Richard Branson in full praise of complaint letter

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, is full of praise for a complaint letter by a frustrated LIAT traveller, and flashed it across to his social media followers.

‘How to write a complaint letter-read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger,’ tweeted Branson. ‘Having once received what many regard as the world’s best complaint letter, I was tickled to see another brilliant note to a different airline,’ Branson said on his blog post.

In 2009, Oli Beale, a British advertising executive, censured Branson over the quality of his airline’s in-flight cuisine, calling it a ‘culinary journey of hell’.

In an open letter to the airline, Arthur Hicks, the frustrated LIAT passenger, described his plight saying that he was flown to six different airports in a single day, switching planes. When he finally arrived at his destination, it was only to find that he had missed the last ferry service out, and all local bars and restaurants were closed. In addition, he claimed his bag was lost en route.

Here is the letter in full:

‘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.’

While jokingly stating a colleague’s remark that LIAT stands for ‘Languishing In Airport Terminals!’, Branson said the letter is a serious reminder that companies need to listen to their customers.

‘Making customer service key to your company will keep your employees motivated and your customers happy. This in turn ensures enduring loyalty, business success and a better experience for everyone,’ he says on his blog.