(Adapted from an article appearing in the April 2009 issue of the Singapore Airlines in-house magazine)
Shortly after checking in at Colombo’s International Airport for her flight on Singapore Airlines, Mrs Perkins panicked and felt her heart sink when she discovered she had left her diamond ring in a room at the Ceylon Continental Hotel.
When he learned about her predicament, SIA Customer Services Manager Vasantha realised Mrs Perkins had no time to return to the hotel and retrieve the ring before her flight’s departure. So Vasantha quickly invited the distraught lady and her husband to his office where he offered them tea while he tried to contact the hotel manager for assistance.
After waiting for the manager to return his call as promised, Vasantha phoned him again. He and the Perkins were elated to learn that the ring had been found. The problem was how to return it to Mrs Perkins. Thinking quickly, Vasantha enquired if it was possible for the hotel to arrange for the ring to be delivered to the airport in time for Mrs Perkins to catch the flight. Vasantha stuck gold in securing the hotel’s cooperation and he was able to pick up the ring from the hotel’s representative at the outer porch of the airport entrance. Mrs Perkins was extremely relieved.
Vasantha’s assistance to the couple did not end there. He personally escorted them through the necessary customs procedures, given that the ‘lost’ item was a valuable one, and made sure they caught the flight.
Impressed with Vasantha’s pro-activeness and professionalism, Mr Perkins was moved to write: “I find it incredible that a manager like yourself would go out of his way to help a traveller. I believe this action on your part was far beyond the call of your duty. We sincerely appreciate your professional assistance in retrieving this valuable ring for us, prior to our flight.”
Vasantha Kudaliyanage is the Customer Services Manager of Aitken Spence Aviation/SIA at the Colombo International Airport.
2009 – Ace Magazine Issue I