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Dom Heffner
01-30-2008, 11:55 AM
I was not aware of this rule. For those who travel, this is a great read:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22900119/

Unassisted
01-30-2008, 12:13 PM
I think is the third place I've read about this today. That's how I know that the conflicting advice about Rule 240 that Peter Greenberg references in his column at MSNBC probably comes from this article in USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/travel/columnist/brancatelli/2007-07-27-airline-rights-Rule-240-myth_N.htm). :)

Caseyfan21
01-30-2008, 12:22 PM
I don't do a lot of traveling by air, maybe once or twice a year...but I've found just being curteous to counter employees can get you a long way. I was traveling from Phoenix to Dayton through Chicago last summer and upon arriving in Chicago I found the flight to Dayton had been canceled. I immediately went to the gate and began looking at other options (with several other people). I found the only way to get back to Dayton that night was to take a flight to Columbus and just have my ride pick me up there. No big deal, just a little extra driving.

Well, I went up to the gate (this is in Chicago around 9:30 PM) and there is only one poor girl working the desk getting hammered by all of these business travelers going to Dayton who can't wait to get on the quickest flight or who are demanding hotel accomodations. I observed this for a few minutes and saw she was just putting most people on stand by for the flight to Columbus in case a seat opened up. Well, I got to the front of the line and instead of raising my voice I just struck up a conversation about how terrible it must be to deal with all these business yahoo's who think their meeting in Dayton is the most important of anyone in the airport. She immediately started telling me horror stories including one person who threw a piece of luggage across the counter at her a few weeks ago (no joke!). So we continue chatting as she processes through my stuff and she gives me a stand by ticket for the Columbus flight.

I walk over to the Columbus flight and see some of the same people grumbling about there are no open seats and how mad they are to spend the night. I walk up and give the person my stand by ticket to check in, just in case something opens up. Well, she scans in my ticket, seems really surprised, and says "Someone must like you because they gave you an extra seat up front (area with more leg room)." So I was able to cruise right past all the others and get right on without having to wait. A couple others got on but most of the people ended up stuck in Chicago for the night and had to wait for the next flight to Dayton in the morning.

Moral of the story, 240 rule or not, if you are just nice to people at the counter they will oftentimes hook you up beyond what you think they can.

Roy Tucker
01-30-2008, 12:31 PM
Coincidently, the guy I sat next to on a recent flight was 240-ed onto my flight. I had never heard of it before then. He grumbled because he always flew 1st class and was back in the cattle section with us unwashed masses.

One other hint for a canceled flight... when waiting in the long line at the airline counter to get rebooked, call the airline 1-800 number. You may get through to them before you reach the front of the line. And if someone else close to you gets through to an agent, ask if you can keep the agent on the phone and get yourself rebooked.

Unassisted
01-30-2008, 12:50 PM
Moral of the story, 240 rule or not, if you are just nice to people at the counter they will oftentimes hook you up beyond what you think they can.
You're absolutely right here. I've gotten free upgrades to first class twice without even asking, just for being patient and cordial when there was an issue. Gate agents and ticket agents see plenty of squeaky wheels during their workday, and it's not always those people who get the "grease." ;)

pedro
01-30-2008, 12:58 PM
This is a great tip, as is Roy's. Furthermore, when you're stuck in an airport in a weather delay and can reach your destination through a different route, even if on a different airline, you'd be surprised how accommodating they can be if you know what your flight options are and are polite and courteous. They don't want the airport full of angry stranded passengers any more than we do.

ochre
01-30-2008, 06:26 PM
Roy, you'll need to be careful with this one. Mess it up and ask for them to 420 you and you might have quite the different experience... :)

Yachtzee
01-30-2008, 06:39 PM
I thought I heard something about this rule not too long ago. Here's the article I had read on "Rule 240."

http://www.portfolio.com/business-travel/seat-2B/2008/01/15/Debunking-Travel-Myths

GoReds33
01-30-2008, 06:40 PM
I'll have to remember this one the next time something like this happens, weather it's my flight or not.

pedro
01-30-2008, 08:31 PM
I thought I heard something about this rule not too long ago. Here's the article I had read on "Rule 240."

http://www.portfolio.com/business-travel/seat-2B/2008/01/15/Debunking-Travel-Myths

Regardless of whether or not they are "required" to accommodate you on another airline there is always the possibility that they will and it's not that uncommon. I've had it happen to me a couple of times. Airlines are running pretty tight capacity right now and when a full flight gets canceled placing 200 some passengers on their own airlines subsequent flights is often difficult. OTOH, if you are on a flight that is almost empty and it gets "canceled" you're basically at their mercy, and most of the time you're going to end up having to wait.

Yachtzee
01-30-2008, 08:50 PM
Regardless of whether or not they are "required" to accommodate you on another airline there is always the possibility that they will and it's not that uncommon. I've had it happen to me a couple of times. Airlines are running pretty tight capacity right now and when a full flight gets canceled placing 200 some passengers on their own airlines subsequent flights is often difficult. OTOH, if you are on a flight that is almost empty and it gets "canceled" you're basically at their mercy, and most of the time you're going to end up having to wait.

Very true. When my flights have been canceled, I've usually been put on a flight with another carrier without citing some special rule. I always figured it was a fairly common courtesy, but not one that is required. The one carrier that has never put me on another carrier is Southwest.

pedro
01-30-2008, 09:03 PM
Very true. When my flights have been canceled, I've usually been put on a flight with another carrier without citing some special rule. I always figured it was a fairly common courtesy, but not one that is required. The one carrier that has never put me on another carrier is Southwest.

Southwest has their own reservations system that doesn't interconnect to other carriers so I'd imagine that has something to do with it.

ochre
01-30-2008, 10:39 PM
Southwest has their own reservations system that doesn't interconnect to other carriers so I'd imagine that has something to do with it.
They typical fly in to/out of secondary airports in most cities too, don't they? That probably restricts options in this context as well.