Complaint letters have a greater potential for comedy than most other official correspondence. And airline companies, with their capacity to make life extremely inconvenient for people, are prime targets for a take down. This week a new classic of the genre landed in the inbox of Caribbean airline Liat.
Negative feedback from Arthur Hicks refers to a recent calamitous expedition round the Caribbean, in which he ended up flying to six different airports on six different aeroplanes. “Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry,” he quips. Mr Hicks then goes on to sarcastically thank the airline for treating him to several security pat-downs by “islanders”, and for making him so late he missed the last ferry of the day.
The letter came to the public’s attention after being tweeted by Sir Richard Branson. The Virgin boss was once himself the recipient of a hilarious complaint letter. When a peeved Oli Beale from London took exception to the disgusting slop served aboard a Virgin flight to India, he wrote the Virgin boss personally. The letter referred to Branson simply as ‘Richard,’ often imploring him to understand his disaffection.
Beale’s letter contained corkers such as: “No sane person would serve a dessert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a dessert with pea in.” As complaint letters go, Beale’s masterpiece is still top of the pile. So good, in fact, that Branson responded personally to the author to tell him what a fine roasting he’d given him and his company.
Liat have so far not responded to Hicks. Although when they do, it would be wise to take a leaf out of Branson’s book and find the funny side.