If you are a Delta Sky Miles frequent flyer member and purchased an airline ticket in the past three weeks, you may want to see whether you overpaid for your ticket by a significant amount.
According to Minneapolis, Minnesota, television station WCCO, passengers purchasing Delta plane tickets via their online Delta Sky Miles accounts during that period were shown airfares that were sometimes hundreds of dollars more than those listed when the passengers didn’t use their Sky Miles account numbers.
WCCO reported that customers who complained to Delta about the issue were told by reservation agents that, “that’s the way the system works.”
However, when reporters from the station started to investigate the complaints, Delta quickly looked into the matter and belatedly admitted that the issue was the result of a computer error. An AP story states that Delta has been working on “upgrading elements of its website for more than a year. An upgrade less than three weeks ago to its flight search engine caused the fare discrepancies.”
Despite knowing that a software glitch is causing some of its most loyal customers to be fleeced, Delta said that it “wouldn't be notifying customers of the problem but if travelers call, they will look into it on a case-by-case basis.”
How very nice of them. I guess this is what Delta means when it states on its website:
"So many privileges just waiting for you with a free SkyMiles account."
You would think that irritating your best customers is not in your best interests, but that seems never to enter the business equation—at least not in the airline business.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.