Every now and then, I have
to fly somewhere outside of work.
Believe it or not, I take personal trips too; like this past weekend
when I flew to
to see my family. My wife usually books
these tickets and I never really cared how she did it, but I might be changing
my mind after this weekend. Perhaps the
global warming theorists should put their heads back together because
weekend. Being a Minnesotan now, I had
to laugh. A meager dusting of snow, ? of
an inch, is enough to close schools in Houston and enough for them to seriously
consider closing the airport. As all of
this was going on in
I was printing my boarding pass and heading to the airport, bags in tow, ready
to board my flight. When we arrived at
the airport, we were stunned to learn that our flight was cancelled due to
I still chuckle when I think
about it… poor babies; balled up in the fetal position, freezing to death in 45
degree weather. The snow wasn’t even
sticking to the ground. Come on up to my
neighborhood and do some fishing when it’s 90 degrees COLDER than that! I digress.
The real reason I’m writing this particular article is to enlighten you
all to a particular problem you may encounter when you buy your tickets from a
discount broker like Priceline or CheapTickets.com. As I stood there, cancelled ticket in hand, I
wondered why the airline hadn’t sent me an email. One of the perks of elite status is that the
airline is very quick to notify you (email, phone, IM, etc) of any change in
itinerary and yet, my inbox was empty.
The new flight didn’t leave for 4 hours so it would have been nice to
know about the cancelation prior to leaving the house.
It turns out; my wife bought
our tickets on a discount ticket website.
She saved a few dollars (I think $32 or so) but our tickets were in a
different “class” than other tickets from the airline. As such, I wasn’t eligible for email warnings
from the airline. In fact, the only
thing that got us onto the next flight was the fact that I had used my status
to get bumped into First Class. The new
class of ticket is what got us on the next flight.
Buying tickets from discount
providers can save you money, but it’s a risky proposition since you’re getting
a lower class of ticket. The way you’re
treated by the airline is determined by two things, and two things only. Number one, what’s your class of ticket, and
number two, are you elite status passenger?
Your ticket class comes first.
The better class of ticket you have, the more perks you’ll get from your
airline. Most of these perks are behind
the scenes, like:
email messaging, travel date restrictions
for premium seating
bumped off the plane when they over book