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Destination I Do
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spice Up Your Flight - Advice from The Cranky Flier

Words by Jennifer Stein
Words by Brett Snyder
For most of us (or sadly, maybe half of us), getting married is something that happens only once in a lifetime. You spend plenty of time trying to get everything perfect for the wedding itself, but how much time do you spend on air travel? Not much, I know, but you should.

If you’re traveling by plane to your wedding, maybe think about splurging for First Class. It may seem excessive, but then again, the groom is going to think that all those absurd flowers and centerpieces are pretty ridiculous and excessive as well. Compared to the cost of the wedding, airfare in First Class is a drop in the bucket. Unless you’re flying around the globe – that may require selling your house.

p>Let’s say you really would rather spend your money on fruity drinks with umbrellas in them instead of on expensive airfare. Ok, fine, but that doesn’t mean you just have to sit back and take it. People love weddings, and you can try to work your magic on the flight crew.

When my brother got engaged in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I called Delta and they generously gave him a gift basket on his flight home. They were thrilled. Now, could they have done this simply because I’m Cranky? Maybe, but it can never hurt to ask. Here are some tips.

  1. Call reservations and ask them to note in your PNR (passenger name record, your reservation) that you’re traveling to your wedding, honeymoon, vows renewal, whatever. If they put it in the record, then others might see it and do something nice.
  2. When you get to the airport, politely mention that it’s your wedding and ask if any upgrades are available. Airlines have tightened up on allowing their agents to upgrade people compared to the good old days, but it’s always possible and can never hurt to ask.
  3. When you board, mention to the flight attendant that you’re getting married and you might find yourself with an embarrassing PA announcement and a complimentary glass of champagne. If there are empty seats, on rare occasions, you might find yourself bumped up front.

And remember, this isn’t limited to you getting married. In fact, you’ll have better luck if you’re calling for a friend (or an enemy who hates to be embarrassed).

A few years back, a friend got married in Toronto and then a whole group of us flew together to Paris for another friend’s wedding the next weekend. On the flight, we all conspired to have a champagne toast with the bride and groom. It was a small gesture, but they really appreciated it, especially since they were forced to share the first part of their honeymoon with us punks.

And remember, if you do get something special on your trip, let the airline know. If someone goes above and beyond, you should always make sure that they get recognition from above.

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