Just this week, my husband and daughter flew on United Airlines from Los Angeles to Chicago. United is our carrier of choice, mostly because my husband flies United for his work travels, but also because of their consistently good service and the airport’s proximity to our home.
After a long weekend at a convention, they were lucky enough to be bumped up to business class (one of my husband’s perks of being such a frequent traveler). My 12 year old was thrilled to be ending her trip with an upgraded seat and her first experience in business class!
What surprised them most came towards the end of the flight. A flight attendant handed everyone in business class a personalized business card from the pilot. It was handwritten, with passenger names, and his information on the back.
When they got home and showed me, I was amazed by this. It immediately reminded me of a time, when flying as a child, I was handed a wings pin (like the one pictured) by a flight attendant. As it was my first time flying, I was amazed at her kindness and for recognizing me – a kid!
Customer service was top notch during the “golden age” of travel in the 1960’s. It was a unique, luxurious experience, but it also was more expensive. People dressed up to travel and flight attendants were attentive, and not just to the first class fliers. Drinks and meals were standard, and service was always presented with a smile.
I’m reminded of how flying during this “golden age” must have felt like when I’ve flown business class. To have a comfortable seat with plenty of leg room, to be served a meal and drinks, and get special attention is what makes business class so much better. After safety, comfort and service are the most important requirements for satisfaction in the airline industry.
I thought this experience would be a good blog post, sharing this amazing bit of customer service from United. Something so small and yet unexpected can do so much when it comes to improving people’s experiences. Just knowing that the pilot cares means a lot. His job is to fly the plane. If he flies it well and lands safely, he’s done his job. Anything else that one pilot does, goes above and beyond his job duties. That is my definition of excellent service.
United Airlines definitely earned big points from us for this experience.