I love frequent flyer [FF] points.
I hate frequent flyer games…..
Let me explain.
I have a lot of FF points with one airline.
I’ve found the best use of those points is in purchasing upgrades on tickets that I’ve bought and paid for.
But, and I mean BUT, try and redeem those points for actual flights with the airline, and you enter a whole new vortex.
Do you know those times in your life when you are forced to remember past experiences of severe pain and trauma?
Let me explain…
Three years ago I took my family of four on a vacation to Europe and the USA, and we booked nearly all our flights with FF points.
But we ended up having to book with partner airlines on several legs rather than with our own airline Qantas, because of the ridiculously poor options they [Qantas] offered for frequent flyers.
Now let me get this correct.
A FF flight is NOT a free flight for the FF member.
What it is, is a flight that the member has already purchased by accumulating points, which have a monetary value, and were acquired by either flying, dining, or purchasing something.
FF flights are not rewards in advance.
They ARE rewards for loyalty and previous purchases.
In fact, by accumulation, the airline has already been holding the “money” in advance for those flights to be taken at a later date.
So why do the airlines make it so difficult to redeem flights?
Three years ago when I wanted to take my family to Europe via Dubai, Qantas offered us travel from Sydney to Dubai via Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
Despite operating at least one direct flight daily to Dubai from Sydney?
We ended up travelling on reward points with Emirates Sydney to Dubai direct, and were given three flights to choose from.
On this same trip, when we wanted to fly from London to New York, we were offered firstly a route via Saville [yes, in Spain] and when I rejected that and held out for a better option, a second offer came a few days later to travel to New York from London via Los Angeles.
I kid you not….
The third offer that then followed ended up being a BA direct flight…. that we accepted.
Now… recently, like yesterday, I booked two flights using FF points for my wife and her mother to travel to London in July next year.
I did the transaction online through Qantas FF, but the only flight available was traveling BA via Singapore.
And I accidentally booked them one at a time, rather than on the same booking.
And because of this small error on my part, BA would not guarantee that my wife and her mother would have adjoining seats for both legs of their journey to London.
Can you believe this?
So my wife went to work on this, trying to find a solution… phoning, phoning, phoning….
In the end, after being given the run-around by several BA and Qantas staff, my wife ended up speaking with a Qantas FF agent who was solution oriented.
The end result?
Wife and Mother-in-law booked on adjacent seats on Qantas QF1 going to London via Dubai.
How was this so?
The agent my wife spoke with recognised my wife’s concern about the importance of this travel, and she also recognised that my wife’s husband was a Platinum FF with a large number of points…
How does this relate to Dental?
You can have procedures, rules, and systems, but you can’t forget that on the end of every transaction is a human being with emotions and feelings.
The seats my wife received on QF1 probably were earmarked for release at a later date, but hadn’t been made available just yet…. the agent who my wife spoke to who organised this booking had sufficient foresight to see a WIN-WIN outcome for all parties.
And that’s all we really need to do.
Are you looking for a win-win solution when you talk with your patients?
They’re out there.
How many times have you used the words:
“That’s our policy.”
“I can’t do that”
You need to be able to think WIN-WIN.
When you do, the outcomes will be significantly better.
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