Archives For Delta

Are you looking for photos from my trip to the Domincan Republic? Here’s the only one you’ll find. I’m actually supposed to be there right now. But to say that I’m relieved to be safe, home and on the radio tonight would be an understatement.

Let me explain.

Yesterday I boarded a Delta flight headed from JFK Airport to Santo Domingo in the DR. There, I was set to cover this weekend’s David Ortiz Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament.

I want to stop here for a second and thank the foundation for inviting me down to cover the event, in addition to all it is doing for kids throughout both New England and the Dominican. I hope the benefit goes off without a hitch and of course, nothing I’m about to state is reflective on them.

As the airplane began its descent in to Santo Domingo, attendants began handing out the necessary forms for Customs. I slept most of the flight but awoke to receive my paper work and fill it out.

I got to “Passport No.” and obviously didn’t have it memorized, so I reached to grab it out of my pocket.

It wasn’t there.

Maybe it dropped on the floor? Perhaps I put it in the front seat pocket? Did I stuff it in my bookbag? Is it under the seat or stuck in a crevice?

I spent the next 20 minutes along with the entire de-boarding process unsuccessfully attempting to answer the most-pressing question: Where the heck is my passport? Obviously you must show it to board an international flight, so obviously I brought it with me on to the plane.

Eventually everyone exited and the flight attendants assisted me in the search, to no avail. I was then told that I too must exit, but that the cleaning crew would go through the plane and probably find my passport. They didn’t.

I stood on the end of the jet bridge speaking with the one English-speaking Delta employee at the gate. Welcoming, warm and pleasant she was not. Concerned that I had just landed and couldn’t find my passport? She certainly didn’t seem it. Instead, she insisted that I search my bookbag and luggage, all while hovering over me. I obliged and for about the sixth time in the past 45 minutes, dumped my bookbag out only to not find it.

Was there a chance I could call the U.S. Embassy (it was during normal business hours) or was there anything Customs in the Dominican Republic could do? Apparently not, and if there was, she wasn’t interested in finding out. As soon as she saw that I couldn’t produce a passport, the Delta employee returned to the gate, printed me a new ticket and instructed me to re-board the plane I had just exited. The aircraft was heading back to JFK.

My experience was disturbing, disheartening and humbling. I don’t travel internationally often and certainly was never in a situation prior to yesterday where I was in a foreign country, unable to speak their native language and without proper documentation.

I returned to New York and after navigating through more confusion from Delta and Immigration employees, ended up speaking with a U.S. Customs Officer. The Customs Officers and the Port Authority Police were fantastic. They quickly assisted me in entering the U.S. and filing a report for my stolen passport. The previous document is now invalid and at some point, I will have to reapply as a new passport holder.

But even the Port Authority Police Officers wondered why no one in Santo Domingo offered to put me in touch with the U.S. Embassy, or at the very least, direct me to contact them?

Following an Uber ride back to my apartment, I asked that very question along with a number of others to a supervisor on Delta’s elite member customer service line. According to the person on the phone, the Delta Employee in Santo Domingo didn’t have to help me because “that’s not her job.” As for her callousness, that was explained away as simply, “cultural differences.”

I guess even though Delta operates internationally, the same standard of customer service doesn’t apply to their employees everywhere.

Overall, I was told the incident was my fault and mine alone, so Delta was not responsible for anything – from the missed opportunity to the missing (stolen) passport to ticket price to the overall wonderful experience that was my Thursday.

Now for the record, I’m a Gold Medallion member with the airline but frankly, that shouldn’t matter; every customer should be treated with respect.

And frankly, my “status” didn’t matter. It left me wondering: Is every customer treated with such little compassion?

I hope that you never have to find out.

The following was written while I waited Sunday morning for my plane leaving Syracuse and headed to JFK to be de-iced. I had missed my flight to LaGuardia by about 60 seconds; thankfully the saints that work for Delta got me on the next flight to the city which thankfully was departing from the gate next door a few minutes after. It was originally posted to my Instagram and this version has been edited lightly for grammar and spelling.

Greetings from my ✈ back to the city. Let me tell you about my past 30 hours.

I snapped this selfie on AirTrain headed to JFK Saturday morning. The plan was to take-off at 9:30, land around 10:15 and make the noon tip of yesterday’s Syracuse/Georgetown game at the Dome. My cousin Anthony (who for those that don’t know is my best friend; I have the honor of standing as his best man next year when he takes the ole plunge) was riding the train in from Niagara Falls. He had never visited the Cuse so we were going to do it up – tickets at the game (thanks L) followed by a tour de force through my old stomping grounds: Marshall Street, Chuck’s, Faegan’s, Varsity – the whole thing.

And then my flight was delayed until it was canceled. Anthony ended up rolling to the Dome and subsequent venerable campus locations solo. I caught the first few minutes of the game from the bar at the LIRR Jamaica station (and yes they’ll make your cocktail to-go). Then I hopped back on a train towards Penn and checked the Amtrak schedule. There was a 1:20 Empire Service departure that could get me to ‘Cuse by 6:40. Should I go?

Stupid question.

I grabbed another cocktail from the Friday’s in Penn (no they will not make it to-go) and hopped aboard.
I had a great night in Syracuse. Ate dinner at an awesome spot called The York. Ran in to an old friend and his wife. Got to relive a bit of my college days with my best friend.

If I’ve learned anything this year it’s that family and friends have to come first in my life. It’s cliché but true and sadly, I haven’t always had my priorities straight. But I’m thankful for those around me who have always understood and supported me regardless.

I’m also thankful that I realized this now as opposed to never because that would be unfortunate… much more so than a canceled flight.

The week of Thanksgiving has turned in to one of my favorite times of the year. It starts in Los Angeles, covering the American Music Awards. A trip to In-N-Out Burger and red-eye flight later, I’m back east and for the next two days, my show airs at its normal time. Then Thursday morning, I’m up at 6 am so I can shower, grab a hot chocolate and walk over to the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I stay on the parade route until Santa passes me, which is usually about 10 am. Then I head back to my apartment, edit all of the celebrity interviews and videos I recorded from the morning and begin to figure out what the rest of my evening looks like.


Clearly, this week isn’t busy enough, so this year I added a new wrinkle: after the parade, I was going to fly home to Niagara Falls to see my family for Thanksgiving. It would be the first time in nine years that I was eating turkey in Western New York for the holiday.

This wasn’t my idea; my Mom was adamant on me returning home for the holiday. I think part of the reason is because she felt bad that for the first time in three years she and/or the rest of my squad wasn’t trekking to New York for Thanksgiving.


Back to my now-crazier day: I settled back in to my apartment and started to edit, (temporarily) wrapped at 11, finished packing at 11:30 and called a car to take me to LaGuardia.

There would be no editing at 30,000 feet because our Wifi wasn’t working. But there was this!


My sister picked me up from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and drove me home. I spent the rest of the evening (sans a break for turkey) finishing the social media updates and editing necessary for both 95.5 PLJ and our sister station, NASH FM 94.7. A coffee and amaretto or three later and I was done for the night.

On Friday I slept in before running 5 miles through my old neighborhood and linking up with my cousin Anthony for some drinks and leftover antipasto at my house. Then I headed down to Buffalo, where I met some old high school friends at a spot called Buffalo Proper. It’s a dimly-lit cocktail lounge with a full kitchen and pretty fantastic vibe. I would recommend the Tatanka and this, the Smoke Break, served on an ash tray.


The trip home was a quick one, as I flew out Saturday morning because I wanted to catch Syracuse play South Carolina at Barclays Center, a game they would lose. But with friends in town for the weekend, I ended up having a fun Saturday night (slash Sunday morning) out, along with a solid Football Sunday that saw my Bills notch a win.

A photo posted by Ralphie Aversa (@ralphieaversa) on


And then, in a new Thanksgiving week tradition (because it’s the second year it happened), my Christmas tree went up.


After all, I clearly didn’t have enough going on this week.

I love Delta but they were wrong, twice.

Also, some very talented musicians are featured in this video.