I’ve been a been a fan of blogger extraordinaire, Brett Snyder’s The Cranky Flier for a long time.  My hope is that Marshall Jackson on Travel will be one fourth as insightful, entertaining, and useful as The Cranky Flier when I grow up.  🙂  Leveraging his knowledge of the airlines and travel, Brett launched Cranky Concierge.  Cranky Concierge provides flight planning as well as delay and cancellation assistance.  You can read about the full menu of services and associated pricing Cranky Concierge offers on their website.  I recently tried Cranky Concierge for the first time, and I wanted to share my experience with you.  Suffice it to say, that I was impressed with the services provided.

Mrs MJ on Travel and I were planning a quick getaway to Miami for an early winter thaw-out.  I booked our flights myself about one month in advance via delta.com, using SkyMiles for Delta’s new nonstops from DCA.  As the day of the trip drew closer, it was clear to me that I was running out of time to complete some pressing issues at work and take care of things around the house before our early morning departure to Miami.  I consider myself well-equipped to handle any kind of flight issues that come up, and usually arrive at the airport with more than one backup plan in case things go wrong.  In this case, I was working on some tight deadlines with work, and had heard reports of a possible major winter storm in the midwest.  But I just didn’t have time to obsess over our travel arrangements like I normally do.  I thought to myself that it would surely be nice to have a travel agent watching our flights, and searching for alternate arrangements in case things went wrong.  This seemed like an ideal scenario to try Cranky Concierge, so I went to the website and signed up for their flight assistance service.

After registering for the service, I shared the details of my trip with Cranky Concierge using TripIt.  That evening I received an email from Brett himself establishing contact, and letting me know I’d be receiving an email from my concierge (which wound up being Brett himself) in advance of the flight.  Well, the scene shifts to the day before our departure.  I check in online 24 hours in advance and hope for the best as news reports are coming in about flight disruptions in Delta’s big hubs at Minneapolis, Detroit, and Atlanta.  I could see this not unfolding well, but being an optimist, I just hoped for the best.

Later that afternoon, I received an email from Brett advising me that our Delta flight for the next morning had been canceled, and we had been rebooked on a connecting flight through Atlanta.  Brett offered to contact Delta and see if other options were available if the one that Delta had arranged was unworkable.  Unfortunately, it was.  We needed to be in Miami no later than 1:00pm.  If the connecting flight went on schedule, it would work, but the snow and ice in Atlanta didn’t leave me feeling very optimistic that connecting there would be a good idea.  What I really wanted was for Delta to invol us to the early American nonstop from DCA.  However, we were on mileage tickets, and this was a weather cancellation, I didn’t get my hopes up.  Nonetheless, Brett went to work, calling Delta on our behalf.  A little while later, I heard from Brett again…..with great news!  Delta had booked us on the first flight to Miami on American.  Within minutes, I was able to check in for our new American flights online.  Heck, my AAdvantage Platinum upgrade even cleared into First Class for both us!  The next morning, we were on our way to Miami thanks to Cranky Concierge!!!

Brett spent a lot of time on the phone handling things with Delta, enabling me to handle last minute issues with work and errands around the house, and not stress about calling the airline and hoping for the best.  I can’t say enough about how great the whole experience was.  If I find myself in a similar situation with work colliding with personal travel, I will use the service again.  Cranky Concierge gets the MJ on Travel gold star!  Try it for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.