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Out of the Ordinary

Outrageous complaint letter to airline

Margaret Swofford

LIAT receives one of the best complaint letters of all time

If I were to receive a letter, I’d want to receive this one.

No, it’s not a love letter. It’s not even a happy letter. It’s the letter that a very peeved Londoner, Arthur Hicks, wrote to LIAT, a small airline that flies to 21 destinations in the Caribbean.

The letter surfaced after the CEO of another airline saw it and thought that it was so funny that he tweeted it out to his followers. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group wrote about it in a tweet that he sent out to his three million followers.

“How to write a complaint letter — read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger,” wrote Branson.

The letter contained nearly as much anger and spectacular word choice as a letter that Branson previously received, which he deemed as the best airline complaint letter ever. In the letter that he received, the writer described his journey on Branson’s airline as a “culinary journey of hell.”

In a more subdued manner, this complaint letter takes down LIAT in such a way that highlights Hicks’ unfortunate experiences with the airline.

“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.”

It may not be the best airline letter ever received, according to Branson, but to me it certainly is the funniest. I hope that the writer found some sort of reconciliation with the airline in the end. But then again, I hope not. I’d rather read another angry letter written by Hicks again.

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