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The Rest Of The Story

Employee
Employee

On my worst days, I remain grateful to work for Southwest Airlines.  But there are other times that just make me feel I'm simply unworthy to be the lowliest member of a Family of 35,000+ Superstars.  One of those moments happened recently, and I just thought I'd share it.

 

I was headed back to Dallas from a West Coast business trip, was booked on a late-afternoon connection, and noticed there was a onestop, no-change-of-plane flight that would get me home much earlier--and it was still at the gate on a delay.  I went to that gate, asked if I could get on, and was told that I could.  I asked why the flight was delayed and was told they were holding for connections.  Fine, the delay was only 15 minutes--I sprinted down the jetway and found a seat.  Ten minutes later, our Operations Agent came onboard and told us all the airplane we were waiting for was on the ground, and we'd be on our way shortly. 

 

Five minutes after that, an obviously harried older couple (which, these days, means a couple MY age....) boarded.  The Flight Attendant told them that there were no more seats together, to which the woman replied in a deep Texas twang "Oh, sugar, that's fine, we've been married so long I don't care where he sits."  Everyone in earshot chuckled, and the woman took an open seat one row up from me on the aisle, while the Flight Attendant led Hubby to the rear of the cabin.  We were underway shortly thereafter.

 

The lady in front of me leaned over and told "Connection Lady" that she totally understood--after a few decades of marriage, sitting separately on an airplane can be a vacation in itself.  Connection Lady laughed and said that at that they were just thrilled to be on the airplane.  "We thought we had missed this flight," she said, euphoric, almost giddy.  "We had no idea Southwest had held this airplane for us until we landed here."

 

And then the oddest thing happened.  The euphoria in her face turned into tiredness, and I noticed her eyes starting to tear up as she continued, "They didn't even know....it's so very important for us to get back to Texas quickly, because we just found out my mother is dying."  Big tears started to roll down her cheeks, and the lady in front of me reached across the aisle and began to pat Connection Lady's hand in support.  "If we'd missed this flight, I'd never be able to say goodbye to her...but now at least we have a fighting chance."  Her words trailed off into sobs that her clenched hand tried to muffle; the lady in front of me reached into her carry-on bag for Kleenex for them both, and I started feeling incredibly guilty for eavesdropping--and embarrassed that I, too, had teared up big time.

 

It was a three-hour flight, and I spent most of the next 180 minutes trying not to watch the back of Connection Lady's head.  (I was unsuccessful)  She would try and sleep but periodically reach up with the Kleenex and wipe her eyes; I could feel her heart breaking one row away.  I spent a lot of time thinking about losing my own mom...and wondering what it would have been like had I gotten "the call" when I was thousands of miles away.  But one thing she said stayed with me--"they didn't even know."  Why had this one flight been held for two people, who were travelling on a family emergency, if nobody "knew?"

 

So when I got back to work the next day...I started doing a little research.  I started by contacting our Customer Service Coordinator who made the call to hold the flight to wait on Connection Lady and her husband.  Why did he make the decision to delay the flight?  Had someone alerted him that there were some unusual circumstances?  Nope, he replied, he always looked for close connections on delayed flights and noticed this itinerary--and knew he could incur a very short delay, accomodate our Customers, and still most likely arrive ontime.  So he didn't know....he just did his job, did the right thing, and made an unintended yet huge impact on the lives of two human beings.  "This was a very routine part of my job," he told me.  (Routine?  I so very much don't think so.)

 

The second call I made was to the station where Connection Lady and husband originated.  I spoke to the Customer Service Supervisor who checked them in, as well as the Operations Agent who boarded them.  Did they remember anything out of the ordinary?  In both cases...not really.  C.L. and husband arrived late to check their bags for their flight, but the Customer Service Supervisor remembered joking with them while telling them of the slight delay and told them to "slow down and grab a latte on the way to the gate."  The Operations Agent remembered nothing at all out of the ordinary about the couple.  Again--they had no idea why these folks were travelling but were calming and supportive nonetheless, just like they are to every other Customer that they come into contact with.

 

So here I am, having been a totally voyeuristic observer in a human drama that probably happens who-knows-how-many-times each day on Southwest Airlines flights.  And after digging into it a little, I find out that the right thing happened not because Connection Lady and hubby told the agents that they were traveling to say goodbye to a dying mother--but because it was just the right thing to do.  Being in Schedule Planning, I realize full well that we can't hold for late inbound connections in each case, but in this instance, the result of doing the right thing was, perhaps, giving a daughter her last chance to tell her dying mother that she loved her.  And had I not overheard the story, no one at Southwest would have been any the wiser.

 

I want you guys to know this story for two reasons.  One, Southwest has an operating strategy that empowers my amazing Colleagues in the field to make decisions to DO THE RIGHT THING without waiting on enormous bureaucracies or decision trees to kick in.  Obviously we can't fix every problem, but we try to make everything as whole as we can at the point of primary contact. 

 

And two--and this is directed to my Southwest Family in Ground Operations, Dispatch, and CSC....so many times you guys make decisions like this just because you see an easy, painless fix, and just do it.  Nobody asks you to--no one ever tells you you can--you just do it.  Just in case you ever wondered if you ever make a difference in the lives of our Customers, I wanted to make sure you know:

 

You do.

 

Thanks for reading this, blogosphere....and I wish Connection Lady and her family peace, love, and good memories. 

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

40 Comments
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Bill, I'm so glad you were there to witness and recount the events of this "connecting couple." With only 8 years under my belt at Southwest, sometimes I still feel like I eat at the kids' table of this large family. But it's a family in which I''m so very proud to belong. Cheers, Paul Thompson Ground Ops @ HDQ
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Bill: Your story truly "made" my day :)--thanks so much for sharing. Incidentally, I share your belief that we have hundreds (if not thousands) of caring Employees in Ground Ops, Dispatch, and CSC who are our Unsung Heroes making critically important and meaningful positive decisions on a daily (maybe even hourly) basis simply by "doing the right thing" for our Valued Customers and every one of those acts of kindness validate how absolutely fantastic the Culture is at our LUV airline. I couldn't be more thankful for their contributions to the overall marvelous Legendary Customer Service reputation from which all 35,000 of us benefit. xoxo, Colleen Barrett
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It's when I read stories like this, and see the video of flight attendant David doing the SW safety briefing as a rap, that I wish Southwest Airlines operated in the UK so I could work with them, they sound such a great outfit... hey folks, you don't need a UK accountant / screencaster do you? M
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Thanks Bill. Last week my wife was forced by circumstances out of her control onto another carrier on a trip from DTW to LAS with a connection in MEM. Because of weather in the area, she was delayed but was able to sprint for the connecting flight and successfully complete the trip. Probably 50% of the anticipated passengers were not so lucky. The plane was not held even 15 minutes to give more folks a chance. Guess that "On Time" statistic was pretty important for those guys. Contrast that with some late evening flights we've had out of MDW where the pilot has come on the intercom and said we would be waiting just a brief period of time to accomodate connecting passengers coming in on delayed flights. Our's is the last plane of the day to Las Vegas and everyone onboard fully understands. We've all been there, done that. Those folks always board a few minutes later with a smile on their face gladly accepting the remaining middle seats. And funny how a little extra throttle always seems to make the time up in the air...... That's the way to run an airline. And God bless "connection lady".
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As a daughter who *didn't* catch a flight home on United in time to say goodbye to her father, I'm so happy that Southwest made it possible for CL to make it home for a goodbye.
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this from a very seasoned traveler with very high expectations, that are rarely met by any travel experience--I gotta tell you, my loyalty and keenness for Southwest Airlines is very very high, mostly because the story that was told above is not extraordinary---its what happens at this airline everyday. My wife and I marvel at how the company can find so many employees that care so much, and have such a great, positive attitude---when I mention this to other airline employees, who are riding along free on a SWEST plane to get to their station, they remark that "its because they get the best wages, get the best schedules, and get the best working environment"---I have bit my tongue more than once to avoid replying "well, if you were worth all of that, you would get it too".... Congratulations on building a company culture that cares about the customer---its so trite, but so important, and delivered so well by your company.
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What a great story for this Friday morning - this highlights the importance of a company culture. It's not just for "cool points" but in fact can help make huge differences in peoples' lives. Thanks for sharing.
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What a beautiful story. I am proud to be a customer of Southwest Airlines.
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thank you for sharing this story and for showing that SWA is a company that does care about it's customers. Alot of the people who wear the suits these days are only concerned with the bottom line, You've shown that the little everyday kindnesses throughout the customer service end of the business are really what it's all about. And that's the true reward, not the bottom line.
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What a great story! It reminds me of yet another reason I am loyal to Southwest Airlines. It also gave me a better perspective on delayed flights. I always looked at late boarders as people who couldn't get out of the house on time. I hadn't considered that--through no fault of their own--they were just running behind from another flight, and Southwest was giving them a very appreciated break. Nicely done!
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Thank you for sharing this story. As for a customer of Southwest all companies need to operate with keeping Customers First and "doing the right thing". I wish my company could learn this important rule. God bless Connection Lady and big hopes that she got to see her Mom alive...just one more time.
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I will be proudly flying on one of your flights later today ...as always, you are the ONLY airline I fly ... I always get amazing service, and the people who work for your airline are so superior to any of the others. My hat is off to each and every one of you!!!
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I nearly teared up reading this. What a wonderfully oiled machine SWA is! How great that empowered, thoughtful humans are watching the close connections and making live changing decisions. I'm very impressed. I've always been made to feel somewhat special, important ,+/or CALMED by the people at Southwest. It's a wonderful way to travel. On more than one occassion I've checked in my bag to hear the 20min "alarm" sound at the kiosk, and though apologetic and feeling ashamed, I've never been chided or admonished by SWA (I have been by AnotherAirline, and even not permitted to FLY...with 2 kids in tow...last summer....29 MIN before the flight!). ONE TIME, and I've told this story numerous times, I checked a "late" bag, then raced through security, down the concourse, to the jetway, boarded, and even had the gall to use the onboard Lav before taking my seat. While in the Lav, I heard the announcement, "....we're about ready to leave...blah, blah, blah.....and, Sarah, we got your bag." I could NOT believe it. I trusted the bag would make the plane (it always does), but what a nice personal touch & reassurance to a harried biz traveler. I'm not an employee (would love to be), but I am a very proud shareholder! And follower on Twitter (how I found this article). Thanks, Southwest!
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Bureaucracy causes employee bitterness which often leads to lousy service and, eventually, a bad reputation. It is wonderful to know that Southwest TRUSTS the front end folks to make the best call possible to keep service going smoothly and still show the customer that they are valued. I'm grateful that the entire SWA company culture has priorities in the right order!
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Thank you so much Bill for posting this! As a Ground Ops employee, you do feel that sometimes you are overlooked in the "heat" of the moment. When things like irregular operations and irate Customer seem to overshadow your work day. But, when looking at the big picture, the number of loyal, friendly, and outstanding Southwest Customers we deal with on a daily basis does overcome the bad. And it is because of that I continue to "keep on keeping on!!" I know that the big picture is bigger than the "right now" although it's hard to see it sometimes.
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What a beautiful story!!! One of the many reasons why I love working for Southwest Airlines! It gives me so much pride and joy to be part of this great airline. When a company cares for it's employees, it is not difficult to care also for the people that our company loves!
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This just reminds me why I "fired" American years ago and made the full time jump to Southwest, not just for pleasure travel but business as well. A somewhat similar situation occurred on an American flight from Oakland to Miami with a stop in DFW that had a mechanical problem. First of all it was a problem that had been missed in the previous pilots log, and here we are fully boarded when the Captain noticed there was a mechanical problem that he wouldn't be able to fly with. So rather than bring in a replacement plane, AA just simply canceled the flight. So you can imagine the headache of trying to place a plane full of passengers into empty seats on other flights at 3 o'clock in the PM. I didn't get to Miami until almost midnight, but I was lucky. There was an older couple that was going to miss their connecting flight to some tropical destination to celebrate their 50th anniversary, so they'd be arriving a day late; and there was a lady who was flying home to Dallas to attend her father's funeral, which as a result of the delay she would not make it in time. Everyone knew of their plights, but good ole AA stuck to their guns and they weren't given any extra consideration. I had Platinum status on AA, but after 9/11 their customer service sank to new low levels to the point they didn't care who you were. After a particularly stressful call with AA customer service over an issue I had, I was basically told that if I wanted to fly another airline that was fine, there there were plenty of other people that would fill my seat. So I did, and I never heard from AA again. So yeah, I love Southwest, they are the greatest! I hope they acquire Frontier and keep their Mexico routes! How cool would that be to fly south of the boarder for peanuts?!?
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A wonderful story. As a long time small stock holder these kind of stories make extremely proud of the company I have invested in. I am also avid customer of Southwest. In fact I'm flying tomorrow and know I'll enjoy my experience.
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Not to play devils advocate in this situation but having only flown once and it being on Southwest. (I love to drive and see the country) But the flight from Chicago to Houston was magnificent. If I could be assured to relive that every time I stepped on a plane I'd fly the 20 block I drive to work!!! I won't go into details on that since it's very apparent how well Southwest treats their passengers. After a week in Houston it was back to Hobby to fly back into Midway. This time the plane was a bit older and filled to the brim! Instead of a sweet Texas couple getting separated it was entire families. Mom and baby in one place, big brother across the plane, and two girls somewhere in the middle. I would have gladly moved to let them sit together except I was stuck in between my husband and some unfortunately ill tempered man on a business trip from New York. As we sat, and sat, and sat finally we were told why we weren't taking off. Not because of a late connection flight. Not because of a mechanical issue, not because of an over booked flight, missing pilot, lost baby, important passenger. We were waiting for maintenance to come and fix the coffee pot... So now the time clicked from 15 minutes late, to 30, to 45 and on. Now generally I'm patient, and this story about the couple is sweet and my heart truly goes out to them, but in my case a delayed flight meant a missed bus back in Chicago. All for a coffee pot. I would have gladly gone without a cup of joe for a couple hours than ended up sitting in Midway for another 4 hours until the next bus to Rockford came. Granted my delay was significantly longer, for a ridiculous (imho) reason, and doesn't tell any story of the human spirit but on a packed flight like the one in this story, and the one in my instance - you have to remember the number of lives it affects. While this woman got to say good-bye to her mother maybe that 15 minutes meant someone else on the plane missed their last moments with their own loved one.
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Thank you Bill for sharing your experience. I am a proud SWA employee of over 7 yrs with the company. I worked as a CSA for 6 of those years and am now a Flight Attendant. I was in DEN when I got a call from my sister that I needed to get home because my Dad was not going to make it. Crew scheduling, my flight crew, CSA's in DEN, Ops agents....all went into action to get me home so I could be with my Dad. The support that I received throughout the company, not just that day but even after he passed away, was amazing. I can't tell you how many cards and letters I received that confirmed I have this huge family of 35,000+. My heart goes to CL and her family and I'm so happy she made the flight.
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Hi Bill, All I can say is...right on! Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am to be part of SWA and to be your friend. Regards.
Active Member
Once upon a time, there was a gentleman who smoked like a cold Jimmy two-stroke in the middle of winter, who decided to help start an airline. Everybody thought he was crazy because of the way he did business, and encouraged his employees to be caring and creative individuals. Even though I've never met him, I feel as if I know him whenever I read stories like this. If I ever do get a chance to meet him, I'll thank him for providing me with a way to fly virtually hassle-free for the better part of twenty-eight years, and empowering his employees to allow me to enjoy it each and every time. On the lighter side of things, I'd also thank him for making it possible for me (and others) to avoid having to fly out of my home airport on a puddle-jumper!!! Thank you Herb. Thank you for making it possible for passengers like "CL" to have a happy ending to a story that might've turned out otherwise. I hope you enjoy your well-earned retirement. Paul in CRP
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Thank you for sharing this story and hopefully it will shape the decisions we all make in the future. Not every Customer is going on vacation or traveling on business, some are traveling under the worst circumstances imaginable. I made this same trip over and over to San Antonio from Houston while my Father was in ICU , then in Rehab near deaths door for 5 months. It is so important to not assume all travel is elected, some is last minute and unscheduled. I am happy to tell you due to all the tender loving care he received from his 8 children who flew in and out on SWA he is golfing, grilling,driving,cooking and living a great life with my Mother.
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Dear Southwest The story you shared was very touching however, I experienced a very similar story which did could have had a very different ending. I was flying from LI to BWI and ended up eavesdropping on the conversation of the woman sitting next to me, and overheard her use the words hospital and standby several times. I tried to ignore the conversation but the woman was visibly upset. When the passengers were called to board I took my place in line, in the front, with the business class boarding group. However my conscious got the better of me. So I went back and asked the women if she had an emergency that she needed to get back to BWI, she burst into tears and told me her mother was dying, and she needed to get to Baltimore to see her and say goodbye. I told her, it was not a problem, that I was flying business class and could switch and take the next flight. However when we approached the counter and asked to make the switch the Southwest employee told me that the final two flights of the day were full and I would not make it back to BWI until the next afternoon. I was stuck because I had to get to work the next day. I apologized to the woman and explained my situation to her and I wished her luck, she tearfully said she understood, but I felt terrible. I boarded the plane but could not get this woman out of my mind, what if that were my mother? So I called my husband and explained what was happening and he agreed that I needed to do what I thought was right. I waited to see if she would make the plane. The last passenger boarded and the stewardess asked passengers to raise a hand if there was a free seat next to them. I stood up and looked around; no one had raised a hand, so I walked to the front of the plane and told the stewardess I wanted to give up my seat to the woman who was trying to fly home to see her mom.. She told me that someone was going to come to talk to me. Another Southwest gentleman came down and said he had spoken to woman and she was told I would like to give up my seat, however I was to understand this was voluntary and I would not make the next two flights. I agreed to the terms because again, what if that was my mother. As I was leaving the flight the woman gratefully hugged me while sobbing and asked for my business card (unfortunately I do not carry a card). I told she just needed to get on the plane which was full and ready to go. She insisted I take some money and handed me what I believe was everything in her wallet. It wasn’t necessary, that is not why I did it, but I didn’t have time to argue. There was a new woman at the southwest counter , from when the saga had begun, and she seemed very sympathetic, and put me on the first flight out in the morning and offered me a 100 voucher (hope I am not getting anyone in trouble here), and my husband was able to find a local hotel that would pick me up via shuttle. I prayed my boss would understand, which he did, but I lost a days vacation. However I feel that if Southwest had just proactively made an announcement to the other passengers explaining that someone was trying to get home for an emergency, then maybe I would not have been put in that awkward position and that someone else who lived in the area or did not have to work the next day might have also been willing to take my place. This would have also meant the grieving woman would not have had to feel guilty and give me all her money. I realize that this is not a situation that was the fault or responsibility of Southwest, however I feel that a little more compassion could have been used in this particular instance.
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Bill...I needed that tissue, just as you suggested. I retired from the 'greatest airline in the world' a year ago...there are not enough words to express what a great company and culture driven enviroment it was and still is. Thank you Bill for taking the time to share!
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Thanks, Bill, for sharing your wonderful story. It made my day! I'm a frequest SWA passenger and have witnessed so many positive aspects of this airline. A couple weeks ago, I also had the privilege of job shadowing several departments at HQ. I was so impressed with the entire SWA organization...but more importantly its people. Thank you for 'doing things right.'
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This is one of the many reasons I LUV Southwest. What a great example of how companies - and people - should behave. ...and thanks for making me tear up at my desk on a Friday afternoon.
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Bill - I seem to remember a story from a couple of years ago when YOU went above and beyond to get an Employee of another airline home. If I remember correctly, we were in the Denver Airport for a Culture Committee Customer Appreciation Event. She couldn't get a seat on her airline, so came over to one of our gates to see what her options were. When you overheard her story, you gave her one of your Employee passes to travel on us. I guess in your case eavesdropping is like a superpower (wink)! Remember? Bob Hurst was with us..and sweet, sweet Joan Ferris. You're the best...I love you, man!
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Bill, Thank you for posting this story. I know it has already touched a lot of people. I do know you, and I also know you would move heaven and earth to help someone in this situation. I just figure that Heaven helped SWA this time! Thank you, Dan
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Bill, that's a wonderful story, and I have for the most part always been really pleased with my experiences with Southwest, so I give SWA the bulk of my flight business. Living in Chicago, I have many airlines and two airports to choose from (three, if I count Milwaukee, which is less than 90 minutes away). I must share my own experience from 2007. My father had been ill for three years from multiple health issues which he had managed to soldier through, when he abruptly took a hard turn for the worse and it was clear he had little time left - hours or days, maybe a week at most. My parents lived close to RSW and there is a much slimmer selection of airlines flying there than through ORD or MDW. I knew I had to get down to FL immediately or miss my chance to say goodbye. My first call was to Southwest Airlines, my favorite airline. I was pretty surprised to find that SWA didn't offer bereavement/compassion fares. The person in reservations that I was speaking to on the phone told me the "best" she could do was a fare that was still higher than even most of the 'big guys' airlines were offering on less than 24 hours' booking notice, a fact which surprised me, not just because SWA has always had such great customer service, but usually even on short-notice airfares, SWA beats out the likes of AA, UA etc. I have to watch my budget closely, so yes, while it was one of my parents dying and I was going to get to his bedside come heck or high water, I had just paid my rent and money was tight. So I called around to various airlines that service RSW, and finally American came up with the best fare of the bunch, beating out SWA's fare by nearly 30%. I got to say my goodbyes. I understand that there are probably some horrible people out there who attempt to abuse the system because they don't want to pay full fare. But particularly in today's market, where so many people are strapped down to their pennies, brand loyalty is a hard decision versus saving money. I hope that Southwest revisits its policy on bereavement fares and finds a way to allow them for those who genuinely need them. I still fly Southwest as my primary airline, by the way, even as upset as I was at the time. When weather causes delays to "the big guys" up at ORD, Southwest is still doing a great job of being timely through MDW, plus the fares are better in general and the customer service is better.
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This story warms my heart in so many ways. I'm a frequent Southwest traveler and work in organizational development. I not only love how you helped your Customer, but how you share the positive reinforcement for your Employees in such a public manner. That, the trust you give to your Employees, and their natural inclination to make all situations right and high-quality really shows what an excellent corporate culture you've got at Southwest!
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Stories like this are what make me a fiercely loyal SWA customer--thank you so much for sharing. I collect Southwest stories, both my own and stories I hear from others, and I will add this to my collection to share with others. And thank you for not charging to check bags. That really makes all the difference in the world between a stressful and relaxing travel experience.
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Incredible story. Southwest employees are legandary in their service. Combine that with the best airline to do business with (no bag fees, no change fees, no telephone fees, best web site, etc. etc.) and the reason that you guys are #1 is obvious. I was just on a United flight a few days ago (sorry, you don't fly to YVR and SEA didn't seem practical) and the differences in attitude and service are so amazing. Just the simpliest of stuff seemed to be a struggle for them. Thankfully, I'll be back flying the truly Friendly Skies of Southwest both this coming Sunday and next Sunday. And, customers, don't be afraid to tell a SWA Customer Service person when you have a special situation -- because Southwest will go out of their way to help as much as possible. Unlike those other guys, the company rewards them for being nice to you!
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This is why I love Southwest Airlines and am so proud to work here......your wonderful story touched my heart and I am sure many others.......I love when someone does something nice for someone and they don't even know it... :-)...botton line they just care about others..... Mo 🙂
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I've never flown Southwest... Passengers Stuck In Plane Overnight In Rochester http://wcco.com/travel/stuck.grounded.plane.2.1120897.html Thanks for posting your story. Because of the common sense of the staff, and the freedom to act on it, you've won a potential customer. I seldom fly but, Southwest will now be my first choice.
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This is why I'm PROUD to be both a passenger AND a shareholder of Southwest!

Be inquisitive.  As long as you are learning, you are alive.

Active Member
I've read this story more times that I've got gray hair, and it makes me appreciate a little bit more each time that I read it. So much, that I had to share my thoughts on this again. Yes, managment has empowered you to make a differance. It is YOU who chooses to make the differance. Yes, management has enabled you to make decisions that would normally require a "chain of command" at other airlines. It is YOU who chooses to act on that decision. Yes, WN allows you to be caring and creative individuals with a pulse and sense of humor. BUT, it is YOU who chooses to do so. From the caring supervisor who helped that elderly couple on their way to ABQ, to the rapping F/A that had me and others in stitches (even though I've only watched recordings of the two) to the angel who made sure I had plenty of strong coffee to help fight off a bad migraine. Thank you for twenty-eight years of nearly hassle-free travel. Thank you for being the kind and caring people that you are. Most importantly, thank you for just being you. Time has slightly faded memory that'd make it possible to thank all of you that I've ever flown with, but I can do the next best thing. If any of you ever find yourselves in downtown CRP on Saturday nights (22:00-01:00) in need of parking, look for the fenced lot with a flashing red LED flashlight, and come on in. I'd be honored to have your car on my lot :-) Paul In CRP, a very happy PAX of 28 years.
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Bill- Thank you for sharing this story, as a SW flight attendant I have the pleasure of seeing these acts EVERY SINGLE TIME I work. The people of SWA are truly amazing and I am so blessed to work for a company that truly cares. I frequently find myself trying not to be nosey, but pulled in to a conversation or situation that makes me smile inside and out and know I am right where I need to be. :-) mdd
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Thank you for the story. Busy day in my office today and I stopped to read this blog - thank you - - -Now I feel really bad that my next trip will be using up a paid ticket on another airline - - although your story has affirmed my decision in making my staff only use SOUTHWEST - as a publisher we are concerned about people, stories and the passing on of stories that will inspire others to do acts of kindness and good! I needed to be reminded of such a thing today - -again thank you!
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This story reminds me of the time I was travelling to Yellowstone : a whirlwind 3 day tour including an overnight drive on Day 1 from Salt Lake City, after catching the last plane in. However, my plane out of Philly was late, and i was doomed to miss my connection in Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. SWA held the last flight out of Las Vegas to Salt Lake City for 1.5 hrs, to accomodate the 6 passengers. If I hadn't made that flight, I'd probably just have gone back rather than waste the entire trip travelling. I was not so lucky travelling Delta this time, a tight connect at Atlanta where the doors closed a couple of minutes before I arrived (I had asked on the ground and in the air to notify the gate, which Delta claimed they "did not do"). I spent a weekend sulking in Paris, instead of enjoying the fjords in Norway. SWA is the best airline in the US by a distance !