Delta Airlines: You win our love

We just got back from our holiday trip to visit family in Tennessee and Pennsylvania for Liam’s first Christmas and New Years. Overall the trip was way too long, but fairly uneventful. I wanted to take a moment to write a positive blog post (which seems rare for me lately, sorry about that) to point out a real winner from our trip: Delta Airlines. We had a total of 7 flight legs in 3 trips, a total of 5569 miles in the air: RNO-ATL-BNA, BNA-CVG-SCE, and SCE-CVG-ATL-RNO, and we were traveling with a 10-month old baby (in lap). We didn’t miss any connections, had no significant delays really, and our luggage was not lost despite a double layover and a short connection time at CVG on our return.

That’s not how Delta won our love though—anyone can do that if they try and they care. Delta won our love due to their gate agents’ pro-activeness and caring. They did two tiny things, each of which couldn’t have taken more than a few minutes, that made us smile and made our return trip less painful:

  • Our initial boarding passes for CVG-ATL had us sitting in two middle seats in different parts of the plane. On arrival at CVG, I walked up to the gate agent to find out if they could seat us together anywhere on the plane. To my surprise, he said “that name looks familiar” and grabbed a new set of boarding passes from the counter, that he had already printed before we arrived. They sat us next to each other in an aisle and middle seat. He even apologized for not getting us a window seat.
  • Our initial boarding passes for ATL-RNO (a 4 hour and 15 minute flight) had us sitting together in a window and middle seat, which was basically fine by us. A short time after we arrived at the gate, they called me up to the podium, and the gate agent gave us new seat assignments with an aisle and window seat, and an empty middle seat, so we would have extra space for the baby. We didn’t pay for a seat, but since there were extra seats, she pro-actively ensured that it was given to those that could really use it.

So, a big THANKS to Delta Airlines and their gate agents for flight 305 (CVG-ATL) and flight 1511 (ATL-RNO) on January 7th, 2008. You made our return trip a whole lot better, made us smile, and overall demonstrated that you are human (despite many other airlines‘ efforts to prove themselves otherwise). I will certainly choose Delta for our other flights in the future—keep up the good work.

Watch Your Eyes

There’s a perfectly good word that should be used more than it is in America. The word I have in mind is “mind”. As in, “mind the step”, “mind the gap”, “mind your children” and many other useful phrases you’ll hear in England.

This comes to my attention because I have heard the following spoken several times onboard Southwest Airlines planes:

Flight Attendant: We’ll now be turning the lights back up, so watch your eyes.

How, exactly, does one watch their eyes? This is exactly the case where America’s usage of “watch” instead of “mind” completely breaks down. Forget, for a moment, the mental picture of someone staring intently at a step, merely following the directions on the “watch the step” sign. In this case it not only makes no sense, it’s impossible to actually watch your own eyes.

Come on, Southwest. Mind your eyes.

Disrespectful

On a Southwest flight from Cleveland to Las Vegas we had a stop in Nashville. One of the passengers that got on in Nashville left me with this nugget which I won’t soon forget:

Guy: Y’all aint seen nobody wid a towel on they head, ‘av ya?
Me: *blank, disbelieving stare*
Guy: Ah, OK just lemme know if you do.

He then proceeded to take up at least 4 inches of my personal space for the entire duration of a four-hour flight. That, however, is another story.