At Southwest Airlines, it’s our Culture to take care of each other—both on and off the clock. Denver Flight Attendant Heidi Watson was particularly grateful for our Culture earlier this year as she returned home from a trip to the effects of a massive snowstorm. Riding in the same shuttle from the airport terminal to the parking lot was returning Denver Captain John Garofalo. As a longtime Pilot for Southwest, John has many a time experienced coming home to the elements, especially the storms in March, when he says snowstorms seem to bring the most accumulation. This past March was no different. The day they were returning, the snowstorm was so strong, the airport was near complete closure and a car in their parking lot was buried completely in the snow.
Upon arriving at her car in the parking lot, Heidi wearily started clearing her car of snow with the small snow scraper she had on hand. Luckily for her, her Coheart John had something better: a snow shovel and a willing spirit to assist her in her time of need.
As John cleared her car, they struck up a conversation, and John learned Heidi was a new Flight Attendant for Southwest. “I always carry a shovel in my car, so I went to help her because that’s what we do here at Southwest,” John said. “Come to find out, she’s new to the Company, and I was so glad to be able to welcome her to the Southwest Family that way.”
When John was done clearing Heidi’s car and a path for her through the parking lot, he went on to the next car to assist those who weren’t even present. “He went above and beyond not only helping a Coheart but also a complete stranger,” said Heidi. “I could tell he definitely has a big heart, and helping others is a part of who he is.”
At Southwest, we stand by The Golden Rule and each must do our part to keep our Culture alive and well. It’s the little things, like scraping snow off someone’s car, that contribute to a better world. Take this reminder to pay it forward with kindness today and every day! We all have a chance to improve someone’s day with a small gesture of kindness.
“John was assisting someone who had just walked through some of the hardest days of her life and he had no idea,” said Heidi. “I hope I get to fly with John one day and return even a small portion of the gift he gave me that day.”