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Mark Atwood
on rebooking at airports
So it turns out that you *can* rebook via calling the telephone csr line, and you don't even have to have elite flyer status.

One note, when the phone csr rebooks you on a flight, *also* have them assign you a seat. (that this is a seperate step is assinine)

On travel agents, I use them so rarely, I forgot completely that I have one for this trip.
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kespernorth From: kespernorth Date: November 21st, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Allyson and I did this during the government worker's strike in Israel when we were trying to get to Tel Aviv. We called the Continental CSRs when everyone else was still milling around yelling at the gate agents, and got rebooked before anyone else did. And the next day when the flight was cancelled again and they were trying to send everyone home, we called the telephone CSR line and got them to bounce us through Paris instead, thus saving our vacation. It is a VERY good idea to call the CSR line instead of dealing with the (usually harried or unpleasantly short-tempered) gate agents.
From: technoshaman Date: November 21st, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
*nods* if you can even *get* to the gate agents. Even if you have to wait five or ten minutes on hold, it's gonna be faster than bothering the gate agent, who's gonna take close to five minutes per individual (ergo if there's more than two in line, head for a phone)...

(OTOH, if it's not a total rebooking situation and you want something special, gate agents are g-d... bump to first class, volunteer to take a bump, find me a window seat, etc... and if you have time, volunteering to take a bump (i.e. give up your seat in exchange for a free reroute - often a better seat - on the next flight, *and* usually a free domestic roundtrip voucher into the bargain) can be... quite lucrative. I remember one year I bumped going to Baltimore, converted those tickets, bumped on that trip going back to Atlanta, and then used *those* tickets to fly on Thanksgiving instead of driving... two free roundtrips out of the same fare, for which $company had paid. Can you say, awesome and win?)

(Gripping hand, those little kiosks some airlines are putting out these days are darn near as good as a gate agent at some things - particularly seat assignment - and much more personable :)
awfief From: awfief Date: November 22nd, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
*nod* I've never requested a seat assignment on purpose, because I'm paranoid that calling the 1800 number the people that are actually in the airport won't get the information. So I call on the way to the gate, and wait in line -- I don't care how long the wait is, because I'd wait for the flight anyway, and I'd already secured my ticket, I just need a seat.

Of course, after I hang up the phone, I loudly pronounce to the person next to me in line so many folks can overhear, "Wow, that was great, I just rebooked on this flight, I just need to wait here to get a seat assignment. What a relief to know I'm definitely on the flight!" Of course, then they ask what the phone # is and I let them know. :)
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