Cranky on the Web: Overbooking Strategy, Customizing Offers

Cranky on the Web

Make the Most of an Overbooked FlightAARP
This went live a month ago, but I didn’t realize it was actually published electronically until this week. AARP asked me to write an article about strategies for getting bumped.

Airlines Are Offering Passengers Plenty of Choices — but Does It Make a Difference?Travel+Leisure
Here’s an article looking at the increasing trend toward customizing the air travel experience for travelers. I was quoted alongside many others.

6 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Overbooking Strategy, Customizing Offers

  1. The Scott Keyes quote from the T+L article about most carriers’ economy services being nearly the same may seem true in some cases, but it definitely isn’t true for basic economy. The fact that United charges basic economy pax for a large carryon is a very significant difference from many other legacy carriers, and it’s an important difference (or at least an additional fee to consider in the calculation of total costs) for many travelers. I appreciate how Google Flights (and other meta search tools for flights) allow one to specify the # of carryon and checked bags, and adjust the displayed costs accordingly.

    On another note, I know that Cranky Concierge is more focused on small businesses, but the AARP article made me realize that the Cranky Concierge service would be **great** for those who are concerned about young children (or elderly family members) who are traveling alone, as it would provide a lot of peace of mind in choosing the appropriate flights and in providing updates to the caretakers/guardians at both ends of the trip. I respect Cranky for not promoting Cranky Concierge ad nauseam, but I’m sure he has some great stories about how his team has helped families in those types of very stressful situations.

    1. Kilroy – We’re not focused on business at all! Cranky Concierge does work with businesses, but we have plenty of leisure/individual travelers. And you’re right, we do help give peace of mind for people with unaccompanied minors. We may not be on the plane with them, but we can at least keep parents updated along the way.

      1. Cranky,

        Thanks for clarifying, my mistake. I shouldn’t have said that you were “focused” on small business, I just remembered reading that small businesses without their own travel departments was a good niche for Cranky Concierge.

        While I’m enough of an avgeek that I like to investigate, book, and monitor my own flights, at least for relatively simple domestic itineraries, I can definitely see the value in Cranky Concierge. I used Cranky Concierge for a big trip abroad to ensure that that I was booking the flights that best met my needs (and also to monitor the flights, as I had two unconnected itineraries with a transit through customs & immigration in between and even with a 3-4 hour layover between those itineraries I was still a little on edge), and while everything went well it was definitely worth the money for the peace of mind and the assistance. Cranky Concierge is a service that I’ve recommended, and one that I will probably use in the future for a big trip, or (heaven forbid) if there is a death in the family and I need to get to a funeral on short notice without the time to worry about the details myself.

        I’m not sure about the official policies for “unaccompanied elderly”, but I know that even in recent years my parents & relatives have been able to get non-flying-passenger gate passes (or whatever they are officially called). Those allowed relatives at each end to greet Grandma at the gate (waiting at the departing gate with her and waiting at the arriving gate to be there when she arrived) and ensure that she didn’t get lost in the airport… Guessing it’s a fairly small niche, but I could see Cranky Concierge being very valuable in that situation.

  2. Hey Cranky WRT to bumping Gary Leff had an article about how airlines are becoming stingier on bump compensation offers.(I mean it does make sense to not pay more)

    One quote about AA in particular stood out

    “Once the flight takes off everyone getting a voucher will be standing there learning what everyone else got, turning a rewarding experience into a resentful customer interaction.”

    I wondered what you thought the article and his quote?

    Thanks -AB

    1. A_b – I think it makes sense to not let others know what everyone else is getting if you’re not going to give everyone the same thing. Happy to discuss over email further if you’d like.

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