Delta Air Lines. Customer service. Abysmal.

DeltaOK, so Delta is bankrupt.  Does that explain why its customer service is so abysmal?  I’m trying to book some flights this week.  I have old credits to apply and I call up to make sure I can apply them + get a child fare (can’t be booked online).  Good news:  I can [supposedly] apply the credits online.  Bad news:  there aren’t any child fares available in this particular market (Louisville – Boston).  OK fine, I’ll book everything online.  Oh, and if I have any problems, the agent tells me to call the online support number at 888-750-3284.

I log on to  Find flights, apply credits, everything’s going fine.  Then – "System Unavailable."  OK.  I clear my cache and cookies, try this again.  Same result.  Try it again, this time with IE 6 instead of Firefox.  Same result.  So I call the online support number.

Delta:  [ring ring] [immediately goes to hold musak]
(a few minutes pass)
Delta:  Hello, what are you calling about?
Me:  Hi, I’m trying to book a flight on delta dot com.
Delta:  Hello – there’s a problem with your phone line.  Are you there?
Me:  Hello, I’m trying to book a flight on delta dot com and having some problems.
Delta:  OK.  Are you trying to go online with internet explorer or your internet service provider?
Me:  [confused] Excuse me?
Delta:  Some internet service providers are incompatible with
Me:  Really?  I’m pretty sure my ISP is compatible.
Delta:  How are you logging on to the internet?
Me:  I’m using a cable modem and Comcast internet service.
Delta:  OK, well what you need to do is find a button called "start" and then look for a menu option called "programs"…
Me:  Are you serious?
[this goes on for a couple more minutes – and then I had to hang up.]

I tried to book online the next morning – same problem, system still unavailable.  So I called Delta again – this time I got Bombay on the line (last time it was Pune).  Delta charges $10 more for booking a ticket over the phone instead of online.

Me:  Well, the online system was broken and given that I had no choice but to book over the phone, I’d like a $10 discount.
Delta:  I’m sorry, I told you at the beginning of the call that there is a $10 service fee.  There’s nothing I can do.
[on top of the $50 rebooking fee]

This is what happens when your customer service department blindly follows operating procedures instead of trying to understand the customer perspective.  By the way: the e-Credit functionality doesn’t work, either.  So why put it on your site?