Business travel is awesome; don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. But just because it’s awesome doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with difficulties. You’re often told where to fly, when to be there, what to eat, etc. Not to mention you have to compartmentalize your life and you miss out on a lot at home. Oh and, in my case, I miss my significant other dearly.
And, sometimes, when you think you’re going to be home for three sleeps before your next trip and you find out that your plane is canceled and all you want to do is see your significant other and sleep in your own bed, well… Business travel sucks.
This is what happened to me last Thursday night as I was supposed to leave PHX to arrive in SEA, but weather, maintenance, or the Gods that control the blue skies had other plans in store for me. This should have been a really stressful ordeal, but it honestly wasn’t thanks to Delta’s awesome customer service.
So, I must preface this by saying that I probably do not travel like other people travel. I have traveled a lot and it’s earned me status on Delta. I’m a Diamond Medallion (which means I’ve flown at least 125,000 miles the previous year).
And at some point in my past, I added my Twitter handle to my Delta.com profile (you can, too, just make sure you’re logged in).
Delta Virtual Assist
A few weeks ago I received a DM on Twitter asking if I would like to join the Delta Virtual Assist trial program. Of course I responded with an enthusiastic yes.
And a week later, I was preparing for my first flight since joining and received a nice message before heading to the airport.
I mean, that’s cool, right? But it’s not really much different than my TripIt pro or Fly Delta app alerts. But it’s nice.
I honestly don’t think much of the program… until…
So, crap. OK, well, I like the choices. Long story short it was a lot to handle over Twitter DMs so Carlyne calls me. We decide that the best plan of action for me (and she gave me many options) was to fly to LAX, stay in a hotel, and fly home the next day.
I am in the middle of an event so I can’t really handle plans right now and she says not to worry, she’ll take care of it. I trust her. And yeah, my name is spelled incorrectly, but I’ll let that one slide.
About 45 minutes later, I get a message via Twitter DM:
Well, that was easy. Almost too easy. And 10K miles? Why, thank you Delta.
PHX to LAX
So, I boarded my flight to LAX without a worry in the world. I knew I didn’t have to stand in line, fight other passengers for seats on a different flight, worry about where I would sleep that night, etc.
Our flight takes off late, and while it does makeup time in the air, I still would have never made my connection. I’m in first, so I’m one of the first off the plane and as soon as I exit I hear, “Ms. Oras?”
There is a Delta Red Coat waiting for me with the hotel voucher and she gives me instructions on my hotel and transportation. This was over the top for me. I didn’t have to find a kiosk, or a person to help me. They came to me. Amazing.
I check into the hotel with the voucher and immediately the hotel was comforting and nice. The women checking me in asked if I needed toiletries, etc. since she knew I was a “Distressed Passenger.”
I quickly dropped my items off in my room and headed down to the Daily Grill for a quick snack. Gazpacho and salad, a nice light end of the night snack. Oh yeah, and a whiskey, of course. (Side note, I was literally the ONLY woman in the bar area of the Daily Grill.)
Then it was time for bed. The Westin Hotels have the Heavenly Beds (which, by the way, is my next bed!) and I didn’t mind a full night’s sleep in LAX, as I passed out around 10:45 p.m.
The next morning I woke up early and decided to make an impromptu trip to LA more exciting by visiting the hotel pool. To my surprise, it was heated and the sun was already out, so, of course I went in.
I had to go upstairs for some work calls (from the Heavenly Bed, of course), but the view from the 9th floor is great for spotting planes (and there’s literally a plane every two minutes).
After calls, I hit up breakfast downstairs at the Daily Grill. The signature cobb omelet was really good. Also, my server, Emily, was awesome.
I headed to the airport a bit early, so I could spend time in the Delta Sky Lounge and get through some emails before my flight. Then it was off to Seattle!
And while I was eating breakfast…
LAX to SEA
We took off on time and the air was clear and smooth.
It was a perfectly clear day to fly and Captain Walsh was very excited to point out the lovely views outside the window. I love that a Captain that probably flies this route every week is still excited by the beauty outside the window.
Some sites included Three Sisters, Mount Hood, Mount Shasta, Crater Lake and a wind farm (that I cannot recall the name).
And then we landed, and I am home (for 41 hours).
Pilot Program Feedback
Delta has excellent customer service always, but the new Virtual Assistant program made my whole “bad” experience into one that was painless, stress-free, and dare I say… enjoyable? (Hey, I did start my day off by swimming in the sun.)
I cannot stress enough how important it is, especially when I’m flying as often as I am, to have one less worry when traveling. Hopefully I don’t have to use the assistance too often, but I feel secure flying Delta and knowing that I will be taken care of if something happens.
I would like to see a few more personalized updates. For example, where is the closest Sky Lounge to my gate? Or where is the closest Starbucks to my gate?
Also, when switching flights I’d like to receive updates on the my second flight, which didn’t happen today (yeah, I’m flying again).
I look forward to receiving the Delta Virtual Assist surveys to provide my feedback, as well, because I hope the Virtual Assistant program is open to more people in the future.
And a special thank you to Carlyne S. for all of your help.
And, as a bonus, Delta has always taken care of me – even before Virtual Assist.
@elise81 We heard it’s a special day… We hope you have a wonderful birthday! =) *CB