Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Airline asininity at the Delta check-in counter at O'Hare

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Travel -- especially air travel -- can be frustrating. But what I just witnessed an hour ago at O'Hare was beyond the pale.

Flights are delayed and canceled today because of a storm, so things are already backed up and problematic. But I and a couple dozen other poor saps were treated to a 90-minute wait in line while, at times, ONE person was behind the Delta counter on a Saturday afternoon. Mind you, they had TWO agents trying to facilitate the first class passengers while we rotted on the vine. Listen, I know first class passengers pay a lot and deserve extras, but this situation was out of control. And a big reason why: some woman and her three pre-teen daughters (I don't know they were daughters -- I'm guessing) completely brought the line to a standstill for a half hour. I'm not exaggerating. Between them, they had two carry ons each and eight massive suitcases, each of which was over the 50-pound limit. So we got to sit there and watch as the woman oh so slowly pulled things out of each of the eight suitcases to reach the magic 50-pound limit. Her daughters proceeded to try to cram the discarded goods from the massive suitcases into their already bulging carry ons. Personally, I would be mortified holding up a line like this. I sure as hell would move quickly when redistributing my overweight cargo, which this woman didn't seem was necessary. And the Delta agent behind the counter didn't seem to think this was ridiculous. I get more attitude from desk agents when I deign to request an exit row. This was completely surreal.

Eight bags -- each over the 50 pound limit. All of us in line -- who were trying to rebook canceled flights or make tight connections, etc. -- were in shock at the way this was handled. Delta needed to get more people behind that counter (or divert some of their attention from first class) or tell that passenger with the bulging bags to move off to the side while she took her time redistributing her luggage weight.

Make no mistake: I love to travel. It's not just my job; it's my passion. But it's afternoons like this that put that love to a massive test.

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on June 12, 2010 3:53 PM.

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