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One overlooked trick to get discounts and vouchers from airlines

One overlooked trick to get discounts and vouchers from airlines
photo courtesy of shutterstock

There's nothing worse than being stuck at the airport, especially when your flight is delayed. But, no matter how hard the airlines try, there will always be things that come up. Whether it's due to mechanical issues, severe weather or some other emergency, sometimes your flight won't leave on time.

Depending on the circumstances, the airlines might not be apologetic. Even though you've been delayed for hours, sometimes the best they'll do is offer you a cab ride home, or hotel voucher. But there's a little secret that can get the airline's attention, and possibly get you some major savings on the cost of your next ticket.

This happened to one of my friends recently. Her flight was delayed for over three hours, and complaining to the customer service reps wasn't making much progress. So, she did something that many people wouldn't think would make a difference.

My friend turned to social media. She sent a Tweet complaining about the experience and tagged the airline in the post. Shortly after, she received a response from the airline offering her a $300 voucher per person. There were four total!

It's not always guaranteed that things will work out this way. But, in a situation like this, it never hurts to try. And, in most cases, the airlines are more likely to respond in a positive manner because you've made your complaint public.

How to tweet the major airlines

To send a tweet directly to a particular person or group, you'll need to do what's called an "at-mention." This basically means that you'll tweet at them directly, calling them out, so to speak.

Twitter users are notified of any posts that they're mentioned in specifically when an at-mention is used. The first step is to find the company's official Twitter handle (or username). Then, once you've found that information, you can tweet directly at that person or company by placing an @ sign directly before the username in the tweet.

Here's what you'll need to type to at-mention the four major airlines.

What to say in your tweet

Beyond the at-mention, there are some specific things you'll need say in your tweet if you'd like to get a quick response. First, you'll need to use specifics about the flight you were meant to travel on. It also doesn't hurt to take a picture that backs up your story.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is the tone that you use in your tweet. The end goal is for your complaint to get the airline's attention, and possibly lead to vouchers or discounts.

That said, it's important that you make your concern known without resorting to cruel or offensive language. Don't call people names, such as "stupid" or "dumb," and certainly don't use swear words.

A simple complaint that explains your frustration with what happened is usually enough.

What if you don't tweet?

Even if you're not a Twitter user, the main point of this article is that you shouldn't forget it exists if something goes wrong with your flight. Many brands, including the major airlines, turn to social media to help make things right with their customers.

Delta Airlines, for example, released the following tweet on its own after flights were excessively delayed.

So, if you're getting ready to fly out for the holidays, or even just for your next vacation, take our advice and follow your airline on Twitter and Facebook. That way, if anything goes wrong, you'll have an easy way to contact the company directly or find the latest updates the company has issued.

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