If You Have To Play By The Books, Show Empathy

Photo by Marcus Wallis on Unsplash

Here’s what happened

Word had already spread they would not return my money, which I still disagree with. I paid a serious amount of money for them to take us to Rome and back. So they were not honouring their part of the agreement.

Not happening.

I was given the option to either reschedule the trip to another date (can anyone who knows please tell me when this will be over?) or get a voucher. I picked the voucher as that gave me the most value (or flexibility) for the money I had given them. The voucher has to be used before December 31st, 2021. That is a long period from now but puts the risk with me.
Second, as a result of COVID, and the expected post-COVID-economic circumstances, I will most likely never get the same value for money, meaning I will reconsider the destination and probably the airline, but I can’t do the latter since the money is already parked somewhere.

In the meantime

In the meantime, I received various warm-hearted and encouraging emails from the airline expressing over and over again they were doing absolutely everything to ‘be there for me’. So I reached out to them, telling I didn’t feel that way from looking at the cancellation. They weren’t there for me. They were only there for their cash flow.

Then what?

  • Here are some things they could have done instead:
    A sincere ‘we’re sorry to hear that. Mind if I look along at how we can help you?’. Not automated, personalised.
  • A little empathy. Don’t just read out the rules. Tell me honestly and openly you preferred them to be different as well. Or something similar. Show me you care.
  • Extend the shelf life of the voucher. Make it five years. It’s my money. I will spend it, don’t worry.
  • If I haven’t spend it after five years, return it to me, don’t keep it. Again, if you have to rely on my money in five years’, you’re not in a good position anyway.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The world has truly turned upside down.

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