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Airline complaint takes flight with Richard Branson's help

By Ed Payne, CNN
July 2, 2013 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
Virgin Group's Richard Branson shared a letter from a frustrated airline passenger with his Twitter followers.
Virgin Group's Richard Branson shared a letter from a frustrated airline passenger with his Twitter followers.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The letter to LIAT Airlines was published in April
  • Virgin Group boss Richard Branson shares it with a new audience
  • Virgin Airlines received a similar letter in 2008, taking Branson to task
  • Branson says companies need to focus on customer service

(CNN) -- Some might call it the plain truth -- others, the plane truth.

Virgin Group boss Richard Branson, who once received what's widely considered the world's best complaint letter, is sharing another one with his 3 million Twitter followers. Fortunately for him, it was sent to another airline.

The sarcastic open letter to LIAT Airlines first appeared in The BVI Beacon, a newspaper in the British Virgin Islands, in April, but caught Branson's attention last week.

"How to write a complaint letter -- read this hilarious note from a frustrated airline passenger," Branson tweeted.

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Sir Richard Branson worked as an AirAsia X flight attendant on Sunday after losing a bet to AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes. Sir Richard Branson worked as an AirAsia X flight attendant on Sunday after losing a bet to AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes.
"Coffee, tea or ... definitely not me."
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Branson does drag after losing bet Branson does drag after losing bet

In the letter, the writer Arthur Hicks comes out swinging.

"May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean," Hicks begins.

"Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry. I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday."

"And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way!"

Hicks goes on to say how much he enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each airport and the pat downs too.

"I feel as if I've been hugged by most of the Caribbean already," he writes.

The letter closes with a curt: "P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway."

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Disgruntled customers regularly say LIAT stands for Languishing In Airport Terminals, Luggage In Another Terminal or Leaving Island Any Time.

Branson found himself on the receiving end of a similar stinging e-mail in 2008 in which a customer said his flight from Mumbai, India, to London was "the culinary journey of hell," and one that resembled a crime scene -- "A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING."

Branson, who posted the letter to LIAT to his blog, said it's a reminder that companies need to focus on what's important.

"(M)aking customer service key to your company will keep your employees motivated and your customers happy. This in turn ensures enduring loyalty, business success and a better experience for everyone."

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