Thursday, March 28, 2019

Midway Over Chicago

Ed and I are on our way to the Mid American Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Our flight connected in Chicago's Midway International Airport.  In all my years of flying, I've never been to Midway.  But since we were flying Southwest, and that's one of their hubs, we connected there. 

Speaking of Southwest Airlines - can I tell you that they have what's called "open seating"?  Which don't get assigned a seat.  I didn't realize this until I was waiting at the gate in Tucson.  I was totally stressed out.  And we were in Boarding Group C, which meant TWO groups got on the plane first to choose seats.

Would we sit together?  Would I have to sit next to a stranger?  Would I be in the middle?  Would I spill over into someone other than Ed's seat?  I almost broke out in a rash.  Seats are small.  I'm not.  If I have to spread out, I want it to be into my husband's space, not someone else.  

While we were on the jetway, moving slowly like cattle, an employee cut in line because he needed to speak to the flight attendant before takeoff.  He chatted with us a bit waiting for an opening.  He asked how we were and I told him I was a little stressed out about the open seating.  He said, "You've never flown Southwest?"  I said, "Not in over 25 years.  And I don't remember not having an assigned seat."  He said it was like church, or the movies, you just go in and pick a seat.  Anywhere you'd like.

Uh, yeah, but at the movies, you don't have to walk single-file in a metal tube and watch everyone in front of you take the good seats while you're sweating it out in the back.  I was trying not to make a scene.  For Ed's sake, of course.

A few minutes later, this employee turned around and said, "I got you guys a row in the back, you'll have it to yourself.  You have broad shoulders..."  Um.  Is "broad shoulders" a euphemism for being fat?  Because if it is, I'm all over that shit. 

I said, "Huh.  So being a fatty finally got me some perks."  He said, "No, no.  You do have broad shoulders.  Do you really want to be squished the entire flight?" 

OK.  So they're broad.  Like linebacker broad?  I can take that.  I said, "No, of course, I don't.  Thank you so much."  He told us to just walk to the back of the plane and they'd have the seats saved for us.

What a score!!  So we had the row - three seats - to ourselves.  I took the window, Ed took the aisle, and we had a lovely flight to Chicago. 

I read this in-flight magazine article while on the plane, about Herb Kelleher, the co-founder, and CEO of Southwest Airlines, who died earlier this year.  I'd known about this guy for years.  He was always praised for his personality, and style, and the way he loved his company and the people who worked in it.  He loved his people and his people loved him.  The article stated that his legacy was love.

And today I felt that.  One of his employees took a matter into their own hands and made my flight less stressful and infinitely more pleasant.  That's rare these days.

Thanks, Herb, for leaving a lasting impression.

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A Direct Route To Hope

2017: Charred
2016: Right Only At The Big Yellow Tree
2015: High Shine Pete
2014: A Big Thumbs Up On Day Two
2013: The Hospital Survives Another Week
2012: More Distracting Than Texting While Driving
2011: The Aftermath
2010: More Than Halfway To A World Record
2009: If You Need Your Hump Fixed, This Is The Place
2008: The Flight, The Hotel, The Walk, And The Sleep Deprivation
2007: A Lot Of Beauty, A Little Citrus, And A Mini Moo
2006: Shorn
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

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