For years I’ve extolled the benefits of HUCA, or hang up and call again, when you get an answer from a customer service agent that you don’t agree with.
I argued on a post about United’s devaluation this week that for most people, it isn’t worth spending money on United cards for mid-tier elite status due to the opportunity cost versus putting that spending on more valuable cards where your rewards aren’t subject to devaluation. Even lower tier elite status back in the day meant upgrades to first class, but that’s become an anomaly these days even for higher tier elites. And the opportunity cost may be several times the cost of just buying extra legroom seats when needed.
Commenter UA Premier pushed back and said the main reason he spends on United cards for elite status is the ability to speak to US phone reps and not undertrained reps based abroad.
Phone reps? Have we gone back in time? I never make a phone call if I can avoid it.
Whenever possible, I reach out to airlines via Twitter’s DM service. I don’t have to wait on hold and I find that those reps are usually very efficient in fulfilling my requests.
Plus, they’re even good for a laugh:
But as commenter united points out, you can HUCA with a phone call, but how do you HUCA on Twitter? After all, they can just read what you were previously told.
Luckily, there are other methods of chatting with an airline. Best of all, we don’t even need to change the HUCA acronym. Now it is Hang Up Chat Again 😀
For example, most airlines have chat options on their website and in their app. With some airlines, like United, you can also chat via SMS at 32050. I generally find Twitter reps to be more knowledgeable on average, but chat reps can get the job done as well when you need to HUCA.
For example, when a friend and I booked a ticket on AA using BA Avios, one rep had no problem giving him an extra legroom seat next to me. However another agent said he couldn’t place an upgrade request for him on a BA ticket and another rep wanted to charge $150 to change the seats on my parents and grandparents BA tickets.
So naturally, I used the HUCA route via AA.com desktop chat and it worked great:
Long live HUCA indeed.