Joe “the skunk” calls off wedding, but Delta Air Lines saves the day

It had all the makings of an unsolvable case. It involved a canceled wedding, nonrefundable tickets and an airline that refuses to answer my e-mails. But never say never.

Sandra Castiglia explains.

Last year, my daughter booked nonrefundable honeymoon flights for herself and her then-fiance on Delta Air Lines, putting the charges for both tickets on her own credit card. Not very smart of her.

Now, Joe a.k.a. “the skunk” has called off the wedding, and my daughter is not only heartbroken, but out some $450 for Joe’s ticket.

A very nice Delta agent split the two itineraries at my request, issuing a credit for a future flight for my daughter, less a $100 change fee, which we were happy to pay.

Joe’s ticket was a little more complicated. They tried to sell the ticket back to him. No luck.

They asked Delta to re-issue the ticket to Castiglia’s daughter, but it didn’t respond to her written request.

Could I help?

Well, yes and no.

Delta has refused to acknowledge my inquiries lately. I’ve tried to contact several people at the airline, but they seem to have gone into radio silence. I don’t know why. (If it’s an attempt to reduce the number of times I write about Delta, you can see how well that’s working.)

I suggested Castiglia send a brief, polite e-mail to a customer service manager at Delta.

While Delta doesn’t answer any of my e-mails — even its media relations department, which is supposed to field queries from journalists — its customer service executives promptly respond to inquiries from aggrieved passengers. I’m told that mentioning my name is often helpful.

It apparently was this time. Last week, I heard back from Castiglia.

I received a call from a Delta agent, who changed the name on the ticket, and gave her a credit for a future Delta flight. Keep up the good work!

Nice job, Delta. You waived one of your least flexible rules in order to help a jilted bride. Maybe you do have a heart.

If Delta wants to give me the cold shoulder, I’m fine with that. As long as it takes care of its customers.

Update (10:16 a.m.): Delta has responded. A spokeswoman acknowledged another e-mail that I had sent last week and suggested that I follow up to future inquiries with a call. “A phone call with an e-mail follow-up is always the best way to reach us,” she added.

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