On a recent Southwest Airlines flight, I experienced two very moving moments. It’s no wonder the company routinely ranks among the most admired companies.
At the end of the Phoenix to Denver leg, the flight attendant asked that everyone on the plane remain seated to allow the family of an American military veteran to deplane first. Everyone on the plane did just that – and gave the family a round of applause as they exited.
Near the end of the Denver to Milwaukee leg, a different flight attendant announced that there was an American military family on the flight traveling from Sun City, Ariz. to Green Bay – and added that they were accompanying a veteran to his final resting place at a cemetery in Green Bay. It was the same family – but this time with a significant missing piece of the puzzle revealed to everyone onboard.
The flight attendant could barely get through her announcements as she was choking up, telling us that he had flown over Normandy, was a life-long Green Bay Packers fan and had been on the waiting list for Packers’ season tickets his whole life – and thanking the passengers for also escorting a World War II veteran on his final flight.
Talk about a personal touch. And a touching personal moment for an entire passenger group who wanted nothing more to reach for their stowed carry-on luggage – until they knew the significance of their flight.