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Southwest Airlines Community

Me, Peanuts, and Herb

Not applicable
Occasionally, it is necessary for Flight Crews to "deadhead" between Southwest cities.  We fly the aircraft into one location and then move to the back of the plane to ride as a passenger to another city where we once again fly the airplane.  These deadheads are done for a variety of reasons including the need to reposition a Crew Member for a flight sequence or because we are about to exceed a flight time limitation that is set by the Federal Aviation Administration. It is not uncommon for a Southwest Employee riding as a passenger to offer to pass out peanuts or snacks (especially on short flights) to help the Flight Attendants complete their cabin service.  One day, I was deadheading in my uniform between Dallas and San Antonio to continue my flight sequence when I had the opportunity to "do the peanuts."  When I pass out snacks, I like to walk backward, starting at the rear of the aircraft and move forward toward the front of the plane.  By walking backward, I am able to face the Customers and thank them individually for choosing to fly SWA as I offer them a snack.  On this flight, I had moved just a few rows into my service when I heard a male voice behind me telling me to step aside and let a pro show me how to serve peanuts.  Well, the voice belonged to none other than the world's greatest airline Board Chairman, our very own Herb Kelleher!!!  Herb on a Harley.jpgSo now, I am going to be proceeding up the aisle, providing much needed nourishment to our Customers with Herb!  When one serves peanuts with Herb, it is a much slower process than when you do it alone as Herb gets to shake hands with the male Customers and hug and kiss most of the females. (Herb is a lucky guy.) As Herb and I got to about mid-cabin, a lady looked at me and asked if I shouldn't be in the cockpit.  Trying to show my quick wit to the Head Guy at SWA, I told the lady that this was a new cost saving measure Herb was testing where I did the takeoff and landing and let the autopilot fly while I served peanuts. The lady contemplated this for a moment as about a dozen Passengers surrounding us listened to our conversation.  The lady suggested that I hurry along then as she didn't want me to be late for the landing.  I then noticed Herb leaning toward the Customer and saw that he was about to speak.  Sensing that surely Herb was going to utter a compliment or wise word about one of his dedicated and most admiring Pilots, I listened intently.  In a voice loud enough so that everyone around could hear, Herb said "Honey, I've seen David's landings and the plane might just do a better job!!"  A huge burst of laughter ensued...Score one for Herb!!