Airlines and Some Random Bengal....
(Mim in her Point Position. Pointing a Featherstick)
I pulled off a pretty cool airline coup today, which my Boss twittered how impressed he was by. Which made me feel great.
(OK, bragging here, but this one WAS good)(Listening to @fabulouslorrain deal with Delta's customer service to change my tickets is like watching Nijinsky dance. By god she's good.)
Had to change two non-refundable tickets, one for a day later, the other for two. Impossible?
Not at all. If you know what you are doing.
I have done airline blogs in the past, but for those of you who haven't seen them, here's another. For those of you who don't travel, or have read them, here's some random Bengal pictures for your enjoyment, taken tonight.
(Mim learning to walk on two legs, with Venus and Tas)
First, do your homework. This is the most important thing I can tell you.
Know what you want and what you are looking for. If you travel a lot, get the OAG, Official Airline Guide. ALL airlines, all flights. Not prices, but first you want to know what's out there when you are traveling. Very pricey tho.
Another good way to find out is Orbitz, or Travelocity. They can give you flights listed by price. This can tell you who has the lowest prices. Or the airline websites are good too.
Book with the airlines. Then you can talk with them directly if you need to change. This is good, trust me. When you call the airlines, to make a change, or book, say hello nicely, use their name, ask how they are.
(Venus in Catbed on Halloween Town with Shirt)
If you get the "I don't care what do you want" person, develop an emergency, and say you will call back. Do this as many times as it takes to get the person who does care. Especially if you need to change a ticket.
Now, pretend they are your new best friend. Ask where they are. Take an interest in the weather, talk about your weather, how late you both are working. They will like this. So will you. Then say, well, I have a bit of a problem, can you help me fix this. NEVER make the problem their fault.
(Venus practicing her Vivaldi. Heh)
Throw in fun phrases like "Oh excellent, now could you give me a complimentary upgrade for my Boss's girlfriend" Laugh as if you are joking.
(Magic and his Underworld)
Very often, especially on last minute flights you can get a restricted special first class ticket for less than coach. You need to find out if there are specials, they are not advertised. (I did today)
Often there is a HUGE price difference depending on the flight you take. Find out. If you are willing to travel say, at 7:00am on an empty flight, might go down. Sometimes if you wait till a few days before, the airline will drop the price on a flight that is not full. There is a risk here, they might not, but if you are willing to play Plane Roulette, you can win big.
Look a few days before and after the days you actually want to travel. Could make a big difference.
Bring a Bengal. This will ensure an entertaining flight for all concerned. Nothing like an escaped Leopard to liven up a long boring trip. (ok, I made that bit up)
Mostly, as I said, Do Your Homework. Know what's there, and where to get it. Find a cool person to talk to, and talk to them like they are a person. Stay with them as long as it takes. Thank them for spending the time with you. The more you book flights, the more you know what you are doing, they like this.
I think another nice thing to develop, and you must if you are a PA, is the ability to see the situation 10 ways at once, more sometimes. If one way closes, try another. Keep trying, look at it from every angle you can think of. Try bizarre things. Keep looking. Spend hours at it. Took me about one today, all told, but I've been doing this for some time.
(Magic also learning to walk on two legs. He is in Luv with Mim, you see)
I think this mostly applies to any Customer Service issues you have. Make them want to help you, find the nice person, treat them right, as if they are the only person in the world who can become a Hero by solving this.
Sometimes, they are.
Love and Flying,