There’s a “secret weapon” when it comes to communicating with airlines and hotels, and no, it doesn’t involve any sort of elite status or preferred treatment (though, in many cases, that can help). This is something everyone has access to, and it’s sitting right under your nose…
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used Twitter to chat with my preferred airline and hotels, and it’s been a savior in many cases. Think of it like texting. While I’m busy with something else, or in a location I can’t call, I’ll tweet the company’s Twitter handle to start a conversation. While it may take several back and forth tweets to solve an issue, most times things are solved promptly and you’ll be on your way in no time.
Here’s when I’ve personally used Twitter to communicate:
- To inquire about room availability and pricing when a hotel website was down.
- To inquire about the Kimpton Inner Circle free night availability since the website cannot search this data.
- To confirm systemwide upgrades and domestic complimentary upgrades on American.
- To make changes to itineraries in the case of bad weather, cancellations or delays.
- To inquire about points + cash availability at Hyatt since you cannot find this online.
- To make seat assignment adjustments.
- To make room preference adjustments, and confirm suite upgrades when available.
- To cancel, book, re-book and adjust hotel reservations.
- To praise employees or service. It only takes a quick moment to do a shout out, and it can make an employees day.
- To make a complaint about an employee or service.
These are just some of the many things you can do via Twitter, and I’m sure there’s a laundry list more of what some of you have done as well.
On an award ticket I have booked, It’s currently routing DCA-MIA-JFK-ZRH, an obviously indirect routing. I wanted to inquire about being put on a direct DCA-JFK flight.
Or, here, I inquired about points and cash availability at the Hyatt Century City in Los Angeles. Fortunately, it was available.
I find the social media teams are often empowered more than phone agents, and are sometimes willing to either bend rules or make things happen that otherwise seem impossible. Often, they are senior agents, too.
If you don’t have a Twitter, create one. Not only can you use it to talk to the folks at your airline’s or hotel’s reservations center, but you’re also able to get things done without having to wait on the phone.
It’s worth noting that Twitter is a powerful tool in emergent circumstances too, such as last minute changes because of weather, delays, etc., but it’s more than likely there’s a barrage of other people chatting in, too, which may result in a somewhat lengthy delay. Don’t use Twitter as the end all, be all, but know it is there if you need it, and can be a powerful tool in making your air travel and hotel stays run smoother.
You can find the Twitter information for the major domestic US airlines here, if you need it.
Have you used Twitter to communicate with airlines and hotels?
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