Things I Heard On My Southwest Flight

Here are some great comments that I just had to share. They’re from one really cool flight attendant on a recent Southwest flight.

“If you’re itching to have one of those middle seats, grab one in the first 10 rows. Otherwise, there are plenty of aisle seats in the back where you can stretch out. It isn’t a full flight.”

“Please be sure to get all of your carry-on baggage, personal baggage and emotional baggage stowed away for this flight.”

As he came by with the snacks, someone asked if they could have more than one, since it’s such a long flight. He responded with, “Suuuuure, and I won’t charge you $3 like the other carriers.”

“We have brand new snacks, Cheese Nips and Golden Oreos. We also have peanuts, which we’ve had for 40 years. Well, the concept of handing out peanuts is 40-years old, the peanuts are fresh.”

I asked for an orange juice. Before he handed me the can, he gripped it a few times with a look of exertion on his face. As he gave it to me, he said, “Just wanted to make sure it was freshly squeezed.”

The flight attendant had a smile on his face the entire trip. Every time he came by, he asked, “Need anything else?” He was an all-around nice guy. I sure miss that in business.

It’s amazing how each day we can choose to have a good day or a bad one, or to be nice or be rude.  I’m not shallow enough to think certain circumstances won’t make your day less pleasant. But what about the everyday situations, when people choose not to be happy?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Chris, customers are rude to those in the service industry. It really makes it hard to be nice sometimes.” Oh quit cryin’! I would lay down money that it’s really difficult for any of this flight attendant’s passengers to be rude to him when they see how nice he is and how much he smiles.

It’s just a thought. I know he made my day and made me want to tell you guys about him.

Question: Have you ever met someone whose great attitude made you stop and appreciate it?

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31 thoughts on “Things I Heard On My Southwest Flight”

  1. Made my morning, Chris!

    I have found that there is a virtuous circle that is created in a service business when you employ nice people who are nice to your customers – the customers treat your team well in turn and that encourages the team even more. So simple but, oh so powerful.

  2. Maybe it’s the “One Bad Apple Spoils the Whole Bunch” syndrome, but I have to go with people are rude to those in the service industry. But I think it has more to do with our “all about me culture”.

    The customer savvy flight attendant may get fewer rude customers overall, but I would guess that he could shop talk rude customer stories with co-workers or us and not lack for examples.

    I’ve watched in amazement as people tear into customer service representatives and often for no good reason of for things they have no control or impact over. I’ve even seen it from people who teach treat people with dignity and respect.

    And yes, the flight attendants are great on Southwest.

  3. It’s rare but I do see it some. There is a local restaurant here in Watkinsville that gives Excellent service! Each time the owner/chef makes a big deal of me just being there, almost like the only reason he opens his doors for business is the hope that I may show up. I very rarely order, he just says ” I have something special just for you” and trust me it’s special. He explains how what he will prepare and just how he will season and sprinkle and toss and whatever else he does to it. It’s the best food in town before i even taste it, I’m not really sure if his food is that good or if it’s just that good in my mind. I often take team members or new hires and vendors there just so I can show them what service should be like. The only problem is that although he gives wonderful service, he rarely keeps an employee more than a few months. He is horrible to work for and does an terrible job training his staff. He a great candidate for Entreleadership and I’m working on getting him there

  4. Yup! I am sure that this flight attendant has displayed ‘Mojo’ spirit towards his customers. (as Marshall Goldsmith says) One such good experience makes our entire day great. This is a real example of radiating positive spirit towards whomever we connect with.

  5. This was a really great post! As I have told you before, I LOVE it when you give examples….these were great! I love the way the guy thinks outside the box to provide great customer service. Love how he is leaving an impression with you. It only takes a few seconds, literally, but I am sure you probably almost felt like your orange juice was freshly squeezed too by watching him! LOL!!!

    Met with a doctor yesterday who is frustrated with his staff. I sent him this post and suggested: If your employees have access to email, you might want to send them this. You could also print it out for each employee, have a short 15-20minute meeting at the beginning of the start of the day or even at the end of the day and ask them what they think of this type of service? How do they think they could implement that in our business? Tell them you love it when they smile and are nice and friendly to you, could we do that to our patients? I always like to motivate my employees to think and I think you could do the same. Just some thoughts! 🙂

    My takeaway or nugget today: what am I doing to leave a positive impression with my customers/clients?

      1. oh, and did you see I have a picture now??? LOL! I am not a smiley icon any more…also, I don’t get alerted when you comment anymore, only others who comment. Is this a change to your blog settings? I do have the box checked, “notify me of follow-up comments via email”.

  6. This reminds me of a flight attendant I had a couple of weeks ago from New Orleans to Nashville…he was hilarious! When asked what we wanted to drink he “confirmed” with a totally different drink. I was sitting next to a Southwest pilot and he said he’d never encountered this attendant before, but he was instantly his favorite! It made a late night, delayed, and detoured flight on 9/11 very bearable!

  7. I’ve met people like this and it really goes a long way in today’s society. It helps you and your business to stand out from the crowd. Without it we are just more noise trying to pull for someone’s attention.

  8. Not too blow my own horn here seriously, but i think this could me on a Saturday morning:)…..Okay, let me explain, during the week, i work at my regular job, but the weekends are a different story all together. I spend a couple hours teaching lawn tennis to little kids (between the age of 4 – 8) and being there is enough to drive away a month’s worth of stress. They burst onto the court all giggly and full of smiles and lots of energy ready to show their coach (me), what they have done during the week and all the other good/bad tricks they have come up with!. My goal is to ensure, they leave the courts smiling, laughing, believing tennis is the best sport (it is:)) a litttle bit tired, but dying to come back the following week.

    I use all kinds of cool tricks to get them engaged, and it’s almost impossible to be sour when you get them to play tag, especially when you are it. My students are my customers, and i treat them like gold, but the little ones are especially special and in my mind they deserve the happiest coach this side of the planet! I loooooooove playing tennis and i looooove teaching the sport, especially to the little ones, no way i would be not be smiling on the tennis court.

    1. Awesome Gina! Your enthusiasm shows in your post…are you working at making this your dream job because to me it sounds like it is! Go for it!!! 😉

      1. Misty, thanks i’ve considered this to be my dream job at various times in my life, and i’ve worked it full and part time depending on what else is going on. Besides my faith, it’s one of the things in my life i always turn to get me past certain hurdles in different situations, and so there is a lot of good will i associate with the game, not to mention that i love whacking that little fuzzy ball:) and i enjoy the look of amazement on the students face (regardless of their age), when they finally get it!

        As for doing it exclusively, that would be tricky, i have a ton of other interests and passions, and i always feel that it would be wrong (according to my doctrine) to confine myself to one thing alone, but for a season, no doubt about it, i say yes!.

  9. I love the story! It makes you want to fly that airline again, doesn’t it!?! Because someone was not just “doing his job” – but he was ENJOYING what he was doing! He were interacting – and loving it! Having fun!

    Maybe we should all lighten up a bit – and our clients would enjoy US more!

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