Lola.com's 24/7 Travel Consultants Make Business Travel Stress-FreeBy Lauren Takajian, published on Sep 18, 2018
If your employees are traveling for business, chances are they've experienced the stress and frustration that comes along with flight delays. Lola.com's 24/7 Travel Consultants take that pain away from travelers by being proactive, fixing problems, and getting everyone where they need to be. Read our interview with Lauren, a Lola Travel Consultant, to hear how she helped a recent stranded passenger.
Lauren Takakjian, Lola Travel Consultant
Tell me about a time when a customer experienced an issue while traveling.
One of our users, Lisa, chatted in because her flight was cancelled due to some bad weather. The original carrier, Alaska Airlines, had re-booked her for a flight the following morning.
What options did the customer have?
Luckily Lisa was flying from Seattle to NYC so there was some flexibility in terms of arrival airports. She could either stick with the flight Alaska had rebooked her on for the following day, or we could find her another option leaving much sooner. Guess which option she preferred?
Sounds like she wanted a new flight option! Were you able to get her rebooked quicker than if she spoke with someone at the airport?
Yes. Lisa found out her flight was cancelled while she was already at the airport, after she had passed through security. Because she was able to chat with a travel consultant at Lola.com, she didn’t have to wait in line with all the other disgruntled passengers in order to be rebooked. She simply reached out via our chat feature & within minutes, had a boarding pass for the next available flight sent directly to her phone.
On your end, what steps did you take to get her re-booked?
I knew Lisa’s needs were time-sensitive so I worked quickly to: pull up a number of possible itineraries, check to see what time flights at SEA were grounded until, and ultimately check each flight option one-by-one to see which outbound flights were unaffected by the weather. Thankfully there was one carrier who had the go-ahead to fly & I was able to secure Lisa one of the last seats on that plane!
Did she run into any issues getting to her flight?
No! Amazingly, the next flight due to depart was leaving in under an hour and we got her there on time to board. However, if she hadn’t booked with Lola.com, she would have had to exit the terminal, obtain a boarding pass for her new flight on a new carrier, go through security a second time, and board the plane...at which point she’d have likely missed the flight she was hoping to take back home to the East Coast.
All in all how much time did it take from when the customer realized her flight was cancelled to when she boarded her new flight?
34 minutes :)
Was the customer refunded for the cancelled flight?
Lisa’s a traveling pro so while I was working to get her on the new flight, she called Alaska Airlines and was able to get a travel credit for future use! Of course if she hadn’t done that, it would have been the next step on my end. Getting that travel credit will not only give Lisa a flight for her next trip, but it ensures her company isn’t out even more money as a result of the travel disruption.
What are the rules around whether a flight is able to be refunded?
Most airfares are non-refundable however there are ways to reuse the value of your ticket for future travel, just like Lisa did. Most airlines offer travelers the ability to create a travel credit in the amount of the original ticket which is able to be used by the same traveler within a calendar year of when it was originally ticketed. But some airlines will deduct a change fee from this travel credit when rebooking, so be on the lookout in case that happens!
What should a customer do if their flight is cancelled and they are already at the airport?
Let your Lola.com travel consultant take care of it, of course! But if you didn’t book with us, then talk to a gate agent - they are your best chance at getting on the next available flight. A lot of folks tend to line up at the gate where their flight is cancelled, but any gate agent that is working for your airline can help, so don’t be afraid to hop over to the next gate for (hopefully) quicker service!
How did Lisa feel at the end of the chat?
Several “yas queens” were exchanged so I think it’s safe to say Lisa was ecstatic Lola.com was able to get her home a whole day earlier!
How did you feel?
I felt like Lisa and I were in this together so I also felt ecstatic when everything worked out in her favor. It also doesn’t hurt to be called a hero and a queen all in the same shift. :)
“We did it! Thanks so much for your hustle! That felt like competitive sport! Haha. Through security, grabbed a water, rerouted my bag, now just waiting to board. You're my hero of the day!” - Lisa
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