LIAT issues challenge to Virgin Atlantic
July 12, 2013

LIAT issues challenge to Virgin Atlantic

Fri July 12, 2013

An airline race to Necker Island!

That’s the unusual challenge that has been issued to Virgin Atlantic by LIAT, The Caribbean Airline, following the eruption of a viral Internet discussion over customer letters about the two prominent carriers.{{more}}

Whoever arrives last on Sir Richard Branson’s 74-acre private estate in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), will have the ignominious task of “wiping the winning airline’s tail”.

The online fervour ballooned after Sir Richard took a keen interest in a letter written by a LIAT customer to regional press. The Virgin boss tweeted that letter to his millions of Twitter followers, as a comparison to “the world’s best complaint letter” previously written to him by a Virgin customer.

The British business magnate also offered LIAT advice on how to manage quirky letters from customers with a good turn of phrase and a taste for comedy.

In response, Leesa Parris-Rudder, LIAT’s director of Commercial and Customer Experience, said that with so many reputable international media outlets picking up on the spoof, the Caribbean Airline had also chosen to join the global conversation by issuing an online “challenge” to Sir Richard.

“At LIAT we take every customer complaint seriously, this letter from Arthur Hicks being no exception; and it was really nice of Sir Richard to think of us and give us something to smile about as we seek to address our customers’ concerns,” she said.

Parris-Rudder went on to explain that while she could not anticipate exactly what Sir Richard’s response to the challenge would be, she was aware of his well-earned reputation for “flying in the face of the ordinary” with ostentatious publicity stunts, and that LIAT would be prepared to stand by its challenge and keep its part of the bargain.

Sir Richard is certainly no stranger to successfully courting media attention, and a race to Necker Island might just tickle his fancy, she said.

“Having started this conversation, we certainly hope that Sir Richard will continue to engage with us.”

Reiterating the importance of every individual customer, Parris-Rudder said LIAT was working assiduously to deliver a first-class experience to all of its passengers.

“Presently, LIAT is on a journey of positive transformation and we are looking forward to a bright future. We already have an excellent reputation for safety and service, and with further investment, we know that customers will enjoy taking this journey with us.

In June this year, LIAT began taking delivery of its new fleet of ATR 72-600 aircraft, as the regional airline continues to improve and enhance its services. The new ATRs offer quieter travel in a wider cabin with more legroom and 30 per cent more overhead luggage space.