Southwest Airline's pilot hands out pizza. Awesome!
With all this talk about how airlines treat passengers horribly when they are stranded, good news comes from Southwest Airlines — which earns them an Awesome Medal!
A Southwest flight from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Denver, CO ran into some stormy weather and had to be diverted to Pueblo, CO. Anyone who has been on a diverted flight, knows it is not a fun experience. But in this instance, the crew stepped up and got the passengers pizza.
I spoke with Chris Mainz, with Southwest, about this unique customer service experience. He pointed out that Pueblo is not an airport usually served by Southwest and it was a team effort between the flight crew and airport personal. I asked if Southwest had any policies regarding what the flight crew should do in these instances and he told me there are no written rules or policies and Southwest trusts their employees to do what is right.
You always hear people complaining about losing the “good ‘ol days of flying,” but dang, I don’t even think airlines of yesteryear did this.
Cheers to the flight crew, Southwest Airlines, and the Pueblo Memorial Airport for providing this awesome service. This proves you still can have low fares and amazing (I didn’t want to use “awesome” again) customer service!
Source: WSBTV Orig Image: James Mino via WSBTV
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The new Skycouch on Air New Zealand earn an Awesome Medal
Taking Economy Class to the next level, Air New Zealand announced their “Skycouch” for Economy Class on their Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
The new seat allows passengers to choose to extend the bottom cushion of their seats to the seats in front of them providing an amble bed to sleep on. This will work great if you are flying with a significant other, but might be a little awkward if with a complete stranger.
22 sets of the SkyCouch seats will be available and will cost about the same as two and a half non-Skycouch seats.
You might notice the window shapes in the background of the videos look very similar to the Boeing 787’s. That is because Air New Zealand was hoping to introduce the new seats on the 787, but went ahead with the 777 due to the Dreamliner’s delays.
Air New Zealand will start flying the new seats at the end of the year between Auckland and Los Angeles and hopes to expand into other markets in 2011 and 2012.
I think these seats are pretty awesome. So awesome that I am giving the seats my AWESOME MEDAL!
Other things Air New Zealand will be upgrading:
* New oven technology to cook food from scratch rather than just reheating
* Extensive new in-flight entertainment system using touch screens
* Wine tasting and destination seminars
* Slip-on pillows for headrests to remove need for neck cushions (economy)
* Flight Planner to know when meals, drinks etc will be served, lights dimmed etc.
* Shared-meal experiences such as pizza for two (Premier economy)
* On-demand food and beverage service (business class)
* Video from 3news.co.nz
* Review on the seats from CrankyFlier
* Video of the Economy and Business Premiere from Air New Zealand
* Check out the blog from Flight Blogger to see Air New Zealand’s Business Premiere Seats
* Video from TVNZ
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Congratulations pilots! You win the first ever AirlineReporter.com AWESOME Medal!
Commercial airline pilots haven’t been getting good press recently. I am reading a lot in the “mainstream” media about how this is an epidemic and how pilots are now so unprofessional. Most of these folks like big headlines, but offer little content or support.
Sure, they do have some valid material to work with. We have the Qantas pilots who forgot the landing gear, we have the pilot asking passengers to pray, we have the pilots who overshot an airport, and most recently a United Airlines pilot got arrested for being too drunk.
Yes, all these incidents are not professional, inappropriate, and dangerous. These pilots should be dealt with appropriately. But this is NOT an epidemic, this is not going to be an on-going trend, and most importantly these actions do not represent the huge majority of pilots out flying today.
Pilots don’t always have it easy. With pay cuts, increased hours, time away from family, it can be a difficult job. But most pilots are not doing it for the free airline tickets or a fancy pilot’s hat. They do it because they have a passion for flying and absolutely love their jobs.
On any given day in the United States there are about 87,000 flights. About 30,000 of which are commercial airline flights. Those are a lot of flights flown by professional pilots who safely get their passengers, cargo, and themselves to their destination safely each and everyday.
I just want people to be aware and do not discriminate against a whole profession, just from a few bad apples!
So, to celebrate the 99.9% of wonderful pilots out there, I give my first ever AirlineReporter.com AWESOME medal to all those great pilots out there, who help to make an airline industry exciting!
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Image: Orig from American Airlines