|Updated: 10/25/2012 9:19 am
||Published: 10/24/2012 8:12 pm
Delta Airlines passengers were fuming on Saturday after they waited more than hour for their bags to arrive at TIA’s baggage claim area.
On Wednesday, FOX23 spoke to the airline and they explained why frustrated fliers had to wait so long to get their bags that they paid $25 to check.
When you pay, you expect your bag to make it to baggage claim in, “about 20 minutes I would say,” flier Thomas Latimer told FOX23.
What happens when 20 minutes turns into 70 minutes like it did for Delta passengers fling into TIA on Saturday.
“I'd be livid. I'd be asking, ‘What’s the problem, what's wrong?’” Latimer said.
Airlines control baggage handling at TIA. It is their responsibility to get luggage off the plane and onto the Airport’s conveyer belt system. TIA allowed FOX23 to record our camera's journey through their conveyer system. From start to finish it took just three minutes.
What happened with those extra 67 minutes on Saturday? DGS, a subsidiary of Delta that's responsible for baggage handling at TIA, says, “DGS' goal is to expeditiously deliver checked baggage to the claim carousel, something we fell short of Saturday and will do better going forward. DGS apologizes to Delta customers for the inconvenience. There was an isolated staffing shortfall on Saturday and measures were immediately taken to avoid it going forward.”
“Sounds like they need to be properly staffed,” Latimer said.
”That's never ok in any kind of company. Your job is to have enough people to be successful,” Sara Beach, a flier from Siloam Springs, AR, told FOX23.
Airport Marketing Manager Alexis Higgins feels the frustration of those delta passengers.
“It's definitely not something we like hearing about. We realize it is something that impacts a customer's impression of their travel experience, not only with that particular airline, but with our city, and so it's something we pay attention to,” she said.
Higgins says the Airport is confident DGS has fixed the problem. While FOX23’s crew was at the Airport Wednesday, they did not find a single Delta passenger with a baggage complaint.
Airline Flier advocacy group Flyer’s Rights commented to FOX23 about the situation, “Air traveler's have so few protections when an airline fails to take care of their needs in a timely manner, Delta Airlines should at a minimum refund any paid baggage fees and for good measure offer every affected passenger one free checked bag for their next Delta Flight”
Passengers who had to wait for their bags said Delta told them they could get a voucher from the ticket counter at TIA, but when they went to the counter, it was closed for the night.