Calling the Right Number

When booking your travel, there’s always a lot of calling involved. Sadly, while I wish as badly as you do that everything could be done online, it can’t.

Everyone hates being on hold. There are two ways to go about this.

A lot of companies have international numbers, some of which have much shorter waits than others. Instead of calling the 1-800 number and waiting forever, put a few bucks into you Skype account and call the +61, +44, or +852 number for a few cents per minute. You also sometimes get people with lovely accents.

But with the travel industry, there’s this peculiar thing about priority numbers.

Most financial issuers don’t generally have priority numbers, but nearly all airlines, hotels, and car rental companies do. These magically co-exist with the pleebian lines. So while you are waiting an hour to talk to Aeroplan, there are people who skip the line and get through to an agent pretty quickly.

FYI, this isn't the real 1k number. Sorry.

FYI, this isn’t the real 1k number. Sorry.

Here’s the interesting about these numbers – nearly anyone “can” use them.

A lot of these agents aren’t dedicated just to those members – they’re in the same call center as everyone else, except that when you call in, their screen shows your status and then you get “Hello, Globalkrytoniumdiamond desk, Shaniqua speaking”.

You might have 1/50 agents tell you that this is only for elite members, but generally, they don’t care.

There are some smarter companies that require you to put in your number, and verify your PIN or other personal information. Changes are, though, that if you have this number without being elite, you probably have a friend who’s kind enough to pass along that information too. If you don’t, come find me at the next PointsU or meetup 🙂

As I always like to say, the points are not the most important thing here. The people are. Who and what you know are far more important than the balance on your Awardwallet account. If you don’t already have an account, it’s the best way to manage your miles and points balances.



It’s a nice way to feel like an elite member when you may or may not actually be one.

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  1. Needed to make an Aeroplan reservation from South Africa so called Germany. Instant pickup and reservation for CPT-YLW completed in less than 20 minutes. (Thanks Sean) Total cost was 20 Rand (about $2 Cdn) at normal LD phone rates in SA. Would have been on hold to Canada for over 1 Hr 30 Min (as per info from Aeroplan).

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