Last night I was stranded in ATL, and after doing ‘the right thing’ and checking my bag from SNA to free up cabin space found myself with no change of clothes, no replacement contact lenses (I wear dailies) no toiletries etc… it was just me, my giant can headphones and my technology (Mac, Nexus 7, iPhone) that I keep separate.
After jumping through some hoops I got a free room and an amenity kit from Delta. Here’s what I learned from it:
If the airline can blame weather then you might get a discounted coupon for a hotel. If it is a mechanical error with the aircraft you should get a free room. My situation was that due to snow in HPN the pilot refused the aircraft. He said that it wasn’t equipped correctly to land in the fresh snow.
Rebooking agent #1 stated that this flight was canceled due to weather (the snow). And denied my free room. I called BS on that – while snow was involved it was the fault of the airline/aircraft for not being properly equipped and therefore a mechanical problem. Agent #2 agreed with me. I didn’t get angry, I just explained how the logic of Agent #1 was flawed and the second agent quickly agreed that they were misinformed.
Incidentally, the first agent advised that she could help me book my room by connecting me with hotels.com (and did not mention a discount..)
Lesson: Don’t get mad, but be ready to challenge decisions.
Once I got my hotel voucher I looked up the Holiday Inn and saw it was part of IHG. I pulled up the award wallet App and wrote down my IHG number as my phone was dying. I added that at check in. I also had a beer at the hotel bar, and charged it to my room, not my credit card.
Rationale? There is a chance that it won’t earn points due to Delta paying for it, but if I hadn’t added the IHG number I’d guarantee not getting any points. The beer takes that further – maybe adding a room charge will make the total room credit for points, or perhaps Delta would just pick up that charge… either way I give myself options to ‘get lucky’.
Frequent Flyer Number
When rebooked, you might notice that the fare code of your rebooked flight changes. My code for today is Y, which should earn miles:
Last night I was booked onto an awful flight to get back to HPN… it was:
- ATL-ORD (2hrs on DL)
- ORD-HPN (2hrs on UA)
My plan here was to add my DL Frequent Flyer number to ATL-ORD and then at ORD ask if I could add my UA number for ORD-HPN. Again, giving myself options to earn miles on one or both programs. Note the original flight was an award flight…
Luckily this morning when checking in my reservation had an error and while we were fixing it I overheard that ALT-LGA had been released, so I asked if it would be ‘easier for the agent to book me to LGA’. With that in mind it is only my Delta program that might earn miles….And fingers crossed here I go!
Lounge Entry with limited tools
I hold both the Amex Platinum and the Citi Executive cards, but I don’t always carry them with me. I wanted to know if I forgot them could I still get into the lounges. Outbound I confirmed that you can access the Admirals Club without a boarding pass and without the Citi Executive (I had both, but checked in by just telling them my AAdvantage number)
Today I’m trying the same at the Centurion Lounge at LGA. I’ve actually never used a lounge on Arrival, and I don’t have my Amex Platinum card with me. However, my friends on Twitter inform me that this can be done with an arriving boarding pass and photo ID.
Since I actually need to wait around for my ride, this would be the most useful lounge visit that I have had, and I’m excited to try this out!
Sometimes things just don’t go your way, such as the weather in Whiteplains New York, but by giving things a little thought can help stack the odds of ‘getting lucky’ do increase.
I’m holding a giveaway too, it is for that Amenity kit with used toothbrush and deodorant. Post coming soon!