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A Running Spirit

Explorer C


The morning began like any other routine start, at the Embassy Suites in Philadelphia.  My First Officer, James Maiato, and I had breakfast and headed to our leisurely 7:15 A.M. lobby meeting time.  That’s when we first noticed a lot of activity outside and a bunch of people running down Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  Upon further inquiry, we discovered it was the start of the Philly Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon with more than 20,000 runners. Thankful that I was flying and not running 13.1 miles,  I climbed into the van for my ride to the airport.

The van driver was in a heated discussion with his dispatcher because he realized that there was no way he could get to the Le Meridien hotel to pick up our crew of Flight Attendants.  Police had closed the roads due to the half-marathon.  We managed to get in contact with the Flight Attendants and while I talked to Scheduling and the Chief Pilot on call, the Flight Attendants agreed to walk the half-mile down to the Embassy Suites.  That was the first example of their superlative Warrior Spirit.

In less than 15 minutes, we saw our Flight Attendants coming down the street towards us, but on the opposite side of the street.  They would have to cross the street between all of the runners in order to reach us.

Undaunted and full of Warrior Spirit, they began the crossing pulling their bags behind them and avoiding the runners dashing down the Parkway. It reminded me of the old video game "Frogger."  They loaded up in the van and acted like it was no big deal.  We made it to the airport on time and even pushed early.

I am proud to work at the same Company as these Flight Attendants.  Okay, so they didn't run the entire marathon, but Tonya, Eric, and Tina were proactive and not afraid to do a little extra to make sure we pushed on time.

Tonya, Eric and Tina

They are outstanding examples of the Warrior Spirit that gives Southwest Airlines the competitive edge.