5 Ways to Get Good Customer Service From an Airline

If Possible, Have a Face-to-Face interaction: If you’re at the airport and run into an issue with your flight or with the airline, such as a delayed, canceled or overbooked flight or lost luggage, Mr. Seaney said that it’s best to get it resolved in person. “On the phone, you’re anonymous to some degree, but you’re more likely to get compassion from an airline employee if you’re looking at him or her,” he said. If you’re at the gate, and the line to talk to an employee is long, he advised finding an employee at a different gate or even exiting security and finding one at the airline’s check-in area, which usually has more staff on hand than at the gate. Or, try Mr. Seaney’s go-to way, and head to the airline’s lounge, usually reserved for premium or frequent fliers, and explain your situation to one of the employees at the reception area. “I do this all the time, even if I don’t have access to the lounge and have never been turned away,” he said.

Be Flexible and Offer Solutions: Help airline employees help you, said Mr. Seaney, by giving them some potential solutions for the issue at hand. If your flight is delayed or canceled, for example, ask the person helping you to get you to your destination on a different carrier. Or, ask about the possibility of another flight on your carrier to a different airport which is near where you want to go. “Given how overwhelmed airline employees are, they’re not necessarily going to proactively think of ways to help you,” Mr. Seaney said. “They’re more likely to give you what you want if you propose your own resolutions.”

On Board, Show a Good Attitude: When you’re actually on the plane, smiling at flight attendants only goes so far, said Mr. Solomon. Showing your niceness, on the other hand, increases your chances of getting friendly service. Be willing to exchange your seat, for example, for the couple who wants to sit together or for the flier with a disability who would…

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