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—Thoughts and scribbles.

The Most Tragic Text Message

“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived.”

This was the text message that Malaysian Airlines sent out to the family members of those aboard Flight 370 after they determined that the flight was lost in the Indian Ocean.

Beyond the fact that Malaysian Airlines and the Malaysian government hasn’t shared the information that brought them to this conclusion, a text message? Really?

Malaysian Airlines has defended the decision in a statement that they wanted the families to be informed on the situation before it was broadcast to the rest of the world. While this is the right idea, from a PR standpoint, it was not the right method.

With news traveling so quickly across the internet and social media, it is understandable to be under pressure to get to the family members in a timely manner. But a text message is cold, distant, and – especially as a mass message from an airline – deeply impersonal. This isn’t how you notify a grieving family member in this situation. And it’s no wonder that, without proof, a lot of the family members don’t believe it.

Malaysian Airlines should have had people – real people – in both Kuala Lumpur and Beijing go to personally notify the family members of the news before it aired. And they should have shared their reasoning behind it, as well.

Samantha LinnettComment