ticket counterOften times you’re stuck waiting stand-by for a flight during a snow storm so angry that fumes are steaming off of your head. You want to do something but look around and see everyone else in the same agony and decide to do nothing.

With airfares going up and service going down, should you act or should you just keep quiet like everyone else?

A rule of thumb to follow is always fight the airlines when you think you’ve been wronged or the airlines don’t live up to their obligations.

  • Don’t complicate things and speak up. You paid money for those plane tickets, remember?
  • Avoid being complacent even if others are and hold the airlines to their obligations.
  • Speak up – even when others are. Although the raging idiot yelling at everyone behind the ticket counter is embarrassing themselves, don’t worry that you’ll be seen as equally unstable. (It can actually help sometimes.) Also, don’t assume that other people voicing their opinions and gripes will be voicing yours as well – make your point, and clearly.
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Speaking up is vital if you want to be reimbursed, upgraded, or get a decent explanation on how late to your destination you’ll really be. As simple as it is, most travelers – even experienced ones – stay quiet when they are bumped from flights, stuck sitting on the runway for hours, or get the run around from airline employees.

Remind yourself what the airlines do to you when you’re late or miss a flight – they make you pay. That contract goes both ways. Next week I’ll be taking a look at how to voice your complaints effectively during a number of situations to make sure you are compensated when the airlines don’t live up to their obligations.

[photo by: Mozul]