Something Special In The Air
There’s really nothing like the joys and vagaries of business travel.
Yes, I’m back in Las Vegas, this time for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit, but it was quite the chore getting here.
Never mind that my lowest offer air fair required that I leave at 7:20 AM on a Sunday… That I could deal with.
But as our airplane in Austin was taxiing towards the runway for takeoff, it became quite evident a disgruntled traveler was not a happy camper, and poised to potentially cause quite a bit of trouble during the flight. He was being very rude to the flight attendants, and was allegedly pontificating about terrorism to his fellow passengers (he was seated a number of rows ahead of me, so I couldn’t quite make out the details).
Thankfully, the American Airline’s staff was on top of the situation, and they weren’t about to take off with this guy and his pontifications, who was refusing to follow simple and reasonable directives from the flight staff (like not getting out of his seat to go to the restroom on an active taxi-way).
So, AA promptly taxied the plane back down the active runway, where the gentleman causing the ruckus was met by some of Austin’s finest security officials and very politely escorted off the plane.
Then, the Captain came on to explain the situation: “Ladies and gentlemen, at American Airlines we strive to be attentive to ALL our customer’s needs, and the customer who was just escorted off the plane had some very special needs we felt important that he get tended to. We’ll now be on our way to Los Angeles.”
I laughed out loud, as did a number of other passengers — in one quick moment, the captain reassured his very antsy set of passengers, explained the situation in just as much detail as was really needed, reassured us that the troublemaker’s baggage had been removed from the plane, and indicated we would be on our way shortly.
We could now take off with a clear conscience and no concerns.
So I want to say a big thank you to JoAnn, Queen, the Captain, the dead-heading AA pilot, and the rest of the crew of Flight 457 this past Saturday on the flight from Austin to Los Angeles (and on to Vegas).
Your professionalism and calm amidst that minor storm demonstrated to your passengers that you can only “Be yourself. Nonstop” when the planes are moving, and safely, and you made sure they did both on Saturday, and I just wanted to thank you for that.