKERPHONE. Miles reinstated.

Got the first quote back from the floor company yesterday. $9549….Yeah, we’ll be cancelled.

Today, is a much better day. I’ve now got 200,000 Miles in my account and places to go!!!! To Hell with the Floors.

Pajama Day

Me getting dressed is an afterthought.

It’s all I can do to bathe the kids, let alone myself. I had my mother over for 15 minutes this morning so that I could make airline reservations and not have to excuse myself for screaming kids in the background. I was giving her grief the other morning for still having her PJs on at 11:30 when I came tromping through her door with my three and a carload of supplies (stroller, baby chair, Mickey Mouse, Minni Mouse, “baby dog” (that thing that Ashton carries with him everywhere), diapers, change of clothes, swimsuits etc) and complained that I had been trying to get there (a mere 1.5 miles away) since 8:30 and it was the best I could do. So today I got grief when she sees that it’s noon and all of my kids are still in their mis-matched PJs, I have on a coffee stained leaking breast stained mis-matched PJ ensemble and my hair strangely piled on top of my head. I’ve been trying to take the kids swimming all morning but hadn’t gotten past the “waking up stage” and am still trying to feed Ashton oatmeal which I guess now will be lunch…it’s all a blur by day end. Her pj wearing is a luxury, me getting dressed is an afterthought.