In a Hawaii travel industry desperately trying to recover from Covid, you can expect the unexpected especially when it comes to marketing. And so it was again. We aren’t sure if this plane was headed to Honolulu or elsewhere. But, the video below was posted to Southwest’s Twitter which shared an incident yesterday at Long Beach Airport. The airline’s baggage handlers and the plane’s pilot reunited a passenger with their lost cell phone.
Southwest tweeted, “When our Employees at @LGBairport noticed a Customer’s phone left behind in a gate area after a flight that was already boarded and pushed back from the gate, they didn’t hesitate. #WorldKindnessDay”
Yesterday was coincidentally World Kindness Day.
That celebration is new to us even though it’s the 25th anniversary of the World Kindness Movement. We don’t know if this random act of kindness shown by Southwest was a publicity stunt or something they might do any day of the year. It shows how far airlines will go nowadays to either go the extra step to help you, get publicity, or both.
Have you lost your cell phone at the airport?
Somehow, in this situation, the phone was found by someone at the airport and was then ushered out to the already-moving plane. At that point, you see the cockpit window open, and the ramp agents and the pilot work together to get the phone onto the aircraft and return it to its owner.
Once the pilot released the brake, the plane would be considered “departed” by DOT, so a short delay in passing the phone to the pilot would not have impacted on-time performance.
Do planes still get held for people or things?
In recent comments, some of you described when flights were held for late passenger arrivals. On the other hand, editor Jeff reports having arrived at the already closed gate with the jetway still in place, yet he was not allowed to board when his connecting flight arrived late.
So helping the passenger out in this situation was unusual. And the fact that it was caught on video, well…
Comments on the World Kindness Day incident.
There are quite a number of comments that include:
“A SW pilot went and got my son’s water bottle that he left at the gate.”
“I wish they would had done that for me. As soon as I stepped onto the plane for A boarding, I knew I left it.”
“Huh. And here I sit in the wheelchair assist at HOU watching a supervisor and an employee fight about taking me to the gate while other people who came after me have been taken. I’ve never felt such discrimination EVER.”
“Southwest is very good about helping with your lost cell phone. They helped me get mine back after I turned on the alert. They reopened the gate door and brought it to me! I love Southwest Airlines!”
“Once, I lost my phone on a @SouthwestAir flight (I’d closed it up behind the tray table). A flight attendant who’d helped me look for it called my husband’s phone when they landed at the next airport, then shipped my phone back to me. She wouldn’t let me pay for shipping costs.”
“This story is so old!”
“Another kindness would be Bargaining in Good Faith with 8 of your Employee groups! Where are the proposed Pilot pay rates?”
Please add your comment here.
“When our Employees at @LGBairport noticed a Customer’s phone left behind in a gate area after a flight that was already boarded and pushed back from the gate, they didn’t hesitate”. #WorldKindnessDay pic.twitter.com/cf3gJy8Nmy
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) November 13, 2022