The flight home from Nashville, TN on Monday was something we were dreading. Almost 5 hours on the plane is hard on adults, let alone a 15 month old. After we boarded the plane and got settled with Sloan, the pilot started making his announcements about the flight. But this was different than normal. Our pilot came out of the cockpit, stood adjacent with row 1 in first class, waved at the cabin and introduced the flight crew. He started with the co-pilot first. “He’s been with Alaska for a year and a half and when he’s not here, he’s flying F-18’s over at Whidbey Island.” The plane started clapping for him. He then introduced himself and how he has been with Alaska for 20 years and before that flew C-140’s for the Air Force. Again, the plane clapped for him. He then had something individual and personal about each flight attendant, welcomed everyone, explained the weather on the route, and signed off.
As many know, the pre-flight announcement is usually quick, to the point and impersonal. This was a steep departure from typical. In just a couple of minutes he had elevated the status of all his crew while adding a tremendous amount of confidence to us passengers. Later in the flight, when turbulence hit, I knew we were fine, we had those two up front and a great crew in the back. What could go wrong? I felt blissful.
Every day we have the ability to turn the ordinary into extraordinary by changing something small. This captain really knew how to deliver great service for the airline and he nailed it.