A flight to nowhere
I recently wrote a letter of complaint to an airline whose name I won’t mention although it rhymes with helta. Below is the transcript of my correspondence.
I am writing, of course, to complain about my recent flight.
I am not writing to complain about the size of my seat. It was fine as long as I sat sideways and maintained the fetal position.
Nor am I complaining about the food you never served me or the bag of peanuts you did give me which included only two peanuts, one of them past its expiration date.
No, I am not complaining about the fact that I had to get to the airport three hours early and your flight was three hours late.
And really, I am not complaining about how you tried to find out if my suitcase would bounce all the way to Europe. Particularly since I was going to Phoenix.
I am, however, complaining that my flight arrived at its destination at 6 p.m. on Oct. 6. As you may know from checking your schedules, the flight was supposed to arrive at 3 p.m. On Sept. 19.
Because you have not fulfilled your part of the agreement we entered into, I believe it is incumbent on you to make it up to me somehow. A Hawaii vacation would be good.
Thank you for sharing your concerns although they are really your concerns and we really wouldn’t want to take them away from you.
We can only imagine the frustration you experienced when your flight was diverted from Phoenix to Botswana due to mechanical-related reasons. And since we can only imagine it, we can’t be sure it really happened or that it was our fault. It would have been much easier to do something if it had happened to us rather than to you.
We want to assure you that we take your concerns very seriously and while we do acknowledge that your flight was late and also went to the wrong airport in a country without cable television and that your suitcase is in China, please understand that doesn’t mean we are actually responsible for anything.
According to the law, if your flight is delayed because of bad weather, we are not responsible. If there’s a strike by the air controllers or New York sanitation workers, we are not responsible. If your flight is delayed because of an act of God, we are not responsible. If your flight is delayed because of the third act of Henry IV, Part II, we are not responsible.
What happened to your flight is considered under the law to be "extraordinary circumstances." We consider the fact that we forgot to put fuel in the tank extraordinarily extraordinary.
However, as a goodwill gesture, the next time you fly with us, we will give you an extra bag of peanuts. But remember, if the peanuts have passed their expiration date, we are not responsible.
Neil Offen can be reached at email@example.com.