Buffal0, N.Y. (WIVB) — Alex Hamberger loves being an uncle to his niece Mia, but he doesn’t love that she lives all the way in Kansas City. “She was born last September. And then I was back out there in November. And then she was home for Christmas so I have seen her three times,” said Alex.
The fourth time was supposed to be in March, when Alex planned a weekend trip to see his sister, brother-in-law, and niece. But, a sudden illness grounded him in Buffalo. Not only that, but Alex’s ticket was non-refundable, and cancelling meant he would owe American Airlines $215.
He decided to write them a letter and explain. The letter began, “Dear most kind and benevolent American Airlines Customer Service staff member, I write to you with the hopes that you may take mercy on me and afford a little sympathy for this flyer who has taken quite ill and had to postpone his trip to see his beloved niece.”
Alex’s letter continued, “I visited the doctor that evening, and he was sufficiently concerned with my symptoms, and suggested I cancel my trip to Kansas City the following day. Why? I wondered silently to myself.”
Alex signed the letter, and mailed it off. A couple weeks later, the grateful flyer got an email. It read, “Dear Mr. Hamberger, thank you for your letter to customer relations. I enjoyed reading it, and your photo story to match.”
Alex was delighted to learn that the airline appreciated his tale. They waived the cancellation fee – and helped him re-book his trip.
The letter from American Airlines said in part, “I sure don’t want your niece to be disappointed if you don’t show up. Mr. Hamberger, I know you will have a lovely time visiting family.”
Alex said, “To have such a nice response from someone at the company, just brightened my whole day, and even the days since then, since I’ve been thinking about it and talking about it with different people.”