Writing Letters

Writing Letters 2016-01-31T19:41:46-07:00

Hi Joel,

I read your article today, “How to Get the Service You Deserve,” and want to thank you for it. My father passed away two weeks ago today and it reminded me that I need to send a thank-you note to US Airways. This last trip to see my dad in Charlotte, NC, I had to change my return to Tampa, FL three times and the airline not only had understanding reservation agents, they did not charge me for the changes (probably because I was crying on the phone trying to keep it all together). In my haze getting back to work, I’ve forgotten to send them a deserved and heartfelt thank-you from me.

When I had to make a quick trip to Charlotte the week before Father’s Day, it was a totally different experience. I saw that US Airways had seats available five days before I wanted to leave Tampa. My father’s doctors told us he had between one week and two months to live (he lasted seven weeks). When I looked up United, their fares were less, even though they used their code-share partner, US Airways – the same flights I wanted. The US Airways agent I spoke to first said the rate would be between $490-550, even though I explained the circumstances that my dad was dying and had all the hospital/doctor/patient info they asked for. I thanked them and called United. What a compassionate agent I spoke to at United Airlines, who gave me the fare of $261 for the exact same flights I wanted, the exact time I wanted to leave and return.

I was nice and respectful to both agents, but the outcome was very different. Now I need to send thank-you notes to both airlines.



Answered by The Penny Pincher

Hi Karen,

Thanks for sharing your interesting story with me. Its odd how things can be so different depending on the person you work with.

Of course, the best companies strive to provide consistency among all of their employees and services.

With respect to writing letters, if you do not have the names of the individuals, write a letter to customer service and note the time and date of your interactions. I am a big believer in writing letters—I think it promotes the offering of good services.
My best,

Joel Widzer