Having Your BestDay

May 4, 2022

What do your values mean

I have an embarrassing confession to make. No, not the one where I accidentally walked into the wrong gender restroom at work. The other thing. Our son was stranded in an airport by an airline. Had we not called him happenstance, he would have spent a night on an airport bench. I was hellbent on getting the airline to reimburse us for his hotel, taxi, food, and the cost of a new ticket from another carrier. Here is the “oh I wish I could relive time” part - I sent the following letter to the airlines after speaking to their customer service agent without success.

"Our son hired [name of airline] to get him to Minn. However, on his flight to Chicago he was notified that his connecting flight was cancelled. Understandable - things happen. However, the next flight was not until the next day (which was also cancelled we later learned). What was not explainable was he was not offered a hotel room. What was not understandable was the expectation that he sleep in the airport. So, we paid for a taxi ($44) from Midway to O'Hare; paid for a hotel ($135); paid for a new flight on a different carrier to Minn. ($128), which got him to his destination the next morning. Believing in [name of airline] and the values that your CEO made popular we called and spoke to your very nice representatives - sorry they said, per their script, there isn't anything we can do other than a rebate and a voucher - and no, there isn't anyone else you can speak to.

I don’t expect anyone to read this and care; don’t expect any real response; and now realize that you don’t actually live the values that you established for yourselves.

Our sharing our negative experience - our refusal to ever use your airline again will not harm your business in anyway, but I hope that at your next strategic planning session you reevaluate your Mission statement: [quoted mission statement] and determine when and why you lost your bearings. I hope that you find them again one day."

Yes, I am a jerk. Yes, the person that read this letter did not have their best day. I have given myself many a tongue lashing over my impetuous behavior. In fact, I have since apologized for my rudeness. But, let me make one point that I still believe in. This organization's conduct did not align with its mission statement, and certainly there was no semblance of their values in how they treated a customer. Ultimately, it was a personal lesson and a "looking in the mirror moment" for me - do we treat our customers in alignment with our values all of the time? We believe so, but if you feel different - we are ready for your version of the above email. We will make it right!

Your friends at BestDayHR


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Boise, Idaho