At least once in your touring history you are bound to encounter glitches. Whether the glitch is rooted in bad luck or poor planning, there are ways of dealing with them without losing your cool and breaching your ties with the airline. Here is how.
1. Know what you are complaining about
Understand why you are complaining in the first place. Get the facts together by answering these questions: What particular issue caused the problem? Who is involved? What specific things do you want done to resolve the issue? What do you expect as an outcome? Once you’ve made these decisions, get straight to the point. If you are at the airport stand within sight of the airline agent, step forward, be courteous, and explain away.
2. Know the Rules
Your ticket is proof of an agreement between you and the airline and is a contract that covers your rights as a customer and passenger. Know the rules of the contract you are committing to.
3. Act promptly but politely
Time is of the essence. Ask right away what options you have. Agents deal with many things all at once, so dealing with the issue spot-on gives you a better chance of having things ironed out as quickly as possible. Give the agent time to sort things out, though. If you are at the airport, speak directly with the customer service representatives or another employee who has authority to address the issue. Call your travel agent if the airline cannot or will not do anything about your problem. If you are on the plane, bring it to the head flight attendant’s attention.
4. Note it down
Keep a record of your ticket and get the details of the issue down on paper. Document the names, time, date, and circumstances that pertain to the situation. Be objective and fair.
If you have to lodge a formal complaint, understand that results do not come in seconds. Depending on the gravity of the issue, results can take days to arrive. A complaint made in the presence of the right personnel or made over the phone kick starts the solution, but things take on official mode when the issue is written in black and white. Keep these steps in mind:
• Make sure that your letter includes all possible means of contacting you (phone number, email address, mailing address, fax number, etc.)
• Keep your note simple and straightforward
• If the problem involves expenses or loss of money, state the exact amount and the form of reimbursent you expect
• Be clear on what you want the company to do about your problem
If you can, resolve the issues before it gets out of hand. Remember that whatever you say or do in the course of lodging your complaint against the airline could possibly lead to a civil or criminal lawsuit, in which case you will need to retain a lawyer.
Finally, do not underestimate the power of anticipation. If you think in advance you will have solved half of the problem.