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Topic: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: jreuschl
Posted 2011-01-12 20:14:13 and read 23409 times.

http://www.elliott.org/blog/southwes...s-plane-for-murder-victims-family/

Hats off to the pilot for this honorable thing to do. RIP to the victim.

There were obviously some things done in the background to make sure this was done, too. It seems the ticketing agent took the charge to make sure the word was received by the pilot that this passenger had a tragic circumstance.

This brings up a number of questions:

1. How often does this happen and do all pilots have the power to do this? Or would they be punished as the article might suggest?
2. Why did the TSA agents not really seem to care? (well, that could be a whole new thread or maybe not... just a simple DUH!)

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2011-01-12 20:24:56 and read 23356 times.

Quoting jreuschl (Thread starter):
2. Why did the TSA agents not really seem to care? (well, that could be a whole new thread or maybe not... just a simple DUH!)

1) They probably hear a lot of sob stories.
2) Duh.

One of the reasons I love WN is because they believe that sometimes the rules can be bent just a little when it comes to doing the right thing. They empower their employees to be humans and to treat passengers humanely. They hire people who are genuinely nice.

For this little 12 minute delay (which is probably easily recoverable over the course of the day), WN got an entire article written about how great they are. And all humanity and decency aside, THAT'S good business practice.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: jetblue777
Posted 2011-01-12 20:26:48 and read 23329 times.

Hats off to the pilot! What a nice thing to do, my deepest sympathy for the family's lost.  

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Atrude777
Posted 2011-01-12 20:34:02 and read 23209 times.

Quoting jreuschl (Thread starter):

1. How often does this happen and do all pilots have the power to do this? Or would they be punished as the article might suggest?

It only happens as often as people can help it. Captains have the final say as he mentioned in the article. He would not be punished by WN for doing the right thing.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: spartanmjf
Posted 2011-01-12 20:37:16 and read 23195 times.

The difference between WN and the rest of the domestic pack, including B6/FL/AA/DL/UA/AS, for me is the Southwest approach to doing the right thing, by and large, to help all customers. The 'icing on the cake' is when they go a bit more out of their way to assist travelers in true need. Way to LUV!

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: chrisair
Posted 2011-01-12 21:21:12 and read 22877 times.

Quoting jreuschl (Thread starter):
2. Why did the TSA agents not really seem to care? (well, that could be a whole new thread or maybe not... just a simple DUH!)

It's the TSA at LAX. Quite possibly the worst in the country in my experience.

Quoting spartanmjf (Reply 4):
The difference between WN and the rest of the domestic pack, including B6/FL/AA/DL/UA/AS, for me is the Southwest approach to doing the right thing, by and large, to help all customers. The 'icing on the cake' is when they go a bit more out of their way to assist travelers in true need. Way to LUV!

I'd like to think that the rest of the airlines you posted would do the same thing for this person given the circumstances. And I really think Alaska would do the same thing. That being said, I'm not so sure some the other airlines you posted would. That's just unfortunate.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: hatbutton
Posted 2011-01-12 22:09:55 and read 22644 times.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 5):
I'd like to think that the rest of the airlines you posted would do the same thing for this person given the circumstances. And I really think Alaska would do the same thing. That being said, I'm not so sure some the other airlines you posted would. That's just unfortunate.

AS would most definitely do something like this and does all the time. There is something at AS called the Empowerment Toolkit that front line employees are allowed to use in extreme and abnormal circumstances, to circumvent policy in order to give a passenger the treatment they deserve. And they won't be punished for doing so because AS knows, like WN, that there are some things more important in life than on time performance or a few saved dollars for the company here and there.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: macsog6
Posted 2011-01-12 22:19:21 and read 22563 times.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 5):
And I really think Alaska would do the same thing

When a very close relative was diagnosed with terminal cancer, QF held the flight from WLG to SYD for about 30m for me. Of course, NZ Customs and Immigration rushed me right through as well.

Other airlines have hearts too.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Goldenshield
Posted 2011-01-13 02:15:01 and read 22001 times.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 5):
I'd like to think that the rest of the airlines you posted would do the same thing for this person given the circumstances.

I once flew out of SMF on HP, and they held the the plane a whopping 20 minutes for a lady whose daughter was on her death bed (Car accident, or something similar.) HP was kind enough to give her a first class seat, too. As this lady got on the plane, she was in a terrible state of shock, her phone glued to her ear. She hadn't been sat down for 30 seconds, and then she let out a scream of agony; scared the crap out of me as well, as I was sitting right across the aisle. It then took her another 10 minutes for her to calm down enough for the crew to depart.

Suffice to say, I have a feeling that if the circumstances warrant it---such as the above, as well as the OP's situation---then on-time be damned. Get them where they're going.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: 777jaah
Posted 2011-01-13 05:41:19 and read 20037 times.

AV once waited for my mom's family for almost 45 min. My grandmother had passed away in her hometown, while all her daughters (my mom included) were on a family trip in SMX. The captain waited in the gate (despite they were connecting from another airline's flight) while all of them went through customs, and after takeoff, he went and gave them the condolences on behalf on the crew and the airline. I will say it was more than a compassionate guy, it was also a classy touch.


777jaah

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: NYCFlyer
Posted 2011-01-13 05:54:18 and read 19728 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
For this little 12 minute delay (which is probably easily recoverable over the course of the day), WN got an entire article written about how great they are. And all humanity and decency aside, THAT'S good business practice.

Spot on.

That said, I found the original blog post recounting this incident very hard to follow. At first it seemed like the man was flying TUS-DEN, but then it's actually LAX-DEN.

But that doesn't matter; obviously, the point of this thread is that WN did the right thing, and they should be applauded for it.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: DTWPurserBoy
Posted 2011-01-13 05:55:31 and read 19730 times.

DL absolutely would have done the same thing and then sent an employee to travel with the family to their destination. We are very good at seperating the genuine tragedies from the occasional BS artist.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: B735
Posted 2011-01-13 06:45:34 and read 18643 times.

It is great to hear that an airline gives this kind of courtesy. In the world we live way to many people are focused only on them self’s, money or whatever. Hearing this kind of stories is a nice reminder that there are still friendly and caring persons out there, even if you don't know them and they don't know you...

Kudos to Southwest!

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Continental
Posted 2011-01-13 06:53:58 and read 18424 times.

Hats off to WN. I flew them for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I am a fan. Both flights were unlike any other I had ever taken.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2011-01-13 07:04:42 and read 18145 times.

This is not a surprise for me . I never flew with them till now but I read the book "The Style Southwest Airlines" ( Jody Hoffer Gittell is the writer, this book is part of my small library of aviation ). Although this book is more about the management style with Herb Kelleher and Collen Barrett, allows the reader from the distance take a good picture of how the airline treats their customers. Kudos to the captain for his kind gesture.

Rgds.

G.

( Edited for typo )

[Edited 2011-01-13 07:14:26]

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Aloha717200
Posted 2011-01-13 07:09:03 and read 18048 times.

My hats genuinely off to WN for this. A very noble thing to do and I'm happy to read about other airlines taking similar actions. It's good to know that heart can still trump policy sometimes.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 11):
DL absolutely would have done the same thing and then sent an employee to travel with the family to their destination. We are very good at seperating the genuine tragedies from the occasional BS artist.

Unfortunately, that's not always true. Last time I was at DTW, a very, very rude Delta agent accused me of being a BS artist when I had a very genuine inquiry. My fiancee was late getting out of customs, my plane was departing in 10 minutes, and she didn't know her way as it was her first time connecting through DTW. I asked if I could standby for a later flight, so that I could be there for my fiancee when she emerged from customs. The woman told me flatly and rudely that I was "just trying to get on the same plane as her" (no, i only asked for a later flight" and that if I wanted a later plane, there would be no standby. "Pony up the change fee and the difference in airfare. It will cost you dearly. Is it worth it to you? Your fiancee made it all the way from Europe, I'm pretty sure she can make her next flight without YOUR help."

I was so angry and insulted by this woman's assumptions about me. Granted, in hindsight, yes, my fiancee could have found her way. But we had planned on meeting and had she not found me there, she might have gone looking for me or began to worry. All I wanted was to jump on a later flight so that she wouldn't have to worry where i was or where to go after emerging from customs.

Ironically, as it was, as soon as I left that agent (internally fuming) I ran right into my girl who had just barely come from customs. We jumped the train and got to my gate just before final boarding call. I was the last to board.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 07:22:59 and read 17737 times.

Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: CoachClass
Posted 2011-01-13 07:38:55 and read 17358 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.



Who cares why they did it. They did something nice and now they're getting good press.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: LAXtoATL
Posted 2011-01-13 07:40:13 and read 17319 times.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 15):

Unfortunately, that's not always true. Last time I was at DTW, a very, very rude Delta agent accused me of being a BS artist when I had a very genuine inquiry. My fiancee was late getting out of customs, my plane was departing in 10 minutes, and she didn't know her way as it was her first time connecting through DTW. I asked if I could standby for a later flight, so that I could be there for my fiancee when she emerged from customs. The woman told me flatly and rudely that I was "just trying to get on the same plane as her" (no, i only asked for a later flight" and that if I wanted a later plane, there would be no standby. "Pony up the change fee and the difference in airfare. It will cost you dearly. Is it worth it to you? Your fiancee made it all the way from Europe, I'm pretty sure she can make her next flight without YOUR help."

I was so angry and insulted by this woman's assumptions about me. Granted, in hindsight, yes, my fiancee could have found her way. But we had planned on meeting and had she not found me there, she might have gone looking for me or began to worry. All I wanted was to jump on a later flight so that she wouldn't have to worry where i was or where to go after emerging from customs.

Ironically, as it was, as soon as I left that agent (internally fuming) I ran right into my girl who had just barely come from customs. We jumped the train and got to my gate just before final boarding call. I was the last to board.

Granted it is never acceptable for anyone to be rude to you, but your situation was not a tragedy! This situation would certainly fall into the BS category.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: LAXtoATL
Posted 2011-01-13 07:45:47 and read 17235 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.

I doubt that was the reason. Southwest certainly didn't tip off the media to their actions. Its not like this story was reported by the Denver Post, the man's wife sent the story to a blog that she reads. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt that they did a good thing just because it was a good thing to do. Also, we don't have to say Southwest did it, even in the article it said that he came across Southwest employees who couldn't care less about his situation, fortunately the pilot cared and at least one other person cared because somebody had to get the message to the pilot in order for him to know what was going on.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: ODAFZ
Posted 2011-01-13 07:47:48 and read 17196 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.

As you have probably read, it is a Southwest pilot ( and not Southwest) who took the initiative to delay the flight to cater for a person in distress. I do not think for a moment that this was played in advance for what I would have considered a cheap free publicity stunt.Furthermore, it was reported on a blog and neither WN official site of Fox news ( or any news outlet) reported it. So i am a little confused about ''' your free publicity thing" care to enlighten us.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Tinosky
Posted 2011-01-13 07:53:12 and read 17063 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.

Are you serious?

Tell that to the captian and the victim's family. I'm sure they will have alot to tell you!

I cant understand some of the comments that come out of people. Have some respect!

Tinosky~

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 07:59:27 and read 16929 times.

If the pilot made the decision then obviously the delay would be "coded" in operations to the cockpit crew (most if not all airlines keep track of delays coding them according to what caused the delay) and I don't believe that he would take blame unless he thought that it would be offset by positive publicity. I never said that Southwest tipped off any news or media service to this fact but I do believe that they believed that word of mouth alone or that sooner or later someone would post it on the internet (such as this discussion or the blog used) thus bringing in the positive response from the public. Southwest Airlines and it's personnel love to exploit situations as these for attention regardless how it is obtained.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2011-01-13 08:00:53 and read 16877 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.

I'm sorry but I disagree. They didn't call the press. This was a personal decision from the captain. In the book I mentioned in my previous post, you can clearly have an idea about the human touch that the vast majority of WN employees have daily in the work. I humbly recommend the book to you.

Rgds.

G.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 08:11:16 and read 16673 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 23):
I'm sorry but I disagree. They didn't call the press. This was a personal decision from the captain. In the book I mentioned in my previous post, you can clearly have an idea about the human touch that the vast majority of WN employees have daily in the work. I humbly recommend the book to you.

That book is just pure Southwest propaganda.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: catiii
Posted 2011-01-13 08:29:55 and read 16639 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 24):
That book is just pure Southwest propaganda.
Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.

There's a hater in every bunch. Don't take the bait.

Back to the OP, I think it's great that WN gives their captain the authority to do this. Anyh idea how he knew about this situation?

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: wexfordflyer
Posted 2011-01-13 08:33:35 and read 16442 times.

In this day and age of aviation a story like this is really touching. Well done Southwest and the pilot concerned.

Some other airlines should really take a look at WN and learn alot from them. I have never actually flown them and I am sure there are plenty of negative stories about them but I very regularly hear stories of people thanking and praisins them. That's a lot rarer with other airlines.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 08:34:09 and read 16629 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 25):
There's a hater in every bunch. Don't take the bait.

Funny. I am not a hater. I fly Southwest quite often but I just don't fall for their propaganda.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Aloha717200
Posted 2011-01-13 08:41:57 and read 16475 times.

Quoting LAXtoATL (Reply 18):
Granted it is never acceptable for anyone to be rude to you, but your situation was not a tragedy! This situation would certainly fall into the BS category.

Does not the term BS imply that I am being dishonest? I never was dishonest, never was gaming the system or however you choose to put it. I make no claims that it was a "tragedy", just that, Delta assumed that I wanted to change my flight just to be on the plane with my fiancee, and treated me like some sort of scam artist. Extremely rude. When all I wanted to do was jump a later flight...any later flight...so that she wouldn't be in a panic when she saw I wasn't there to meet her as planned. It was her first time in this country. So no, I don't consider it BS. Real easy for someone to label it that until you find yourself in a similar situation.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2011-01-13 08:55:57 and read 16076 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 24):
That book is just pure Southwest propaganda.

May be propaganda or not, but even in that case, is propaganda backed up with facts and cold numbers that are available for all of us if someone want to check them. The graphics in the book are the truth, plain and simple, and the people making assertions and comparisons about the industry and WN are fully identified, with full name.
Is WN perfect ? Hell no...
Is better than the rest of the industry in a lot of aspects ? In average, in the past 40 years, yes, it is, is a fact and enough backed up.

Quoting catiii (Reply 25):
There's a hater in every bunch. Don't take the bait.

Don't worry, I always try to do my best to follow the forum rules, specially that of "don't post in anger".  

Rgds.

G.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: LAXtoATL
Posted 2011-01-13 09:41:28 and read 14987 times.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 28):

Does not the term BS imply that I am being dishonest? I never was dishonest, never was gaming the system or however you choose to put it. I make no claims that it was a "tragedy", just that, Delta assumed that I wanted to change my flight just to be on the plane with my fiancee, and treated me like some sort of scam artist. Extremely rude. When all I wanted to do was jump a later flight...any later flight...so that she wouldn't be in a panic when she saw I wasn't there to meet her as planned. It was her first time in this country. So no, I don't consider it BS. Real easy for someone to label it that until you find yourself in a similar situation.

BS does not imply you were being dishonest. It means your situation was BS, it didn't rise to level of requiring special treatment. There is a huge difference in a airline rep accommodating passengers who are going through a real tragedy and others that just want special treatment. Clearly, you fall into the later camp. By your own statement you just wanted to change your flight to meet up with your fiancee. There is no need for DL or any other airline to make special accommodations for that situation, if they did they would have to do it a hundred times a day. Furthermore, there is no need for you to even request special treatment, you had the ability to change your flight on your own (if it isn't worth it to you to pay change fee then the situation clearly doesn't rise to level of requesting special services - ask the man who was trying to get to his dying grandson if he would have gladly paid a change fee for them to hold his plane unfortunately he didn't have that option). Look at your words of what you were asking. You wanted special treatment in a very non special situation. If all you wanted to do is a catch a later flight, you had that option - you clearly wanted more than to just catch a later flight but you aren't acknowledging that. It would be a different situation if you said they told you they wouldn't allow you to switch to a later flight at all - by your own words the agent said you were welcome to change to later flight so that you could be with your fiancee if it was that important of a situation. Your own words and actions say that the situation wasn't that important to you, so it certainly shouldn't have been that important to the airline to make special accommodations in this situation. Once again, still no excuse for the agent to have been rude to you.

(I will tell you I have had similar situations with DL and other airlines as well, I have very politely asked to change flights and explained my situation without asking or telling them they should do it for free and guess what when they process the transaction they have more times than not said don't worry about fee and hand me my credit card back. The difference is they knew I was genuine in my situation because I was willing to put my money behind my story and they in turn felt it important enough to do the same and in at least one situation went a lot further than that)

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: n5014k
Posted 2011-01-13 09:43:16 and read 14924 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.


I wouldn't mind knowing what airline you work for, if any.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: futureorthopod
Posted 2011-01-13 10:08:49 and read 14270 times.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 9):
AV once waited for my mom's family for almost 45 min. My grandmother had passed away in her hometown, while all her daughters (my mom included) were on a family trip in SMX. The captain waited in the gate (despite they were connecting from another airline's flight) while all of them went through customs, and after takeoff, he went and gave them the condolences on behalf on the crew and the airline. I will say it was more than a compassionate guy, it was also a classy touch.


777jaah

That's a very nice gesture for these pilots to make in both your story and the other original one; however, I am concerned that they might not have considered how their tardiness could affect someone else. I would hope they would ensure anyone who had a close connecting flight would have had ample time or options for getting to their final destinations. Some things, like residency interviews/events, are time sensitive. If an interviewee misses or is late to his interview/welcome event (even if it is not the interviewee's fault) then he is SOL and will most likely be ranked very low in the residency match process.

There are consequences to all actions...and while I am happy there are many humble and compassionate pilots, I would hope they recognize other's lives are equally as important.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Aloha717200
Posted 2011-01-13 10:14:05 and read 14128 times.

Quoting LAXtoATL (Reply 30):
Your own words and actions say that the situation wasn't that important to you, so it certainly shouldn't have been that important to the airline to make special accommodations in this situation. Once again, still no excuse for the agent to have been rude to you.

I believe you may be either misreading what I wrote, or perhaps interpreting the situation as you see it from your perspective. However, let me clarify a few things:

This was important to me, but my understanding, perhaps in error, was that if one could not make a flight on which they were scheduled, their ticket would be at least enough to get them on standby for a later flight. For example, people who miss connections are often placed on later flights as standby passengers. It was my intention to do the same.

Secondly, I think you fail to recognize that my fiancee had never been in this country before, and it was her first time flying outside of Europe. She was remarkably nervous about doing this and part of what was meant to calm her nerves was for her to meet me at DTW outside of customs, and I would escort her to her gate, then go catch my separate flight. Imagine if she arrived and saw nothing of me. I'm sure she'd have found her gate, but until she reached her final destination, she'd have no idea what ever happened to me. Was my flight delayed? Did I miss my plane? Was something wrong? She wouldn't have known and neither of us have cell phones. I was justifiably worried about what would happen if she was meant to fly onwards with these worries. So, I asked to standby on a later plane so that I could calm her nerves. This is not a tragedy, but I did not expect, nor was it warranted, for the Delta agent to simply assume that I just wanted to get on the same plane as my fiancee. That wasnt the case at all.

Thirdly, I do not like the negative connotation that goes along with the words "special treatment". When one says that another desired "special treatment" one implies that this person thinks that the rules shouldn't apply to them and that extraordinary measures should be taken. It is an error to assume that I fall into this camp. I thought the rules were: If you can't make your plane, you can standby on a later flight. I may have been in error, but I was not asking for "special" treatment. I was asking to excercise the option of taking a later plane on standby. An option that I thought was available to passengers whom needed it. therefore, within the "rules". Apparently, it wasn't, but ignorance does not equal guilt. And does not justify the assumptions that were thrown in my face by the agent.

I really don't like my actions being analyzed and interpreted for me. I know very well what my intentions were, and they were always above board. Just because you, or that agent, has dealt with a million people who actually ARE trying to manipulate or receive "special treatment", does not mean that my situation is similar simply because it appears to be so. That is an assumption that comes from a jaded point of view. If I sit here and tell you why you are responding the way you are and assign a label to your behaviour because of MY previous experience, I bet it would probably rub you the wrong way too. How do I know your intent? How do you know mine?

Benefit of the doubt, please. I requested what i requested because I care about my fiancee and didn't want her to be nervous for her 4 hour flight from DTW. I wanted her to know I was alright before she left on her separate plane. And I only requested what I thought was within the rules.

One other thing. It is incorrect for you to assume that because I did not have the funds available to pay the change fee and difference in fare, that the situation wasn't that important to me. As I understood it, standing by for a later plane did not entail a change fee and difference in fare, because standing by is on a "space available" basis for seats that otherwise would have gone unsold. I could not afford it. You really shouldn't assume things about someone the way you are about me.

And, good for you that the agents have smiled favorably upon your requests in the past. And good for you that you had the money to back it up. But what this demonstrates is that you clearly had a prior knowledge of the "laws" that I did not have at the time, and it also demonstrates that the airline can, in fact, move you to a later flight without charging a fee, if the need arises.

If anything though, your response has opened my eyes as to why she reacted that way. I fit the "bill" for a BSer. I didnt have money to back up my request, and my situation was not a dire, life-altering emergency. That does not mean, however, that I actually was a BSer. Just that I appeared to be. The lesson learned by me is: know before you go. The lesson that I hope you will take away from this is: appearances aren't what they seem. I'm not a jerk, but I don't like words being put into my mouth. I ask that you please refrain.

[Edited 2011-01-13 10:17:35]

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: steex
Posted 2011-01-13 10:49:13 and read 13374 times.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 33):
I thought the rules were: If you can't make your plane, you can standby on a later flight.

I think the discrepancy is that, in the scenario you describe, you are sitting at the airport and clearly CAN make your flight. I'm not passing judgment one way or the other, but the way I read it, it would seem that you did not WANT to make your flight due to circumstances considered extenuating by you but not necessarily by the airline. I'm not suggesting you should not have wanted to stay and meet your fiancee, but I do understand the airline was within its right to refuse the request (at least free of charge).

Relative to people with missed connections, note that these folks are accommodated because the missed connection is generally the fault of the airline or weather - but not the passenger. If a passenger has adequate connection time and fails to depart on their scheduled flight, they too may be forced to pay the associated fees for re-booking.

I think we're getting hung up on the term "BS artist." DTWPurserBoy used it as follows:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 11):
We are very good at seperating the genuine tragedies from the occasional BS artist.

I believe he was referring to people who claim to have major tragedies in an attempt to bend the rules. Clearly, this does not apply to your situation, and I don't think LAXtoATL meant to really imply as such either. As you admit, yours was "not a dire, life-altering emergency" and I think it's only fair to assume the airline won't always honor your request as such. If you did not know the rules at the time, then there's no harm in asking, but you shouldn't necessarily be upset to find out that your request was outside the rules and therefore declined.

I absolutely agree that it is inappropriate for any employee to be rude to you. However, the point I believe LAXtoATL was making with regard to payment is that agents are faced with a lot of people trying to weasel the system and get something for nothing - an act the agents don't appreciate. I don't at all believe that was your intention, but unfortunately many agents default to this assumption, and are less likely to be cooperative if they perceive this. It seems the agent wrongly assumed this in your case and left you little chance of getting a favor.

By comparison, the very same agent may react more positively to someone who requests a change in itinerary with full intent to pay for it, and try to provide even better customer service by waiving the fees. It sounds like the way events transpired wasn't your fault, but I think this describes the reality of why it happened.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: 2H4
Posted 2011-01-13 10:55:45 and read 13235 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.

Extremely unlikely.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 22):
Southwest Airlines and it's personnel love to exploit situations as these for attention regardless how it is obtained.

How long have you worked for Southwest? Because it's unlikely you know how things work on the inside unless you've spent some time there.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: lovejt8d
Posted 2011-01-13 11:01:38 and read 13088 times.

This is such a great story. I completely believe their business approach, since they bent the rules for me too. I was traveling MSP-SJC on DL then had to pick up WN to finish my route SJC-ONT. DL was late, and by the time I got to SJC (no code sharing whatsoever) at the WN gate, the lights were off, and the screen said "End Boarding." To make matters worse, it was the last flight of the night to ONT. I asked the agent if there was anything she could do. She called someone and said "am i gonna take the punch this time." She hung up the phone, told me to hurry to the gate door, and the gate agent carded me through the door so I could make my flight. The flight attendant noticed I was last minute, joked around with me a little, told me to take "first class" and put my bags in the overhead for me.

What excellent service, and for the family mentioned in this forum!

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: DashTrash
Posted 2011-01-13 11:02:22 and read 13069 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 22):
If the pilot made the decision then obviously the delay would be "coded" in operations to the cockpit crew (most if not all airlines keep track of delays coding them according to what caused the delay) and I don't believe that he would take blame unless he thought that it would be offset by positive publicity.

News flash..... I can't think of many crewmembers I've worked with who wouldn't take the delay in the same situation, and stood in front of the CP if they got called on the carpet for it. I've delayed flights for much less important passenger needs and never heard one bit of criticism at the lousy regional I worked for. I've gotten phone calls asking why, but a simple explanation is all that's required.

Your suggestion is simply offensive.....

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: chrisair
Posted 2011-01-13 11:21:41 and read 12687 times.

Quoting futureorthopod (Reply 32):
That's a very nice gesture for these pilots to make in both your story and the other original one; however, I am concerned that they might not have considered how their tardiness could affect someone else. I would hope they would ensure anyone who had a close connecting flight would have had ample time or options for getting to their final destinations. Some things, like residency interviews/events, are time sensitive. If an interviewee misses or is late to his interview/welcome event (even if it is not the interviewee's fault) then he is SOL and will most likely be ranked very low in the residency match process.

If it's THAT time sensitive, you shouldn't be flying in so close to your interview time. That's just asking for trouble. That being said, I don't know anyone in the business world who wouldn't be understanding of the situation. Nor do I believe anyone on the plane would be complaining about a 15 minute delay given the circumstances.

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 10):
That said, I found the original blog post recounting this incident very hard to follow. At first it seemed like the man was flying TUS-DEN, but then it's actually LAX-DEN.

I believe the person was flying LAX-TUS, TUS-DEN. I know the WN folks in TUS would take care of this guy. The folks here are some of the best in the system.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: lofty
Posted 2011-01-13 11:30:47 and read 12454 times.

The main problem is how to decide if it is a real case or not. If it is real then I would think most airlines will wait, the decision to wait or not is not always the Captains. The main issue being the flight crew and many other departments only have 1 flight to consider at a time. Some of us have the big picture to consider.

Having said that I did delay a flight for over an hour and had to convince the flight crew to take a 19 year old guy who wanted to return to his home country to die.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: tradewinds
Posted 2011-01-13 11:32:30 and read 12395 times.

It's nice to know that some people still understand what's really important. Kudos to the pilot and the rest of the Southwest staff.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: catiii
Posted 2011-01-13 11:33:03 and read 12424 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 27):
I am not a hater. I fly Southwest quite often but I just don't fall for their propaganda.

Ok dude...

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 37):
Your suggestion is simply offensive.....
Quoting 2H4 (Reply 35):
How long have you worked for Southwest? Because it's unlikely you know how things work on the inside unless you've spent some time there.

Let's just ignore the guy. He's only saying it because he's trying to rile up everyone.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: BoeingGuy
Posted 2011-01-13 11:33:42 and read 12411 times.

Quoting hatbutton (Reply 6):
AS would most definitely do something like this and does all the time.



Agreed. In general, I find AS to go above and beyond for good service. I think they are arguably the best domestic airline for customer service.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.



What an idiotic comment. You know, there are people in the world who do the right thing just because it makes them feel good to do the right thing, not because they have some ulterior motive.

On a less tragic note, I was actually impressed at AA, who doesn't always get good press. I was sitting next to a young man returning from Iraq on a DFW-SEA flight. The flight attendant offered him free lunch and drinks if he wanted, as they apparently do to all soldiers.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Aloha717200
Posted 2011-01-13 11:39:04 and read 12287 times.

Quoting steex (Reply 34):
but you shouldn't necessarily be upset to find out that your request was outside the rules and therefore declined.

I wasn't so much upset by this, it was more the way they treated me. The wording and the attitude was just, downright hostile and accusatory. They immediately saw me as a con artist and that is what made me fume.

If, however, they had said "sorry, we can only do free standby for people who miss their connections due to the fault of weather or airline issues", then i may have been disappointed, but certainly not angry. Thats the thing. Once I learned that it was outside of the "rules", I would have complied without further question. It was the way they made me feel for having even asked. I felt mistreated, and upset at the airline over this treatment.

I hope that ties it all up. Thank you for your understanding on my intent though. The airline did have the right to refuse me, and that's fine. It was just the way in which they did it, that really upset me.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: readytotaxi
Posted 2011-01-13 11:41:46 and read 12246 times.

From this side of the pond it seems that someone did something to help someone else.

Step back and pause a moment, that feels good.  

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: LAXtoATL
Posted 2011-01-13 12:17:59 and read 11603 times.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 33):
This was important to me, but my understanding, perhaps in error, was that if one could not make a flight on which they were scheduled, their ticket would be at least enough to get them on standby for a later flight. For example, people who miss connections are often placed on later flights as standby passengers. It was my intention to do the same.

I think your misunderstanding of the rules is what created the problem. If an airline causes you to miss your flight, they will accommodate you on a later flight at their expense. If you choose to miss your flight, that is in on you and the airline is under no obligation. I think you probably subconsciously realized this and that is why you tried to get them to make the change before you missed the flight. (Ironically, if you had just stayed to meet your fiancee and missed your flight without asking before hand they probably would have accommodated you on standby free of charge - of course you wouldn't know if you would be able to get on a later flight)

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 33):

Secondly, I think you fail to recognize that my fiancee had never been in this country before, and it was her first time flying outside of Europe. She was remarkably nervous about doing this and part of what was meant to calm her nerves was for her to meet me at DTW outside of customs, and I would escort her to her gate, then go catch my separate flight. Imagine if she arrived and saw nothing of me. I'm sure she'd have found her gate, but until she reached her final destination, she'd have no idea what ever happened to me. Was my flight delayed? Did I miss my plane? Was something wrong? She wouldn't have known and neither of us have cell phones. I was justifiably worried about what would happen if she was meant to fly onwards with these worries. So, I asked to standby on a later plane so that I could calm her nerves. This is not a tragedy, but I did not expect, nor was it warranted, for the Delta agent to simply assume that I just wanted to get on the same plane as my fiancee. That wasnt the case at all.

I understand why you wanted to stay, but it was neither a situation the airline created or a dire emergency. If it was so important for you to have been there when she arrived, you probably should have booked the same flight with her or one that departed after her to begin with (this is of course what you were asking the agent to do). This is likely why the agent is skeptical in this situation to begin with.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 33):
Thirdly, I do not like the negative connotation that goes along with the words "special treatment". When one says that another desired "special treatment" one implies that this person thinks that the rules shouldn't apply to them and that extraordinary measures should be taken. It is an error to assume that I fall into this camp. I thought the rules were: If you can't make your plane, you can standby on a later flight. I may have been in error, but I was not asking for "special" treatment. I was asking to excercise the option of taking a later plane on standby. An option that I thought was available to passengers whom needed it. therefore, within the "rules". Apparently, it wasn't, but ignorance does not equal guilt. And does not justify the assumptions that were thrown in my face by the agent.

Whether you like the term "special treatment" or not. In this case, that is exactly what you were asking for. It sounds like you didn't understand the rules and therefore may not have realized that you were indeed asking for special treatment but that is exactly what you were doing. You can not voluntarily miss your flight and standby for a later flight. That is not an option. It use to be that you could show up early and standby for an earlier flight free of charge, but they stopped that a few years ago. In this case ignorance does equal guilt - you were asking for special treatment whether you knew it or not (that is a fact given the information you provided). Still no excuse for the agent to be rude to you, but I can understand where the conversation gets a little testy if you believed you were asking for something the airline was suppose to give you (and clearly you are still passionate about it). Now that you know that what you were asking for was special treatment and you look back on the conversation with the agent, could you have pushed her into a confrontational situation like you are doing here? Remember, she was just doing her job and given the information you provided she was doing it correctly (with the exception of being rude to a customer which is NEVER acceptable).

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 33):
I really don't like my actions being analyzed and interpreted for me. I know very well what my intentions were, and they were always above board. Just because you, or that agent, has dealt with a million people who actually ARE trying to manipulate or receive "special treatment", does not mean that my situation is similar simply because it appears to be so. That is an assumption that comes from a jaded point of view. If I sit here and tell you why you are responding the way you are and assign a label to your behaviour because of MY previous experience, I bet it would probably rub you the wrong way too. How do I know your intent? How do you know mine?

I am not judging you. I never assigned any label to your behavior or intent. I dealt strictly with the facts of the situation as you gave them to me and all I did was use the information you provided and explained to you why it happened and why your situation would not fall into the category of "dire or special circumstances" as the gentlemen referenced in the original article or the many other times airlines will do extraordinary things do accommodate passengers in extraordinary situations.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 33):
If anything though, your response has opened my eyes as to why she reacted that way. I fit the "bill" for a BSer. I didnt have money to back up my request, and my situation was not a dire, life-altering emergency. That does not mean, however, that I actually was a BSer. Just that I appeared to be. The lesson learned by me is: know before you go. The lesson that I hope you will take away from this is: appearances aren't what they seem. I'm not a jerk, but I don't like words being put into my mouth. I ask that you please refrain.

  

And this is all I was trying to point out to you. I was never trying to attack or accuse you of being dishonest or trying to beat the system, but now that you know how the system works you will be better equipped if you encounter something similar in the future. I was never calling you a "BSer", I tried to make that clear that your situation would simply fall in the "BS" category to the agent. I didn't think I ever put any words in your mouth and if I did I am sorry but that certainly wasn't my intent and if you took it that way I apologize. (I did try to go back and read what I typed earlier and I didn't see anywhere I put words in your mouth but there was a time I was describing how the airline agent would interpret your actions and it is possible you thought I took that for me putting words in your mouth or analyzing your actions - again not my intent)

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 12:18:39 and read 11571 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 41):
Let's just ignore the guy. He's only saying it because he's trying to rile up everyone.

It seems the one getting riled up over nothing is you. I have simply stated my opinion on the subject.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 42):
What an idiotic comment. You know, there are people in the world who do the right thing just because it makes them feel good to do the right thing, not because they have some ulterior motive.

It is not about feeling good but about making sure that you provide proper customer service to all of your
passengers. Although this was a special situation I am sure some of the other passengers aboard would not have agreed to having been delayed if it had compromised their connections or schedule.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: LAXtoATL
Posted 2011-01-13 12:30:37 and read 11307 times.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 43):
I wasn't so much upset by this, it was more the way they treated me. The wording and the attitude was just, downright hostile and accusatory. They immediately saw me as a con artist and that is what made me fume.

If, however, they had said "sorry, we can only do free standby for people who miss their connections due to the fault of weather or airline issues", then i may have been disappointed, but certainly not angry. Thats the thing. Once I learned that it was outside of the "rules", I would have complied without further question. It was the way they made me feel for having even asked. I felt mistreated, and upset at the airline over this treatment.

I hope that ties it all up. Thank you for your understanding on my intent though. The airline did have the right to refuse me, and that's fine. It was just the way in which they did it, that really upset me.

It is never acceptable for someone in the customer service industry to be rude to a customer! Of course they are people as well and they have bad days and we don't know what they are dealing with but it is never acceptable. Even if the customer is a jerk and asking for all kinds of ridiculous stuff you can politely tell them no. And they can always refer a customer to their manager if they feel they are losing control of the situation.

Personally, I always try to find a person who is smiling. If they have a scowl on their face before I get to them they probably won't be as helpful as I would like. I was actually on a flight recently and I used the flight attendant call button, when she responded she seemed like she had a bad attitude and was upset I used the button when she asked me what I wanted (granted I was judging based on initial observation and her tone), so I simply said "oh, I'm sorry I must have hit it by accident". After she left, I stopped the next flight attendant to pass by who had a big smile on her face and and was making eye contact with passengers as she walked by and she was more than happy to find me an extra blanket. The first one might have as well, but I chose to deal with the one who seemed to be in a much better mood. (We as customers shouldn't have to pick and choose whom we dealt with, everybody should be helpful and willing to help but unfortunately that's not always the case)

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: catiii
Posted 2011-01-13 12:42:36 and read 11083 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 46):
It seems the one getting riled up over nothing is you. I have simply stated my opinion on the subject.

I haven't even addressed you directly, so how am I getting riled up?

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2011-01-13 12:46:16 and read 10987 times.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 38):
If it's THAT time sensitive, you shouldn't be flying in so close to your interview time. That's just asking for trouble. That being said, I don't know anyone in the business world who wouldn't be understanding of the situation. Nor do I believe anyone on the plane would be complaining about a 15 minute delay given the circumstances

I fully agree.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 46):
Although this was a special situation I am sure some of the other passengers aboard would not have agreed to having been delayed if it had compromised their connections or schedule.

Not a big deal...12, 15, 20 minutes delay, is easily recoverable in flight even in short-haul, put a little more gas in the throttles and you'll be landing on time despite the take off time. In recent years I experienced at least ten or twelve late departures that land on time ( and even before schedule ) for flights of 1 hour and a half or a couple of hours. ( Obviously you can extrapolate this in some degree to kill major delays in the air in long haul flights ).

Rgds.

G.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 12:47:53 and read 11010 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 25):
There's a hater in every bunch. Don't take the bait.
Quoting catiii (Reply 41):
Ok dude...
Quoting catiii (Reply 41):
Let's just ignore the guy. He's only saying it because he's trying to rile up everyone.

You posted the above comments. Obviously you have been upset by mine otherwise you would not have bothered to do so.

Have a nice day.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: catiii
Posted 2011-01-13 12:59:59 and read 10732 times.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 50):
You posted the above comments. Obviously you have been upset by mine otherwise you would not have bothered to do so.

Have a nice day.

See the bar on the right side of your screen? That's the scroll bar, and if you scroll up you can see all the other comments of people who also disagree with what you're saying. You seem to have a negative view of Southwest. Must have touched a nerve because you seem to be upset by me pointing it out.

Back to the OP. I presume WN has an OCC. On an occasion like this, would the Captain contact the OCC to give them an update before pushing back? Or is it simply an issue of taking the delay and explaining it later?

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: bthebest
Posted 2011-01-13 13:00:41 and read 10594 times.

Can't imagine Ryanair doing something like this. Nice story.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2011-01-13 13:12:24 and read 10349 times.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 11):
DL absolutely would have done the same thing and then sent an employee to travel with the family to their destination. We are very good at seperating the genuine tragedies from the occasional BS artist.

I think ANY airline would under the same circumstances.

Quoting CoachClass (Reply 17):
Quoting Prinair (Reply 16):
Southwest probably did it for free positive publicity. That is the real reason.


Who cares why they did it. They did something nice and now they're getting good press.

No, the real reason was compassion.

Quoting n5014k (Reply 31):
I wouldn't mind knowing what airline you work for, if any.

I'm gonna guess it is/was Prinair.

Quoting futureorthopod (Reply 32):
I am concerned that they might not have considered how their tardiness could affect someone else

I would first concentrate on a 'definite' situation than a 'possible' situation.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 33):
The lesson learned by me is: know before you go

Getting cell phones might also be a good idea.

Quoting lovejt8d (Reply 36):
no code sharing whatsoever

Blame WN

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 43):
It was the way they made me feel for having even asked. I felt mistreated, and upset at the airline over this treatment.

THEY???? Wasn't it just the one agent? Lemme tell you about a Honolulu city bus driver I encountered last summer. He was VERY rude to me while boarding, and caught me trying to discreetly see his badge number. He told me to get off the bus...I refused. About 5 minutes later when, by chance, a supervisor drove up. I explained the situation to him, whereupon he loaded my bag into his car and chauffered me to HNL. Along the way he explained that 'Paris' was a good driver but has 'issues' and asked that I not officially report the incident...I didn't.

Point being...THEY...Hawaiians from the 'Aloha' state...didn't mistreat me...HE did. Should I blame everyone from Hawaii or just the driver? Should you blame everyone at DL or just the agent? I personally believe that, even though I declined to report the bus driver, you DEFINITELY should have reported the DL agent. Only by alerting the airline of the situation can the situation be addressed. I believe that the most the driver would've gotten was a finger-waving.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Rest assured, DL doesn't have the monopoly on rudeness and WN doesn't have the monopoly on compassion.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 13:21:59 and read 10247 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 51):
See the bar on the right side of your screen? That's the scroll bar, and if you scroll up you can see all the other comments of people who also disagree with what you're saying. You seem to have a negative view of Southwest. Must have touched a nerve because you seem to be upset by me pointing it out.

Glad to know that you are able to use the features of your computer. I have read all comments but again it seems that you are the only one upset over this. Frankly, I have my opinion and it is not going to change. I have had enough dealings with Southwest Airlines and their employees to base my views. I am not upset at Southwest but I as I mentioned before I believe that they will use any situation possible to get themselves some sort of free publicity.

Now you can keep posting about my "negativity" or you may want to add a constructive comment to the forum.

Again, have a nice day.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: YULWinterSkies
Posted 2011-01-13 14:12:18 and read 9380 times.

Seeing how many hour-long (and more) unexpected and often unexplained delays we experience as travelers, I could not care less being delayed an extra 12 minutes due to a captain having a gesture of humanity towards fellow humans going through something much worse than any flight delay... Hats off.
12 minutes delay would go unnoticed at many large hub airports, ORD, CDG, LHR being some of them.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: 2H4
Posted 2011-01-13 14:14:57 and read 9384 times.

Quoting catiii (Reply 51):
I presume WN has an OCC. On an occasion like this, would the Captain contact the OCC to give them an update before pushing back? Or is it simply an issue of taking the delay and explaining it later?

SWA does indeed have an OCC (required under Part 121 Domestic/Flag regs). The delay was of such a relatively short duration that the Captain may or may not have coordinated it with their dispatcher.

Quoting Prinair (Reply 55):
I have had enough dealings with Southwest Airlines and their employees to base my views.

Until you've had actual, first-hand experience working with WN employees, your views with regard to their goals, priorities, and motivations will continue to be inaccurate. You appear to either A) be harboring some kind of personal grudge or jealousy toward WN, or B) have had a regular and consistent string of bad experiences with WN employees.

I'd say the former is far more likely.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2011-01-13 14:58:00 and read 8739 times.

Quoting spartanmjf (Reply 4):
The difference between WN and the rest of the domestic pack, including B6/FL/AA/DL/UA/AS, for me is the Southwest approach to doing the right thing, by and large, to help all customers.

Let's not get carried away here; Every one of the airlines you mentioned would do the same exact thing.

Quoting catiii (Reply 48):

I haven't even addressed you directly, so how am I getting riled up?

He's trolling you. Ignore it. Or, better yet:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 57):
A) be harboring some kind of personal grudge or jealousy toward WN, or B) have had a regular and consistent string of bad experiences with WN employees.

I'd say the former is far more likely.

He's angry because he's about to be furloughed from his job. It's really not hard to figure out who he works for.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Blueman87
Posted 2011-01-13 15:31:15 and read 8241 times.

Bravo Southwest there now one of my top 5 at 2 behind jetblue cause i fly them more

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: vgnatl747
Posted 2011-01-13 18:07:44 and read 6153 times.

Kudos to WN for doing the right thing. Obviously there was communication with the airline up front before the passenger arrived at the airport. I'm not sure the same thing would have happened if he'd just shown up at the airport and said something to the gate agent (who knows if he/she would have said "I'm sorry" and left it, or actually told a supervisor or informed the captain), but kudos to WN for the flow of information and making sure the right people knew so the customer service could shine.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 11):
DL absolutely would have done the same thing and then sent an employee to travel with the family to their destination. We are very good at seperating the genuine tragedies from the occasional BS artist.

Maybe this is something NW brought to the table. The DL I used to work for wouldn't have done this. I tried on several occasions to hold a flight for similar circumstances (one specifically was a woman trying to get to her mother on her deathbed) and wasn't successful. I escalated to the local supervisor and manager, to the departing gate in CVG, the CVG supervisor, and (as a last resort) the concourse dispatcher.

We were told in training that unless it was the last flight of the night there was a no holding policy (regardless of how many passengers or circumstance), and even if it was the last flight chances were very slim. I don't remember the exact figure, but the example they gave us was something alone the lines that a 10 minute delay on an originator can snowball to $50k by the end of the day by the time you push the delay through the system, reroute and accommodate pax and crew. This was in the Chapter 11 days, and everything was about keeping the schedule, charging whatever fees we could, and saving whatever costs we could... and the service suffered as a result. My supervisor insisted on charging overweight bag fees for 1 and 2 pounds over; yes it's overweight, but at some point courtesy, common sense and customer service should prevail.

If what you're saying is true, maybe I should give DL a try again. I've avoided them since I finished school and left the company in 2005.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Prinair
Posted 2011-01-13 19:02:56 and read 5490 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 57):
He's angry because he's about to be furloughed from his job. It's really not hard to figure out who he works for.

Not angry at all and not in danger of furlough. I am amazed that you would make such an erroneous statement.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 56):
Until you've had actual, first-hand experience working with WN employees, your views with regard to their goals, priorities, and motivations will continue to be inaccurate. You appear to either A) be harboring some kind of personal grudge or jealousy toward WN, or B) have had a regular and consistent string of bad experiences with WN employees.

I'd say the former is far more likely.

Never have or will ever be jealous of Southwest or any other airline. I will stand by my opinion and as I have mentioned earlier, I base that opinion on my daily dealings with Southwest personnel.

For someone that is the Head Database Editor of this website, I would have expected you to make your comments based on fact and not on your assumptions.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: B727LVR
Posted 2011-01-13 19:11:34 and read 5388 times.

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 28):
Quoting LAXtoATL (Reply 30):



I'm sorry I would have to agree with Aloha on this. He asked a simple question.. "If he could.." The response warranted a simple answer: "Yes, but you would have to pay more because this would be a delay of your choosing." No "You this" or "Your trying to do that." How many times a day does an airline ask for volunteers to give up their seat in change for some sort of compensation? This could have been a possibility, but I dont know how full that particular flight was. I was always on the understanding that airlines had multiple schedules so that we could choose travel when the time best suited us. Again he chose to alter that, and all that was needed was polite explanation, that since he wanted this, there would more than likely be a fee, if he chose to go ahead with it. Also, its not everyday you see someone go and ask to be put on standby, for a later flight, on their own accord, usually it's the airline who is asking, that's trying to help get someone else on the plane, so I would have an extremely hard time saying that someone asking to be put on stand by for a later flight, not an earlier flight, is asking for special treatment. I'm just saying that doesnt make sense. Bottom line of this story is the agent handled them self in an unprofessional manner.


Bravo Zulu to WN and other airlines who chose to the right thing if they can make it work. Best wishes to the family involved. I also doubt the pilot will receive anything good or bad from WN. I also dont think he needs to. The gratefulness from the family, IMHO, will be enough gratitude for him, in his mind.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: tsully
Posted 2011-01-13 19:18:18 and read 5280 times.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 5):
I'd like to think that the rest of the airlines you posted would do the same thing for this person given the circumstances. And I really think Alaska would do the same thing. That being said, I'm not so sure some the other airlines you posted would. That's just unfortunate.

Pilots are, by and large, an extremely decent/empathetic bunch (regardless of the airline for which they fly). While management styles vary hugely from one carrier to another, pilots are generally the same fraternal bunch. WN just happens to have the added bonus of truly great management, a rarity to be sure.

source: three decades of firsthand experience

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: ltbewr
Posted 2011-01-13 19:35:06 and read 5092 times.

Two things about WN that may make them willing to show some reasonable flexibility for a pax in a critical situation like the one in this story. First, they have a culture of the customer first so bending some schedules and company rules within reason are acceptable. Second, their long history of profit means anybody who works for them feels respected, secure in their jobs and not worried that showing some flexibility to a customer won't mean they will be fired, laid off or otherwise disciplined.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Santi319
Posted 2011-01-13 19:37:39 and read 5078 times.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 5):
It's the TSA at LAX. Quite possibly the worst in the country in my experience.

Try DTW....

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: futureorthopod
Posted 2011-01-13 20:33:11 and read 4550 times.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 38):
Quoting futureorthopod (Reply 32):
That's a very nice gesture for these pilots to make in both your story and the other original one; however, I am concerned that they might not have considered how their tardiness could affect someone else. I would hope they would ensure anyone who had a close connecting flight would have had ample time or options for getting to their final destinations. Some things, like residency interviews/events, are time sensitive. If an interviewee misses or is late to his interview/welcome event (even if it is not the interviewee's fault) then he is SOL and will most likely be ranked very low in the residency match process.

If it's THAT time sensitive, you shouldn't be flying in so close to your interview time. That's just asking for trouble. That being said, I don't know anyone in the business world who wouldn't be understanding of the situation. Nor do I believe anyone on the plane would be complaining about a 15 minute delay given the circumstances.

Chrisair,

Sometimes you do not have a choice. If you are offered a residency interview the next day (welcome event that night) then YOU TAKE IT! You cannot reschedule these interviews. And when they come up you go, especially if it is your top choice.

Obviously a 15 min. delay could easily be made up. However, if a plane is delayed 45 min (like some poster suggested) the probability of a reasonably late (but still enough time to make a short connection) arrival decreases.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: PA110
Posted 2011-01-13 20:36:12 and read 4536 times.

It's nice to see that airlines still empower employees to do something nice.

While nowhere nearly comparable, I was able to do something nice for a passneger - a lifetime ago, back when I was a check-in agent for Air France at JFK.

I had the privilege of checking in the late Dian Fossey. I was a huge fan of her work, and she was traveling with an enormous amount of luggage. She never asked for any consideration or discount of her excess baggage charges. I took it upon myself to ask the station manager if we could waive a substantial amount of her excess baggage charges. Turns out the station manager was a huge fan too. Her excess baggage flew - to Paris at least - courtesy of Air France.

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: Atrude777
Posted 2011-01-13 20:37:47 and read 4561 times.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 63):
Two things about WN that may make them willing to show some reasonable flexibility for a pax in a critical situation like the one in this story. First, they have a culture of the customer first so bending some schedules and company rules within reason are acceptable. Second, their long history of profit means anybody who works for them feels respected, secure in their jobs and not worried that showing some flexibility to a customer won't mean they will be fired, laid off or otherwise disciplined.

It is actually other way around, WN treats their Employees First and foremost. Customers 2nd, then Shareholders 3rd. The idea is treat their Employees right through good management, work rules and pay/benefits. This makes the Employees happy, and they take it on their Customers. The Customers report that happiness by going back to WN which puts money back into WN's bank, and thus finally going to the shareholders.

The idea I developed working at WN, was when a Customer had an issue with us that we could solve on the spot, we were told to not ask permission for the most part from the supervisor or higher up. If we could take care of it very quickly on the spot, do it, and WN will ask questions later. So, do it now, ask questions later, instead of the other way around, ask questions then solve it.

While nothing compared to what the Captain did, but I had a Customer come running up to me at the ticket counter claiming he left his camera bag in the overhead bin and if he could go get it. He could not because he would have to re clear security, I immediately took it upon myself to get the flight info he came off, ran back through security, run to the gate, onto the plane, found a F/A and had her and myself search for the camera bag. I may have held up the flight for a minute trying to do so, but in the end, I saved the Customer 800 dollars (the price of his Camera he claimed) and saved us, the Employee the headache of filing the paperwork, POSSIBLY having to pay for his camera and trying to trakc it and find it possibly delaying it down the flight line. WN Employees do this every single day without asking higher up, can we do this, are we allowed? I Dare say we even think of publicity, we do this because we as Employees at WN wanted what was best for the Customer in the end, and I personally just loved making our Customers happy, even if it meant I got in trouble for it later (which I never did).

Take our word for it, when we say we are doing it out of the kindness and goodness of our hearts, we REALLY do care about the Customer, and the fame or free publicity does not cross our mind first.

Alex

Topic: RE: WN Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family
Username: acidradio
Posted 2011-01-14 00:44:29 and read 4372 times.

It goes without saying that the murder of a child, as described in the news article, is nothing short of horrific. It is one thing to be late to a business meeting or to your vacation to the beach but it is another thing to be late to attend to the death of your 3 yr. old grandson. I'm sure we all can agree that NOBODY should EVER have to make a trip like that.

This WN captain took the reins and held his flight so that this gentleman could get to his family in the absolute worst of times. While that man is an airplane pilot he is also a human being and I'm sure a parent as well. Sometimes we all need to "take a hit for the team". The team is humankind folks.

Whether or not this was done for any kind of PR value by the company, is that relevant here? What matters is that in this anonymous, hustle-and-bustle, get-out-of-my-way world of air travel that someone, in this case the WN captain and I'm sure some unnamed people behind the scenes, still remembered that we serve PEOPLE. Without PEOPLE airlines wouldn't have much of a purpose. Sometimes horrible things happen and we need to be creative in the ways that we help people.

This thread turned into something horrible. This should have been something to celebrate the concern and care of this airline captain and many people behind the scenes who made it possible. Instead it has become a bitter, divisive argument. There were many supportive and positive messages here. But there were a few who took this and unnecessarily made it into a childish temper tantrum.

I went through this thread and tried to delete posts to clean it up. Quite frankly I would have had to delete more than half of the posts. I don't believe in censorship and I think that deleting that many posts is just that. But I do believe in civil discourse. And this thread can't go on in a civil manner. I am archiving the thread. Any future posts will be deleted for housekeeping purposes. Thanks.


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