Porter Airlines, My Daughter’s Health Struggles, and What it Means to be “Human”

by Marcus Sheridan

A tired little girl after a long week.

A tired little girl after a long week.

As I write this article, it’s midnight and I find myself sitting next to my wife and daughter who are both fast asleep in a hospital bed , exhausted after a 7 day struggle that has included stops at 3 different hospitals and 2 surgeries.

In a nutshell, this is the timeline:

7 days ago: My 4-year old daughter “Pink” (as everyone calls her) has just had “successful” surgery to remove her enlarged tonsils and adenoids—a procedure meant to eliminate her disruptive sleeping patterns (sleep apnea) which she has suffered from for quite some time.

3 days ago, Tuesday, 7am: On my way to catch a flight from Washington DC to Toronto to speak at Mastermind Talks the following day, I receive a call from my wife (Nikki) that she is in the hospital with Pink. Hours earlier, my daughter had vomited (multiple times) large amounts of blood, leading to a frantic emergency room visit. The doctors tell my wife the throat wounds from the surgery have not healed as well as hoped for, causing internal bleeding in the throat and therefore the nausea. That being said, they’re confident the incident won’t happen again and send my daughter home. Worried but hopeful, I board the plane with anxiety as to what lies ahead.

Wednesday,12 am midnight: Afraid of a repeat incident, my wife asks our niece Harley to stay awake with Pink for a few hours while she tries to get some sleep (after having slept 3 hours the night before). As is always the case, her intuition was spot-on, because at 2am my daughter again starts coughing up blood, leading to another sleepless night in the emergency room, this time at a different hospital. Once again, the doctors are confident the bleeding will subside, but this time they keep Pink in the hospital for the night for precautionary observations.

Upon receiving news from my wife, I now start to fear the worst (as parents do) and debate as to whether or not I should go home and cut my trip short. I’m scheduled to fly home early Friday morning but at this point my mind is elsewhere. Nikki and I agree to wait and see what the night brings and make a decision at that time.

Thursday(today) 3am: I’m awoken in my hotel room with the sound of my phone vibrating on the nightstand. Before I even see who it is, my heart starts to race. Nikki then tells me the bleeding has started again, and the next step is surgery at 9:30am in the morning. At this point, it’s clear to me that I need to get home as soon as possible.

6:00am: I’ve just arrived at the “Island Airport” in downtown Toronto. Considering I have a flight from this same airport to Washington DC the next morning with Porter Airlines, I’m hoping they’ll understand my situation and work with me on the ticket price. At this point, I explain to the attendee my desire to leave on my flight today(instead of the same time tomorrow) because of the fact my daughter is in surgery in a few hours.

Without making a single acknowledgment of what I’ve just told her about my daughter, the attendee tells me there is essentially nothing she can do, and the one-way ticket will be $530. Considering the original round trip ticket was just over $200, I can only grit my teeth and hand her my credit card.

9:30am: While I’m driving down Interstate 95 from DC to Richmond, Pink once again is in surgery. The doctor goes in and cauterizes her small throat vessels that were the cause of the problem.

11am: I finally make it to Pink’s hospital room in Richmond. Understandably, it’s an emotional meeting.

8pm: Pink has been doing well all day and literally eaten 12 Popsicles. Despite all she’s gone through, she maintains her smile and uncanny sense of humor. I’m so grateful the storm appears to have passed.

9:30pm: Now that things have calmed down, I decide to give Porter Airlines a call. Thinking someone in customer service will see the situation for what it is, I speak to one of their representatives in an effort to see if they’ll work with me on the ticket price.

This time, the lady on the end is even less sympathetic than the one I’d spoken with earlier in the day. Without showing the slightest hint of empathy, her response is, “I’m sorry Mr. Sheridan, but we’ve done the best we can do.”

Without raising my voice at all, I respond:

“You haven’t done the best you can do. But it is what it is.”

On Being Human

Rarely ever do I complain about other businesses on social media. Honestly, I think I’ve only done it once or twice in the 5 years I’ve been so involved in the online world. Having owned multiple companies, I get that everyone has bad moments here and there. But my experience over the last 24 hours has caused me much contemplation on what my friend Chris Brogan would refer to as “humanizing” your business.

From what I can tell, Porter Airlines is likely a great company. They seem to think outside the box with certain elements of their business and I’m sure they do way more “right” than “wrong” when it comes to working with their customers.

That being said,  I’m not writing this article because of a plane ticket.

Rather, I’m moved to write this  because Porter’s only focus was on policy, not people.

Yes, their “policy” may have made them an extra $530 on a flight that was less than 50% full, but their inability to look beyond the letter of the law is truly disappointing. (That being said, I do not feel whatsoever that this post should cause anyone to say “I’m not using Porter Airlines.” The company has done many good things in the past to get where they are.)

I’ve always said that successful marketing comes down to 4 essential principles:

  • Listening
  • Communicating
  • Teaching
  • Helping

Well, it turns out that I wasn’t talking about marketing at all.

I was talking about being human.

***Update: I wrote this post 3 days ago, Friday, 6/23. That night, Pink again had bleeding problems and we had to go back into surgery the next morning. Gratefully, in the two days since, the bleeding has appeared to have stopped. Although we are very cautiously optimistic, we are hoping the storm has passed. My wife and I would like to thank all those persons that have sent of words and messages of support during this difficult time.




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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Nenad June 22, 2014 at

Hi Marcus. I am so sorry you’ve had to go through with such a terrifying situation with your so young daughter. I don’t have to tell you the worst part is the feeling of helplessness, when most of the situation is in the hands of others you have to trust. I wish her a quick and successful recovery.

About your writing on humanizing the business. I totally get it what you’re trying to say. Totally. When I had a really easy request for the airline I flew with back home from Australia, the lady that was the kindest basically told me that my reason for the request is used by many.

It made me think about this again. When so many make up reasons to gain what they want, isn’t it understandable that even business becomes cautious and simply you don’t know who to believe anymore? It sucks big time, but they don’t know us individually, and they don’t know we’re telling the truth. It reminds me a bit of highscholl or college. You know, so many grandmothers “die” and there are so many have-to-go-to-a-funeral types of excuses, a professor stops believing anyone. I used to be a college grad assistant. But when sth really bad was going on in my family and it was really a legitimate excuse for me being late with my assignments I started thinking about how the events are so bizzare, no one will take me seriously or really believe me, although everything was really happening. It makes you think.

So what is the solution?

On the other hand, there are companies like Amazon or Bloomberg Businessweek… The deliveries of my BB copies used to be late, I complained. They didn’t blink and think I wanted to take advantage of them or anything. They resolved the issue and without questions added 8 additional issues to my subscription for free.

Do I make any sense?

Good luck, my friend.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Makes a ton of sense Nenad, and I can only thank you for stopping by with your kind words.

Pink is finally doing much better and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

Have a great week ahead my friend,

Marcus

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Michael June 22, 2014 at

Marcus, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. But thrilled to hear she is doing better. My Thoughts and prayers to all of you and for her continued recovery.

I have had a few similar incidents while traveling. And it is amazing how even just a bit of empathy can go a long way. True in business as well as life.

Stay well my friend and take care!

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Brian Hasenbauer June 22, 2014 at

My daughter (5) had the same surgery in February for sleep apnea. Sleeps great now… Glad that your daughter is getting better. Enjoy getting some more sleep at night!

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Thanks Brian…and the sleep is finally here, tonight will be our first without having to sleep in her room so as to be vigilant of any activity.

Best,

Marcus

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Jeremy Abel June 22, 2014 at

Hi Marcus,

Wanted to send my best to you and your family during these challenging times. Please know that you’re in my prayers, and I hope everything turns out for the best. It often amazes me how God tests us, but we should take comfort in knowing how well he’s prepared us physically, emotionally, and sometimes financially, to gracefully prosper in the face of such challenges.

The companies (and people) that build an emotional connection with customers are those that eliminate the barriers to great decision making. They cut out (or bend) policies, knowing that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t deliver the same experience for every customer. They give the employees who are closest to the issue needing resolve the power to delight customers, which in turn creates a positive experience that said customers are more likely to share with their friends. As a result, the customer’s story becomes the brand’s story.

Again, wishing you and your family health and strength, Marcus.

God Bless,

Jeremy

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Really appreciate that my man!

Marcus

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Tony June 22, 2014 at

Between accepting all requested flight changes and stinging hard the customer by charging him 530 bucks for a return itinerary whose full ticket costs USD 200, there must be a point which is fair and “human”.

The moment you hand the lady your credit card she should have realised two things:
1.- You’re not telling her any BS.
2.- That will probably be your last flight with them.

They had the chance to become your hero by doing something special in a very delicate moment, and make you a loyal and recurrent flyer. An “evangelist”. They decided to kill the golden hen and get it all. And they did it twice: face to face, and on the phone. I beg if you try by fax, email and twitter, chances are you’ll get a No-No-No. That’s a smart policy: not taking advantage of those seldom circumstances they can easily convert in a loyal and frequent traveller.

Not to mention the extra “promotion” made on your post: no badmouthing at all, but an elegant description of the incident. Can’t think of a worst review for them.

I’m not sure whether or not I ever flew Porter Airlines. But I’m sure I’ll never do.

P.S.: When I come across one of those clercks “sticking to the policy” and not even trying to listen to the customer, I always end up telling them: “It’s been pretty impressive to meet someone that reached his/her professional career summit so young”. Unfortunately they do not normally get it, but this helps those queueing behind me prepare for the worst.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Tony, you hit the nail on the head my friend.

And although Porter may never have responded to this, many great people like you did.

Best of all, Pink is just about 100% recovered.

Marcus

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Mike Gingerich June 22, 2014 at

So sorry to hear about your daughter man! Praying healing!

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Appreciate that Mike!

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Ken Jacobs June 22, 2014 at

Thank you for sharing your story, Marcus, and sending positive vibes to Pink for her continued recovery, and for strength to you and your wife. Very sad when companies like Porter Airlines teach their employees to value “Policy” over “People.” Whey they do so, they seem to forget that it’s people, not policies, who buy tickets on their airlines. And it’s the same people who can choose Porter’s competitors in the future. I know that’s what I’d do if given the choice.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Well said Ken…and thanks for the kind words. Pink is almost all the way back and we’re finally relaxing a little bit. :)

Hope your week ahead is a great one,

Marcus

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Kate June 22, 2014 at

Great news your baby girl is doing better. Best wishes, Kate

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Thank you Kate :)

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Kathy & Brian Oken June 22, 2014 at

Marcus,
So sorry to read about this. We are keeping you and your daughter and your entire family in our prayers. On top of your anguish and worry, I cannot conceive how a company can put its policies first no matter what. Really sorry you all are going through this.

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Scott June 22, 2014 at

Marcus,
Long time reader and admirer of what you’ve accomplished. – This is the 1st time I’ve written because I appreciate the fair way you wrote this while making a very valid point and more importantly, as a father of 2 girls, to wish your daughter all the best for a speedy and full recovery.

Best wishes to you and your family.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Scott, so glad you took a minute to say hello.

Pink is doing much better, so thank you for that but also thank you for being a reader as long as you have.

May your week ahead be a great one,

Marcus

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Mark W Schaefer June 23, 2014 at

I’m sure there wasa business lesson here but I couldn’t get past the scare for your daughter. Prayers are with you Nikki and Pink!

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Appreciate my friend! She’s doing much better now and tonight will actually be the first night I don’t have to sleep next to her to have watch. :)

Hope you have a great week ahead bud,

Marcus

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Walter Pollard June 23, 2014 at

Marcus,

I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. Hopefully she is doing much better. Prayers and best wishes to Pink, Nikki, you and the rest of your family.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Appreciate that buddy. Hope you have a great 4th and that all is well for you and your fam also.

Marcus

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diana June 23, 2014 at

Oh heavens, Marcus, my heart jumped through my own throat when I read this. I wish I could have helped babysit or SOMEthing. Man. Please know I’ll be thinking about you all and offering prayers. So happy your baby girl is doing better. The rest, ack. Money. Love is everything. Much of it to you and your family.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

You’re as kind as they come Diana :)

Pink is just about 100% again…just a little raspy but other than that, smiling all the day long ;-)

Best to you!!

Marcus

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Laura Click June 23, 2014 at

Marcus – I’m sorry to hear about what happened with Porter Airlines. That is very disappointing. But more importantly, I’m sorry about the scare with your daughter. I’m just glad to hear she’s doing better. We’ll pray for continued recovery!

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Appreciate you stopping by Laura. Pink is just about back to herself again. :)

Hope you have a great week ahead,

Marcus

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Nichole Kelly June 23, 2014 at

Marcus – What an incredibly scary time for you. I’m so sorry you are going through this. It struck a really close chord for me as Giavanna was scheduled to go in to get tubes in her ears and her adnoids removed this week. Her surgery has been postponed because her blood work showed that she is slightly anemic which could have caused a very similar situation had we gone forward with the surgery. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and I’m so glad to hear that Pink is doing better.

My reaction was much like Mark’s. It’s hard to get past the fear that I know you’ve felt over the last few days.

The business lesson here is an important one. Have empathy for your customers and treat them as if it were you in their exact shoes. Then treat them as you would like to be treated in that situation. When you do, the cost of your empathy will pay for itself time and time again.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Wow Nichole, that’s really interesting about your daughter. Pink dealt with some anemic issues while this was going on, so that’s certainly something to watch out for.

It’s a bummer when health is a double edged sword as it was in my case and in yours. Hope all goes well for Giavanna though– Pink is just about all the way back to normal. :)

Best to you and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you at an event soon,

Marcus

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Christina June 23, 2014 at

Very sorry to hear about your situation with Porter Airlines. Keeping your family in my prayers!

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Thanks for that Christina! :-)

Marcus

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Edwin Vlems June 23, 2014 at

Wow what a story Marcus, I hope everything turns out well.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

It did, thanks Edwin :-)

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Kathy Webb June 23, 2014 at

First and most important, a prayer that Pink bounces back quickly and the Sheridan family is once again rolling with business as usual. Thanksgiving, as well, that it was in fact a relatively simple, albeit scary, emergency.

Nenad said it well, there is so much B.S. out there that these front line CSRs are trained by their employers to follow policy without exception. I will be surprised if Porter Airlines doesn’t try to make this right with you, however what about others who don’t have your megaphone. How easy it would have been to display some empathy AND a proposed plan of action for you to follow after the fact to validate your verbal claim (a hospital bill for example, or for others a death notice) and get an adjustment. That takes the decision away from front line, and calms the honest customers that there is an appeal process to clear this up.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Great point Kathy. I can totally understand they’ve been burned before, but like you said, that’s why there are policies created to ensure they don’t make bad decisions to hurt their brand.

Porter never did contact me but that’s quite alright, my little girl is almost back to normal. :-)

Hope you have a great week ahead Kathy,

Marcus

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Randy Cantrell June 23, 2014 at

Prayers for your family and especially for Pink. Being on the road during a crisis is about as vexing as things get. Thankful you’re all on the road toward Better Days now.

You’re being far kinder to Porter Airlines than they deserve. But in your words, “it is what it is.”

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Randy Cantrell June 23, 2014 at

Wait just one minute! I just looked and saw that Porter is a sponsor of the event you were speaking at! I’ve one word for you: CONGRUENCY (or in Porter’s case, INCONGRUENCE). Shameful, Porter Airlines.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Randy, old friend, really appreciate your kind words bud and hope all is well for you out there in the great state of Texas. (less the Cowboys ;-)

Best,

Marcus

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Jonathan Christian June 23, 2014 at

Marcus – you’re an amazing Dad and professional marketer! I get both situations, most of all praise God for Pink’s safety through all of this and her ultimate healing.
Porter airlines, too bad, so sad.
Thank you for once again for taking the high road and showing us all how life’s priorities and our choices highlight what’s really most important.
Jonathan

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

My pleasure Jonathan, and thank you for taking a moment to leave your thoughts here.

Wishing you the very best,

Marcus

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Lisa June 23, 2014 at

When your kid is sick, the world stops. Thank goodness Pink is on the mend, and as a result, you and your wife, too.

As for Porter, lotsa lessons there. Who’s the voice of policy in any company? Preserving policy is important, of course, but remembering WHO it affects and then making exceptions when appropriate is kind and wise.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

Appreciate the kind words Lisa,and Pink is finally on the up and up. :-)

Best to you,

Marcus

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Bob Reed June 23, 2014 at

Marcus, so glad to hear your daughter is on the mend after a very stressful event. I’ve been in your position and can emphasize.

People over policy? Yes, but that other “P” word comes into play here: profits. I’m not sure if Porter and companies that operate like it understand that each person it touches now have communities large and small. You are taking the highroad in this post, but your experience might give those of reading this pause when considering Porter as an air travel option.

Peace to you, Pink and your family.

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Marcus Sheridan June 30, 2014 at

You’re a good soul Bob, and I really appreciate the thoughtful comment.

Pink is finally doing much better…which means I might actually get caught up on my inbox soon! ;-)

Best to you sir,

Marcus

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Russ Jones June 23, 2014 at

Thank you for this great article. I am glad to hear your daughter is doing better, as a father of two daughters it nearly brought me to tears (knowing that exact feeling of rushing to a hospital unsure of what you will find when you finally get through the doors).

That being said, I have a different take. I mean no specific focus on Porter Airlines – they sound no different from most other businesses and in fact might be “better”. However, what I don’t seem to understand is this idea of “humanizing business”, or more importantly am jolted by its apparent necessity.

How has it become in this world appropriate for business to be inhumane? Business is, at bottom, a human endeavor. That we lose sight, even for a moment, that the purpose of our work is to improve the human condition (our own in the service of others) is nothing short of a moral tragedy. In any moment, at any time, under any circumstance, which a business ceases to be a means to that end, it should be cast aside like an empty bottle of water. An inhumane business is no business at all, it is trash to be discarded.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Russ, you bring up a great, deep point—one that really should be talked/written about in further detail.

And thanks for the kind words regarding Pink, she’s doing much better and tonight is her first night without mom or dad sleeping in a bed next to her on watch. ;-)

Best to you bud,

Marcus

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Adrienne June 23, 2014 at

Hey Marcus,

I know I haven’t been by here in awhile but I did want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as Pink has to endure all these horrible things happening to her poor body. Bless her heart and I have no doubt it will all work out in the end although going through this is never any fun at all.

As for Porter Airlines, I’ve never heard of them and it really makes me sad that with only 50% capacity on that plane ride back that they couldn’t have acknowledged the importance of what was really going on here and helped you a little instead of stick you with that high price. Granted I’m sure that a lot of people will throw that up at them and they have to make a rash decision which is probably why they stuck with their “policy”. Either way they have to understand that with their business comes real live people and for that I hope they will reconsider and help you out a bit. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Best of luck to you and Pink, hope she’s finally on the road to recovery.

~Adrienne

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Adrienne, so very nice to see you, and I hope you’ve been well.

Thanks for taking a moment to offer your kind words about Pink. She’s certainly doing a good bit better and almost all the way back to normal…with a raspy voice ;-)

Smiles,

Marcus

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Emily Crume June 23, 2014 at

Prayers and healing for Pink, and cheerful support for you and your family, Marcus! Wishing you all the best!.

Thanks for sharing your story, For me the business lesson is one of empowerment. Companies do their customers and themselves a disservice by not empowering employees to use good judgement to override policy. That was all that was needed in this situation, sorry that it wasn’t fulfilled.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Appreciate that very much Emily, and hope you’re doing well also. Pink is almost fully on the mend, so we’re quite relieved. :)

See you soon (I’m sure),

Marcus

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Kathryn Exner June 23, 2014 at

I am sorry to read about this health scare you had with Pink. I hope that as I write this she is healed from her ordeal and that you’re all breathing easier.

If Porter Airlines cared about the health of children, why would they be aggressively lobbying to expand their operations to fly jet aircraft out of Toronto’s island airport and more than doubling their customer levels when the geographically closest stakeholder is a k-8 public school and daycare facility, a mere 300 yards from the main runway? The school predates Porter by almost ten years.

For those of us who live in the immediate neighbourhood and whose children attend this school, please consider flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Interesting points Kathryn, I wasn’t aware of that.

Best to you and your wonderful city :)

Marcus

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Joshua Cary June 23, 2014 at

Marcus,

You are an incredible role model to so many across such a wide variety of industries. This article continues to raise the bar and lead the way in how fathers, husbands, business owners, marketers and human beings across all walks of life should be.

You inspire and amaze like no other. Thanks for sharing your personal story and here are plenty of well wishes for Pink and your family!

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Believe it or not Joshua, you inspire me my man. Really. What you’ve accomplished in your industry is as impressive as any other thought leader in any space I’ve been a part of. No exaggeration.

Keep inspiring people bud,

Marcus

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Steve Dorfman June 23, 2014 at

So glad Pink is doing better now, Marcus. I’ll be praying for her.

I’m always a little amazed when people fail to even acknowledge what may be going on in your life and with your loved ones. I just don’t get that. Even if they may be a little jaded by those customers being less than honest from time to time, they should only ever assume their customers are being honest, and empathize with their situation.

A pause in their routine, a look up from their keyboard at the human standing in front of them, and a simple, “I’m very sorry to hear that. I can only imagine how you must be feeling.” can go a long way.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Great point Steve. This article would never have been written had one sentence like the one you mentioned above been stated.

It’s funny how we all just want to feel understood. That’s really what it comes down to.

Hope you and the family are well my friend.

Marcus

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Steve June 23, 2014 at

Marcus,

Sorry to hear about your daughter. You are, however, wrong about Porter. They will never be a great company

Great companies assist their customers especially when they have problems or issues.

This creates great customers who rave about the now great company.

Most of the time this costs very little like this incident. Yet most companies look at it as an opportunity to profit, because the customer has little alternative

The excess profit in this transaction has been negated by losing the value of you as a lifetime customer. Your network is now highly skeptical and quite possibly will never give them a chance

Seems like less than great thinking to me….hope you, your family and daughter are ok

Take care,

Steve

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

You’re observations are quite on point my man…and knowing how many customers your company has dealt with over the years, and the times you’ve had to choose “people” over “policy,” you’re certainly one coming from an expert position on a topic like this.

Funny thing, they still never acknowledged what happened after all the flack they got from TSL readers.

Interesting PR I guess.

Appreciate you my man.

Marcus

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Michael June 24, 2014 at

Marcus, happy to hear that your daughter is doing better and we hope that she has a smooth recovery going forward. While I wanted this short note to be more about our thoughts and prayers for your daughter, I will say I think what happened goes beyond just following policy – I think it goes to culture. Being in the service business, its our core culture that causes us to first ask “how can we help” before thinking about opening the policy manual.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for pink.

Mike

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

You make a very good point Michael…it has *everything* to do with culture. In this case, the culture didn’t come through…but hopefully it will be better for the next person.

Best to you and thanks much for stopping by,

Marcus

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Jk Allen June 24, 2014 at

Hey Marcus,

Quick note to say hello and let you know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Glad to hear from the update that little Pink is doing better.

peace

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

JK!!! So nice to hear from you old friend. Pink is doing much, much better, and so I appreciate your kind words and text. As I write this, tonight will be the first night she’s not under “parent watch” while sleeping, so hopefully everyone around here will get a little more rest ;-)

Much love to you and the fam my friend,

Marcus

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Al Getler June 24, 2014 at

Marcus, you have always been so open and helpful. My turn to help you. Tweets, Facebook, etc. all aimed at Porter Airlines.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Al, you’re a good soul my man. I appreciate you and your kindness, and hope we’ll catch up in Boston at Inbound if you’re there.

Best!!

Marcus

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Jill Juneja June 24, 2014 at

Hi Marcus,

Pink-Hay cutie-hang in there! You will be better soon. Your family and friends love you and even though you don’t know me I’m sending you warm hugs. I’m 47 and had similar problems as a child and just had my dang tonsils removed a year ago. I haven’t been sick since.

Marcus & Nikki-hang in there! You two are doing everything you can and I just know things will get better soon. You sound like amazing parents and you have a lot of folks wishing the best for you and your family.

Porter Airlines-It really is sad when you and your employees don’t care about humans. It makes others not care for you or your business. I don’t know if the employee moral is low, but it sure shows the lowness in your company.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

I’ve heard it’s way more painful as an adult Jill, so I’m glad you made it through.

Pink is doing much, much better and tonight will actually be the first night I’m not sleepy next to her bed.

Thanks again,

Marcus

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Matthew Holden June 24, 2014 at

Thank you for the story. The power of social communication – Porter Airlines are never to be flown by anyone in our company lest our team be in the same situation. Best for Pinks continued recovery.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Thanks for the kind words Matthew, Pink is doing a good bit better.

Wishing you and your business a great week ahead,

Marcus

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Francisco Rosales June 25, 2014 at

Hey Marcus,

So sorry to hear about this, my family and I are praying for Pink and her full recovery. As of the airline, unfortunately companies that can truly achieve being human are just a few.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Francisco my man, good to hear from you and thanks much for the kind words, they’re much appreciated :)

And Pink is indeed doing a good bit better :)

Best,

Marcus

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Loz James June 25, 2014 at

Hi Marcus

Just checked in to read your latest post and saw your worrying news here.

I’ve got kids of my own and seeing them unwell is every parent’s nightmare.

I just wanted to wish you and your family all the best mate, and I hope Pink makes a speedy recovery.

Cheers

Loz

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Loz, great hearing from you my friend and I appreciate the kind words.

Hope all is well in your well also :)

Marcus

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Yoshiwafa June 25, 2014 at

I hope your daughter a speedy recovery and be back playing with friends and family.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Appreciate that Yoshiwafa :)

Marcus

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Tom Repp June 26, 2014 at

In the long run…..”human” ALWAYS sells more than “policy”. So few companies get it. Thanks Marcus for sharing. Best to Pink.

Tom

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Appreciate that Tom…have a great week my friend,

Marcus

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Chris June 26, 2014 at

Hey Marcus,

So sorry to hear about your daughter. Hopefully by now Pink is feeling a lot better and she is on her way back to 100%.

I know you must have been worried.

All the best!

Chris.

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Appreciate that Chris. Yes, she is doing a good bit better at this point and we’re starting to breathe easier, that’s for sure. ;-)

Have a great week my friend,

Marcus

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kawiarnia Kraków June 26, 2014 at

I’m from Polish. Here plane flying only politicians. The tickets are very expensive. However, I am moved by the situation described. Not everything I understand, from what I read, because I know little English.

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Christian Newman June 28, 2014 at

Hi Marcus.

First, I’m glad you made it home. I hope that you, Nikki and the rest of your family remain in spirits as good as Pink’s :) What’s important is that you’re together while the medical stuff works itself out.

Second, I’ve never flown Porter, but I know many people who have. You may be surprised to know that your story is the exact opposite of everything I’ve heard about them. I heard they were “different”… “better”. Maybe things have changed. I hope someone at Porter reads your story and recalls the importance of being human, and that policy will never cause customers to magically understand and accept an inhuman response to their situation.

Again, best wishes to you and your family, especially Pink. My thoughts and prayers are with you guys.

Christian

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Christian, appreciate your thoughts bud.

Yes, I’ve heard/read the same about Porter, which is why I didn’t want readers of this post to form the wrong opinion about the airline without experiencing their company for themselves first.

Have a great week ahead bud.

Marcus

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Mike Williquette June 28, 2014 at

Marcus,

Nothing about marketing or business or anything like that do I want to comment on … I want to say that I truely hope that your daughter is better soon. I could tell the story of my son when he was very young with pneumonia in the hospital … how your heart goes out to your kids when they are in need.

Please let Pink know that there are lots of people all over the USA hoping that she gets better soon.

Mike

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Mike, thanks so very much for your thoughtful words. Parent to parent, thank you. :)

Best,

Marcus

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Chris Borrink June 29, 2014 at

Marcus, I’m praying to God for you and your family, and the complete healing of your daughter. Thanks for your work that inspires us all.

Chris

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Marcus Sheridan June 29, 2014 at

Extremely kind of you to say Chris, Pink seems to be almost in the clear. Thank you. :)

Marcus

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Kathleen Booth June 30, 2014 at

Oh Marcus, I am so sorry to hear your daughter went through all this. I am only just now seeing this blog (its been that kind of a month!) and I hope that she is all better and the throat wound has healed. It is so hard to see children suffer or be in pain, but it is always amazing how well they handle it. Sounds like your daughter is a trooper! Thinking of you…

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John @ fanbox review July 11, 2014 at

I feel so sad about your little girl’s story , but at the same time I am very happy that she feels better now . I hope with all my heart that she will be even better in the future . Good luck , Marcus and have a beautiful life next to you family !!

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Jan Beery July 17, 2014 at

Marcus,

My heart goes out to you and your wife. The pain you feel when one of your children are hurting, is second to none. Please know you have support around you with prayers and encouragement for Pink to continue healing.

We strive to help our clients humanize their organization, and we do this in a manner that puts a heart with a company. When I hear of any organization, that doesn’t provide opportunity for their employees to think outside the box, the structure is destined for problems. Reputation will slip, loyalty will slip, revenue will slip, and they fade away to competitors that are willing to make compassionate decisions.

I’ve experienced great customer service with other airlines and I’ve experienced some that dropped the ball. We had our oldest soldier son charged for an extra bag, when he was deploying to a war zone. The extra bag was his gear. We had another airline take amazing care of our younger son, who’d been wounded and was returning home for the first time. The bottom line is, we all have choices. Treat a customer well, and you’ll gain a customer for life. Treat a customer poorly and you’ll loose more then $530. You’ve lost a brand advocate. Bottom line, people buy from people

Thank you for sharing your story personal story. Please do keep us posted on Pink’s progress.

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Marcus Sheridan July 18, 2014 at

Wow Jan, now that was well said and a tremendous summation to what it (customer service and being human) is all about.

Thank you and thanks to your sons as well,

Marcus

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Mitch Mitchell July 18, 2014 at

Hey Marcus,

I’m sorry about what happened to your daughter and I hope, since I’m late to the party, that she’s way better now and running around having fun like a 4-year old should be doing.

As for Porter, I’d never heard of them before either. I deplore their action against you but, having been flying for the past 14 months all over the place, I know that more and more airlines are setting policies and not allowing staff to override them, and that’s just terrible. A new policy that’s been instituted over the last few months is that there are no more discounts for bereavement flights. Maybe there was some abuse with it, but my mind saw that as one of the few humane actions airlines partook of and now that’s been taken away, like so many other things.

I wish you and your family well.

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