Travel Industry Trying To Beat Complaining Customers To The Punch

The right to complain when your travel experience wasn’t what you paid for is being preempted by many airlines and other agencies, but does that mean you have to accept what you’re being offered right off the bat when something goes wrong?

Travel journalist and consumer advocate Christopher Elliott details a few customers who were offered compensation for travel problems right off the bat, before a complaint could even be issued. Sometimes these offers are even emailed right to the customer while still in the air, in an attempt to perhaps prevent other action from being taken.

A delayed cruise for one customer resulted in an offer from Carnival to either go on the shortened cruise with a discount for a future trip, or a full refund. But what if neither option is one you want to take, or simply isn’t enough to make up for what you paid for?

Experts say it’s still worth it to speak with a real live person, and then decide whether or not to appeal to the company.

“You have to talk with a manager,” Holly Schroth, a negotiating expert and senior lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley tells Elliott. “The first person you’re likely to talk to is charged with making you go away. They want to brush you off.”

Have you had experience being lowballed? Did you take the proffered solution or seek your own?

The travel industry moves to preempt customer complaints []

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