Longtime Customer and Southwest friend, Drew Ramsey accompanied the ferry flight carrying volunteers from Dallas to Boston for our inaugural service.
This past Saturday, I had the honor and pleasure of joining approximately 80 Southwest Airlines Employees on the ferry flight from Dallas Love Field to Boston Logan Airport. From the beginning, I could tell the flight wouldn't be business as usual. Boxed lunches were loaded into the rear overhead bins, a trio of Mechanics boarded with tools in hand, and Susie-- SUSIE BOERSMA? Yes, I shared a cabin with the Airline star. I am not embarrassed to admit I was starstruck!
As we pushed back and began to taxi, I noticed another difference: the flight deck door was open, and would remain open the entire flight. I leaned out to the left from my seat to watch the taxi and takeoff through the front office windows, and nearly had my first kiss with an air sickness bag. After takeoff my stomach calmed down and I ate lunch (I had the chicken wrap), began my Monster Lo-Carb bender and took a tour of the cabin.
Toward the front there were parents with children, husbands and wives, and Employees playing air hockey on an iPhone. The Mechanics were napping in the emergency exit rows. One had removed a seat bottom cushion for use as a cranial flotation device. Toward the back of the plane were groups of Employees engaged in conversation and the consumption of adult beverages. At the very back was the wine kit with more Monsters!
I visited the flight deck to get a picture and see if I could stomach the inflight view. The Pilots, Captain Robert Liebl and First Officer James Maiato, asked if I had come up to take their places. I told them I didn't think that was such a good idea considering my only experience in a simulator was less than ideal, and they joked that they had better not tell me about their simulator experience.
Later in the flight we were treated to a performance of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" by two talented girls, Kendall and Chelsea. I also had the privilege of speaking at length with Ginger Hardage (Senior Vice President Communications and Culture) about Southwest and caring for its storied Culture.
As we neared Logan, everyone raised a very Southwest toast: champagne in a plastic cup. Excitement continued to build as we descended, with clapping and cheers starting as we flew over the City Point neighborhood and Pleasure Bay. The celebration got louder when we touched down, and then absolutely erupted when Christopher, our "A" Flight Attendant, announced, "On behalf of this flight crew and Southwest Airlines, we want to be the first to welcome you to Boston Logan!"