It’s rarely painless to contact an airline’s 800 customer service number, but AirTreks does recommend calling them first when making changes to a flight, as they hold more authority over your booking.
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What this means is that they have the ability to bend rules and make things happen where travel agents are beholden to the letter of the rules, hard and fast. Airlines can also waive fees and get changes made with direct access to their empty seats.
Of course, at other times, it’s not bloody likely. Often they’ll direct you back to the agency responsible for issuing the tickets – meaning us. At which point you’ll want to get in touch with AirTreks’ customer service department, not the Travel Consultant who helped you originally.
When calling the airlines it may be difficult to get someone one the phone whose throat you don’t want to wring, but it can work in your favor to try.
Keep in mind a couple things when calling the airlines to make changes to your flights:
- Be patient: you may need to wait on hold for seemingly sadistically long periods of time, but bear in mind the wait is usually so they can get approval from a busy supervisor.
- Be courteous: barking at the person on the phone, or behind the counter, won’t help your case. Sure, the squeaky wheel does sometimes get the grease but it certainly won’t earn you points if you need a favor. Contrary to popular belief, airline employees often do reward good manners.
- Try back: if you’re not getting the answer you want the first time, call back and ask again. There’s no way to know the experience level of the person you get on the phone the first time around—they might not yet know the “system”. Try calling back and getting a different person on the phone to help. It may pay off in the end.
One final thing to remember when dealing with the airlines and their representatives, they are behemoth organizations, and perseverance works wonders.
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any route • any airline • any changeHow to Deal With Airline Customer Service,