Wednesday, August 30, 2006


It pays to be cheeky.

If you've been reading the previous entries to this blog, you'll know that I've suffered some inconveniences with JetBlue Airlines. Maggie (I'm going to start throwing in names of people I've met over here, so try to pay attention), who lives on the floor beneath me with Claire and Joanna (the two Irish ladies who also came over from UL) rather graciously offered to take me over to the airport so I could set the compensation ball rolling!

I met with the general manager, who was a pretty nice chap. He invited me into his office after briefly thanking me for my patience. I was a little taken aback by this pleasantness, as everyone before had taken a hard-line and been all 'this is what's what'. It's about here I realised that I could fleece this guy for all he was worth.

I sat in a rather plush chair in his office and sampled a 'Baby Ruth' chocolate from the jar on his desk as he entered a brief-spiel about how the baggage handlers in JFK weren't as reliable as he'd like them to be. He asked what I had been told regarding compensation - I informed him that I was told to present them with a receipt and I'd receive a refund. What I failed to mention was that I had been given a $125 limit. The receipt I gave him totalled $183.12. After briefly glancing at it, he suggested

"Let's round it off at $200".
"You're the boss!"

So he prints off a cheque, I endorse it, and he cashes it, on the spot! I'm worried he hears the "ker-ching!" noise as my pupils turn to dollar signs. Suppressing the grin that oh-so-desperately wants to surface becomes harder as he utters those next few magical words.

"What else can I do for you?"

"Well Norbert, it's like this - when my bag finally did come, the handle had been torn right off, and I'd like to think that surely you'd be able to at least arrange to have it repaired."
"Our policy considers that 'wear and tear'"
"Well Norb, it was a pretty new bag, and after two and a half days of being without it, I wasn't that chuffed to see I didn't get it all back. It's unusable, y'know"
"Hmmn... You're right. I might be able to do something about this..."
"It's a large 'Black 22'", I inform him - remembering back to the fateful day I was asked to identify it from a little brochure that they had in the Baggage claim office.

He calls a subordinate, into the office, and asks her to check 'downstairs' for a large, black, type 22 suitcase. As she scurries off to achieve her menial task, he once again turns towards me, and one again enquiries as to how he may be of further service to me.

"Well Norb- it's like this. On the first afternoon when my bag went missing, I was talking to Rebecca downstairs in the baggage office. She assured me I'd have it by that evening, and I'd receive a $30 voucher for my troubles... It didn't arrive that evening, or the following morning, even. Or the morning after that! Surely you can do a little better than just thirty dollars, right?"
"You're absolutely right, and we don't want to lose a customer."

So he pokes around on his computer for a moment, lets me know that he can give me $50 on top of the initial $30. Meanwhile, Janet arrives into the office with my new bag and it's pretty much the same as my old one. Once again Norbert is asking me what he can do for me, but at this stage I'm starting to feel like a bandit, so I decline when he asks if there is anything else that he can help me out with.

Standing up to shake his hand, he asks.
"How did I do?"

"You sir, know good customer service!"

Maybe the Superman bedsheets are why no lovely ladies spend much time in my room...

Thanks Norb!


purplemonkey said...

Good story, well told Sean. Sounds like you got a great deal for your incovience.....

Maggie said...

nice suitcase sully...haha.

Nancy said...

Sully... there are really no words to describe my reaction to your blog. You remind me of an alien trying to describe his holiday on earth. I couldnt possible read all of it, but i did look at ALL the pretty pictures and they were lovely. The Grainne video wouldnt come up for me tho so il just have to imagine whatever dumb thing she did (that wont be hard.) Anyway sounds like your right at home over there in Wank Land oops that was a typo of course I meant Yank Land :) Love you too!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx(that was a bit creepy Sull)

Sean H said...

Good god man! Sheer brilliance... I'm not sure if America is ready for your form of modern day banditry (is that even a word?)