Joy Silva’s Alaska Airlines case wouldn’t have gone far even under the best of circumstances.
You might even say it would have gone to the dogs.
Her dog, to be exact.
Her story, which involved Alaska Airlines, her pet, unexpected surgery and a few insider tricks, offers lessons for the rest of us. Sometimes, even frivolous-sounding cases have some merit. Hers certainly did, much to my surprise — and probably yours, too.
Sick as a dog
“Our dog had to have emergency surgery,” she explained. “We could not go on the vacation.”
That meant canceling everything, including her nonrefundable Alaska Airlines tickets.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: It’s a nonrefundable ticket. If she’s going to cancel her vacation, she should be prepared to take that loss.
My thoughts, exactly.
Then again, I’m a cat guy. But I can tell you that if any one of my beloved cats — whom I am honored to serve — were ill, I probably would have done the same thing. As my daughter says, “Cats are people, too.”
Elliott’s company contacts to the rescue
Fortunately, Silva knew about our company contacts. She knew we had Alaska Airlines’ executive contacts, including their names, numbers and email addresses. She thought she could appeal to them.
“After an unsuccessful phone contact, using the information on your website, I emailed the head of customer service and cc’d the president and vice president, describing the situation,” Silva says. “I also tweeted about their cancellation policy. In all communication, I was very polite and not snarky.”
Remember the three “P”s — be patient, persistent and polite? Silva was taking a line from the Elliott playbook even though she didn’t really have much of a case.
Good for her.
Her puppy would be proud of her happy ending
A few days later — without any involvement from my staff or me — Silva reported the good news.
“I got the price of the tickets refunded,” she told me. “I just wanted to share my positive experience and to thank you for your great work.”
Lesson learned? “I should consider buying travel insurance,” she says.
Sometimes, it’s not the strength of your case, but the soundness of your methods, that leads to a successful fix. Silva’s case demonstrates that. Our advocacy team wouldn’t have touched her case. Not in a million years. I can only imagine the comments you’d leave if we did.
Yet she successfully used our proven techniques to recover $272.
I can’t argue with that.
Hey Alaska Airlines, that was a humane response
And to my friends at Alaska Airlines reading this, let me say this: What a nice, humane response to a passenger who was in distress. She didn’t have a leg — or a paw — to stand on, but you helped her anyway.
I hope the people reading this see how far you’ve come from “No Waivers, No Favors” and how much you care about your customers.
And for the rest of you reading this, maybe it’s time to give Alaska Airlines a try. If you run into problems, you know where to find our executive contacts.