Victoria Chao (whom you may remember from her guest post about attempting to swim in Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake) contacted me to tell me that she wanted to share a positive experience with United Airlines customer service. (Someone wanting to praise an airline is rare indeed!) In mid-June, she had to book a flight at the last minute to visit her dying grandmother. She was very pleased with how United made it easy for her to book a bereavement flight that got her to LA in time without spending a fortune.
No one gives airlines credit these days, so I wanted to thank my wonderful, outsourced United Airlines customer service representative for helping me book a bereavement flight today. I reserved my one-way flight to LA in a panic, fearful I wouldn’t be able to get out there in time. After I calmed down an hour later, I called the customer service line to see if I could switch out for a last-minute, round trip bereavement ticket. My representative canceled the original flight at no cost and re-booked it as a round trip with a 10% discount and no $25 booking fee. There may have been other nice things in the package as well, but I wasn’t in a state to concentrate.
If you find yourself needing to travel for a family emergency, make sure you have your loved one’s name, room number, hospital, and doctor’s name ready when you call your airline. I had everything but the doctor’s name, so I’ll have to give that to the service people when I check in. Also, try your best not to cry into the phone — sniffling confuses the automated voice message system.
You can read more of Victoria’s writing on her blog The Daily Chao.