The airline gave them overnight accommodations because their first flight arrived at the stopover city too late to make a flight to their destination. They also received a $12 meal voucher. What bothered me was that not everyone that had been delayed out of London and forced to layover in Philadelphia received the same information during the delays or received the same compensation.
Because I booked the flights for my clients I contacted the airline and my clients received a $200 credit per person towards future travel. And if you’re asking how I did that? I asked.
I’ll admit I wasn’t the one stuck at the airport when a 1 day trip home turned into a long exhausting 2 day trip and I wasn’t the one waiting for tidbits of information that explained the delays or how I would finally get home. But if you can remove yourself from the heat of the moment and get your thoughts together you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Here are a few tips to be taken seriously and be fairly compensated.
Since a pound of flesh shouldn’t be your goal and a majority share of the airline stock isn’t realistic, think about what you want and be reasonable.
Stick to the point. If you’re writing a letter, it shouldn’t be more than 1 page and focus on the biggest issue. If it’s an email, keep it to a few paragraphs. You’ll notice those comment boxes on forms aren’t very big for a reason. Don’t go off message by dwelling on the attitude of the agent/ flight attendant or baggage personnel unless that is the issue. In the situation I talked about earlier, my point was that there were 2 lengthy delays in one day preventing my clients from getting home as scheduled and neither was caused by weather.
Be professional. I talk to ticket agents and customer service reps all the time and just like your mother told you, it pays to treat people the way you want to be treated. Take the “you” out of the conversation. Yes, they represent the company but “they” didn’t cause this situation. And they can help you.
Be persistent. If you don’t get a satisfactory response, ask again or escalate your request. Ask to speak to a supervisor. I look for the office of the Ombudsman or Customer Relations if I’m not satisfied with the initial response. If I think I’m getting the brushoff I hang in there. You can find the mailing address for the headquarters of the airline online.
Talk about goodwill. Many times I’ve been told that what they’re giving my client is a gesture of goodwill and not compensation. That works for me. At the end of the day, the airline wants you to travel with them again. Loyalty passengers are a big part of any airlines business and complaints gauge the quality of their service.
If all else fails and your complaint involves safety issues, lost bags or violations of the Passengers Bill of Rights or the individual airlines Contract of Carriage contact the Department of Transportation.
If it doesn't involve any of those issues and you feel that you're just not being heard, use Twitter. If you address your complaint "@"the airline company, it shows up in their feed regardless of the number of followers you have. In fairness, this is a good tool to praise them too.