I’m featured in this USA Today article! “Five things your airline should never say”

I. Am. Pumped! Last October, I met consumer advocate and syndicated travel writer Christopher Elliott when he gave a wonderful presentation at a customer relations conference. When I proposed that we co-author an article about airlines’ communications with customers, he counter-proposed that he write a profile of me and the work I have done with several major carriers. And this month, it happened! I’m honored to be featured in a national newspaper and grateful for Elliott’s thumbs-up portrait of the work I’ve been doing.  (Side note: I’m not sure how pumped I am to have my appearance described as “no-nonsense,” but I guess it’s better than being described as “funny-looking.”)

Here’s the opening of the article. Click the link at the end to read the whole piece, and scroll down to learn a bit more about Elliott Consumer Advocacy.

“Leslie O’Flahavan looks more like an English teacher than an airline employee. Everything about her is no-nonsense, from her curly black hair, to her Nordstrom business-casual attire, to her carefully chosen words.

Maybe that’s because she spent nearly a decade as a high school educator. But she has moved on to a different kind of teaching: tutoring airlines on how to use the right words to respond to passenger comments and complaints.

O’Flahavan is a customer service writing expert who runs a boutique business called E-Write, based in Silver Spring, Md., which helps travel companies recast their letter template libraries into shorter, easier to read and “modern-sounding” emails. Her clients have included Virgin America, Air Canada and several other major domestic carriers.

“The airlines I work with hire me to help make their correspondence more natural and responsive,” she explains. “They already care about better quality communication with customers, and they want to improve.”

Which phrases are overused by airlines? What’s the best way to approach a carrier with a customer service problem?…”

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