Genna's Blog! "Packed & Ready"

Does the Customer Come First?

When you think about great customer service, does the travel industry come to mind? Unfortunately, we hear about travel nightmares way more often than stories of travel professionals who’ve gone above and beyond…but today I have one those “good” tales for you.

 I traveled last week from San Diego to Sacramento on a well-known low-fare airline. Our outbound trip up was unmemorable, except for the 1.5-hour weather-related delay, but the way home was anything but.

 One of my traveling companions couldn’t find her cell phone as we buckled up for the journey south. We figured it must be in her suitcase, which was stowed in the overhead compartment.

 During the trip, the two of us did some work, pulled from a file folder that I stashed in the seat back pocket in front of me. When we landed, our focus was on the phone…which we soon learned had been left in a cab in Sacramento. The story of how the phone was returned to her is too long to get into, as I had my own misplaced item to worry about.

 Yes…that file folder! I thought I’d learned my lesson when I lost a book about Boston en route to that city years ago. My loss was some other passenger’s gain…as long as he looked in the seat back pocket.

 As soon as I realized I didn’t have my folder, I called the airline, thinking it would be a long shot to ever get it back. Lo and behold, it was in my possession the very next day.

 The airline representative I spoke with was really nice. She called baggage claim in Tucson, where the plane was headed, and alerted them about the forgotten folder. I provided my seat location and that’s all they needed.

 This experience has definitely made me a little more loyal to that airline, because its team provided customer service that exceeded my expectations. I “rewarded” them by sending a nice letter to the powers that be…and I suggest you do that, too, when you receive better than expected service. Maybe if more people commended excellence, we’d see it more often.