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Branson's larger-than-life persona allows him to pull off blog posts like this where other airline executives (hi Jeff Smisek) would stumble.

Sir Richard Branson has praised an irate airline passenger for writing a “hilarious” complaint letter to the Caribbean airline LIAT.

The Virgin Atlantic founder was rebuked in 2009 by Oli Beale, a British advertising executive, over the quality of his own airline’s in-flight cuisine. Now he has used his blog, and Twitter, to highlight the eloquent correspondence of another frustrated flier.

Arthur Hicks described his plight in an open letter to LIAT, which serves 21 destinations in the Caribbean. He claimed to have been flown to six different airports in a single day, switching planes each time, and being “patted down by a variety of islanders”. When he finally arrived at his destination, he said the delays meant he had missed the last ferry service out, while all the local bars and restaurants were shut. To add insult to injury, he claimed his bag had been lost en route.

The letter in full:

Dear LIAT,

May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean.

Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry. 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!

I particularly enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same. And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I feel as if I’ve been 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. As for our arrival, well, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? I’m glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived into Tortola last night — and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.

So thank you, LIAT. I now truly understand why you are “The Caribbean Airline.”

P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway.

On his blog, Sir Richard joked that LIAT stands for “Languishing In Airport Terminals!”

He added: “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…

It is important to take customer feedback on board in order to improve – and also to be able to laugh at yourself.”

The author of the Virgin complaint letter said his meal contained “more mustard than a man could eat in a month”, and was “a crime against bloody cooking”. Click here to read it in full.

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