Make sure you have lots of flights booked. It can help you in more ways than you think.

Many folks complain about airline customer service, but lately, and to be frank, ever since I switched to American, I’ve had really good customer service. I recently wrote about a post where I had an agent book me on a flight, even though I had to hang up with her to call 9-1-1.

Well, there’s something that will really improve your customer service – it’s how many flights you have booked. Here’s a lesson learned, and one I think many travelers will find valuable.

I recently had an issue where I was visiting some family in New York, and booked a round-trip ticket up from DCA. Easy, or so I thought. A day prior to departure, my ticket had canceled out because the charge for the ticket was declined by my credit card (my card recognized it as a fraudulent charge, supposedly). When it was declined, American had canceled the ticket, and with it, the cheap fare I had. Upon finding out my ticket was canceled, and now no longer in my AAdvantage account, I called American to find out what could be done (really, because I didn’t realize the reservation was canceled out, and that I never new it declined). At first, I got a customer service agent who said nothing could be done. When she transferred me to a supervisor, the magic began. She said she was happy to help me out, and put me on hold for w few minutes.

When she came back, she said there was one huge reason why she wanted to help me out. It wasn’t my status. It wasn’t my kind demeanor (though, I’m sure that helped). It was the fact that I had multiple reservations booked between that time and the end of the year. She saw this, and appreciated my continued business. She didn’t mention any of the previous flights that I’ve flown, but rather the flights that I already had booked and was going to fly. It was this reason that she bent over backwards for me, found the ticket, re-enstated the fare, and I was able to purchase it with a different credit card.

The lesson be learned here is that continued business is appreciated greatly, and goes a long way when you need help, or need rules bent. American hasn’t gone so far to recognize a customer by how much they spend, but rather by how much they fly – which is something that I think will go much longer, and much further than measuring a customer by how much they swipe their card for.

So, when you need the extra special help, or you need a policy bent, make sure you have mullions flights booked for the future. It can go a long way.

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