In his book, Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?, Comedian Billy Crystal shares his thoughts about aging, and he fondly remembers how his mom told him every year on his birthday to "Do something special." Southwest Airlines Customer Ina Mae Stringfield certainly took this advice!
She and four travel companions tookoff in Nashville and headed to New York City to celebrate her 100th year of life. There, a taxi driver gave her a free ride, a policeman sang “Happy Birthday” to her, and Diane Sawyer wished her a happy birthday on video! But first, she was treated to a pre-party—Southwest style!
May 2, 2014 was not only the day before Ina Mae’s centennial birthday, but it was also the day of her first Southwest Airlines flight! BNA Customer Service Supervisor Lisa Cox made sure to celebrate both special occasions properly. Along with help from Team BNA, Lisa led the folks in the gate area in singing “Happy Birthday” to Ina Mae and presented her with a bottle of champagne and a “First Time Flyer Certificate” signed by the entire Crew—including Ramp, Operations, Customer Service, Inflight, and Flight Operations.
Ina Mae’s son-in-law, John Perkins, accompanied her on the trip, and he says our BNA Employees treated his mother-in-law “like a Queen.” BNA Station Leader Eli Rodriguez adds that he overheard several Customers making the comment, “Now that’s why I fly Southwest Airlines!”
Ina Mae has surely had many great experiences during her 100 years on this earth, but we bet her first Southwest Airlines flight and her birthday trip to NYC rank high on her list, thanks to Team BNA, Lisa Cox, and every Southwest Employee who made her feel “special” on her big day!