Warm Nuts and a Moist Towellette…How to Negotiate Your Way Down the Road
You can never get a First Class upgrade from a frequent flyer mileage ticket … or can you?
Book Upgrade Story
My wife, Irene and I dreaded a trip in coach.
We had obtained two frequent flyer program tickets on American Airlines departing from Orange County heading to Dallas, Texas.
While riding in Coach is not as difficult as traveling in the rowing section of a slave galley … it’s close.
What to do?
The Platinum desk repeated the policy to me over the phone.
The counter personnel laughed at my request.
The gate personnel rolled their eyes.
My last chance was the flight attendant.
Handing my book Negotiate like the Pros™ to the flight attendant with the inscription, “Thank you for the complimentary First Class upgrade you are about to give my wife and me!” I held my breath.
“Ha-ha!” she said. “Sorry but you know I can’t.”
“That’s okay,” I replied, “it never hurts to give it one more try!”
Then, right before the aircraft pushed back, the flight attendant waved at me and gestured “come forward” with her finger.
First Class to Dallas! And they said it couldn’t be done!!!!
The glamour of travel wears thin for many seasoned veterans.
Shortcuts, time and money, savings techniques are a big part of the road warrior’s survival.
Deals with air carriers, hotels, ground transportation providers, and restaurants are plentiful and fun to make.
Pick one or more:
Flying is fun.
Flying is awful.
Flying is boring.
Flying is a necessary evil.
Flying is nerve wracking.
All of the above.
None of the above.
Frequent flyer programs can help smooth the way for the frequent traveler. American Airlines, United Airlines, Northwest Air, TWA, Continental and a number of other carriers allow for bonus travel and benefits for frequent flyers. Belonging to one or more of these programs is essential to the experienced traveler. And, many of the major domestic American carriers are members of World Wide Alliances. American Airlines is allied with British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Singapore, South African, and others. United and others have similar relationships with other major carriers.
The best part of these programs is that they are all free and available to any frequent flyer.
Upgrades, special seating, advanced boarding privileges, and airport club memberships are all negotiable with one of these frequent flyer programs.
Sheraton International (soon to be Starwood), Hilton, Marriott, and other major hotel chains have frequent traveler programs too.
Upgrades to suites, concierge or club levels, free nights, and travel benefits can all be negotiated with the assistance of these programs.
These programs are also almost universally free of charge to the frequent traveler.
Tip on the way in. You have a better chance for good service.
Ask the maitre d’ for his or her suggestions. In fact, ask them to order your meal. You’ll get the chef’s best that evening and you’ll make a friend for the future.
Never send your food back … If you do they will spit in your soup!
John Patrick Dolan, Attorney at Law, Certified Specialist Criminal Law, CSP, CPAE is a recognized expert in the field of negotiation. He travels throughout the world presenting lively keynote speeches and in-depth training programs for business and legal professionals. Call 1-800-859-0888 for more information.