This article was contributed by Becca Vaughn.
I know everyone in the Shut Up and Go community is always looking for new ways to score a sweet flight deal (myself included). And, Shut Up and Go has covered booking ahead, navigating the wild world of budget airlines, and how to maximize airline points. But, I’ve found out that there’s another way to score deals: airline feedback.
Look, some of you have probably given airline feedback. I know after I end up unexpectedly spending all night in some gray-speckled, hard-seat, nothing-is-open terminal, I’m going to (politely!) ask if the airline is offering any compensation. Now, in the U.S. there’s less of a chance of actually getting credit because of a major delay. The issue has to be mechanical, usually, but being a cardholder for an airline gives you the extra chance to get something in return for the hassle of trying to nap on the questionably dirty carpet of the airport.
In the last year, I received $175 total in airline credit for two delayed flights that left me in airports for 7 additional hours each. That’s like getting paid $12.50/hour which is concerningly well over minimum wage in many states in the U.S. so – maybe not so bad?
But the most shocking thing I’ve ever experience is what happened when I decided to write about how nice a flight was on the same airline. I took a flight from Chicago to Seattle where I truly wanted to adopt the pilot as my grandfather. That’s how adorable this pilot was. He let everyone know each time there would be turbulence, how long, and why. He stood outside of the plane to say hello to every person and welcome them to Seattle. He even stood up and congratulated everyone on making it safely to the city while applauding.
He. Was. Precious.
So, while waiting for my ride to get me at the airport I sent a quick little compliment to the airline and told them what a great time I had. Mainly, I just hoped it would get back to him.
The response I got from the airline was a two-lined message that said:
You have no idea how refreshing it is to receive a compliment.
Here is a $100 credit for your kind words.
Y’all. The flight alone was only $80 (and free, mind you, from a prior delayed credit for a flight that was also free with miles). I had never thought to tell the airline when something went right. So, instead of getting $12.50/hour for being sad and uncomfortable, a three-minute form got me $100 for my next flight. It might not always work but I certainly recommend throwing out a compliment after a nice flying experience. At worst? You brighten the day of the poor soul dealing with airline complaints eight hours a day.
At best? You might just get your next flight free.
Meet Becca: My name is Becca Vaughn and I’m a recent MPA graduate from the Midwest. I fell in love with traveling after studying abroad in Wales and spending my semester with amazing strangers (now best friends), a lot of sheep, and a lot of cider. So far I’ve seen 21 countries and next up on my list are Spain, Portugal, France, and Mexico. You can find me on Instagram as @thisisbecker.