Verizon And The Flying Phone

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - October 29, 2008
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Dear Pamela,

A few days before my son’s unit was to have its deployment recognition, my 19-month-old grandson thought his father’s cell phone could fly when he threw it off the balcony of the apartment. Of course it broke into pieces. We got to the Verizon store at Pearl Highland Shopping Center and I explained to the young man that our insurance would pay for the phone but it would take at least two days. My son was set to be deployed. He immediately called the manager, Kelly, who then called the insurance company.

Within a few minutes my son had a new cell phone and he even helped secure a new phone for my daughter-in-law (because our little grandson had chewed on her phone and shorted the battery.)

Those great people at Verizon made it possible for me to stay in contact with my son, and we are able to share pictures with him, too. He is with the Hawaii National Guard, 29th Brigade now at Fort Hood, Texas, soon to leave for Kuwait. Thank you from a very anxious mother.

Stephanie Borabora

Dear Stephanie,

Pearl Highlands Verizon customer service representative Kelly Mashiba says the store deals with damaged phones all the time. “We try to find the quickest way to get new units to customers,” he says. “Mrs. Borabora told me her situation and we got to the insurance company right away to make sure the family had a way to stay in contact.”

three star

Dear Pamela,

Our 13-year-old son was flying on United Airlines as an unaccompanied minor this summer to participate in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Program in Carlisle, Pa., at Dickinson College. On his return flight home, which involved several legs of flying, he packed his money in his check-in luggage and ran out of money he carried with him, so that on his final leg from San Diego to Honolulu he figured that he would just not eat dinner on the plane. Ten hours had passed since his last meal earlier that morning. By chance he was sitting next to a father and son. The man asked my son if he wanted to buy something when the flight attendant came by. When my son replied no, this man generously offered to pay for a meal box for him. We didn’t get a chance to find this man and his son at the baggage claim and thank him for his generosity. Our son did not get this man’s name. But my husband and I would like to sincerely thank this man from the bottom of our hearts for buying our son a meal on the plane when he was tired, hungry and by himself. We intend to return the kindness by paying this favor forward to someone else in need.

Micheline Soong

Dear Micheline,

Was your son booked for the United Airlines unaccompanied minor service? If so, he could have made his situation known to a flight attendant, who would have looked out for him. Fortunately he had compassionate travelmates.

The service is mandatory for unaccompanied minors 5 to 11 years old and optional for 12-to 17-year-olds. There is a $99 fee each way, which ensures that your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections and turned over to the appropriate person upon arrival at the final destination. Most airlines offer unaccompanied minor service, though the details and fees may be different.

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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