Airline Complaint Letter: Sarcastic Note to LIAT Tickles Virgin's Branson

Monday, 01 Jul 2013 04:21 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Craft an airline complaint letter as clever as Arthur Hicks, you may get a surprise phone call from Virgin Group founder Richard Branson himself.

The British Virgin Islands Beacon published a complaint letter April 17 from Arthur Hicks, about his experience on LIAT (Leeward Islands Air Transport) Airline. LIAT is based in Antigua and flies to 21 Caribbean destinations.

What happened to Hicks sounds like a true misadventure.

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According to the letter, which did not state when the trip happened, Hicks ended up at six different airports, forced to go through airport security at each one and by the end of the day, missed a ferry at his final destination.

Instead of writing a letter of woe detailing all the injustices the airline put him through, Hicks took a different approach and decided to have a little fun with his "complaint" to LIAT.

"Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry," Hicks wrote in the BVI Beacon. "I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday. And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way!"

Hicks said after going through six different airport security procedures that he felt he was "hugged by most of the Caribbean already."

"I also found it unique that this was all done on 'island time,' because I do like to have time to absorb the atmosphere of the various departure lounges," Hicks continued sarcastically.

Hicks ended the letter with the fact that he never received his luggage: "P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway."

The letter brought big chuckle form Branson, who said on his blog it reminded him of at least a couple of complaint letters he received in the past.

"Having once received what many regard as the world's best complaint letter, I was tickled to see another brilliant note to a different airline," Branson wrote on Friday of the airline complaint letter. "It is important to take customer feedback on board in order to improve — and also to be able to laugh at yourself."

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Related stories:

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