On Friday, September 4, 2009, I had the pleasure of being on Northwest Airlines flight 3343, (now known as Delta) from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Now if anyone has ever flown these flights, you probably know that the planes are small and it can get quite cramped. The good news is that the flight is short but usually so short that you’re not served any drink or food either. But in the spirit of appreciating what’s great about these flights, I do like the fact that they fly rather low and you can look out over the countryside and see the beauty of the landscape beneath or the cloud formations around and above. And, as I mentioned, they are short so after having just spent time on a longer flight from the East coast to Minneapolis and some time waiting in the airport, I am always appreciative when I’m on this last leg of my itinerary, as I know that soon I’ll be off the plane and into a vehicle headed toward Iowa City.
What made this particular flight special was not the scenery on the outside, but the behavior of the lone flight attendant, Kimberly. (I think that was her name!) She was absolutely wonderful. I was smiling and laughing and she really made my day. What did she do or say, you ask?
Well, I knew that I was in for a treat when she announced “We’ll be working together to ensure that we will have an on-time departure.” Her choice of words and tone of voice was so positive and cooperative (rather than a repetitive list of rules that one often hears but doesn’t really listen to). Wow. She got my attention.
So when she began her speech on using the seatbelt, demonstrating the exits and showing us the oxygen masks by saying, “I know that many of you are frequent fliers and have heard this speech millions of times, but I’d really like you to know that it’s my turn to shine so I’d appreciate the audience!” I put my book on my lap and gave her my 100% full attention.
But her fun and service didn’t stop there. She gave us a quiz and later came around to ask what we came up with, and announced the results over the loudspeaker. The quiz went something like this: “If you could have 50 pounds of anything (other than money), what would it be?” She shared that her response was guacamole and that the pilot’s choice was pulled pork…
When she came around to me, I shared with her that I thought of e-tickets because they wouldn’t weigh anything so they’re endless, and I could take my friends and family with me wherever I go! Then I shared with her that if she thought that my answer was too “monetarily-based,” I’d take love or happiness because that also cannot be measured and it, too, would be endless! Needless to say, she thought that I had put a lot of thought into my answer.
She mingled and mixed with all of us on the plane that day. We talked about raising teenage drivers, Harry Potter books and living in Wisconsin and she gave some water to a few people who asked for it before going back to the loudspeaker to announce the results of the quiz.
What was the #1 answer by the other passengers on the flight, you ask? The number one answer was beer! I guess my fellow Iowans were anxious to begin their Labor Day festivities that weekend…or they got thirsty with the thought of all that pulled pork and guacamole! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at how much fun that whole exercise was.
Thank you, Kimberly, for the unexpected fun! It was great and you made my day! I so appreciate people like you!