Thursday, June 21, 2012

Inside Travel Tips From a Reservation Agent

Vancouver International Airport (YVR/CYVR), Ri...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over at they are having a Q & A with a airline travel booking agent. Lots of questions are being asked and the answers are interesting and informative. Lots of questions like working for an airline, the flight benefits, using miles, earning miles, avoiding stupid airline fees, low fares, partner airlines, Skyteam vs Oneworld vs Star Alliance and a slew of other things.

Here are a few of the best ones:

Can you help me figure out the best way to get a seat with legroom?
Go with Economy Comfort or Exit Row. That may cost you a bit though. Also take a look on to determine with seats have the most leg room. Unethically, you could call the reservations agents and say you have a medical disability that requires a bulkhead seat (you don't have to state exactly what it is and Delta agents are forbidden to ask).

Any tips on how to get any freebies/upgrades/benefits?
Yes, after your flight you should call or email (preferably the later) and let them know about every single thing you didn't enjoy about your flight (food, movie selection, rude flight attendant, tray table didn't work, wifi didn't work etc). The airlines have a specific department to deal with complaints and they'll give you tens of thousands of miles, free business lounge passes, travel vouchers, drink tickets etc.

Is there any way I can get an upgrade or something?
A doctor on my flight to Japan got upgraded mid-flight for helping out. that's not an official policy but I've seen nice flight attendants do it.

What are some of the best airlines to fly within the United States?
You mean best as in service quality? I haven't flown any other airlines within the US in years because Delta flies just about everywhere and it's free for me. However, I've heard great things about Alaska Airlines, Jetblue, and Virgin.

What is the fastest way to rack up miles? Credit Cards? Special promos or secret deals?
Credit Cards are the best. Some people run their businesses off their credit cards and rack up millions of miles pretty easily. Suntrust Bank also has a checking account with a Skymiles debit card. that account is nice because the electronic bill pay also earns miles. So you can pay your rent/mortgage via bill pay and get miles for it. And if the person or org you're paying doesn't accept electronic payments it mails them a check.

This is only a small sample of the questions being asked. Also the discussion and war stories the commentors are posting are very interesting. If you have a travel related question go over to and ask it. Also search on Reddit for other subjects your interested in. You will find liked minded people having an intelligent discussion.

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