Reminder: Alaska's Baggage Service Guarantee

I've written before that I think most hotel "best rate guarantee" policies are a hoax: as great as they sound in theory, in practice the hotel has every incentive to respond as slowly as possible, almost always ensuring (in my experience) that the better rate is no longer available. When it is, they'll comb through the rate details to find minor differences in room type or cancellation policy.

I say that just as preface to the fact that today I had the chance to take advantage of Alaska Airline's Baggage Service Guarantee, and it was a really great customer service experience. Flying into Boston's Logan airport this evening just ahead of the winter storm crashing down on the East Coast, I headed to baggage claim and waited for 10 or 15 minutes with no sign of our bags.

Remembering that upon arrival in Lihui back on December 23rd the flight attendant had announced that our bags were guaranteed to be on the baggage carousel within 20 minutes of arrival, I checked the Alaska Airlines iPhone app to see what our official time of arrival was. We had been recorded as arriving at 6:11 pm, and since 6:31 had just ticked by, I walked over to the Delta baggage services office (which also handles Alaska Airlines baggage issues at Logan), and asked the woman behind the counter if she handled Baggage Service Guarantee cases. She said yes, checked the flight's arrival time, and handed me 2 vouchers, each good for a $25 Alaska discount code or 2,500 Mileage Plan miles (I took the miles, natch).

Now, because of the inclement weather, I wouldn't have been at all surprised if the baggage services attendant had refused to give me the vouchers, since the terms and conditions state:

Alaska Airlines reserves the right to suspend the Baggage Service Guarantee in the event of airport baggage system malfunction, severe weather, or other conditions out of the airlines' control that prohibit timely baggage delivery.

So I thought it was terrific that she didn't make a fuss about handing them over. When I returned with them in hand my travel partner told me, "now I understand: travel hacking is just knowing stuff other people don't know."

One last note on these vouchers: I was able to redeem both my own and my partner's voucher for miles into my Mileage Plan account, so you aren't restricted to one voucher per person, per qualifying event.