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Ever use your Airbnb host status as leverage?


#1

This is actually a bit off topic, but I value the responses of people here, so here goes.

I returned from South America yesterday (to Canada). The airline I used offered a paid upgrade to business class. They did this on a bidding system and I got a seat in business class for about 200 USD. It’s going to be my last trip for a while and felt like giving myself a treat.

Long story short: a youngish man came into the cabin with two young children, prob about 1 and 3 years old. They made various loud noises and at the 2 hour mark (of a 5 hour flight) I got up and politely asked him if he’d brought anything, like toys or games, for his kids. I told him I was having trouble hearing the soundtrack to the movie I was watching. I should say that when I got up to speak to him (I had to walk back to his seat), the faces of the other people were drawn and strained. These kids really were totally noisy (and the comments coming from other passengers, on the walkway to the terminal, were brutal–we were all stressed out by this family’s behaviour).

The thing is, the young man raised his voice and asked me, three or four times, if I wanted to babysit his kids. I had already asked the cabin crew, again nicely, if they could do something for the young children, as in provide them with games or coloring books or something. They were largely indifferent.

After I spoke to the man, he did go to the galley, and I saw that the crew had given him a couple of small glasses of what looked to be warm milk. It worked for about an hour and then the noise started up again.

I’ve written to the airline. I want a refund for the premium I paid, my argument being that most airlines do not allow infants into business class cabins, precisely because of potential problems like this. I am wondering if I should mention that I do airbnb and am in the hospitality industry in a way.

For all the parents on this forum, I apologize. I know kids will be kids, but I feel like I wasted a lot of money and just got a lot of aggro in return. I had a great trip, but this ending kind of spoiled things a bit. When I got to the luggage carousel, this young man stood behind me, speaking extremely loudly into his phone. When I turned around he glared at me. I just don’t get it. He was totally inconsiderate and, really, I was polite, but let him know I was being disturbed. A couple came up to me at the luggage carousel, before this man arrived, and thanked me for trying.

I still haven’t heard back from the airline. Not sure where I can go from here. Thanks for letting me vent.


#2

That sounds like an exhausting experience!

What would frustrate me the most are the people thanking you after the fact instead of speaking up at the time.

You are right that kids will be kids, which is why my kids always travel with a bag of books, toys and snacks. When they were little I we always had a great time reading stories, playing games, coloring. Those were great days!! Sad that many parents are missing out!!!

I can’t imagine that being an air host will give you any pull!! Good luck, though!


#3

I’m not thinking it will, but just needed to vent about this story…wrong forum, I know, but just needed to tell someone!!!


#4

I used to fly 50k miles/year and I would be filled with dread when I saw babies or young kids sitting up front so I really feel your pain.

I just flew with my 1 and 3 yo (my upgrades are long gone and we fly economy now) and the amount of stuff we brought with us to occupy them was insane: 4 new books (gift-wrapped with ribbons) for novelty factor, 3 favorite old books for familiarity and comfort, a bagful of little cars and dinosaurs, coloring books, 7 different kinds of snacks in ziplock bags, PB sandwich cut into tiny triangles, quart of milk, and 2 bananas. Both had their fav blanket. We had two 5.5 hr flights and two 4 hr flights over 14 days.

The idea that some clueless parent would board an international flight without snacks, entertainment, food, toys, or Benadryl, is kinda astonishing. I’m guessing a part-time custody parent?

If you write a very polite, un-entitled, very concise letter (one short paragraph) that mentions your paid upgrade and an exceptionally poor experience, the airline might throw you miles or a discount code for a future flight. It would really help if you had status with the airline. In my experience, extraneous info is the kiss of death in engaging with Airline customer service.


#5

I do some freelance writing and have been published several times in the last year (on recognizable news and political sites). I just sent them a direct message in twitter (which can be longer) telling them I may write about the experience. I was polite, but just said I thought it was a total waste of money for passengers to bid on seats only to end up having a far more aggravating experience. I will write the piece too if I don’t hear from them in sufficient time.


#6

I agree that your AirBnB host status will unlikely provide leverage. If anything, from reviewing bad guests, you’ve likely learned how to be concise and tactful without sounding like you are difficult to please. I imagine that skill can crossover when you need something from customer service.


#7

Also, I don’t know of any airline that doesn’t routinely allow infants into business and first class. My husband and I have flown 6 airlines with our baby in First or Business (United, American, Delta, US Airways, British) – sometimes as a lap infant and sometimes with his own upgraded seat.

Good luck and hope you get some compensation for your aggravating flight!


#8

There are some that have started “child-free” zones. I’ve been reading up on it.


#9

Actually, a tweet voicing the incident might get instant response. They have people monitoring the social media. After days of trying to resolve an issue w ATT, my associated tweeted and had an email from a vp in charge of customer service with an hour. Problem resolve.
And the airline should have a coloring book and basic crayons…these are standard on many routes.


#10

I’d love to get in to writing any tips?


#11

I’ve got kids. I travel alot with and without them.

When I’m with them I’m overly sensitive about their behaviour. So I use all the parenting tricks to keep them quiet! When I’m flying solo I’m overly sensitive if other kids misbehave. So I get both sides and probably I ought to loosen up!

At the end of the day I think you just have to chalk it up to experience. Flushing $200 down the toilet is frustrating but you’ll just drive yourself nuts and waste your time trying to get the airline to compensate you.

If you can’t let it go then simply write to the airline and make your point. Don’t use your Airbnb status, it’s not relevant, and it will only alienate whoever reads it! Then move on.

Don’t get me wrong, I do empathise!


#12

Vacation - I’m the same way. At the end of many flights I’ve had people compliment me on the nice behavior of my daughter - while it was me that was figuratively ‘tap-dancing’ as fast as I could the entire time to keep her engaged and content. Though I did enjoy those days of undistributed time with her playing games, reading, or coloring. She’s 16 now and settles in with her own book and doesn’t need me to entertain her at all…


#13

Yes mine are now at the age where they sit perfectly happily on a plane. But I do remember the less perfect days :wink:


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