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View Full Version : Another great story


flensr
01-24-2018, 02:45 PM
DAL - LAX, I'm hitching a ride sitting a few rows from the front.

We're ready to close the door and push on time, when the gate agent runs onboard the plane and finds a passenger. A hushed conversation, and it turns out her ID card was left at the TSA checkpoint. We have only 5 min left to push, gate agent tells the lady that he doesn't know if TSA will keep it a week until her return, and if she leaves to go get it she will probably miss this flight.

The lady gets up and gets all her stuff, and starts to exit the plane. The gate agent on the way out pokes his head into the cockpit, and has a quick discussion with the crew. Long story short, decreased headwinds mean we can push 15 min late and still arrive early. CA makes the decision to delay the push, and will let dispatch know it's for a good cause.

The lady is reassured that we'll still be at the gate when she gets back, the gate agent watches over her bags on the jetway as she runs off to get her ID, and the CA tells everyone that we're gonna push late so the lady can get her ID but we'll still be early to LAX.

The lady returns 10ish minutes later slightly out of breath but looking happy. The ENTIRE plane breaks out into applause for her and the crew that helped her get her ID and still make the flight.

We still blocked into LAX a few min early. Great job by the entire SWA team making that lady's week and every pax on the plane knows the crew and gate agent went out of their way to make it happen.

Nice.


TransWorld
01-24-2018, 03:25 PM
You have an entire plane of loyal customers for life!

drivinghome
01-25-2018, 11:49 AM
Love stories like this one.


Macjet
01-26-2018, 07:37 AM
You're doing it wrong. We'd push 15 minutes early leaving 20 paying pax and 3 jumpseaters behind so that our contract gate agents will get their bonus and we can brag about our A14 times on the High Five channel. AH-mah-REE-yoh baby!

flensr
01-26-2018, 10:27 AM
You're doing it wrong. We'd push 15 minutes early leaving 20 paying pax and 3 jumpseaters behind so that our contract gate agents will get their bonus and we can brag about our A14 times on the High Five channel. AH-mah-REE-yoh baby!

Sadly enough, I was right seat on a trip where this happened :( Plane pulled up in the gate next to us right as the gate agent showed up, with about 30 no-shows. CA asked about them, was told they were transfers from the plane that just pulled in. CA asked gate agent to open up boarding again, gate agent and entire supervisor chain through ops refused. We still had a cargo door open so it wouldn't have even added more than 5 minutes to push time, so CA called the company.

Company said push, leaving the transfers behind.

Cargo door closed sometime later, and we still pushed 5-10 min late, with about 30 sad faces in the terminal watching us until we pushed.

But we were something like second in the industry for on-time performance that month, so high fives for the company execs and 2 million buck payraise for our next CEO. Pretty clear where the priorities are :(

Quite the contrast from SWA.

Snowflyer
01-26-2018, 11:07 AM
Along the same lines, had a Capt who likely saved our daughters life.

We were on a carryover flight from Pdx to phx, with a stopover in abq. Daughter started to spike a fever, and the last time that happened she went into a massive fever seizure for an hour. Wife went up to ask FA about any kids meds, worth asking since adult can be available. But no luck. Capt happened to be boarding, overheard, clarified with the FA and promptly got off the plane. We had no clue until right as the door closed the FA comes down the aisle with kids ibuprofen for our daughter. He had ran and got her meds. The next time she had a fever she ended up with 30plus seizures and needing intense emergency care for breathing. If he hadn't helped it very likely would've been life threatening for her.
The slight delay meant he had to run to the next flight so we never got to thank him. Wife wrote in but not the same. Swa fliers for life because of that act. Many other good trips but that is what makes the difference for us.

Sluggo_63
01-26-2018, 11:12 PM
Along the same lines, had a Capt who likely saved our daughters life.

We were on a carryover flight from Pdx to phx, with a stopover in abq. Daughter started to spike a fever, and the last time that happened she went into a massive fever seizure for an hour. Wife went up to ask FA about any kids meds, worth asking since adult can be available. But no luck. Capt happened to be boarding, overheard, clarified with the FA and promptly got off the plane. We had no clue until right as the door closed the FA comes down the aisle with kids ibuprofen for our daughter. He had ran and got her meds. The next time she had a fever she ended up with 30plus seizures and needing intense emergency care for breathing. If he hadn't helped it very likely would've been life threatening for her.
The slight delay meant he had to run to the next flight so we never got to thank him. Wife wrote in but not the same. Swa fliers for life because of that act. Many other good trips but that is what makes the difference for us.Wait... you were going to fly the second leg to PHX??? You didn't get off the plane in ABQ and go to the ER?

hockeypilot44
01-27-2018, 03:40 AM
Along the same lines, had a Capt who likely saved our daughters life.

We were on a carryover flight from Pdx to phx, with a stopover in abq. Daughter started to spike a fever, and the last time that happened she went into a massive fever seizure for an hour. Wife went up to ask FA about any kids meds, worth asking since adult can be available. But no luck. Capt happened to be boarding, overheard, clarified with the FA and promptly got off the plane. We had no clue until right as the door closed the FA comes down the aisle with kids ibuprofen for our daughter. He had ran and got her meds. The next time she had a fever she ended up with 30plus seizures and needing intense emergency care for breathing. If he hadn't helped it very likely would've been life threatening for her.
The slight delay meant he had to run to the next flight so we never got to thank him. Wife wrote in but not the same. Swa fliers for life because of that act. Many other good trips but that is what makes the difference for us.

Are you kidding me? Donít ever get on a plane that puts your familyís health at risk. I ended up diverting over the middle of the country on a transcon to save a 3 week oldís life that the parents knew was sick when they got on.

Snowflyer
01-27-2018, 12:15 PM
She didn't have a fever until on the plane. At that point it wasn't confirmed she would have seizures. Just that it could happen so we were worried and thought to check with the crew. We only found out the severity the next time it happened. They thought the first was a one off occurrence, so while we could have gotten off in abq rushing to the ER with a 101 fever was not what we had been told to do. Fever seizures normally are not an issue and often get missed. They have to go 5 minutes before dr will even look into causes.

ShyGuy
01-27-2018, 12:47 PM
DAL - LAX, I'm hitching a ride sitting a few rows from the front.

We're ready to close the door and push on time, when the gate agent runs onboard the plane and finds a passenger. A hushed conversation, and it turns out her ID card was left at the TSA checkpoint. We have only 5 min left to push, gate agent tells the lady that he doesn't know if TSA will keep it a week until her return, and if she leaves to go get it she will probably miss this flight.

The lady gets up and gets all her stuff, and starts to exit the plane. The gate agent on the way out pokes his head into the cockpit, and has a quick discussion with the crew. Long story short, decreased headwinds mean we can push 15 min late and still arrive early. CA makes the decision to delay the push, and will let dispatch know it's for a good cause.

The lady is reassured that we'll still be at the gate when she gets back, the gate agent watches over her bags on the jetway as she runs off to get her ID, and the CA tells everyone that we're gonna push late so the lady can get her ID but we'll still be early to LAX.

The lady returns 10ish minutes later slightly out of breath but looking happy. The ENTIRE plane breaks out into applause for her and the crew that helped her get her ID and still make the flight.

We still blocked into LAX a few min early. Great job by the entire SWA team making that lady's week and every pax on the plane knows the crew and gate agent went out of their way to make it happen.

Nice.

That works for a Texas crowd, try JFKers on their way to LAX. :eek:

flyguy81
01-27-2018, 06:37 PM
That works for a Texas crowd, try JFKers on their way to LAX. :eek:

New Yorkers get mad at their own shadow. Fíem

Blackhawk
01-27-2018, 07:26 PM
New Yorkers get mad at their own shadow. Fíem

Iíve had more issues with service at ATL than all the NYC airports combined.

tm602
01-27-2018, 09:11 PM
Iíve had more issues with service at ATL than all the NYC airports combined.

Atlanta aint Georgia...hasn't been for about 25 years.

crxpilot
01-28-2018, 04:39 AM
DAL - LAX, I'm hitching a ride sitting a few rows from the front.

We're ready to close the door and push on time, when the gate agent runs onboard the plane and finds a passenger. A hushed conversation, and it turns out her ID card was left at the TSA checkpoint. We have only 5 min left to push, gate agent tells the lady that he doesn't know if TSA will keep it a week until her return, and if she leaves to go get it she will probably miss this flight.

The lady gets up and gets all her stuff, and starts to exit the plane. The gate agent on the way out pokes his head into the cockpit, and has a quick discussion with the crew. Long story short, decreased headwinds mean we can push 15 min late and still arrive early. CA makes the decision to delay the push, and will let dispatch know it's for a good cause.

The lady is reassured that we'll still be at the gate when she gets back, the gate agent watches over her bags on the jetway as she runs off to get her ID, and the CA tells everyone that we're gonna push late so the lady can get her ID but we'll still be early to LAX.

The lady returns 10ish minutes later slightly out of breath but looking happy. The ENTIRE plane breaks out into applause for her and the crew that helped her get her ID and still make the flight.

We still blocked into LAX a few min early. Great job by the entire SWA team making that lady's week and every pax on the plane knows the crew and gate agent went out of their way to make it happen.

Nice.

You do that at my airline and they will bring a holy war on you. Glad they have more leverage to do that.

flyguy81
01-28-2018, 07:35 AM
Iíve had more issues with service at ATL than all the NYC airports combined.

ATL is it's own special breed of incompetence. You get what you hire....

Caveman
01-28-2018, 08:05 AM
ATL is it's own special breed of incompetence. You get what you hire....



Or acquire

ShyGuy
01-29-2018, 04:16 AM
DAL - LAX, I'm hitching a ride sitting a few rows from the front.

We're ready to close the door and push on time, when the gate agent runs onboard the plane and finds a passenger. A hushed conversation, and it turns out her ID card was left at the TSA checkpoint. We have only 5 min left to push, gate agent tells the lady that he doesn't know if TSA will keep it a week until her return, and if she leaves to go get it she will probably miss this flight.

The lady gets up and gets all her stuff, and starts to exit the plane. The gate agent on the way out pokes his head into the cockpit, and has a quick discussion with the crew. Long story short, decreased headwinds mean we can push 15 min late and still arrive early. CA makes the decision to delay the push, and will let dispatch know it's for a good cause.

The lady is reassured that we'll still be at the gate when she gets back, the gate agent watches over her bags on the jetway as she runs off to get her ID, and the CA tells everyone that we're gonna push late so the lady can get her ID but we'll still be early to LAX.

The lady returns 10ish minutes later slightly out of breath but looking happy. The ENTIRE plane breaks out into applause for her and the crew that helped her get her ID and still make the flight.

We still blocked into LAX a few min early. Great job by the entire SWA team making that lady's week and every pax on the plane knows the crew and gate agent went out of their way to make it happen.

Nice.

To play Devils advocate, letís assume full flight of 143 total. Youíre delaying for 1 person what the other 142 didnít forget to do which is secure their wallet/purse. Yes the flight still arrived on time. But it could have left on time and arrived 15 minutes early. 142 people losing 15 minutes equals 35.5 man hours lost over this go get her purse deal.

dawgdriver
01-29-2018, 06:24 AM
To play Devils advocate, let’s assume full flight of 143 total. You’re delaying for 1 person what the other 142 didn’t forget to do which is secure their wallet/purse. Yes the flight still arrived on time. But it could have left on time and arrived 15 minutes early. 142 people losing 15 minutes equals 35.5 man hours lost over this go get her purse deal.

Or they'd just sit on the ramp burning fuel an extra 15 minutes waiting for a gate because they arrived 15 early. It's why they don't allow pushes earlier than 10 minutes. With 30 minute turns, gate times are pretty tight.

at6d
01-29-2018, 06:28 AM
You canít lose what you donít have to begin with.

Is it better to wait for a pax (and win their repeat business) and arrive on time, or is it better to risk arriving early and waiting on a gate?

The people in the back would be more impressed that an airline actually cared about someone AND arrived on time vs. being 15 early (which nobody will marvel about within a few hours) and leaving someone.

ShyGuy
01-29-2018, 02:41 PM
Sounds like SW has gate issues for flights that arrive 15 minutes early? You canít do anything about that. Itís easier to accept that we left on time, landed 15 early, but then had to wait for a gate for 15 minutes. If we even had to wait, maybe the gate was open when you got there. We canít control gates, weather, and ATC so no one can really be blamed for those. But if someone has a tight connection to make I can see where they might be irked. These are airlines with schedules. Want the plane to leave only when youíre fully ready then fly private. Good on SW for supporting the CA but at many places, no way would they delay 15 minutes. Ops would find the purse, tag it with the pax reservation, and have it shipped home (or wherever).

I wouldnít clap if I was a passenger and found out weíre gonna delay 15 minutes our departure because someone forgot their wallet/purse.

Full disclaimer: Iím New York based :D

Smokey23
01-30-2018, 07:40 AM
To play Devils advocate, let’s assume full flight of 143 total. You’re delaying for 1 person what the other 142 didn’t forget to do which is secure their wallet/purse. Yes the flight still arrived on time. But it could have left on time and arrived 15 minutes early. 142 people losing 15 minutes equals 35.5 man hours lost over this go get her purse deal.

Yeah...says Mr I've-Never-Ever-Put-Myself-In-A-Jam-And-Been-Rescued-By-Someone-Willing-To-Go-Out-Of-Their-Way-To-Help. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

You're actually trying to convince us that the net PR gain to an airline would be better if they just blow off this hapless passenger and arrive 15 early? People don't remember being 15 early for much longer than the time it takes to get off the airport. They DO remember episodes of a company or an individual trying to "do the right thing" because it has sadly become such a rarity in our "it's all about me" society.

Hopefully you fly boxes for a living.

sailingfun
01-30-2018, 07:45 AM
Along the same lines, had a Capt who likely saved our daughters life.

We were on a carryover flight from Pdx to phx, with a stopover in abq. Daughter started to spike a fever, and the last time that happened she went into a massive fever seizure for an hour. Wife went up to ask FA about any kids meds, worth asking since adult can be available. But no luck. Capt happened to be boarding, overheard, clarified with the FA and promptly got off the plane. We had no clue until right as the door closed the FA comes down the aisle with kids ibuprofen for our daughter. He had ran and got her meds. The next time she had a fever she ended up with 30plus seizures and needing intense emergency care for breathing. If he hadn't helped it very likely would've been life threatening for her.
The slight delay meant he had to run to the next flight so we never got to thank him. Wife wrote in but not the same. Swa fliers for life because of that act. Many other good trips but that is what makes the difference for us.

Why on earth would you not deplane immediately and seek medical attention if your daughters life was at stake. The Captain should have ordered you off.

sailingfun
01-30-2018, 07:48 AM
To play Devils advocate, let’s assume full flight of 143 total. You’re delaying for 1 person what the other 142 didn’t forget to do which is secure their wallet/purse. Yes the flight still arrived on time. But it could have left on time and arrived 15 minutes early. 142 people losing 15 minutes equals 35.5 man hours lost over this go get her purse deal.

The problem with pushing late planning on arriving on time is stuff happens. Start valve won’t open, passenger gets sick, emergency aircraft inbound, atc delay ECT... Now you arrive late and miss connect 50 people.

sailingfun
01-30-2018, 07:52 AM
She didn't have a fever until on the plane. At that point it wasn't confirmed she would have seizures. Just that it could happen so we were worried and thought to check with the crew. We only found out the severity the next time it happened. They thought the first was a one off occurrence, so while we could have gotten off in abq rushing to the ER with a 101 fever was not what we had been told to do. Fever seizures normally are not an issue and often get missed. They have to go 5 minutes before dr will even look into causes.

So you stayed on the aircraft because it was just a possibility she might die not confirmed? A 101 fever in a child is a reason to get off the aircraft every single time. Especially if it spiked to that.

Snowflyer
01-30-2018, 08:17 AM
Yep getting off the plane in a city where we had no doctor or transport for 101 fever when a doctor won't even bring a kid in until 103 or higher makes perfect sense.

Looking back, Ya we could've got off, got her medicine, and asked about getting rebooked. But not knowing at the time sw was great about that we chose not to because being stuck in an airport with a sick child wasnt going to help anything. Not like anyone with a cold gets asked not to board... and every child under 6 is at risk of having a fever seizure, whether they've had one previous or no. Even if they have had 1 before, most never do again.

Was glad for his help that I thought was exceptional. Maybe I phrased it wrong but it was a kindness I appreciated and the level of known risk wasn't anymore than when we fly now. She could always have a seizure, sick or not, so we take most precautions we can but let her have a normal life as much as we can.

dawgdriver
01-30-2018, 09:27 AM
There is definitely a balance to be achieved, and connecting software is available so educated and balanced decisions can be made.

In contrast to the OP's point, we've all seen terminals, full of passengers, witnessing robotic gate agents closing the door to out-of-breath running connecting pax because they are pressured to close out the flight on time. Not just someone forgetting a drivers license, but passengers connecting on the same airline. Adding insult to injury, the stranded passengers often get to stare in disbelief as the plane sits with no tug or ramp crew in sight. ACARs out! Mission accomplished. This leaves a permanent impression widely transmitted through word-of-mouth.

Airlines have lost focus on what matters. Too many bean counters, not enough visionary leaders. In order to make DOT numbers look good, CEOs couldn't care less about the impact to customers. Unlike Southwest, their employees are empowered to make commonsense decisions.

Two sides to every story, but commonsense and customer focus are often lacking in the decision process.

at6d
01-30-2018, 10:24 AM
Sounds like SW has gate issues for flights that arrive 15 minutes early? You canít do anything about that. Itís easier to accept that we left on time, landed 15 early, but then had to wait for a gate for 15 minutes. If we even had to wait, maybe the gate was open when you got there. We canít control gates, weather, and ATC so no one can really be blamed for those. But if someone has a tight connection to make I can see where they might be irked. These are airlines with schedules. Want the plane to leave only when youíre fully ready then fly private. Good on SW for supporting the CA but at many places, no way would they delay 15 minutes. Ops would find the purse, tag it with the pax reservation, and have it shipped home (or wherever).

I wouldnít clap if I was a passenger and found out weíre gonna delay 15 minutes our departure because someone forgot their wallet/purse.

Full disclaimer: Iím New York based :D

I understand your view. But at the end of the day, the point isnít that the company backed the CAóitís that the CA backed the customer.

The gate issue isnít all the time, but since our efficiency is so tight, arriving early isnít always a good thing.

The SWA culture of taking care of our employees, customers, and commuters is in danger of being stamped out by Legacy-style indifference, especially when it comes to departure time policies.

I worked for Eagle under AMR for many years. What did I learn? How not to treat customers.

Our being profitable for 45 years in a row has a lot to do with how we treat our passengers. I know our OAL jumpseaters appreciate it.

Now if Iím in line behind you at the food place, and youíve had ten minutes to read the menu, you better be able to order immediately when itís your turn. Now that gets me worked up!

CA1900
01-30-2018, 10:29 AM
Now if Iím in line behind you at the food place, and youíve had ten minutes to read the menu, you better be able to order immediately when itís your turn. Now that gets me worked up!

:D

I had a lady do that in front of me at Starbucks recently. She's next in line, is asked what she wants, and holds up a finger to the clerk, pointing at the phone she's talking on. I walked right around her and ordered, and she started throwing a fit. Didn't get far with anybody.

ShyGuy
01-30-2018, 12:31 PM
Yeah...says Mr I've-Never-Ever-Put-Myself-In-A-Jam-And-Been-Rescued-By-Someone-Willing-To-Go-Out-Of-Their-Way-To-Help. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

You're actually trying to convince us that the net PR gain to an airline would be better if they just blow off this hapless passenger and arrive 15 early? People don't remember being 15 early for much longer than the time it takes to get off the airport. They DO remember episodes of a company or an individual trying to "do the right thing" because it has sadly become such a rarity in our "it's all about me" society.

Hopefully you fly boxes for a living.

I said playing devils advocate. Ok, lets say you go 15 late and get her the purse and takeoff with the lighter than expected headwinds. But then you have to air hold for 15-20 minutes for LAX and then land 15-20 late, and some people have now missed their connections. Is that worth it? Had this left on time the 15-20 minute hold would have still been within expected arrival time.


I understand your view. But at the end of the day, the point isnít that the company backed the CAóitís that the CA backed the customer.

The gate issue isnít all the time, but since our efficiency is so tight, arriving early isnít always a good thing.

The SWA culture of taking care of our employees, customers, and commuters is in danger of being stamped out by Legacy-style indifference, especially when it comes to departure time policies.

I worked for Eagle under AMR for many years. What did I learn? How not to treat customers.

Our being profitable for 45 years in a row has a lot to do with how we treat our passengers. I know our OAL jumpseaters appreciate it.

Now if Iím in line behind you at the food place, and youíve had ten minutes to read the menu, you better be able to order immediately when itís your turn. Now that gets me worked up!

But it's the same problem. You have an issue with the person ahead of you because they haven't decided what they want and are now holding up the line and wasting people behind them 10 minutes while they decide what they want. This is intentional, and forgetting a wallet/purse is unintentional but the fact remains that because of what one person is doing, it is affecting the other 100+ people who had nothing to do with it. In your starbucks case, they know what they want and are ready to order but are now wasting extra time waiting on this person to decide. In the airplane case they all have their wallets and purses trying to go to LA and make connections, but one forgot the wallet up at the gate.

All I'm saying is I see both sides.

at6d
01-30-2018, 01:12 PM
Itís tongue in cheek about the Starbucks.

Itís not black and white when it comes to leaving early, but more often than not, it works out for the best when we choose to help our customers, even if we bend the company rules a little.

Iím sure Herb would back my comments. Not so sure about Gary.

ShyGuy
01-30-2018, 08:29 PM
+1

SW has been nothing short of fantastic for when I've jumpseated on them and when my family has bought tickets on them. Very happy customers!

Jeff Lebowski
01-31-2018, 05:28 AM
+1

SW has been nothing short of fantastic for when I've jumpseated on them and when my family has bought tickets on them. Very happy customers!

Three years ago, my (now) 86-year-old mother got a wheelchair assist at DAL from the very same captain who flew her home. And not just up the jetway, either, but all the way through the airport and to the curb to meet the Supershuttle. This was before I even got on here.

Granted, my mom is pretty much the prototypical sweet lil old lady, but still. The fact that this captain was willing to go out of his way to help her just blew her away, and you can bet the story made the rounds at bridge.

Can you imagine a captain at Delta, or American, doing something like this? I can't, and I can't recall ever having seen any of those guys pushing a wheelchair.

I told this story during my interview and I told them that I wanted to be the guy pushing that wheelchair one day and I meant it. To me, it epitomizes what makes us different, and the day we stop doing things like this for our passengers is the day we become just another big, dumb airline.

BobZ
01-31-2018, 07:23 AM
If you had spent any time at Delta you would appreciate how much in error you are about conclusions of how pilots and other employees care for our customers.

In 30+ years i have pushed wheelchairs. Bought food. Sent special items. And even literally given a pax the shirt off my back. And i have seen many other employees over the years do likewise.

You dont get to be a 'big dumb airline' by mistreating your customers.

THEKERNALKLINK
02-03-2018, 11:18 PM
Sadly enough, I was right seat on a trip where this happened :( Plane pulled up in the gate next to us right as the gate agent showed up, with about 30 no-shows. CA asked about them, was told they were transfers from the plane that just pulled in. CA asked gate agent to open up boarding again, gate agent and entire supervisor chain through ops refused. We still had a cargo door open so it wouldn't have even added more than 5 minutes to push time, so CA called the company.

Company said push, leaving the transfers behind.

Cargo door closed sometime later, and we still pushed 5-10 min late, with about 30 sad faces in the terminal watching us until we pushed.

But we were something like second in the industry for on-time performance that month, so high fives for the company execs and 2 million buck payraise for our next CEO. Pretty clear where the priorities are :(

Quite the contrast from SWA.


Their are all kinds of creative reasons we can have NOT to push.... believe me, we have the ability to dry ram a big fat cinder block into the egg heads rectums any time we want. IF, it's for the good of the passengers of course, and only IF.



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