Ever have a problem with an airline? Right, silly question. Well, if you want to get a problem settled, use the James Rabe method to complain.

james rabe in a plane

Last week I flew to Portland, OR, for my nephew's wedding. But there was a major delay on the way out and a super annoying issue on the return flight. So I complained in my own special way. I've had a lot of success with it, so I thought I'd pass it along.

  1. Don't be a jerk.
  2. Don't be a jerk.
  3. Don't be a jerk.
  4. Do it at the right time (when they're super busy is NOT the time).
  5. Use words that don't blame or attack.
  6. Make sure you tell them you weren't happy with the thing. You need them to know you're unhappy, and not just "passing along info".
  7. If you're good with humor, throw a joke in. If you're not, this isn't the time to start.
  8. On the phone or in person, let them suggest solutions. Stay quiet until they think of ways to fix it. Seriously, don't try to fill the quiet time with words. Give 'em time to figure it out.

Example (which I just sent to Delta):

The flight crew, the flight itself, and the overall experience was excellent. I do have a problem, tho. I'm tall, so as soon as I could select a seat, I locked in an aisle seat, and then, by chance, discovered I'd been switched to a middle seat. I'm not happy about this because I had to pay more to get an aisle seat in the same cabin.

I understand seat changes happen, and I agree to that when I buy the ticket, however, your notification system is so slick, I believe I should have received a notification of the change. Please get in touch to discuss how to make this right.

Again, everything else was fine. Well, except for Mr. Arm Rest Thief, but that's not your fault. It's his mama's.

Being nice and direct works every time for me. Especially in person. I can't tell you how many times I've been upgraded, or given a better hotel room than The Anger Ball ahead of me when I've been kind and chill.

Listen to James Rabe 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM, and 2p to 6p on 103.9 The Doc.

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