Allllllllrighty then... So I just spent almost an hour with Ryan, who is a Rapid Rewards Customer Service agent in Chicago.
Yes. An hour. To book flights for Turkey day for Kyla and me. See, I'm not sold on the fact that Kyla should fly as an unaccompanied minor, so I will fly down to get her and then back so she is here to see family and friends Thanksgiving week! It's awesome. I've never had so much time off and been able to enjoy so much vacation... and I've gotta be honest, this company I work for has been kicking ass when it comes to being flexible so I can travel back and forth to see Kyla while she's with her mom.
Anyway, back to the flights. After going back and forth, trying to decide between BWI or PHI or IAD to fly out of, and after finding that using rapid reward credits was going to be almost an impossibility (except for the .5 of one I used on the flight down for ME), I decided to do a few things on Southwest...
1) Flying Business Class. I'm flying back in Southwest's Business Class because I get double reward credit, a free drink and it was $20 bucks more for me to do so.
2) Booked EB check in for EACH of my flights. Why? Becuz I'm always A that way. AND, because I just couldn't book Business Fare for every leg of my flights down and back, down and back to get Kyla.
Anyway, Ryan didn't have to stay on the phone with me as long as he did. I made him work. If you work in customer service, you know that can SUCK sometimes. But he was on point, kicked ass, took care of my needs, explored cost effective options and helped me to make the best decisions I could make. He didn't bitch while I was like "dude, I'm sorry I'm being needy..." and he told me to forget about it. And, at the end of the bookings, which, well, um... were sorta costly but necessary... I'm flying with an airline which gives a S*** and wanted me to know or feel I was important.
People buy experiences. They'll pay whatever for it as long as the user experience is amazing.
So, Ryan, thank you. For being the example of why so many people like Southwest Airlines. See, some airlines may have slicker options, massage seats, plush leather seats and whatever, but Southwest has something that the others don't have:
Their people. And that makes all the difference. And while the thought of checking out AirTran or some other airline did enter my mind, and while MAYBE I could have found less expensive airfare someplace else, I stuck with my oversized gut and picked loyalty. And, because of Ryan's committment to making sure I was served completely, I'm flying Southwest some more.
It's being rebellious about great service that makes their people who they are. And it's the people who make an organization what it is. Southwest is the Apple Computers of airlines... they're the pirates of the air and rebels who embrace thinking different...
... although I will say that Virgin America is pretty close, but I'm not flying to LAX, San Diego or Oregon this time.
Thanks, Southwest. Again.