Having to call an airline is never a fun process. Most of the time the reason you are calling is because something went wrong.
I’ve called many different airlines in the past and the experience is always the same. Long wait times, complicated prompts, and worst off all the difficulty at times in actually reaching a person to talk to.
This can be made more complicated with foreign airlines, especially if you are not a native speaker in the language.
I’d like to share some tips to make the calling process just a bit easier. Here is what you need to keep in mind.
Press “0” to bypass the prompt
The classic way to bypass a call prompt is to pound on the “0” key until you get an agent. While this has been successful throughout the years there are some airlines that have caught on. With those you are out of luck and they will simply think your “0” keys are spam.
Call a different office
Many airlines these days have offices around the world. If you are having trouble with one office it doesn’t hurt to call another. This is especially true if you are already in a foreign country and can connect to the local office free of charge. Be sure to check the airlines website that typically has this info readily available.
Find the magic word
Airline prompts are designed to listen to a customer and transfer them to a certain department. If you are following the prompt and still not getting to the right place you can try finding an alternative route.
Take Iberia, the flagship carrier of Spain and an airline that has constantly been improving their offerings through the years. A reddit thread figured out that the magic words were “Iberia Plus” was the key word to reaching an English-speaking agent on the phone. While this is very difficult to find for most airlines its nice to see it being successful.
Use Social Media or a Chatbot
Many companies are taking things digital using Facebook or Twitter to talk to customers directly. I’ve had a lot of success getting through to Marriott, Delta, and others using this so it can really come in handy.
Also take a look at the airline website since many of them have chatbots readily available and will be surprisingly helpful (if you are talking to a real person and not a bot).
Navigate the prompt
Sometimes there is no other way to expedite the process and follow the prompt. Listen carefully to make sure you end up in the right place since an internal transfer can sometimes take even longer.
This is where having status with an airline can really come in handy. Many airlines offer expedited wait times or dedicated lines to those that have status. It’s possible you can try calling an airline status number even if you don’t have that status but we don’t see it being successful that often.
When it comes to calling an airline it is never considered an easy process. With new tools and the tips above hopefully it’ll make your next call that much better.