Wow! We're going to have a good debate here...
's CoC is available at http://www.delta.com/pdfs/contract_of_carriage_dom.pdf
Overbooking (by any amount) and canceling flights (regardless of reason) are both protected activities under DL
's CoC (see exception 2 to rule 115 and rule 240, respectively). As you can see for yourself, DL
does not "violate" the Contract by engaging in these activities, rather it incurs varying obligations to its passengers depending on the act in question. Thus, I'd say the number of times DL
knowingly violates the CoC per day approaches zero considering the number of passenger interactions by the airline per day. If you'd like to sue DL
next time they violate the CoC with you, have at it. Good luck!
"Contract for carriage are almost unconscionable because they are so one sided."
You're forgetting something here. The airline is offering to transport you in exchange for specified remuneration. You're not forced to fly with Delta if you don't accept the terms of your contract with them as a passenger in much the same way you're not forced to be party to any contract containing terms you disagree with. You buy the ticket, you agree to its terms. It's that simple.
"I've caught plenty of gate agents, at Delta and other airlines lying about why a flight was cancelled / delayed so that they could get out of offering compensations or dealing with the crowd issues that arise."
I'd remind you that what might appear to the passenger as a lie may merely be the result of the many complicating factors involved in running an airline. If the weather goes to hell and you're left with too few planes to run the schedule as planned, is that a weather or controllable delay? What if you cancel the least booked flight as a result of said weather system in order to run a flight that is full? Controllable or not? There is a ton
of gray area in airline operations. Yet the passengers always feel as if they are getting screwed and lied to since everyone and their brother knows how to run an airline better than the people who do it for a living. Folks, just because the view outside the window where you're standing is sunny, the weather 200 (or more!) miles away may be crap. It doesn't suit the airline to not fly their schedule -- DL
doesn't get to recognize your ticket revenue as being earned until you're on a plane enroute. If airlines could make the weather, every day would be 60 degrees, sunny, calm wind and no precipitation or convective activity. We're not out to get you. All that said, if an agent of the airline legitimately lies to you, you have a case. Call the 800-number to double check on the cause of any delay or cancellation if you like. I'd be willing to bet that the "problem" you speak of either isn't in fact an issue or is just a matter of a few misinformed, perhaps malcontent employees.
"The market value of anything are what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree on. Delta agreed to fly you from point a to point b and back for X dollars. Whether you decide you want to fly back to point b is your choice."
Right on. I couldn't agree with your first sentence more. Which is exactly why you would be depriving DL
of revenue they richly deserve. You seem big on open markets, thus I'd expect you'd see what's wrong in cheating DL
in this manner. By telling DL
you're going somewhere you aren't in order to get off halfway there is fraudulent. See rule 100, section G, paragraph 3, item C.
Remember: if you want DL
to stick to the CoC when it suits you, you must do the same when it suits them. That's a basic tenant of contract theory.
"Given Delta's financial condition, they should be doing whatever possible to encourage people to fly their planes (and possibly modeling themselves after the LCC fare structures) which ignore whether the flight is round-trip or one way. Perhaps if they spent more time listening to what customers want and meeting those needs, they'd spend less time talking to bankruptcy attorneys."
If you have all the answers, why not sell your executive services to DL
? You may be correct on all you say, however the discussion here is not regarding what DL
ought to be, it is about the terms agreed to when a ticket was purchased for transportation over the lines of Delta. That is a positive issue of contract law; therefore your normative logic does not apply.