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It's Harder Than it Looks....

jlamb1
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I handed out peanuts for the first time somewhere over Eastern New Mexico. I have watched with envy other "nonrev" Employees help, and I couldn't wait to try it. On a late night flight from Albuquerque to Dallas, I spotted my opportunity. The plane was pretty full (thankfully) and ontime. Our Customers were all happy and mostly sleeping or enjoying a refreshment, which improved my odds of a successful journey down the aisle. Once introductions were made to the friendly Flight Attendants in the rear of the plane and my basket was overflowing with Cheez Nips and peanuts, I was off to the front. The aisle had apparently shrunk during takeoff as elbows and toes narrowed the aisle to about 30 inches. (I have a 33 inch waist… I'm just more comfortable wearing 36 inch pants) After two "sorry's" and three "excuse me's" I made it to the front, turned, and faced 100 hungry patrons. I figured out the "switch the hands, left /right" thing pretty quickly as reaching over the basket and throwing the peanuts in the Customers' general direction was as successful as Shaq shooting free throws. The special requests, "no nips," "two peanuts," "extra cheez," special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun, were a little confusing, but I managed to get most of the orders right. I missed one row during the refilling of the basket stage but my error was gently corrected. By the end of the aisle, I was switching hands, smiling, and asking if they wanted extra peanuts. This may be the simplest task our Flight Attendants do on a flight, but even it wasn't as easy as it looks. I am VERY thankful for our Flight Attendants and all those involved in their training. They do a great job.
16 Comments
Randy_Anglim
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Jeff the cheese nips are the easy snacks to pass out, try the snack packs they are a little harder to stack in the basket. Thankfully we serve them on flights that are 3 hours or longer so we have the time. I also wondered if the aisle shrinks when we get in the air. From This Houston flight attendant Thank you for helping with the snacks!
kimberly__colme
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I am glad that I am not the only one who thinks our aisles shrink after takeoff. Atleast you didn't lose the snacks on the way up the aisle-they have a weird way of jumping out of the basket, especially the large snack packs. I am very thankful that we don't have service carts and I feel that our Service is definately more personal because of it. We appreciate the kind comments about our job. It is a little more difficult than most think, but, it is also one of the greatest jobs. Thanks again for your help-we Luv to have peanut passers Onboard.
zack
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HI, I heard you were thinking about going to assigned seating. All I can say is PLEASE DONT!!!!!!!! You absolutely have to stay with the current system of grouped boarding. It seems to run very smooth with people finding their preferred seats fairly quickly(Group A). With assigned seating it would seem to be a deterrant to that as people would be looking for their assigned seat, then stopping to find a place for their carry on, then getting settled into their seat. With the current system of grouped seating, you pretty much know what to expect by the time you board the plane - if youÃ
James5
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Jeff - I too, being a SWA F/A want to say THANKS for taking the time to pass out the snacks. On those very short flights with a full cabin it can be a little daunting to get a full service out, pass out snacks, do a 2nd service (if time permits) and tidy the cabin. Thanks for jumpin' in! Now I just wish we had some pictures!! 😉
jlamb1
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James, sorry no pics. Maybe next time. I appreciate your kind words and all you do.
Matt29
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Jeff- Being a SWA FA also I do have to say that it is very helpful to pass out the snack for us on the short flights. It makes our cabin service that much easier and also makes us feel LUVd! Matt
Dee_Dee
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Way to go Jeff! Thanks for sharing your FUN experience. I LUV your eagerness to serve our fellow Employees and your Servant Leadership too. I also enjoy serving snacks to relieve our hardworking Flight Attendants and interact with our dreamy Customers. Another thing you can do when nonreving is utilize the Entertainment Kit that is onboard and hand out activity books, playing cards, and first flight certificates. These are some of the many things that contribute to our Positively Outrageous Service which happens through our Teamwork! (Just make sure that you check with the Flight Attendant before getting the kit out.) By the way, Happy 35th Anniversary and much LUV to our SWA Family and Customers!!! 🙂 You all ROCK!
Drew_Pruitt
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Jeff, I must say I am not only impressed by your servant's heart, but now your blogging too. Thanks for being a great leader for SWA and an example for us all.
jlamb1
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Thanks Drew and Dee Dee for encouraging me today. I really appreciate it. You are the ones that make it all worthwhile!
Cynthia_Campbel
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Way to go Jeff !! It makes me smile just thinking of you handing out those snacks, it is indeed harder than it looks. I am always amazed at watching our very efficient flight attendants, they are awesome. Now, I think you should try provisioning a plane. I did it in New Orleans for a year and found out it wasn't as easy as it sounded either. Thanks for the servant heart, Luv you Much Cynthia Campbell
Leah3
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Even though I'm not yet ( but hopefully will be; I'm thinking positively still!) a SW flight attendant, I agree it's harder than it looks. I imagine there are many people out there who think all they do is the safety demonstration & pass out drinks & peanuts. When I helped serve peanuts on a recent flight home, I started serving in row 7 on the first flight, but don't remember now if I stopped after a few rows, knowing that the last several had already been served, or if I went clear to the back; on the second flight, the FA had me start in row 3 (which is where I sat again), & even though I could tell which rows had been served as I got closer to the back, I still asked if they wanted more. I did this by myself on both flights, too!
Matt29
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Passing peanuts and Coke isn't hard in itself but what gets difficult is when you're on your last drink on a tray and somebody is handing you trash and then another person is asking for a blanket and a pillow and then yet another person in the part of your section that has already been served is already asking for another drink and extra snacks and a pillow. So, you quickly grab the blankets/pillows, take the trash in your clean hands, throw those out, quickly wash your hands, bring another drink and snacks for that bone dry thirsty/famished passenger..then realize you have NO IDEA where you left off on your section...*sigh*... 😄
Howard_F__Darms
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You are, I believe, the premier airline in the United States. Please don't erode Southwest's great reputation by messing with the seating arrangements.
StakesAlive325
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From these comments, I didn't realize just how much FA's appreciated the help serving, especially on those shorter flights. As much as I will be eventually commuting to and from base, I'm glad to know. l'll help. Our flying guests are potentially a great source of energy, charging my batteries. I LUV the team concept at SWA. Success is most gratifying as a group. I learned at a young age on sports teams, leadership is the art of promoting others ahead of yourself, and not having it noticed. See you at 35,000 feet.
Peter_Brown
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In my lifetime of flying I have never experienced such thoughtful and helpful attendants as those on Southwest. The other day a male attendant must have read my mind when he offered me two bags of peanuts just as I was about to ask him for a second one. Your FA's seem so human and approachable and they love to laugh at my jokes (or at least pretend they do). Their enthusiasm has really rubbed off on me to the point that I find myself promoting your airline everywhere I go.
jlamb1
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Thanks Peter for taking the time to share your story. Our FA's are the best! Jeff