Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Oshkosh woman wins claim after Delta misses court appearance

Delta Air Lines photo
Bad weather and miscommunication turned a two-day trip into an ordeal for a student returning to school.
By Zack Dion

An Oshkosh woman won a $3,200 claim against Delta Air Lines after a planned one-stop trip to the Caribbean turned into a series of canceled flights and reroutings that took her son from Chicago to Philadelphia to New York back to Philadelphia and then to Toronto; Christ Church, Barbados; Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago; and finally St. George’s, Grenada.

Patricia Hallquist filed her claim against Delta Air Lines in March after her son, Eric, experienced multiple cancelations of his flights to return to school in Grenada earlier this year.

Initially the airline said it had no liability because the cancelations were weather-related, but then it sent no one to attend a mediation orientation. Commissioner Bryan D. Keberlein entered a default judgment against Delta on May 22 to pay the claim when the airline didn’t appear in court.

Using a joint credit card, the family bought two Delta flights for Jan. 3 and 4, one from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and another from New York to Maurice Bishop International Airport in Grenada. When the flight to JFK was canceled, the airline booked Eric a flight to Philadelphia International Airport.

After arriving in Philadelphia, Eric thought he was booked on a flight from New York to St. George’s on what was described as a Delta partner, Caribbean Airlines. Eric took a ground shuttle to New York, where he was told that he was not on the passenger list for the flight.

Delta offered to let Eric be put on standby, but he declined because of weather conditions and took a shuttle back to Philadelphia, costing the family almost $900 for the two shuttle trips, according to court papers.

The family said it then spent over $1,300 in plane tickets to get Eric to Grenada as he traveled a circuitous route through Canada and two island nations before his arrival in Grenada on Jan. 8. Eric’s luggage didn’t arrive in Grenada until Jan. 21, according to court documents. Patricia also sent a box of clothes and supplies to Eric which cost over $300 to ship, court papers state.

A Delta representative contacted Patricia Hallquist the week of July 23 and settled the claim, which came to almost $3,300 including filing costs. A contempt hearing scheduled for Aug. 22 against a registered agent at Delta was dismissed after the court was notified that the claim had been paid. 

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