Aero Icarus / CC BY NC SA 2.0

United Airlines Sends Perhaps The Worst Apology Note Ever

United Airlines sent an apology letter in response to a customer's complaint but forgot to fill in the blanks when preparing the note.

By Katherine Biek | August 5, 2014

Oops! A United Airlines employee forgot to fill in the blanks when sending an apology letter to a customer, and now everyone on the Internet knows about it. 

An unknown user posted the letter to Reddit with the heading, "United Airlines writes the most sentimental apology letters."

The user included a scan of the letter, which reads in part: "Your comments regarding (SPECIFIC EVENT) will be used for coaching and training our employees. To encourage you to fly with us again and as a tangible means of acknowledging your disappointment, enclosed is (SPECIFIC ITEM). (CUSTOMER NAME), I ask you that you allow us another opportunity to serve you."

Not surprisingly, media outlets had a lot of fun when it came time to write headlines for this story. (Via The Independent, TheBlaze, TravelPulse)

And KWGN's morning anchors couldn't wait to get in on the action. 

"We feel (INSERT ORGAN HERE) for you."

And it kind of reminds us of those fill-in-the-blank thank you cards we used to write as kids. (Via eren {sea+prairie} / CC BY SA 2.0)

A writer for the Independent Journal Review seemed to want to give a little credit to the airline but still found himself siding with the customer, writing, "Although it does seem like a well-intentioned effort to address whatever the complaint was, there is a certain lack of specificity and warmth in the response, don't you agree?"

New York Daily News reached out to the airline, which didn't address the issue of this specific apology letter, but instead offered this statement: "In our efforts to provide a timely response, our representatives sometimes use standardized wording to start drafting a letter addressing the customer's concern."

So how does the airline stack up against its competitors in ratings? 

Skytrax, which compiles ratings and reviews for more than 650 airlines, gave the airline three out of five stars, meaning the airline delivers "a fair quality performance."

And Forbes says last year's Airline Quality Rating report rated United Airlines at No. 14 — dead last when it came to on-time performance, denied boardings, mishandled baggage and customer complaints. 

No word yet on what that fill-in-the-blank apology note was for. But hey, we hope the recipient was at least given that "specific item" he or she was promised. 

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