When you receive a message that begins, “We are writing to inform you”, do you automatically think the worst? For some reason I immediately do, so it’s usually a relief when it’s something nice.
That being said, sometimes you do get some bad news and there are ways to communicate this to keep the pain to a minimum. It seems one airline has that part down to some extent.
Good News, Bad News, Good News
Regular readers will remember I recently mentioned some Mary Gober training I once did. The piece of training that stuck in everyone’s head the most was called “Good News, Bad News, Good News”.
Essentially, if you wish to deliver bad news, you wrap it up in good news. For example, in a performance review – “You always come in on time, which is great! However, your customer service stinks. We’re going to send you on a great training course to fix that!”. See what I mean?
We Are Writing To Inform You…
Cathay Pacific seem to have taken a leaf out of the Mary Gober manual. I recently received flight confirmation e-mails again for a flight already booked and that usually means there has been a schedule change of some kind.
When I checked out the e-mail, everything looked okay to me. Turns out the message from the airline was all the way down the bottom of the e-mail and it amused me somewhat.
DEAR MR FLIGHT DETECTIVE X WE ARE WRITING TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR FLIGHT FROM HONG KONG TO LONDON HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND YOU HAVE BEEN REBOOKED TO AN EARLIER FLIGHT X PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US AT XXXXX@CATHAYPACIFIC.XX SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS X BEST REGARDS CATHAY PACIFIC
While it’s really just “Bad News, Good News”, the fact they had to use X to indicate the end of sentences made it look like they were giving me kisses along the way. Awww!!! Offering an e-mail address was pleasing too, as most airlines will make you call them and that means playing telephone waiting time roulette.
In this instance, “We are writing to inform you” was not bad at all. My original flights had something like an eight hour layover in one airport, and then two in the next. After the change, this was split in half with about five hours at each airport.
Usually when I am proactively rebooked, I need to contact the airline to amend it. This one was very good, so I pretty much lucked out. The other piece of good news was that my seat assignment carried over too and that makes me happy!
What do you think of this kind of service? The way it should be done? Have you any good or bad examples of flight changes made by the airline? How were you treated? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via Cathay Pacific.