A United Airlines pilot makes a note-worthy landing in the Purple Goldfish Project


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#710 and #711 in the Project is taken from a blogpost by Ivan Misner:

handwritten_note_book_2In Ivan’s words:

“Long lines, deteriorating service, flight attendants grabbing a beer and pulling the emergency exit handle to slide out onto the tarmac are part of our vision of airlines these days.


However, I had an experience last week that was truly amazing in this day and age.

My wife and I were flying on United from LAX to New Orleans for a business conference. Before we were about to land, Rebecca, the flight attendant, handed me a business card from the Captain. His name is Patrick Fletcher. On the back of Captain Fletcher’s card was a handwritten note that said:

Flight 139, January 19, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Misner,

It’s great to have you both with us today – Welcome! I hope you have a great visit to New Orleans – we really appreciate your business!


Pat Fletcher

Rebecca (who was a great flight attendant, by the way), told me the Captain wrote these notes to everyone who was a member of their premier level frequent flier club as well as all the 1st class passengers. On this day, that was around 12 people. She said he is great to fly with because he really treats the passengers AND the crew very well, mentioning that he had brought scones to all of them that morning.

I fly A LOT. In the last 20 years, I’ve probably traveled on over 800 flights all around the world. In that time, I’ve never received a personal note from the Captain.

Entrepreneurs and major corporations alike can learn from this story. Personal service that goes above and beyond the call of duty, can generate great word of mouth.

Captain Fletcher – my hat’s off to you. Well done. I think this is a great example of how one person in a really large company can make a difference in a customer’s attitude. Your note was creative and appreciated. I hope to be flying with you again.

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway: A personal touch like a handwritten note never goes out of style.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little unexpected extra) – Ivan has a book called the 29% solution. The book debunks a mistruth about networking based on the concept of ‘six degrees of separation’:

Lagniappe defined: A marketing lagniappe, i.e. purple goldfish, is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure.

How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth? Are you Giving Little Unexpected Extras?

What’s Your GLUE?

Download the FREE eBook here

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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