On my spending spree yesterday, I booked New Zealand for two weeks plus in December/January and put Hawaii on hold. Because I was using unused funds from a previously cancelled ticket, I could not get the 1K phone line to ticket both Katy and I and send me a remainder voucher.
I woke up early and headed to the airport 50 minutes away as the “hold” is only good until midnight of the next day. The reservation is SAV-KOA where we will use the Timeshare deal from Hilton and then inter island ticket over to Kauai for 4 nights at the St. Regis. The return is then LIH-SAV. Total price was $896 each.
When I arrived at SAV, the United crew as working a flight but the US Airways agents said they would be back in about 15 minutes. A quick Sudoku game and here comes a rookie agent that I am not familiar with. SAV is a United Express airport and they are not properly trained. I knew I was in trouble and ask for the station manager. He was not due in for another two hours and Patrick, the other experienced agent, had just left the airport. It was the rookie and I.
I explained that I wanted to ticket, using my unused ticket value, and as many of my vouchers as I could. I had 3 with me in addition to the unused ticket. The look was blank as expected and I asked for paper and pencil.
I wrote a 2 page note to the station manager explaining my desire. I left the vouchers asking him to use as many as possible and also asked to have him process upgrades using my CR1′s, miles and or E500′s as he saw fit.
I left my phone number, mailing address, and thanks and asked the rookie to give me copies of the vouchers and the letter I wrote the station manager.
Three hours later there was a voice mail on my phone. My ticket had been purchased, some of the upgrades were handled and the remainder voucher of over $1,700 was in the mail to me. Dell had obviously used all my small vouchers.
I hear reports of problems from you, and think at times, we forget the tough job, these guys and gals have in a tested industry.
A respectful, professional relationship with your local airport/airline employees is critical to improving the flying experience. They get enough grief from the uneducated flyers, and certainly don’t need it from us when something out of their control goes awry.
Last night, the reservations agent in Chicago that got us booked and upgraded into New Zealand was sent some flowers saying thanks for the effort.
The station manager at Savannah will get a gift certificate next time we are through the airport.
It only takes a minute or small gesture to show our appreciation. I hope you will be as consistent with your praise, as we are apt to criticize.