Few weeks ago I wrote a post on how I was able to charm my way to a better flight connection due to airline schedule change. There were two choices available at the time: A flight through Chicago with 1 hour layover, and a flight through Dallas that would require us to hang around the airport for 1 hour 45 minutes. I picked the first one and I picked wrong.
A few days ago I got an email notification that my flight time has changed …again. And now we were scheduled to leave at 9:40 AM. That may not sound bad to you, but we live 1 hour 35 minutes from the airport (via car, of course). Do the math and you’ll see that this was less than ideal situation. Naturally, I went ahead and called American, hoping to switch to the flight via Dallas, the one I should have booked the first time.
I spent close to 30 minutes before I finally got an agent on the line. And the fun begins. I told her about my predicament and could see right away that she wasn’t the brightest bulb. I’m not trying to be mean, just honest. She kept looking for my reservation and said she didn’t see any flight changes. I told her I got an email 1 hour ago and was looking at it, and she kept insisting we were fine.
HUCA HUCA HUCA HUCA
The acronym kept flashing in my head repeatedly. For those new to the miles and points hobby, it means “hang up call again” Don’t ever underestimate the power of HUCA. So, I thought about hanging up but luckily for me, the agent volunteered to transfer me to another department.
The new gal seemed more “with it,” but was coughing like crazy. I felt really bad for her and told her to just take her time. It was pretty sad to me that here she was, sick as a dog, still working at 8 PM. I went ahead and explained my situation and asked her to rebook me on that flight via Dallas.
And then we had a serious case of deja vu. She said that technically, they are not required to accommodate me. I politely told her we have small kids, and it will be a nightmare leaving this early in the morning. She said she would talk to her supervisor and after about 30 minute hold, we were rebooked on the flight I wanted. I’ve mentioned that I wanted to give her positive feedback, which made her very happy.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t get connected to the right department and asked me if I would be willing to leave feedback online. I said absolutely. Her response: “Really?” I could tell she was in shock. Then I had the challenge of getting her correct name. It was very unusual, so I kept asking her to spell it to me one more time. Suddenly, I felt like I was not the brightest bulb in the store. Anyway, I got the name, left the feedback, and hope the gal gets promoted. That way, she can stay home when she is sick.
Honestly, I was very close to hanging up throughout this entire ordeal. But I’m so glad I didn’t. Yes, I did spend an hour and there was some aggravation involved. But now, we are leaving at 11:30 AM, which is a lot better. Well, unless there is another schedule change (rolls eyes).
I am absolutely convinced that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I do it all the time in my backyard. And it works with airline agents too. You can usually get what you want as long as you are polite and reasonable. If not, there is always HUCA.
P.S. See comments section for tips on booking AA awards from reader Erik.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.