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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I encountered the new AA Voice Recognition System the other day – and it was unbearable. I’d love to know if there’s a way to short-circuit it to speak directly with an EXP agent (the whole reason I’m calling the EXP line). The disingenuous apologies of a robot for misunderstanding my answers are as patronizing as they are infuriating. Agents aren’t the only ones that are frustrated….

  2. There is a good way to circumvent it. Repeat after me, continuously, repeatedly, don’t stop: crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. You will confuse the computer and it will then divert you to a person so you can get your business done. Actually I use another word, that begins in F and is of four letters and ends in K but I am far too polite to use the full word repeatedly here. Try it. It works.

  3. Why is it difficult to just say “agent” ? This has never failed to connect me to the next available rep on the EXP line.

  4. I’d been saying “agent” for years – and that always worked a charm. Now – or at least when I called last week – that option was disabled…. the robot kept asking for more information so it could help me. I had a problem that wasn’t one of its per-determined options, and it took eons to bully my way through the menus to a human voice.

    Would be great if they re-instate the “agent” route to speak with live person…

  5. (nonetheless, he allowed President Obama to cut the line last year)

    [Racial slur by the commenter formerly known as ‘Ed’ has been removed-gary]

  6. The little annoyances indeed. Between the insistence on providing details on flights I’m not calling about, randomly having to agree to the hazardous materials policy, and getting stuck in the phone tree, it’s taking me an average of 1:15 to even get to the hold queue (a separate frustration) nowadays.

    Which, obviously, isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But it sets the tone for the interaction, and I’m willing to bet agents are dealing with a higher percentage of irritated EXPs than they’re accustomed to.

  7. Yeah no thanks on the 4-hour wait and blistering sunburn Franklin experience. There are several other great BBQ joints in the area.

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