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First, I want to apologize for the lack of consistency in this series. In between responding to RFPs and yelling at my team in India, the Niagara-like flow of my creative juices is more like my mouth after popping an addy nowadays. I’m not going to say I’ll do better next time, because if there’s one thing we know in this industry, it’s that you should always manage expectations. And if there’s a second thing we know in this industry, it’s that you should always leave the client wanting more.
One topic we have yet to discuss yet is points. Points are the one bone our companies throw at us in return for our sanity and souls. One has to work their way up from the back, the bottom, and the tin-can economy cars of course, but when you finally do, it’s pretty damn great. But when an airline, a hotel, or a rental car company somehow fucks up your day, your reservation, or your religiously-followed routine, it’s time to play a little game I like to call: How Many Points?
Demanding points is an extremely delicate balance. Like cooking a soufflé or flirting when you’re in a relationship or paddleboard yoga with a dog. One has to man-handle the situation just right in order to maximize their points gain as retribution for the poor experience. Here are a few real-life examples:
Finding literal vomit on the door panel of a rental car is so beyond my comprehension, I to this day question the validity of this story. Hombre at the rental car facility physically has to ignore the rancid smell of vomit from the moment the car was returned, to the moment it was rented out again. That includes transporting the car cleaning it front to back and inside and out. Like, really?
How Many Points: Enough for a 2-day free rental
This one time in Bumfuck, Illinois, a co-worker of mine was told by a rental car clerk that the entire company was indeed, out of cars. With the closest regional airport 45 minutes away, no other rental car companies, and Uber and Lyft about 13 years out, she was out of options. Although she had a reservation and loyalty status, the freshly high-school graduated manager told her to “carpool with a co-worker” since “there seem to be a lot y’all ‘round here.”
How Many Points: None. But go fuck yourself
Imagine waking up at 5:30 a.m., dragging your lifeless body out of bed and making your way to the shower like a sloth on Xanax. It seems like every other day – until you open the shower door and see a cockroach the size of your shoe just chillin’ near the drain. After screaming like that shower chick from Psycho for a solid 10 seconds, I called down and demanded someone not only come, remove, and exterminate the mammoth insect, but also switch my room and give me an additional reward as compensation for my overwhelming distress and potential PTSD.
How Many Points: 7,500 SPG
Walking barefoot in a hotel room is a risky move. I once met someone that never dared to step on a hotel room floor and went so far as to lay down towels throughout the entire room to avoid it. But aside from not knowing what lies deep in that moss and maroon-colored carpet, you could, you know, step on a fucking staple. When you call down to complain to the hotel manager (always ask for a manager if it inflicts bodily pain – they fear lawsuits more than the housekeeper’s union), make sure to ask him really rhetorical questions like if he would enjoy getting tetanus or worse – AIDS.
How Many Points: 3,000 SPG
Airlines are tricky because different airlines are known for different levels of in-flight features and customer service. Southwest would never dream of not providing food, booze, or lame flight attendant jokes during the flight and they genuinely try and fix the temperature of the cabin if it’s uncomfortable (I’ll still complain). However, if you’re left flying a major airline for 4+ hours and your TV-screen doesn’t work, the Wifi you just paid $69.99 for drains your battery before it actually connects, or the flight attendant treats you like the piece of garbage you probably are – you have every right to demand reparation.
How Many Points: Anywhere from 2,000 – 15,000, depending on the airline
Getting forcibly dragged off an airline because of an oversold flight that is completely out of your control? Worth it. Sign me up and call me Daddy Dao.
How Many Points: Free flights for life on United.
Image via Shutterstock