No, that’s not an oxymoron, although a few hours ago I would have said otherwise. The web seems to abound with stories of disgruntled and unhappy customers, and this was almost one of them. But this story has a happy ending.
I bought a salad in the airport, to eat for dinner on the 5:50pm Frontier flight from DEN to SFO. Unfortunately, I left on the seat next to me at the gate. I remembered it just as I boarded the plane, but the flight attendant refused to let me leave the plane to go get it, citing “security”. WTF?
My salad was about 20 yards away. There was 20 minutes before departure. I and the salad had both passed security screening. What possible security problem could there be? I was stunned. The plane wasn’t even full, there was no backup on the jetway. I even went back to the front after everyone was on, with at least 5 minutes before the door was shut, and was not allowed to get off for the 60 seconds it would have taken to get my salad.
I was hungry and pissed off for the first hour of the flight. I composed the first draft of this blog post, ripping them a new one about “security theatre” and other crap. Then the flight attendant who had refused me dropped a folded note on my tray table (I was working and had headphones on). The note said on the outside “My Apologies”, and inside read:
After reviewing the regulations regarding passenger deplaning and reboarding, my interpretation was not correct.
Please accept my apology, and use these free DirecTV coupons to help pay for the dinner you left in Denver.
What’s more, he even signed it with his full name and employee number. Wow! I have to say, I really appreciate when people have enough self esteem to question themselves, do some research, and then own up to being wrong and try to make it right.
I am now a big fan of Frontier Airlines, because not only have they trained their people to provide genuinely good service, but they seem to foster a culture of learning from mistakes. And while in any customer service training course you can read stories like this one, they don’t happen as often in real life as they should, and they should be rewarded. I look forward to flying Frontier again!