Travel can be challenging. With having to manage multiple reservations for one trip, something often goes wrong or needs to be changed. Whether the airline changes its schedules that affects your flights or a last minute event means you need to switch your reservations, the next step is often reaching out to the company’s call center. Sure, sometimes changes can be made online, but often the website will not give you the correct options or work at all, meaning a call is required.
After finally getting through the phone system’s options and speaking with an agent, surprise, the airline, hotel, rental car, etc. apparently cannot accommodate your request. Now stuck with a 20 hour layover in Chicago or two stops on what was supposed to be a direct flight while the agent is telling you that they can’t do anything to help, you would think your perfectly made travel plans just went bust. However, many people forget an important skill when dealing with travel companies or any company for that matter: HGCB (hang up, call back). You may be surprised that the second agent can magically solve your problems without an issue. Problem solved! You now have the correct flights at the correct times and all it required was one call back.
On a recent booking with American Airlines following a cancellation, I was left with a 6 hour layover in LAX, getting home nearly 8 hours after I had originally intended. The website did not allow me to change my flights so I tried calling. After first researching my options with a quick search, I concluded my easiest way home was to transit through Phoenix instead of LA. I called American and explained the situation to them. Although the agent seemed to understand the situation, she repeatedly gave me reasons why she was not able to put me on a better flight route after American’s cancellation had ruined my perfect plan. She offered me the ability to switch the flights with a price, but knowing that the problem was due to American, I opted to try once again to solve the problem.
I wished her a nice day, hung up the phone and called again. Magically, the next agent was able to switch me to my chosen flights within minutes. Five minutes later I received an email confirmation of the change and the new flights appeared in my American Airlines app. Although many would not have thought to call again, the second call saved me hard earned money and got me on my correct route. Definitely worth calling back!
In this situation I had the privilege of calling American’s AAdvantage Platinum desk to help with the issue, allowing me to get through to the agent much quicker than calling the normal line. If wait times had been bad, a call back may have lead to being on a horrid hold. In that case, I would have asked to be transferred to a manager before I hung up in hopes of avoiding a long hold time.
Overall this strategy is a great time and money saver that is always worth a call. I would stop calling on the third attempt because likely at that point the agent actually cannot change anything, but if your first call does not work, try, try again and get the company to give you what you deserve.
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