The 3 Things to Do When Your Flight is Cancelled and What American Airlines Calls a Salad

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • The inefficient, pain-in-the-butt process of getting to Machu Picchu

  • The 3 most important things to do when your flight is cancelled: find your own alternatives, be nice, and hang up/call back.

    Known for his points hijinks and flying escapades, Gary Leff, the founder of View From The Wing is a big proponent of this tactic. After many flight delays, he knows that being able to present your own options to the agent can help. What might seem crazy to one person – like flying to Florida to avoid bad weather in Chicago – seems perfectly normal to another.

    The key, according to Leff, is to be humble and not “do it presumptively.”

    …“When it is not just one flight and it is weather, a lot of travelers are taking it out on the agent. I find it easy to commiserate with them about other travelers, tell them you think they’re doing a good job,” says Leff. “You can get an agent on your side by being nice. A little bit of kindness can stand out.”

  • The American Airlines enchilada was fine (Austin – Charlotte lunch), but are two cherry tomatoes, one slice of cucumber, and single piece of lettuce a salad?

  • 7 people have been arrested in connection with a 58 million euro diamond heist at Amsterdam airport that occurred 12 years ago.

  • How the media influences our fear of terrorism. On this blog I’ve laid out the controversial things I believe, including that:

    There aren’t actually a lot of people out there trying to blow up airplanes and the only useful changes in aviation security post-9/11 have been reinforced cockpit doors and a new equilibrium where passengers will fight back against any hijacking. In fact, more people have been harmed by the germs they’ve picked up taking off their shoes without socks walking through security checkpoints than have been protected by the TSA (which has never caught a terrorist).

  • Woman thrown off a flight after an anti-Trump rant

  • Two people who met through an online travel forum got married on a Cathay Dragon flight. And it’s awesome. (HT: One Mile at a Time)

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, 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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  1. Honestly, I think that writer overstates the hassle of getting to Machu Picchu. For the “third world,” I haven’t found the Machu Picchu hassle-factor to be that high. Heck, it’s easier to get there than into the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam!

    What is annoying about Machu Picchu is how the Peruvian gov’t has set up a system to extract the maximum amount of money from one-time visitors going to the site. The train ride you are required to take is, I recall, the most expensive per-mile train trip in the world (locals pay a tiny fraction of the foreigner price). Of course, Peru is hardly alone in fleecing foreigners and heck, you can certainly argue that somebody has got to pay for this stuff (might as well not be Peruvians).

  2. I had that exact same meal on a different AA flight, although it looks like you got more lettuce than I did.

  3. “The American Airlines enchilada was fine (Austin – Charlotte lunch), but are two cherry tomatoes, one slice of cucumber, and single piece of lettuce a salad?”

    – Gary: that enchilada was a frozen cafeteria-quality food purchased in bulk by AA. If you buy Stouffers Chicken Enchilada in small quantities for food service the cost of that portion is about $2.00. I bet that the actual cost of the entire first class meal to AA you had on your AUS-CLT flight was below $3.00 (and if they are paying more, they should renegotiate the contract). If you look at what Air Asia is offering for purchase (for about $3.00 or less) when flying from KUL and what AA is serving in domestic F you will not see much difference in food quality.
    Our only hope is that Air Asia will be coming to US sooner than later:

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