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NWA Email Faux Pas

So here’s the email my wife sent to Northwest Airlines commending a flight attendant:

We would like to commend the flight crew, particularly Cathy, on flight
1400 from Minneapolis to Boston (3:25 departure) on April 7.  We were
flying with our 3 month old daughter to Boston for open heart surgery.
We had alot of gear and required oxygen for her safe travel.  Cathy
checked in on us throughout the flight, helping get the O2 going and
adjusting the delivery mechanisms for a baby.  She even made sure we had
some extra snacks to tide us over as the evening commute from airport to
hospital was going to be hectic.  In an era of “on your own” this was a
nice treat.  It made our anxiety a little less during a crazy time.
Please pass along our gratitude.
Paul and Annamarie Saarinen (and baby Eve)

So here’s the email we get in response:

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the service provided while
traveling with us.  On behalf of everyone at Northwest Airlines, I
sincerely apologize for letting you down in so many ways.

I hope I have been able to resolve any concerns you have about our
service.  Your business is important to us and given the opportunity of
serving you in the future, I am confident Northwest will not only meet
but exceed your expectations.

We were like wha? Then we got this:

Thank you for contacting Northwest Airlines regarding your recent travel
to Boston, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

I apologize for my previous response to your email.

We appreciate your kind comments regarding the service received from our
flight attendant.  I was pleased to learn she was able and willing to
assist you and your son. We believe our employees are our most
important assets, and I am happy to learn that our flight attendant
exceeded your expectations.

Please know I will be sharing your comments with our Inflight leadership
team so that this employee receives appropriate recognition, on your
behalf.  Thank you for sharing your thoughtful remarks.

I want to thank you, again, for writing.  We appreciate your interest in
Northwest.  Your business is important to us and given the opportunity
of serving you in the future, I am confident Northwest will not only
meet but exceed your expectations.

Well, at least they tried. *shrug*

  • taulpaul

    I giggle like a little school girl at their first canned response. hehe.

  • Ang

    Someone was a little quick with the auto-reply template. lol

  • Eric Neely

    “I apologize for my previous response to your email.”

    I guarantee that’s the only thing the customer service rep *actually typed*

    Templates gone wrong is right.

  • Mom2Andre

    Oh goodness. Ron and I were laughing so hard, but then we realized that you have bigger problems on your hands:
    1. Your e-mail must have been received by a 5 year old who can read but not write..oh wait…how do you get ’son’ out of Eve… the world has changed that much?? But you did mention ‘daughter’…ok…now we’re confused
    2. It seems that you’ll need to translate what you wrote.. in English…oh wait…that was in English we thought…what the….??
    3. Copying and pasting text without reading recipient’s content is how they run their business. How do they learn to fly their planes? That’s scary!
    Seriously, this is very weak attempt in responding to such a great feedback. It’s too bad they didn’t take time to respond to it appropriately. Like you said, at least you guys tried, which is more than some would. Great work on that!

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