For the better part of my working life, I functioned in entrepreneurial mode, holding several jobs at one time. Oftentimes, I was practicing the art of multi-tasking before it was actually given a name and became de rigueur.
In one of my previous incarnations, I maintained my own retail business, worked in broadcasting and held full time in-flight management duties with a major airline.
Spending more than a decade dedicated to the business of flying (with one major and a couple of up-start minors) allowed me to travel, study, and develop my artistic passions for which I will always be grateful.
Finally the time came, when I felt I could clip my wings and venture into full time creative territory and actually have a life. I found that holding only two jobs was really quite liberating!
However, I’ve always maintained an interest in the “friendly” and more recently, not-so-friendly skies. I have watched over the years, how changes in the industry, some enforced by economics and some for safety reasons, led to a depersonalization and lack of joy in the whole experience of in-flight travel.
These days, you can count yourself lucky not to be strip-searched and charged for a bag of peanuts or even the toilet, and one airline even recognizes it.
Yes, Southwest Airlines is one bright spot in the industry - these folks have the right idea about how to get passengers to return.
As a little airline that started back in 1971 and struggled against all odds, it’s in-flight personnel are (IMHO) some of the best in the industry and it is a legacy that was begun with the airlines founder, Herbert D. Kelleher. It was Kelleher and his outgoing personality that created a unique corporate culture that aimed for stress reduction by allowing employees to be themselves and have fun – from their onboard “toilet paper races” to their YouTube sensation, the “Rapping Flight Attendant.
Do any of you have a favorite Southwest Airlines story to share?