Tuesday, December 30, 2008

inFLIGHTout Travel Tip: Program Airline Phone Numbers

What's worse than showing up at the airport and finding out your flight has been cancelled? Realizing you will be competing with up to 200 other people from your flight trying to get rebooked as well. Everyone has a story: "We're on our honeymoon," "I have a business meeting to attend," "I have elite status," and the list goes on. At the customer service center in the airport, everyone lines up in proper form, hoping for the best - expecting the worst, to find out whether they will even fly out today.

The key here is to have your situation looked at before the others. Call it selfish, if you must. But there are a limited number of seats and trying accommodate a full plane of customers from a cancelled flight onto later flights can be a challenge. Here is what you can do to improve your chances of of a desirable outcome:

Program airline phone numbers in your mobile phone. (Go ahead and do this now, I'll wait). This way while you are standing in line at the customer service/rebooking center, you can concurrently call the airline. By the time you hang up the phone, many of your fellow passengers may still be in line awaiting their fate.