Tis the season of gift-giving, and as the old adage goes, “The best present is your presence.” It doesn’t cost any money, yet is extremely valuable: a lesson that our Customer, James Bass was reminded of when they encountered PHX Flight Attendant Michael Broadhead on a recent flight.
Mr. Bass, his wife, and their two young sons were traveling from Sacramento to Raleigh-Durham on the same aircraft for eight hours when they met Michael on the PHX to DEN portion. Michael immediately began engaging the Bass boys in conversation; they were mesmerized by his knowledge of planes. But Michael did not stop there.
During the next layover in Denver, Michael asked the boys if he could borrow the stuffed animals that they had been holding on to during the flight. He took Pooh and Wolf Pup to the Flight Deck and took a picture of them at the controls. He brought the picture back and shared with the boys more about the safety features of the aircraft and how the Pilot uses them to fly the plane safely.
Michael’s attentiveness was especially impactful to the Bass’ 10-year-old son who walks with Autism every day of his life and deals with sometimes debilitating anxiety in stressful situations.
As Mr. Bass puts it, “Michael took time to give my son information that comforted him and gave him a sense of control that relieved much of his worry to the point he actually enjoyed the flight,” as any parent of a child with special needs can tell you, that is a gift on which you cannot put a price.
For more stories worth their weight in Hospitality gold, click here. Happy Holidays!
... View more
In fact, pet hamsters are not accepted onboard Southwest flights at all, which our Customers, The Reinhardts, soon found out upon checking in for their flight from DAY to LAX this past summer. So where do hamsters go when their owners are off flying Southwest to fabulous destinations? Why, to DAY Customer Service Supervisor Loren Stacy’s house, of course!
Even though Loren did not know the Reinhardts personally, she recognized that they were Southwest Customers in a bit of a bind, so she offered to sit for their pet hamster, Kylie, until they returned home from their month-long vacation. Loren admits that there was a bit of a learning curve involved with caring for a hamster, but she and her three kids figured it out, and Kylie reunited with her owners outside of Dayton International Airport safe and sound some 30 days later.
Thank you, Loren, for welcoming Kylie the Hamster into your heart and home!
... View more
At Southwest, we’re raising the bar when it comes to Hospitality and Reliability. Just ask Customer Ron Wilson, who recently had a very uplifting experience with some of our finest at our Detroit (DTW) Cargo Office. If you ask DTW Freight Agent Sandy Tarrant, DTW Ramp Agent Joe Toth, and DTW Ramp Agent Mac Macintosh though, they say it’s all in a day’s work.
Ron Wilson’s daughter and pole vaulting trainee, Tally Wilson, is an all-state high school pole vaulter whose pole recently broke during a practice jump a mere four days before she was to defend her record vault of ten feet and six inches at a state track and field meet. Devastated at the thought of his daughter’s chances of a state title slipping away, Mr. Wilson and another of Tally’s vaulting coaches arranged for a new pole be shipped from Carson City, NV to Detroit, MI via Southwest Cargo from Las Vegas to DTW.
Mr. Wilson can think of no other way to describe Sandy, Joe, and Mac than “awesome.” Sandy greeted Mr. Wilson by name, inquired about Tally’s upcoming meet, and wished her good luck. To expedite the delivery process, Joe met the plane carrying the new pole, and he and Mac performed the delicate and tedious process of transporting the very large piece of equipment across the tarmac to Mr. Wilson’s car.
Tally took possession of her new pole 36 hours before the state meet, where she crushed her competition and vaulted to a state title and new personal best of 11 feet! The Wilsons thank Southwest for “going above and beyond to make sure that [Tally] was in the best position possible to achieve success.”
Way to go, DTW Cargo!
... View more
The term that comes to mind when thinking of Customer Support and Services (CS&S) Customer Representative Joy Fress is “Team Player.” As one of seven children, Joy understood from an early age the value of cooperating with others and working as a Team. Those values helped shape Joy’s future interests—both personal and professional—and brought the sports lover to Southwest Airlines, a Company that sees itself not only as a Team but also as a Family. Joy was raised in the great state of Texas by parents who have been married to each other for 54 years. Joy has been married to her husband, Pete, for 12 years. The two enjoy shing in Galveston and relaxing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. And they indulge their love of sports by feeling the roar of the engines at Texas Motor Speedway near Dallas and cheering on their favorite football teams: the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs and the Houston Texans. Joy has worked for Southwest for 11 years, all at the Houston CS&S Center (HC). As a CS&S CustomerRepresentative, Joy is a professional problem solver; she assists Customers with their reservations, Rapid Rewards Frequent Flyer program accounts, policy questions, and much more. She embraces her role and feels that each day can bring new challenges as well as opportunities to keep learning. When asked what she loves most about her work, Joy says, “I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I know I have helped someone have a beer travel experience.” She adds, “I enjoy working with my HC Coworkers to build Customer loyalty with each problem we solve.” Joy is proud to be a Member of the Southwest Airlines Family and is honored to have been chosen as Star of the Month. She shows her Southwest Spirit with every call she takes, every question she answers, and every reservation she books. Way to go, Joy!
... View more
Like many of life's adventures, The Amazing Race had to come to an end, and for Southwest Flight Attendants and reality television stars, Jodi and Christie, it ended on the sixth leg. The remaining seven teams traveled together on the same flight to Jaipur, India's "Pink City." J/C were second out of the gate (the airport gate, that is) behind Tammy and Victor, knowing very well that they had to keep pace at the head of the pack if they were going to advance to the seventh leg. Unfortunately, their number two spot was forfeited when their cab driver stopped for gas on the way to the next clue box; and just like that, J/C were in last place--where they would stay. Jodi flexed her muscles and made up some time during the "Roadblock" challenge, feeding and watering one of India's most common animals, the camel, and they flew through the "Speed Bump" that they alone had to perform (decoratively painting the trunk and forehead of another one of India's common animals, the elephant). When it came time for the "Detour," J/C were not far behind stunt brothers, Mark and Michael, who chose to take their chances peddling through the busy streets of Jaipur instead of "shaking their moneymakers" as the other teams did, which turned out to be quite a gamble. It took J/C no time at all to solicit 100 Rupees as they played the parts of the humps in a colorful camel costume to complete their "Detour" task, but Mark and Michael squeaked by, arriving at the "Pit Stop" mere footsteps before our Flight Attendants. Jodi and Christie made a valiant effort to stay in the race, and I think they would have pulled it off if their driver had just stopped to fill up before going to the airport that day. J/C left with big, Fun-LUVing smiles on there faces, and why not? They experienced the breath-taking views in Switzerland; German chocolate pie-in-the-face; the thrill of gymnastic competition in Romania; what it would be like if your dream of leaving the house in your underwear came true in Sibieria; and the rich culture of India. Best wishes to Jodi and Christie as they have returned home to their loved ones--including us, their Southwest Family. We're proud of you, and you should be proud of you too!
... View more
As an avid Amazing Race viewer and fan, I knew that a non-eliminating leg was likely to come soon--I'm so glad it came when our Southwest Flight Attendants needed it most! At the beginning of this week's episode, writer/director/actor, Mike, waxed prophetic when he referenced the Book of Matthew's "the first shall be last; and the last shall be first" passage. Jodi and Christie (J/C) were the first to start, but the last to finish after a series of unreliable directions from locals and a playing field-leveling trasportation situation. The order of departure made no difference this time as there was only one Trans Siberian Railway trip per day to the first destination. Teams traveled together, and a mad dash from the train car put J/C slightly behind. Their decision to deliver a blushing Russian bride to her groom at a church some distance away proved to be trickier than they originally thought while teams who chose to plow snow finished with greater ease and speed. All of the racers struggled a bit with directions (some more than others) as teams drove themselves around the northern Russia city, and sadly, J/C found themselves on the loosing end of the spectrum. Sisters, Lakisha and Jennifer, who chose the wedding task as well, were right along with J/C until the final "Roadblock." (The Roadblock required a member of each team to run 1 1/4 mile in snow and ice to the Pit Stop.) Jennifer crossed the finish line in her boy shorts before Christie in her thong giving a whole new meaning to the term "cool runnings." (Seriously, what were producers thinking? Christie could have contracted a serious case of buttock hypotherma out there!) Luckily, J/C heard the words "you'll be the last to depart on the next leg" instead of "you have been eliminated from the race" from host, Phil Keoghan. They'll have to perform a "Speed Bump" challenge that's not required of any other team next week, but keep hope alive! Other teams before them have overcome such a fate, and J/C have what it takes to do so as well--a strong Warrior Spirit!
... View more
Southwest Flight Attendants, Jodi and Christie (J/C), are used to looking down from the window seat of a plane, but they've never had the luxury of looking down from the 1st place position at an Amazing Race "Pit Stop"--until now! When I think of Siberia, a harsh-faced man in a fur coat walking alone in a frozen wasteland comes to mind. Well, I got the frozen and fur parts right! The Amazing Race couples tried their hands at wood stacking, shutter constructing, and bobsledding in this week's leg, and had to brave the cold while doing it. Even though J/C started second to last, they quickly moved up the ranks by taking a trip to the local Transylvanian Internet cafe to book their flight to Russia. Athletic sisters, LaKisha and Jennifer, and stuntman brothers, Mark and Michael, were fortunate enough to join them, but the remaining five teams were left to take a later flight, and they largely raced against each other until the end. Wood stacking was a piece of cake for J/C (proving that all of their experience magically arranging baggage to fit in overhead bins is good for something other than ontime departures), and Christie's quick eyes and a lot of luck in unscrambling C-H-E-K-H-O-V put the girls ahead of LaKisha and Jennifer to finish victoriously as Team #1. Their prize: two brand-new motorbikes! Meanwhile, using not-so-friendly but effective means, Margie and Luke sent Amanda and Kris on a "Blind U-turn," forcing an extra task that ended up being more than they could bear as they were eliminated from the race. Next week, cold-weather conditions continue, and our Flight Attendants show a little more SOUTHWEST SPIRIT than they may have bargained for.
... View more
Hollye continues her reports about The Amazing Race. Whoo Hoo! Our fearless Flight Attendants and Amazing Racers, Jodi and Christie (J/C), inched their way closer to the head of the pack and beat the curse of being the second to last team to arrive at the "Pit Stop." Helping them along the way were Jodi's skill on several gymnastic apparati, one team's flying gamble that didn't pay off, and good old-fashioned sibling rivalry. It was off to Romania for The Amazing Race contenders, and J/C found themselves in the majority on their flight to Bucharest, which included Tammy and Victor, the first team out of the blocks, after their original flight returned to Munich for mechanical reasons. Married couple, Brad and Victoria, took their chances with an alternate routing through Amsterdam, but found themselves nearly a day behind when they missed their connection. Teams then made their way to the acrobatic "Roadblock" where Jodi "channeled her inner Nadia" in order to break away from the rest of the pack. (Side note: Nadia Comaneci and I have the same birthday, November 12. This fact fueled my unrealized childhood dreams of being an olympic gymnast.) While J/C did an "amazing" job in the Twilight-esque "Detour" challenge (way to look for those arrows, ladies), teams that chose to pack and move a very entertaining troupe of gypsies finished their tasks with greater speed. When all was said and done, the clash between brother/sister team, Tammy and Victor, on the marked (but not correct) path in Transylvania and the earlier blunder of Brad and Victoria were more than enough to put our Flight Attendants ahead. For the first time, J/C will NOT be the last to start their quest in the next leg of the race, and I can't wait to see what they'll do with this slight advantage.
... View more
Hollye continues her reports on the progress of Jodi and Christie, two Southwest Flight Attendants competing on "The Amazing Race." Jodi and Christie (J&C) got a late start on the second leg, and a late finish would soon follow--but all that matters is that they finished before the lovable country couple, Linda and Steve. Did I want to see sweet Linda searching for the way back to the trail through her tears during the episode's Roadblock? Absolutely not. But I'm sure glad that Jodie and Christie found their way to the second Pit Stop in Germany before our Friends from Virginia. The ten remaining teams hopped flights to Munich on the morning of the third day. J&C had the foresight to book their travel via their taxi driver's cell phone (an idea not shared by all of their opponents), but all seats for the earliest flight were taken by other couples who began their journey ahead of J&C. Like most of the other teams, Christie chose to travel an hour by foot to complete this leg's "Roadblock" when the wind didn't look like it would cooperate with the other option--paragliding off one of the Alps. In true Southwest fashion, J&C opted for the Fun-LUVing, "in your face" folly of throwing pies at each other (instead of taking the Segway course) in the first task of the Detour, but their literal interpretation of the next clue sent them on a wild goose chase for horses and wood. Their stumble meant that Linda and Steve were hot on their heels heading to the Pit Stop, but J&C won over the wedded twosome. Tune in next week to find out if our Flight Attendants can continue to beat the odds!
... View more
I first learned from my boyfriend (also a Southwest Employee) that my Fellow Coworkers were teaming up to race around the world against ten other couples, and we wondered: How would two Southwest Flight Attendants stack up against the competition? Our own Southwest “Amazing Racers” started off strong, and their travel savvy and friendly personalities came in handy during the first leg. By striking up a conversation with a local Swiss woman on the train, Jodi and Christie (J&C) shot straight to the top and came in as Team #1 after the first day. The second day would prove to be more difficult for the pair when a taxi scarcity slowed them down in the morning, and a train scheduling slip-up almost sent them home. In the end, J&C narrowly escaped elimination in a final foot race with dating couple, Jennifer and Preston. It was nerve-racking for me to watch our Flight Attendants search for a cab, and it was hard not to blame their lagging on the couple who told them they would join them on the train, all while planning to take a later train that arrived earlier (tricky, tricky). However, the beautiful display of Warrior Spirit, Servant’s Heart, and Fun-LUVing Attitude touched my heart. Highlights from the first episode included: talking with local residents (gave them a leg up in the beginning); Christie shedding a few tears for her Friend as Jodi prepared to plunge 70-odd stories on a bungee cord; Jodi cheering Christie on and reminding her not to “give up” when she lost her cheese (who knew cheese transport was so treacherous); and the genuine concern they showed for the opponents they bested at the end of the first leg. There’s one thing I’ve learned from watching The Amazing Race: One false move or a single instance of bad luck can mean everything. If J&C can keep playing smart and trusting their instincts, I have a feeling that they’ll make it far. Who knows, they could be this season’s come-back kids, just like my favorites from last season—the everentertaining, but often bumbling, Andrew and Dan (affectionately called “Dandrew").
... View more