We've all heard horror stories about airlines, about delayed flights and lost baggage, missed connections and hours spent on the runway without food. But this isn't that kind of airline story. This is a thank-you letter to Jet Blue and one of its employees.
Let me tell you what happened. I was in Florida on a very sad journey. My brother died there a couple of months ago, and so I had gone to Boca Raton to host a little gathering at his home for his friends. I also began to sort his papers and belongings.
It was an exhausting, emotion-packed weekend. I got up very early on the Monday morning to get to the Fort Lauderdale airport two hours ahead of time, the way you have to do these days, to take a 9:45 a.m. Jet Blue plane back home to New York. But LaGuardia was engulfed by fog that morning, and the plane was delayed and delayed and delayed.
Was I annoyed? Not really. The plane that was taking me home was already at the airport where I was waiting, so I knew that Jet Blue was ready to leave. They just couldn't control the New York weather.
So I read the newspapers, tried to nap, looked in my bag for a book I thought I had brought. I unpacked a few things but it wasn't there. Finally, around 12:30 p.m., we boarded and left maybe at 1:45. Kind of frustrating, but the movies were free on the flight. I watched The Blind Side and thought everything was okay.
But when I got home and started to unpack, I discovered with absolute horror that a file that contained legal documents related to my brother's death, as well as his small, personal handwritten telephone book, weren't there. I must have taken out the file when I unpacked the bag in my book search and never put it back in. How could I have done that? I was furious at myself and in tears. I could probably get copies of the documents, but my brother's little telephone book, though valueless, was irreplaceable.
I cried, screamed at myself and rushed about, unsure of what to do. I didn't think anyone would take the little file, but probably it had already been thrown in an airport garbage bin. Several hysterical minutes passed before I found the airport number and, after clicking through a half dozen taped messages, spoke to someone from Jet Blue. They listened to my woeful tale and, sounding sympathetic, gave me the number of the Jet Blue baggage department at the Fort Lauderdale airport.
That's when Sandra Robertson came on the line. She listened. She calmed me down. She told me she would go up to the gate where I had been waiting and look. She didn't say she would do it later. She didn't say she would wait to see if anything was turned in. She would do what she could right away. But I was sure the file and the papers and the little telephone book were gone forever.
I waited, without much hope, for her call back. When the phone rang, I said, "You didn't find it, did you?" "Oh, yes, I did," she said. "It was there, just where you told me you had been sitting."
She promised to FedEx it to me in New York that night and I had everything, including my brother's telephone book, by ten o'clock the next morning.
So thank you, Jet Blue. Thank you so very much--and here's to you, Sandra Robertson. I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you did. And I want lots of other people to know about your efficiency, your thoughtfulness and your kindness.
Myrna Blyth is BettyConfidential's editor-in-chief.