Did you know, it takes as long to fly from Philadelphia to Portland, Oregon as it does to fly from Philadelphia to Shannon, Ireland? The flight time last night was 6 hours and 10 minutes into the jet stream. It was a smooth, but very long trip.
The audio program was not working in seat 2F. I tried my Shure ear-buds and then the US Airways provided set and still got nothing. So, no in-flight movie, and no music for almost 6 hours. The food was OK and I did play solitaire on my computer for a few minutes, and watch the end of a movie that I had downloaded beforehand. The iTunes loaded into my laptop worked fine, but the battery is only good for so long. What should I do?
I’ll sent a letter to US Airways to let them know of my unfortunate situation. Here is a sample complaint letter:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am a Star Alliance Gold member that typically flies United Airlines domestically and BMI internationally. You offered an outstanding First Class fare from Atlanta to Portland, Oregon and I decided to try out your first class cabin. My itinerary was flight 927 on March 17, 2008. I was seated in seat 2F.
The food was good, service was pleasant and continual, and I enjoyed your first class leather seat. Unfortunately for me, the audio system for this particular seat was not working and there were no other first class seats available. I first tried my own Shure ear-buds without success and then ask the flight attendant for a set of headphones that you provide in the first class cabin. I was still unable to hear the audio from the movie, music, or television features thereafter. It made for a very long first experience in first class. The flight attendant indicated that two other audio systems were not working. That means 25% of the 12 seats were inoperable.
We now spend our winters on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and I was looking forward to an enjoyable trip on your airline, as you provide service directly from the island, and I would like to consider using you in the future because of that.
I am in hopes you will consider my request for some sort on compensation for the lack of audio in my first class seat. I will leave the amount and form to your discretion as this has not happened to me in the past on other carriers, and I want you to have the opportunity to make this right and earn some of our future business. We are a retired couple with extensive travel in our future.
A partial refund of the ticket amount would be acceptable, or a $$$ off voucher on a future flight that you feel is fair for our inconvenience.
I look forward to your email response and am in hopes our future business is important to you.
So, let’s see what happens. I’m guessing a voucher in the amount of $150 will be issued for a future flight. There is no way that they will refund part of the ticket price. My current frequent flyer balance with them is 0 miles and I don’t want miles deposited in my account as a remedy. Remember I am crediting these flights to British Midland for the 625% accrual as a first class ticket.
This is not the typical letter I would write, as I am leaving the choice of compensation up to them. I typically request a specific remedy for a mishap and if reasonable my request is usually granted. Here I am steering them to a $ off voucher, as I know they will not do a partial refund.
I suggest if you are writing an airline or hotel, your letter be respectful, mention the nice things about your flight or hotel stay, and then follow up with the problem you encountered.
The travel industry is extremely competitive and the mention of future potential business is just what these companies are looking for.
Don’t ask for more than is reasonable, as they will likely just turn you down instead of making a counter offer.
And remember the street goes two ways. I have appreciation certificates from both American Airlines and United Airlines that are given to employees for doing a great job. I give them out freely when they are deserved.
I’ll let you know how this works out.