Are You Detailed? You should be!

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A recent post by  fellow BA blogger “justanotherpointstraveler” reminded me of an incident that happened to my wife and I and some friends several years ago in Chicago.

We had booked the room with a coupon that gave us a BOGO deal on 2 rooms. Due to the nature of the certificate, my wife had called and made all of the arrangements. My dear bride is a bit OCD and it is simply in her nature to keep detailed notes of all of her calls, dates and times, and THE NAMES of people she talked to in making arrangements.

We had a great day in Chicago visiting museums and going out for a fun dinner at Rain Forest Café which our friends’ 2 children ages 11 and 2 at the time absolutely loved. We even went to a Blackhawks game! It was late when we finally arrived at the hotel tired and ready to get to our rooms and fall asleep.

Check-in was late and we encountered some difficulties in getting the rooms as had been promised. Despite having requested a roll-away bed for the 11 year old in the second room, the hotel employee at the desk was all attitude and insisted he had no more roll-away beds. Not just that, but he would not honor the certificate and would have to charge us for another room. He lectured us that we should have called the hotel directly as since we had instead called through the national 800 number we were not eligible . It looked utterly hopeless!

That is when my wife pounced and pulled out her notes. Oh you should have seen the look on the desk employee’s face when she told him she had called the hotel directly and gave him the number she had called which he confirmed was the hotel’s direct number and which employee she had spoken to which turned out to be HIM!

Suddenly he had the power to do anything for us. In a short time we were handed keys to 2 rooms and assured a roll-away bed would be brought up immediately. It was when we went to our rooms that we encountered an Indian family already occupying ours. After mutual gasps we apologized and went back to the desk employee who was not at all happy to see us again, and was even more embarrassed when he realized he’d given us keys to an already occupied room. New rooms and keys were quickly assigned.

My point here is you need to be detailed! Check these out:

  • I always suggest you email or call the hotel the day before and ask about an upgrade. You now have information, not just confirming your stay, but hopefully an upgrade, and who confirmed it for you. In this case, if my wife had not been prepared it would have cost us plenty. With all of the points and miles we’re all working hard constantly to get, it can be daunting to keep track of it all.
  • When we’re planning trips it is sometimes difficult to take the time to ask for the name again, write down dates and times of calls, and make sure you have all of that readily accessible when you arrive at your destinations along the way. If calling an 800 line, get that employee’s name if you can so if you need to Tweet the hotel you have as much info as possible to help your cause.
  • Another tip is that my wife keeps folders for each trip we’re planning and places everything in each folder as we book the various aspects of our trips so that when we go we just take the folder and have everything we need. Grab and go is great when going down the travel check list!
  • When we receive new credit cards each time we do a round she writes down the date, time and person she talks to (if it’s not fully automated) when she activates the card and confirms the deal we signed up for. Copy or print a screen shot of the offer. If you have to go back and prove you signed up within the qualifying date range, this can be invaluable since they don’t print dates on those pages they stick the new credit cards to.

All of these things are little steps to take and can sometimes seem altogether tedious, but they can make the difference of getting the points promised or not if you run into difficulties or computer glitches and your points don’t get posted as promised! But you know, when sitting in 1st class enjoying the trip – all the work you did makes it worthwhile. – René


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