Dear British Airways,
On Thursday 14th April, I had to fly with you to New York, after a week of having the flu + laryngitis.
I’m partially deaf, and was feeling pretty scared about doing damage to my remaining good ear by getting on a plane.
So when I arrived at Heathrow, I went to the BA desk to ask about postponing my flight until tomorrow.
That way I could get one solid night’s sleep before flying, and hopefully feel healthy enough to fly.
Of all the desks in all the airports, I walk into the one with the partially deaf customer service agent.
An amazing lady called Lisa Deeks told me all about her own deafness, and we spent 20 minutes sharing our weird balance and hearing issues and the idiosyncrasies of having an invisible disability.
Our experiences were so similar, and so personal, that we both got a bit tearful as we spoke, though we were beaming all the time.
She recommended techniques I could use to fly safely and look after my ear (given that changing the flight would have cost thousands), and at the end of our encounter she came out from behind her desk to hug me.
What a wonderful human.
Lisa made me feel cared for, hopeful and safe, and made a scary flight a healthy one.
Please will you thank Lisa hugely for me, and tell her what an extraordinary woman she is?
That conversation (and much-needed hug) was the last thing I was expecting, and the best possible remedy.
PS — when I got to the gate, my seat had been quietly upgraded. I don’t know how or why that happened, but those hours of comfortable sleep were invaluable. Happily, I arrived in New York with ear unscathed.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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