Earlier this year, Kevin Smith was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight because he was too big for a single seat. On Monday he had a problem with another airline… this time he was not allowed to board a Virgin Airways flight because he was late getting to the gate…
“… [Ben] Affleck told me that when he flies, he uses a concierge service: a company that works with the airport and each airlines. Their job is to get you to the plane on time, but not when boarding begins; that way, you don’t have to play the Elephant Man for passengers passing you en route to their seats. Essentially, you board last. The entire service is designed to get you to the plane door shortly before the door closes.
We were at the airport and checked-in for over an hour before departure, waiting in the lounge. Dorothy, our concierge, has been doing her job for years; she knows EXACTLY how much time she has to get her clients to the plane before the door closes. This is how she makes her living, so it behooves her to know when to head for the plane; we had time. The plane was not only in sight, it REMAINED in sight for the next 15/20 minutes. Dorothy the concierge was, rightfully, beside herself: the gate agents made HER look bad – even though this is EXACTLY how she does her job every day.
So that’s why I got to the door ten minutes before the flight: because I was told to by a professional who’s been working JFK for years. It didn’t matter; The gate agents made up their minds to lose Virgin some business.”
He finishes by saying that “Virgin America did EXACTLY what any corporation/company should do when their customers have issues with their service: they almost instantly self-corrected. I appreciate that they’ve done their best to repair damage and apologize.”
Well, at least this story had a Hollywood ending… :-)