At Southwest Airlines, we strive to connect People to what’s important in their lives. While we love meeting Customers who are flying to fun destinations like a wedding or a beach vacation, we also understand the importance of showing empathy to Customers who may be traveling for a much more somber reason.
Read on to see how Southwest Employees comfort and assist our Customers during their hard times.
Life or Death
“On July 15, I sat in Nashville watching the dark clouds roll in—each time the thunder shook the terminal, my heart sank. The night before this, I found out that my cousin and best friend, Angie, was dying, so I took the first flight to Idaho to visit her. She told me to hurry, and that word rang in my ears as my flight was delayed due to the weather.
After the delay, I boarded the plane and asked a Flight Attendant, Rebecca, if I would later make my connecting flight—she told me that it was unlikely. Tears burned my eyes and spilled over. She listened and empathized when I told her why I needed to catch that flight. I kept thinking about Angie telling me to hurry.
Rebecca later came back to me with options. She said that United Airlines had a flight that I could take to Angie once the plane landed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with the extra $300 to pay for the flight, but I thanked her anyway. She walked away, and I texted my husband, “I need a miracle.” Rebecca reappeared later and asked for my PayPal information—she wanted to buy my flight to Angie. I cried and told her no, but the kind woman beside me placed her hand on mine and said, “Say thank you, and do it.”
I bought the ticket only for Rebecca to return with news that the Captain and Southwest decided to hold my original flight in Denver—I could make my connecting flight again! Rebecca hugged me as I sped off the plane, and an agent rushed me to the next flight and wished me luck.
Southwest, because of your amazing crew and God’s grace, I made it to Angie’s bedside to hold her hand until she passed. So many tender mercies occurred while I was Idaho, and I want to thank your crew for being one of them—I will always remember this.” –Aramsey23
Horrible News is Met with Kindness
“Recently, I was on a flight from Austin to Seattle to visit my daughter. After a four-hour flight, I was thrilled to land and see her. Once we arrived, I turned on my phone and sent her a text to let her know I landed safely. As I glanced at my phone, I saw numerous missed calls and texts. One text from my husband’s coworker said that my husband was in the emergency room. I panicked and didn’t check any other messages—I just wanted to quickly get off the plane. As I approached the terminal, I met my daughter who was in tears. She told me that her father had a stroke and was not doing well.
We rushed to a Southwest counter and through my tears, I told them our situation. Miraculously, they booked us a flight back to Austin in less than six minutes. When I boarded the plane back home, I asked the Flight Attendants if they had any food and explained my situation. They offered me chips and crackers, but I didn’t want any, so I went into the restroom to pull myself together before the plane took off. When I came out, a Flight Attendant handed me her packaged salad—her kindness really touched me. She also checked on me throughout the flight to see if I was doing okay. I later tried to give the Flight Attendant money to repay her for the salad, but she wouldn’t accept it.
That day, Southwest Employees showed me so much Compassion. My husband is doing well and quickly recovering. I’m so glad your airline made it possible to quickly arrive home to be with him.” –LisaJeff57