Tips for negotiating with airlines

There are quite a few reasons you might want to negotiate with airlines. You may want to upgrade your seat, be reimbursed for costs resulting from delayed baggage, or maybe you’re seeking a flight cancellation refund.

It can be tough to negotiate with airlines, but it’s definitely worth it in many cases.

The following are some essential tips for negotiation with airline companies.

File Claims

A lot of travelers don’t understand the importance of things like filing claims and saving receipts when they’re traveling. For example, sometimes getting a flight cancellation refund or at least partial compensation can be as simple as filing a timely claim. So many passengers don’t end up filing the claim because they aren’t sure how, or they assume it’s not worth it, but most airlines are willing to provide some level of compensation in the name of customer service.

There are apps that simplify filing claims with airlines and will even automate the process for you.

Have Alternate Plans Ready

If you’re flying, particularly on long-haul or international flights, you should always have an alternate plan in place if something happens so that you can show it to the airline as part of your negotiations. Have everything in place that you want if you get bumped or canceled, and you’re a lot more likely to get it.

You can even create your own routes in many cases if you use your laptop and do some planning, and more often than not airline agents are going to want to work with you.

So often airline employees deal with people who know they’re mad, but they’re not sure what can be done to remedy the problem so if you go into negotiations knowing what you want, you’re making their life easier and they may be more willing to do the same for you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask (But Don’t Go Overboard)

First and foremost, negotiating with airlines is about being patient and also not afraid to ask for what you want or think you deserve for whatever the interruption is. At the same time, you need to be reasonable because if you’re asking for the moon as in any negotiation, you aren’t going to be taken seriously.

Talking Fares with Phone Agents

A lot of negotiation with airlines happens when something goes wrong, but you also have the opportunity to negotiate on the cost of your fare when you’re booking. You may want your travel agent to do it for you, but if not, get on the phone and plan to spend some time waiting and talking to a representative. If you call and find that the person you’re talking to isn’t necessarily embracing your negotiations, you can call again.

Airline agents do have the flexibility to work with people when they want to.

You should always be polite and ask open-ended questions such as “how can I get a better fare.” You can also be flexible with your travel days and times, and the representative will be likely to help you find a great price.

If you’re a high-volume traveler or a cardholder of a co-branded card with that airline those are things you want to mention. In most cases, you can get a better price by calling the airline and speaking to someone even compared to booking online on a discount site.

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