Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Laughter, courtesy of Southwest

A long day, book-marked by flights between Manchester and Philadelphia...

Early morning flying was marked by quiet skies, a plane with mostly empty seats, and arrival before the scheduled time. Returning home was a very different story.

Since Philadelphia is normally a busy airport, I listened to the recommended arrival time of 90 minutes before flight time. Today, that wasn't necessary, and I was through security in no time at all. Next stop - the departures board, which dispensed news of a flight delay. My 6:20 PM flight was expected to leave at 7:10. Oh, I guess those wild thunderstorms that blew through this afternoon must have been scattered over flying territory. I grabbed a snack, and found a place to sit for a while. At 6 o'clock, I wandered over to the gate and joined the passengers sitting quietly. And I waited. And waited...

Finally a gate agent announced that the plane was in the area. At that point everyone stood up and queued into A, B, and C boarding lines. It was still a while, but we were treated to the gate agent's sense of humor. She decided to run a form of Southwest "Jeopardy", handing out free drink coupons to the folks who could answer her questions. Most were Southwest Airlines trivia (like who founded the airline? and what were the first three cities that they serviced? and others too). The last question wasn't really a question but for a request for a passenger to come up and entertain us with a song. Unbelieveably, someone sang. And we all laughed. At the end of the song, a plane was parked at the gate.

The captain came off the plane, grabbed the mic, apologized and then advised that anyone that needed the bathroom go now, stating "I'm not turning off the seatbelt sign in flight; it's bumpy up there!". As it turned out it was a smooth and fast flight.

A day trip from home to Philadelphia and back again? It was a long day, but that little bit of humor at the end certainly helped. And our departure time? My scheduled 6:20 PM flight pushed back from the gate at 7:50, a bit late.

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