Today I received an email from Delta Airlines informing me that I might be eligible to qualify for TSA Pre through their frequent flyer program. Anyone who follows any of my social media feeds knows I travel quite frequently so I clicked on the link to proceed with the signup. After digging through old emails and finding my Delta frequent flyer number, going through a painfully slow password reset, I finally get logged into my Delta.com account.
So the first thing they ask is to confirm the spelling of my name as it appears on my government-issued ID. They had my first and last name correct, but it was missing my middle name and the suffix (my father is a Jr. and I’m a III). I assume this is because I signed up for my Delta frequent flyer account was back in the ancient days of the Internet and they probably didn’t have a field for that. I ALWAYS put that in anytime a form has a spot for a suffix, but many websites just don’t have a spot for it. Usually it’s not a big deal.
When I click on the edit button to correct these minor omissions the website tells me that I need to call the toll-free customer service number and speak to a representative. I sighed, but sure, ok. Dial the number and waited on hold for I’d say a good twenty minutes. Finally I get a live person and explain what I was trying to do. She was very polite, and proceeded to ask me about 8 different security questions, including, “When was the last time did you fly on Delta?”
“Heck if I know…I flew over 100,000 miles last year, I’m sure one of those planes was probably Delta owned or operated.”
“Actually, the computer says you haven’t flown on us since 2012, do you recall that trip?”
I couldn’t but I quickly searched through my email back in 2012 and found the itinerary. “Looks like I flew you guys from Atlanta to San Francisco in December of 2012.”
She complimented me on my excellent memory and then asked me to spell my middle name. I spelled it out for her, she made the change and asked if there was anything else she could help me with. I said, yes, I see you have a field for a suffix, I need to add “III” so it matches my passport.
“Oh, well in order to do a name change we need a copy of your ID mailed or faxed to us.”
“Can I email it to you? I can take a picture of it right now with my phone.”
“No sir, we don’t have that capability.”
At this point I was starting to get frustrated, but I kept my cool. I explained I wasn’t “changing” my name…it’s the same legal name I’ve had since I was born, I was just updating Delta’s record of my name to match my government-issued ID (per the instructions of YOUR website). Oh, and by the way, didn’t you just change my middle name?
“I’m sorry but we can’t do that without seeing a copy of your ID,” she replied.
So I say, “Ok, fine, I’ll just bring it to the Delta counter the next time I’m at the airport.”
“I’m sorry but you must mail or fax it to the customer service center.”
Getting a bit incredulous, I asked, “Wait, those aren’t Delta customer service desks you have at all the airports with the people wearing the Delta uniforms with the little Delta name badges?”
“No sir. That’s a different department.”
That did it. I said, “You know what? Forget about it. I just remembered why I haven’t flown on Delta for over a year, because your whole concept of customer service SUCKS!”
Guess I’ll try to get TSA-Pre through Virgin America. They got customer service down!