Do you remember that scene from the movie, This Is Spinal Tap, where the band leaves their dressing room ready to storm the stage, but they keep running into broom closets and dead ends? Hold that thought!
Southwest began its service to Boston in true LUV style. Close to 100 Employees, including our wonderful group of Employees now stationed at Boston Logan, participated in three days of activities culminating in a rousing sendoff at our ticket counter located in Terminal E. Starting Saturday with our ferry flight from Dallas, Boston got to know first hand what the LUV airline was all about.
I’ll take many memories away from my week in Boston. But I think the best ones include seeing all the Southwest Warriors making their mark on the community. Whether it was our volunteers in the Spirit Junior costumes bringing smiles to our Customers faces or the brave souls who battled the heat and humidity to beautify and organize an elementary school in East Boston, I am proud to call these exceptional people my colleagues.
Now, back to my Spinal Tap reference. On Monday, we held a news conference and celebration at Terminal E in Logan to kick-off our opening. It started off with our Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly, plus various other dignitaries, boarding a water taxi to the Logan Water Transportation Terminal, where they were met by a Massport fire boat water cannon salute, truly spectacular!
Once at the dock Gary, along with a couple dozen cheering Southwest Employees boarded a Duck Boat, a truly unique Boston Experience and headed to our destination at Terminal E. In fairness to our driver, a very funny guy armed with a great sense of humor, this is not a route that’s normally on his schedule. As we’re approaching our destination, I couldn’t help noticing that we seemed to be headed toward the Arrivals, not the Departures area where the Minuteman Marching Band, Town Crier, and hundreds of guests were waiting. Yep, we took a wrong turn. Circling back included a brief 15-mph ride on the highway, and me, as the news conference organizer, about to lose my breakfast. But in true Southwest style, our CEO turned to me and said, “Paul, the news conference can’t start without me, so let’s just enjoy the ride!”
It’s good to be back home, but the memories of Beantown will live on. Thanks to the people of Boston, especially all the good folks at Massport, for rolling out the red carpet and welcoming the LUV Airline with open arms!