Flying The Friendly Skies Friday: Treating Mom Right Pays Off; Open Mic Flight

Around these parts, we hear our share of the frustrating, the woeful and the all-out angry. But when we catch hold of an idea that brings out the happy and rewarding stories of customers, we like to celebrate it. This week in Flying The Friendly Skies Friday: Treat your mother right and when given the chance, grab the mic and sing your heart out.

In this week’s installation, we build upon the warm and fuzzy feelings that bubbled up in us last week. As per usual, the happy times are scattered among the various airlines, popping up wherever kindly crew go that extra mile.

So, a few years ago we took “guys weekend” trip to Las Vegas. Me and the guys planned the trip so we would fly back on Mother’s Day to spend it with our wonderful moms. We roll through the airport, make it to our gate and standby for an hour or so. The Delta rep calls me on the intercom, so I approach the counter. She asked me, in front of everyone, if I had called my mother to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. I told her I did, what if the plane went down? That is a phone call you make first thing in the morning. She told me I was a good son, and bumped me to first class. All my buddies got the same question, and we were all bumped to first class for the trip home.

Now, was it about Mother’s Day? Maybe not, probably had something to do with making the weight distribution on the plane even or something; but it was cool. We flew home to see our mothers in style. Bravo Delta Airlines, bravo.

I routinely flew Southwest from Phoenix to Sacramento, and the crew there had a routine joke: “In the very unlikely event of a water landing in the desert, you seat cushion can be used as a floatation device.”

In late October 2012, had a first on a Southwest Airlines flight: The captain came out of the cockpit and did the pre-flight announcements (flight time, weather conditions, etc) in the cabin. Ended the session with, “Are there any questions?” which flabbergasted me. Other passengers commented how cool that was, to which I added, “Well, he’s no Denzel!” a nod to his (then) upcoming movie Flight

A few years ago, I was on the first Frontier Airlines flight into Orlando, Florida after Hurricane Charlie. It was after 10:00 at night, we were tired, etc. Just after landing, the plane came to a complete stop on the taxiway, and the captain got on the PA: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we are indeed at Orlando International Airport. The bad news is that the only taxiway between us and the terminal is blocked by construction equipment, and they’re saying it will be at least 30 min before somebody gets here to move them.”

Well, you could hear the groans coming from the passengers. Immediately, one of the flight attendants grabbed the mic, and said “But he just saved hundreds on his car insurance!” We all burst into hysterical laughter. Her quick thinking totally defused what could have been an ugly situation.

On a flight a few weeks ago from Raleigh, N.C. to LAX, a Southwest flight attendant came over the intercom and asked all passengers to turn on their call buttons. He said they needed to conduct a periodic test to make sure they all work. Then he said, “Just kidding! We have a special passenger on board, Ruth. Today is her birthday, and these are her candles. Help her blow them out!” And then they walked back to her with a “cake” made out of peanut packets. It was very sweet and made us all smile and clap.

Years ago, on a long Southwest Airlines flight, the co-pilot came out and sang a few Garth Brooks songs over the PA. While I’m not a country music fan, it was still fun to listen to him. When he was done, my five-year-old daughter walked up to the front of the plane and the attendant let her use the PA to sing “The Old Family Toothbrush” to everyone. I was one proud dad that day.

Do you have an uplifting tale that made your whole day take off? Forgive me the pun and send your FTFSF stories to

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