The word cranky means given to fretful fussiness as well as full of twists and turns. Both describe the many of air travel experiences, so it’s easy to understand why Brett Snyder, author of The Cranky Flier, would use the term within the name of his award-winning blog as well as its sister travel service Cranky Concierge.
From a Childhood Obsession to Thousands of No-Longer-Cranky Fliers
Snyder is no stranger to the airline industry. In fact, airports—and their inner workings—have held an irresistible allure for him since childhood.
“I don’t have a family background in the industry, but I’ve loved it ever since I was a little kid,” he recalled. “I grew up in the LA area and anytime anyone I knew was traveling, I’d go to the airport and run around collecting time tables from the airlines and watching airplanes.”
This fascination led to several air travel-related internships, post-college jobs at America West and United, and his popular blog. It eventually inspired the creation of Cranky Concierge as well, which he launched in 2009.
“Well, it was that and some friends who pushed me into it,” Snyder laughed. “They found themselves stuck somewhere after a missed connection and I was able to find them far better options than they were getting from the airlines. One of them said, ‘You should really do this for a living because someone would pay you for it.’ So, I did.”
Over the last eight years, Snyder and his growing team have helped thousands of airline travelers book flights and resolve complications.
“When it started, it was just me handling everything,” he said. “Now we have about a dozen people, and this year we’ll be over half a million dollars in revenue. We’re growing pretty well and doing it without any formal advertising promotion. It has all been through the blog, word of mouth and existing relationships.”
Flight Planning, Monitoring and Emergency Assistance
Anyone can benefit from the Cranky Concierge’s services, whether they’re frequent travelers with elite airline memberships or infrequent fliers taking a vacation.
“We help a really broad cross section of people,” Snyder explained. “There’s a lot of stress in the air travel process, and we can help take that away from them.”
The most popular way they do this is through their Flight Planning service, which starts at $20 per traveler.
“We help you book your flight just like a travel agent would,” Snyder said. “But we use our knowledge and expertise to get you more than the cheapest price. We can help you choose the flight that will give you the best experience, advise you on which airports to use and how much connecting time you’ll need. We take all kinds of things into account to find the best options.”
Flight Monitoring is included with Flight Planning or can be purchased as a standalone service (starting at $10 per traveler) if you’ve already booked a flight on your own.
“About 24 hours before departure, we begin watching the flight,” Snyder said. “We step in if there any problems along the way as well as send updates and other information. If there is a delay, the flight is cancelled, or you miss a connection, we’re already working on finding you other options.”
Cranky Concierge offers Urgent Assistance as well, a service that starts at $100 per traveler.
“This service is for people who come to us after something has already gone wrong,” Snyder added. This includes booking a last-second ticket or alternate transportation as well as informing loved ones or colleagues about your fight status.
All three services include Post-Trip Dispute Assistance and the Cranky Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied that the Cranky Concierge team did everything in their power to help you, they’ll refund your service fees.
Additional Services Specifically for Small Businesses
Recently, one of the company’s biggest areas of growth has been in Small Business Services. In addition to flight booking and monitoring, small business customers can choose full service travel assistance, travel organization and coordination, and even travel policy development and compliance services.
“Big companies tend to work with travel management companies that focus on contracts, compliance and all that boring stuff,” Snyder said. “They’re all about cost containment, budgeting and things like that. That’s not the business we want to be in.”
“Instead, we work with smaller businesses where everyone is booking their own travel and it has become chaotic and time consuming,” he continued. “We can take all of that off their hands, letting their employees get back to their jobs. And we can probably save them a bunch of money in the process.”
To learn more about Cranky Concierge and how they can help take the stress out of your next trip, visit crankyconcierge.com. For the latest consumer-related airline travel news as well as insider insights and tips, check out Cranky Flier.