I was boarding my flight from New Orleans to Chicago today on flight #1068. While I was in the jetway, I saw the Southwest Airlines Captain (Paul) leaving the plane for the terminal during his 40 minute layover. I figured he had to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat or something like that.
After I found my seat, Rachel, the stewardess, delivered a message over the intercom asking for the woman who needed a fork to push her call button and identify herself. Rachel went on to explain that the Captain had left the plane to get her a fork. I was dumbfounded.
I just finished listening to Gary Vaynerchuck’s book, The Thank You Economy, in which he talks about how every brand should look purposefully for opportunities to make every customer’s experience extraordinary. It was great to see this principle in action. While this kind effort did not cost the airline any more money, it did require thoughtfulness, kindness, and intention — well-known trademarks of the Southwest Airlines brand.
It was a kindness that left a lasting and powerful impression on all: a) I could tell that Rachel, the Stewardess was proud to make the announcement, b) I was touched enough by the Captain’s integrity to write this blog post, and c) several other passengers were equally inspired to see the Southwest Airlines brand experience in action. A beautiful example of how one intentional act of kindness uplifted the experience of all.
It is great to see a leader being a leader. One of the reasons I love Southwest Airlines! Thank you Captain Paul for reminding me of why I love your brand!