Read this website. We beat this Southwest pilot into Phoenix on Monday, July 30, but we watched the light show to the west on the way in. We had to wait for about 90 minutes to get back out while the storm blew through. We were on flight 749 from Seattle to Houston, with the stop at Phoenix.
Landing fast was the way we did it too. I noticed we were coming in hot, a few bumps too. He used most of the runway to get it stopped. The plane unloaded and filled back up. However as mentioned in the website blog, the airport had shut down now. We were on gate hold.
The most amazing thing was during the wait. They had not been able to load the luggage that was sitting on the carts outside the plane. With the lightning, Southwest had issued a ramp clear order. The lightning had stopped, but as the rain continued, the Operations Agent, named Mary Macht, appeared outside the plane adjusting the rain covers over the luggage, and moving some luggage so it would not get wetter. I commented to Jo Beth that I had never seen anything like that because at the time, I thought it was one of our flight attendants, who had been notified by a passenger that the luggage was getting wet. I later found out that she was not a flight attendant, but looked very similar to a flight attendant on the plane.
Later as the rain got less, Mary Macht appeared again and started loading luggage onto the belt conveyor. Then the regular men who load the luggage arrived, and they completed the job and she was still working with them. Then as one cart was empty, she got around to the front and pulled that cart away from the belt as part of the process of clearing the plane, so it could depart. She actually physically moved two of the carts.
Once again I told Jo Beth that it was the first time in some 20 plus years of flying Southwest that I had seen anything like this.
An Operations Agents provide legendary Customer service by assuring efficient boarding of aircraft and coordinating ramp, ground operations, provisioning and aircraft servicing to accomplish on-time performance. This is from the Southwest Airlines website. This woman really met that description since her work to get the luggage loaded allowed the plane to leave immediately as soon as the Airport was ready to let planes fly.
I am going to send a letter to Southwest Airlines regarding her work so she can receive recognition.
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