Monday, August 26, 2013

No Encore for Delta

Lynn Harrell is a professional classical cellist who travels all over the world to perform. Traveling as a cello soloist means a lot of flying and trusting airlines with a delicate, multimillion-dollar instrument as checked baggage. Thus, like many cellists, Mr. Harrell has to buy a second full-fare ticket for his instrument to travel in the cabin with him.   

Over the course of his career, Mr. Harrell has been accumulating miles for his cello’s second full-fare ticket, and those miles have helped reduce the cost of the flights for the instrument.

Then Delta Airlines abruptly terminated his membership in their frequent flyer program, cancelled all his miles, and permanently banned him from their program. His offense? Nothing more than accruing miles for the full-fare tickets purchased for his cello.

Mr. Harrell responded by saying he was taking his business to an airlines that would allow him (and his cello) to accrue frequent flier miles. But the story doesn’t end here for me. This kind of corporate stance makes me indignant and, in silent support of traveling cellists all over the world, I will no longer fly Delta. Said succinctly, my relationship with Delta has ended on a sour note. I applaud Mr. Harrell for carrying on without missing a beat.   

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