|Hey Southwest! The kid who apparently
imagined her allergic reaction on your plane
is a four year old girl who looks like this.
I was really giving you a pass on the whole cat allergic reaction incident which occurred this past Sunday. I really was. When I typed up my polite letter inquiring if there was any way to avoid being on a plane with an animal in the future I was honestly hoping that that was a possibility. I'd read online that you sometimes had pet free flights, and I was hopeful... but the internet is the internet, so I thought I would send an email to you, explain what happened, and see if it was true.
I didn't mention the not-so-great parts about flying with you, because it seemed beside the point. After all, it wasn't your fault that the first two flight attendants on the first two legs of our trip were the type of people who, upon seeing young children headed towards their section of the aircraft, look as if they've sucked on a lemon. I mean I have a two year old, and I know I can't get her to put on a brave face when confronted with something that utterly disgusts her... and the same seemed to be true of the two ladies who's lot it was to help us through the rather long hours of that particular Tuesday, three weeks ago. Besides, I was completely out of line when I asked for that lid for the two year old's apple juice. "Could we please get a lid for the apple juice?" apparently merits a disapproving glare and a terse, annoyed tone for the remainder of the trip, in some parts of the US (like when flying from Phoenix to Sacramento).
That's something else entirely.
Still, I must admit I was surprised at your response.
Now I'm guessing that what you sent me is a boiler plate letter that your lawyers came up with. Am I right? And I'm guessing that the lawyer that came up with it probably doesn't have kids. Or a spouse. And maybe isn't friends with people with actual emotions? I'm just guessing here.
Because telling a mom that it's unlikely that her child had an allergic reaction because the air filters on the plane filter out 99.7% of pollutants kind of makes it sound like you're doubting her story. It makes it seem like your implying that she imagined watching her child struggle to breath for two plus hours when you go on and on, for paragraphs about how unlikely it is that the child reacted to an animal being on the same flight. Especially when you throw in the part about how it's more likely that the kid was reacting from hair on the person sitting next to her (by the way, that was me, and no, my clothing weren't shedding pet dander, thank you very much).
I have to admit, I was shocked by the insensitivity of your letter. I don't know what I was expecting. A simple answer to whether or not it was possible to avoid flights with animals. And I guess you answered that in the midst of your explanation. No... It's not possible and yes, we'd like to cover our butts with this lovely letter our lawyers prepared.
I have another theory as well though. You see, you can't make money charging people with allergies extra. That would make you look like even bigger jerks than you looked like by sending me today's email. But you can make a pretty penny ferrying pets across the country. And so the pet free flights become a thing of the past. And I can drug my kid until she can't stand up if we need to fly (let's face it, those "allergy medications" you suggested in your letter, and which I ended up having to use, are pretty horrible in their own right).
(Paul says I need to point out that this is sarcasm...) Could it be that air filtration isn't all that fool proof.
While writing this, I couldn't help but thinking of the cats I've had over the years, and their reactions to being put in a crate and taken anywhere. It was never pretty. It usually involved shedding major amounts of fur in the thirty minute drive from our house to the vets office. And while you may doubt the possibility of that cat dander staying in the air, I experienced the result first hand while watching my daughter wheeze her way from Las Vegas to Detroit. Thanks for that. And thanks for the condescending tone of your response to my questions. I guess we were just that lucky .3%. Or maybe the actual implementation of the air filtration isn't as perfect as you would suggest.
Anyways, awesome job on customer service Southwest. It totally made my day.
I would totally almost recommend you to my readers... okay that's not true at all. I would have recommended you, with your cute little heart logo, until I received your response. Now I wouldn't recommend you to my most grumpy commenter. And that's saying something.