campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 30 January 2009 12:00AM
But his letter of complaint over the disgustingly way-below-low standard of food on a flight back from Mumbai had reached the big man himself.
Picture the scene. Branson and his wife are hosting a dinner party when he pulls out Beale's letter and reads it out to snorts and shrieks of laughter from his guests.
After he finishes reading the six-page letter (with pictures), Branson's wife, Joan, persuades him to call Beale and apologise. Cue Beale on Oxford Street, ducking into - of all places - McDonald's to take the call. In the letter, Beale describes in detail the "delights" he was served up on the ten-hour-and-25-minute "culinary journey of hell". Branson, to his credit, apologised profusely for the meal, which included bhajis and custard, a plateful of mustard and a "sponge shaft", and offered some as-yet-undefined compensation.
Beale's letter has since gone viral and he is now even in talks with a national newspaper about writing an "expose" of his experience.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk