“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.” Many companies say they are dedicated to customer service. But are they really? Southwest aimed to prove to its customers just how seriously they took their mission statement…
Peggy Uhle was ready to take-off from Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois for her flight to Columbus, Ohio. Before she knew it, the plane turned off the runway and headed back to the gate. The flight attendant approached Uhle and told her to leave the plane.
The mother assumed she was on the wrong flight. But then she learned that her son’s life was at risk and Southwest was helping her visit him before it was too late…
“I figured I was on the wrong plane,” Uhle said. “The gate agent told me to check in at the desk and when I did she told me to call my husband.”
When she did, she received the worst news of her adult life. Her son, who lived in Denver, Colorado, had received a head injury and was in a coma.
Uhle started freaking out. She couldn’t go to Ohio when her son was in danger. She needed to go to Denver!
When she turned around to talk to the Southwest agent at the desk, they told her they already handled everything. She was booked on the next flight to Denver.
“The gate attendant already knew the situation and had booked me on a direct flight to Denver that was leaving in the next two hours,” Uhle told Boarding Area.
Although Uhle said it was all right, Southwest refused to charger her any fees or additional charges for the sudden change in flight plans. The worried mother was overwhelmed. Her son was in a coma and Southwest had just made it possible for her to see him before something worse happened…
“They offered a private waiting area, rerouted my luggage, allowed me to board first, and packed a lunch for when I got off the plane in Denver,” Uhle said.
Southwest treated the worried mother with respect and kindness. They honor the struggle she was enduring.
“My luggage was delivered to where I was staying, and I even received a call from Southwest asking how my son was doing.”
They airline went above and beyond what was expected of them.
Uhle never expected Southwest Airlines to honor customer service to the level they did in her situation. Now, she recommends the airline to everyone she knows.
“The care that I was shown is second to none,” Uhle said. “We have always liked Southwest Airlines and now we can’t say enough good things about them.”
Uhle took the flight to Denver and was rushed to the hospital to be with her son. He is in better condition now, but is still recovering.
“My son suffered a traumatic brain injury and continues to recover,” Uhle said.
When you find a company that goes above and beyond the call of duty you stick with that company, because they deserve your loyalty. We all know that customer service in many industries is awful. Half the time you can’t understand the person you’re talking to thanks to outsourcing, and half the time you’re made to fill out complicated forms before ever speaking with a human being, only to be let down after waiting an eternity.
Southwest Airlines sounds like a company that takes customer service seriously. In this case, they added a human element in that they thought of and took care of things most people need but don’t have the capacity to think of when an emergency strikes.