When you work in Customer Relations/Rapid Rewards (CR/RR) you can never say that you’ve seen and heard it all because you will always receive another “fetching” letter or telephone call that is completely unique. For instance, in February of this year, I responded to the plea of someone who was "begging" to be allowed on a Southwest Airlines flight. The letter was from Ms. Magnolia (Maggie) Loving – a bichon frise in Maryland.
Hi, My name is Magnolia, you can call me Maggie. I keep hearing about flying on Southwest Airlines but never have because you don't allow my type of passenger. U see, I am a ten-pound dog. Popi, my Dad calls me his cloud on feet. I am very well behaved and abide by all the rules. Popi has been a flyer on Southwest since way before I was born and loves you guys and, since I carne along, now has to drive alot when I go. I go everywhere they go, and they are getting too old to drive everywhere. I hear they have to drive about 600 miles in a day to get halfway to Mississippi only to have to drive another 600 miles again. All for me. Popi and Mimi, my Morn, got this big blue box called a van to travel in, and we stay in nice hotels but they never stop talking about wishing Southwest Airlines allowed little dogs on there nice airplanes. Popi is a marketing consultant and has some really great ideas about something about making the best better. He said you are the best, and I believe everything he says. We tried another airline, and it wasn't too bad for me except the flight attendants were not very nice and I couldn't potty at the long layover. If you want to talk to Popi about his Ideas about flying little dogs like me you can e-mail him at the address above. He is busy but never too busy for me. Thanks for the chance to vent my feelings.
LUV Maggie Oh, By the way, my Birthday is February 26. I'll be 3.
Since this was the first time I’d received written correspondence from a dog, I did my best to put together a creative response for this prospective Southwest Airlines Customer. The entire situation had some of us in CR/RR “howling” and gave others a new “leash” on life. (And yes, the puns ran rampant for weeks!)
I never heard back from Maggie, or so I thought. It wasn’t until late July that I learned that Maggie had already written back to my letter:
June 11, 2009
Ms Katie Ellwood .Representative Customer Relations and Rapid Dallas, TX75235-1611
Dear Ms Ellwood,
I so much appreciated your letter of February 23, 2009 regarding pets flying on the LUV jets. It looks like you got some things to happen. Mimi and Popi, my Mom and Dad, have been periodically checking the status of this project and just last week discovered that PAWS starts on June 17th, 2009. WOW. My first trip will be on Thursday, June 18, and I am excited. Popi said I have my own confirmation. number. We are going from Baltimore to Jackson MS to see Mamaw. She is 95 and really perks up when i come to see her.
You must have pull with the Southwest folks. I'd love to meet you sometime and give you a big kiss. Now, Popi wants to sell the big blue box. Know anybody looking for a great Poochmobile?
Thanks again for all that you did, not just for me, but for all my friends in the SRPA--Spoiled Rotten Pets of America.
Magnolia "Maggie" Loving
Since we had just announced our new pet policy, I was thrilled to see that Maggie had already taken her first Southwest Airlines flight! Because Maggie’s newest letter was a commendation for my response, some of my Coworkers decided that it was a cause for celebration!
One morning I was dragged into the hallway where cupcakes, a certificate, and a trophy (made from a can of dog food, ribbon, a tennis ball, and a snowflake) awaited me.
It was quite a surprise and I have enjoyed telling the "tail" of how my Coworkers make CR/RR such a wonderful place to work. In return, I want to commend my Coworkers Karen, Marca, Nancy, Sarah, and Steve for “marking new territory” in Fun-LUVing merriment!