If you see Gail Smith at the Oakland International Airport, she’ll undoubtedly greet you with a cheerful smile and helpful attitude. Gail has been a Customer Service Agent at Southwest Airlines for eight years. Even though her interactions with Customers at the ticket counter, baggage desk, and gate podium last only a few minutes, it’s her goal to make each encounter a positive one.
“I love to engage with my Customers while I complete my tasks,” Gail says. “I want to find out where they are going and the reason they are going there. Then I try to find a way to enhance it.” For example, if Customers tell Gail they’re on vacation, she’ll offer to take their picture. “I’ll use their phone to take a photo—this is what I’m known for! Then they can send the photo to those who are waiting for them to arrive or keep it as a souvenir of their trip.”
Gail likes taking photos outside of work too, and in her free time she learns new techniques and grows her collection of equipment. Her vacations are usually “photography safaris,” tours where photographers travel together to exciting destinations, receiving instruction along the way. A few of her favorite international destinations for such trips are Samoa, Fiji, and Italy.
Gail was born in Detroit but moved to Riverside, California, with her family when she was 13. After graduating college, she started working for AT&T in the Bay Area, which has been her home ever since. Gail retired from her career in telecommunications before coming to Southwest Airlines. She’s a loving, devoted mother and grandmother.
Today, Gail couldn’t be happier with her job. “We work hard—very hard—but our rewards are plentiful,” she says. “I just love meeting people each day and hearing tidbits about their lives.”
Thank you for being one of the brightest stars at Southwest, Gail. Your enthusiasm for Customer Service inspires us all!