I’ve checked out of the Park Hyatt and am on my way to Suvarnabhumi Airport for a showdown with Ethiopian Airlines.
I want to lay down some rules for what could turn into a feisty engagement. By recording them here first, I trust that will keep me more accountable if things do not go my way.
First rule: treat everyone with dignity.
I know the agents in Bangkok were not responsible for this alleged mistake fare. Taking out my wrath upon them would not just be nasty, but also unfair and likely counterproductive. I do not plan to take no for an answer, but I hope that every sentence that comes from lips will be courteous, albeit firm and deliberate.
It is true that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I also do not think empty flattery and effusive praise will help my case, but I will smile. I will not raise my voice. And I will try to appeal to the reasonableness and empathy of the agents I encounter rather than be the fly they just want to swat away.
Second rule: do not take NO for an answer.
Over the years, having been to 125 countries, I have become a fairly good bargainer. I intend to bargain tonight. I expect to be told no. Furthermore, I expect to have to work my way up to the station manager. I did not fly all this way just to rollover and accept the first rebuttal.
I believe I have a strong case to make, especially when one traveler has already reported successfully reinstating his ticket.
Third rule: remember, it’s only an airplane ticket.
This relates back to treating the agents I encounter with respect, but I must remember that in the grand scheme of things it is just an airline ticket. I’d like to think I am doing this as a service to others in the same boat, but I must never forget to take stock of the blessings that have been bestowed up on me.
I’m in Bangkok jostling over a business class ticket. What a life! Though I may be ethically, legally, contractually, and morally entitled to the business class seat on tonight’s flight, I am going to be okay if I ultimately fail.
I’m debating doing my first Instagram story from BKK. We’ll see how strong the Wi-Fi is at the airport. Follow me on Instagram just in case. If that does not work I will be posting updates on Twitter.