This welcoming smile may have greeted you on one of our flights. As an Oakland-based Flight Attendant, Angela Koblitz provides nonstop Hospitality to our valued Customers.
Originally from Seattle, Angela’s family moved to Fairfield, Iowa, when she was 10. She describes Fairfield as a great place to grow up and is proud of her small-town upbringing. A love of languages led Angela to major in Russian at Grinnell College in Iowa (she also speaks Spanish and French). It’s no coincidence that she and her husband, David, met when they were both studying abroad, halfway around the world in Russia.
After working at another airline and then taking some time to raise her son, Joey, Angela joined Southwest Airlines as a Customer Service Agent in San Francisco. She soon fell in love with the Company’s friendly Customers, Employees, and way of life. “Everyone has an area where they shine, and we are all empowered to be
ourselves,” she says.
With a sister already working as a Southwest Flight Attendant, it wasn’t long before Angela decided to take to the skies herself. “Having so much time with our Customers is a gift,” Angela says. “I get to learn about their lives and really connect with them.”
A big fan of our international service, Angela enjoys working flights that allow her to use her Spanish language skills, such as trips to Mexico City. “Customers are so appreciative of our new service, and it’s great to be in such a wonderful atmosphere,” she says.
In addition to loving languages, Angela has a passion for music. She started playing the cello as a child and also sings at her church and in a community choir.
Angela’s smile says it all—welcome onboard and make yourself at home! Thanks, Angela, for taking such great care of our Customers and for letting your personality shine.
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I love flying around the system and seeing the respect our Employees and Customers give our servicemen and women. Though certainly not a requirement, most of our Crews make an announcement asking folks to allow military personnel to deplane first. Some will even explain that these special folks are only home for a short time, and this is a way to give them a few extra moments with their loved ones. Just last month, we had a Customer onboard who was going home to spend two weeks with his wife. That may not seem different from many other servicemen, but this gentleman was married the night before he deployed for Afghanistan. He had not seen his new wife in 13 months! Everyone was more than happy to remain seated an extra minute to allow this Customer to deplane first and be welcomed home by his wife. In my previous life as a Flight Attendant, I was fortunate enough to work several military charters. The charters took on a different feel after 9/11, since we knew our Passengers were traveling to war, not just another base across the country. Many of the soldiers were so young with their entire lives ahead of them. It was a somber feeling to know that not all of them would return home. Just as our soldiers were proud to be protecting our country, I was proud to be doing some small part. As Crew Members, we were often the last Americans these brave men and women would see for some time. We decorated the planes, played games, took pictures, and spent as much time visiting with these soldiers as possible. We wanted their last bit of America to be special. These flights were different not only because we were transporting military personnel but also because of the places were flying. Typically, we would go from the USA to Germany and spend the night there. The next day, we would go in and out of Afghanistan always ending the day back in Germany. Our Company did not want our aircraft or our Crew Members to be in Afghanistan overnight. My first trip there was unnerving to say the least. As we approached the airport, all the window shades had to be drawn, and all the lights on the plane were turned off. It was very dark, and the plane became very quiet. You could feel the change. The men and women who had been joking and laughing with us for the past two days were suddenly very serious. You could tell their job had now begun. I often wonder about some of the people I shared these flights with. Have they survived the war? Were they injured? It definitely gave me a much stronger appreciation for the sacrifices soldiers and their loved ones make. We owe these brave souls a debt of gratitude for all they have done and continue to do to keep us safe at home. The next time you’re flying and have a soldier on your flight, remember to give him or her a thank you!
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I recently had the pleasure of watching our newest Flight Attendants graduate and earn their wings. What a difference from the first day they arrived at Initial Training! On day one, there were lots of “deer-in-the-headlights” looks, anxious grins, and nervous chatter. At graduation, I saw confident, thrilled Southwest Flight Attendants just itching to serve our valued Customers.
That afternoon took me back to my own Flight Attendant graduation 20 years ago, and I must admit I had some feelings of envy. Although I flew for another carrier, I know firsthand what these new Employees are feeling. There is nothing like it! Earning those coveted wings is a huge accomplishment. Many people have the misconceived notion that Flight Attendants are just waiters or waitresses in the sky. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
During my time in the air, I delivered a baby, lost an engine on takeoff, navigated a smoke-filled cabin, experienced lightening strikes, and lots more. Thank goodness I was highly trained for all these situations. Our Flight Attendants are also highly trained. For four weeks, they are immersed in the world of Inflight. They are given the tools to deal with various events from medical to security to Safety. Upon graduation, Southwest Flight Attendants are equipped with the knowledge and tools to fight an in-flight fire, perform life-saving CPR, evacuate an aircraft, and more. This is all in the name of transporting our Customers from point A to point B safely. Of course, if they happen to have some FUN along the way, all the better.
Our Flight Attendants are known for their cheerful personalities, and our newest bunch is no exception. I’ve heard them singing their PAs, making jokes, and having a great time. I have no doubt that they will take all that energy and share it with everyone onboard our LUV jets.
I am so excited for our new Flight Attendants because I know what a great ride they will have. Flexible schedules allow for lots of time to use our valued nonrev privileges. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit every state in the U.S., as well as numerous countries throughout Europe and the Middle East. I hope our newest Employees will take advantage of their opportunity to see the world.
Even though I hung up my wings almost six years ago, the love of the job never goes away. Many of these brand new Flight Attendants will develop a LUV of flying that will stick with them forever. I hope they will always carry the pride they had the first time they put on the Southwest Airlines uniform and wings. My Son and Me, Taken in 2005
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Statistics show that more than 200,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. Up to 50,000 of these deaths could have been prevented if someone had initiated the Cardiac Chain of Survival and if an automated external defibrillator (AED) had been available for immediate use. For every minute that passes before a cardiac arrest victim’s heart is defibrillated, chances of survival drop about ten percent. Although the thought of cardiac arrest is always frightening, there is some comfort in knowing that if the situation occurs on an aircraft, an AED will certainly be available. February 18, 2009 marks the 11-year anniversary of the first passenger whose life was saved by an AED on a commercial flight. On this day in 1998, a passenger collapsed while boarding an American Airlines flight. Doctors later told him that the heart attack would have been fatal if not for the combined efforts of the Flight Attendant, the AED, and a passenger who was an EMT. In 2007 alone, Southwest Flight Attendants used the AED on more than 20 different occasions. Undoubtedly, the AED can make a difference in the lives of our Customers. You should feel confident knowing that our Company provides our Employees with the latest equipment and up-to-date training so that they can offer the best possible chance of survival to a Customer experiencing cardiac arrest.
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