There's nothing funny about a miserable experience with air travel. But when your complaint letter gets a thumbs up from none other than Sir Richard Branson, it probably helps take the edge off.
In a post dated June 28, the head of the Virgin Group shared a complaint letter titled "An open letter to LIAT" that originally appeared in the BVI Beacon, a newspaper in the British Virgin Islands. LIAT is a Caribbean airline with destinations primarily in the Lesser Antilles, and according to the less-than-pleased passenger Arthur Hicks, with a circuitous route map.
Originally published in April 2013, the letter gained momentum online after Branson tweeted his more than 3 million followers in June, "How to write a complaint letter – read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger."
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.
LIAT's letter from Hicks is hardly the first the airline has received. Per comments left on the BVI Beacon, angry passengers humorously interpret the company's name to stand alternately for "Luggage In A Nother Terminal," "Leaving Island Any Time," and "Lousy In All Things."
Incidentally, Branson knows a thing or two about witty complaint letters, having received what he acknowledges may be "the world's best." The letter painstakingly retraced one passenger's "culinary journey of hell" aboard a Virgin flight in 2008.