a computer screen with a keyboard
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Delta Air Lines Will Not Answer This Question About Its Kiosks. Why?

What is the question — and the mystery behind its answer?

An article was published pertaining to the phasing out of kiosks by Alaska Airlines at The Gate With Brian Cohen yesterday, Tuesday, March 19, 2024 — but although nothing has been announced, Delta Air Lines will not answer this question about its kiosks. Why?

Delta Air Lines Will Not Answer This Question About Its Kiosks. Why?

a computer screen with a keyboard
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The question is why passengers can no longer use their SkyMiles membership numbers to access their reservations and check in for their flights.

During my recent travels, I noticed the following phrase on the kiosks of Delta Air Lines:

Please note, using your SkyMiles to find your reservation is no longer available.

I decided to try to find out the answer to that question. The following is a chat exchange with customer service representatives of Delta Air Lines on its official Twitter — er…X — account.

“Greetings. I have a simple question. Do you know why SkyMiles membership numbers can no longer be used to check in at kiosks? For me, that was the easiest way for me to check in for my flight or call up my reservation at a kiosk.”

I was asked if my SkyMiles membership account was active, which I thought was a strange question — to which I replied in the affirmative.

After waiting four minutes, the representative responded, “I sincerely appreciate your patience as per the checking i would like to inform you that you may check-in with the Kiosks at the counter.”


I replied, “But I cannot do so with my SkyMiles number.”

I waited four more minutes before I received the following response: “I am really sorry for the inconvenience I would like to inform you that you need the confirmation number to check-in.”

My response was “Yes. I know. But I am asking WHY this policy changed.” I was starting to get irritated. “WHY can I no longer check in for a flight with my SkyMiles number at a kiosk?”

This was the response to me: “I’m really sorry, as per the checking i would like to inform you that you can check-in by using your reservation number.”

and Delta Air Lines considers itself as a premium airline, I thought to myself. They cannot even handle answering a simple question.

“Okay. Please connect me with someone who knows the reason why I cannot check in with my SkyMiles number.” I was very frustrated. I may as well have been talking to a wall with cracked plaster. “You are either a ‘bot’ or someone who does not understand English. Please connect me with a human being who understands English.”

The response I received was quite bizarre: “I’m really sorry, my system was stuck might be there are some network issue, please do not worry. I was trying and checking all my possible ways tp help you.”

I am now wondering what planet I was on, because I am not comprehending this communication. “I have no idea what you are talking about. Please stop wasting my time and connect me with a human being who understands English.”

Artificial intelligence would have been superior to this garbage response: “I apologize for the experience you’ve had with our agent today. No worry please fill the form so I have transfer you to another representative.”

I have to fill out a form?!? I could not believe all that I was going through simply to have a simple question answered. “Why do I have to fill out a form? I just want one question answered.”

This is technology at its finest, folks. D-uh.

“To further assist you I’ll be transferring our full conversation to a Ticketing Support representative.”

Well, I suppose that is the right department. Transfer away.

Once I was finally connected with a representative who supposedly read the previous brain-numbing conversation, I was told: “Sorry we do not know why the policy changed. Cooperate Customer care will have to look into that for you. Here is the link to our website where you can find the form to file a complaint and/or share your feedback about an experience with us: https://delta.com/us/en/need-help/overview?commentComplaintsForm -> Comments and Complaints -> Submit Feedback -> File a Complaint”

Wait a minute — I now have to file a complaint?!? This was really getting ludicrous.

Filing a “Complaint” — and Talking Via Telephone

mobile telephone Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

Okay. I asked the same question when I filed the “complaint”.

I received a response one hour and 15 minutes later via voice mail — which I thought was actually a fairly quick turnaround, as I expected that the response would take up to seven days. The voice mail message was as follows:

“Hi this is [name redacted] from Delta Air Lines customer care calling to speak with Brian about the case you submitted regarding not being able to use your SkyMiles number to check in at the kiosk. So I did do a little researching and I was not able to find an answer for you. I honestly didn’t even know that was a that was something that was taken off the kiosk. So what would I can do is only submit feedback regarding it to see if that’s something that can come back. I know that on the flight that I just recently got back from it was on there, so I’m not sure if it was just for that day it was just down. I’m not too sure but I do feel bad for not really having an answer for you, even though you’ve asked multiple people. But I am going to submit this for feedback, and I’m gonna try to find a better answer for you but thank you for being a Gold Medallion. You have a great rest of your day.”

I also tried speaking to a live customer service representative with Delta Air Lines via telephone. That person did not know the answer to the question either.

Even researching this discussion on FlyerTalk brought me no closer to an answer.

Final Boarding Call

Delta Air Lines
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

If you look carefully at the kiosk on the right in the photograph shown above, you will see that at one time, typing in the SkyMiles membership number was one of the methods with which passengers could access reservations and check in for flights. That functionality has mysteriously since been removed.

At the time this article was written, no one at Delta Air Lines ever followed up on answering my question — despite at least two assertions from representatives of the airline that they would submit my question to someone else for an answer.

I do not have a confirmation number of a flight memorized. I do not have a ticket number memorized. I do have my SkyMiles membership number memorized. When I use a kiosk from Delta Air Lines, typing in my membership number was the quickest way for me to access my reservation and check in for a flight without having to use any of my portable electronic devices.

Although it is a minor inconvenience at best for me, what is the big mystery that currently enshrouds the removal of the option to enter a SkyMiles membership number into a kiosk to access a reservation and check in for a flight?

All photographs ©2020, ©2021, and ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

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