We just flew to Beijing from New York and, despite a 4-HOUR layover in Seattle, my wife's bag did not arrive in China with us. We didn't get the bag until four days after our arrival in China, and we were forced to travel to the local airport (Jinan) ourselves to pick the bag up.
Delta was utterly clueless about our bag's location for several days, and seemed uninformed as to baggage policy in China (Delta kept telling us our bag was "out for delivery" to our hotel while the baggage people in China told us that we would have to personally appear to claim the luggage). Worst of all, Delta seemed utterly incapable of acknowledging and apologizing for their mistake, unless prompted.
All I could think about during this fiasco was this absurd propaganda that Delta forces you to watch before the in-flight film. Yes, Delta cares enough to build a big sophisticated luggage control system, but they don't really seem to care that you're in a foreign country without your luggage. We were able to make do, but we were shocked by Delta's ambivalence. "Save your receipts" was the extent of their empathy.
Yes, we did receive some compensation up front: My wife and I each received 15,000 SkyMiles in our accounts, and my wife got a $100 Delta voucher. All told, that's about $400 in compensation, plus we expect to be reimbursed for the expenses we incurred to replace missing items. We do appreciate it. We're not switching airlines. We only fly Delta, when possible. My wife and I are both Delta Diamond, which is Delta's highest loyalty level.
What bothered us was that they seemed unable to apologize or convey any feeling of "mea culpa", that they had screwed up. The ad copy reads "...the most on-time flights are nothing if we can't get your things there too." The commercial is a fantasy, because "nothing" is the level of sympathy or contrition you get when the little bear gets lost.