Airlines offer waivers of their often incomprehensible rules all the time. Robert Lytle wants this to be one of the times, and he’d like me to help him make it so.
Sometimes, airlines reveal their true feelings about you with a simple word or phrase.
Given my backlog of cases, it’s unusual to cover something I just heard about a few hours ago. It’s even more unusual to redact the name of both the passenger and the airline.
But as you’ll see in a minute, this is a highly unusual problem with an imminent deadline. At stake? The highest-level elite status and several million frequent flier miles.
Oh, and the fate of our republic.
When it comes to air travel, there’s a growing rift between informed and uninformed passengers.
I see it every day. A reader contacts me asking for help with a refund on a nonrefundable airline ticket or to change the name on an unchangeable reservation or to get their expired airline miles unexpired. Common sense tells you it shouldn’t be a problem. But spend a little bit of time studying the rules, and you’d know it is.
Ah, rules. They’re dense, cryptic, wrapped in legalese. But they do not apply to all customers.
A small subset of air travelers has taken the time to obsessively study every restriction, paragraph and clause. They often spend hours figuring out a creative way around those silly roadblocks that are meant to extract more money from customers. They get “free” airline tickets, as they did last week. That doesn’t make these “hackers” better or more deserving of the preferred treatment they get — they’re just better-informed.
Here’s a New Year’s resolution we can probably all agree on: Don’t be a jerk when you’re on the road.
There’s something about travel — whether you’re flying, driving or sailing — that brings out the jerk in all of us. Like the guy in seat 26B just in front of me right now on a flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, who is probably a nice guy on the ground. But put him on a plane, and shortly after takeoff, he jams his seat into my knees without so much as an apology.