Airlines haven’t been given the best media publicity in recent times, but here’s something a little different. Although one’s initial reaction may be indignant when requested to get off the flight one had already boarded, this lady was thankful for being asked to get off, and she “can’t say enough good things about” Southwest Airlines now.
A few years ago in 2015, Peggy Uhle had already boarded a Columbus-bound Southwest Airlines flight at Midway Airport in Chicago when a flight attendant approached her.
The flight attendant told Uhle to get off the plane just after the taxiing plane had turned back to the gate. Uhle was puzzled and wondered if she had boarded the wrong flight.
“I figured I was on the wrong plane. The gate agent told me to check in at the desk and when I did she told me to call my husband,” Uhle recalled to BoardingArea.com.
You're the wind beneath my wings. (Which is saying a lot, because the high-pressure air flow below the wing helps create lift, a necessary force for takeoff.)
It transpired that the customer service staff had coordinated with the pilots, asking them to abandon takeoff and taxi back to the gate so that Uhle could get off the plane safely, CBS station 21 News reported.
It was only when Uhle got off the plane and checked with customer service staff that she learned the reason—her then-24-year-old son, who lives in Denver, had sustained a traumatic head injury and was in a coma.
In this situation, most people would be in a mad panic as they started to sort out transportation. However, Uhle needed not worry, as Southwest Airlines had made all the arrangements for her. The airline rebooked her on a Denver-bound flight leaving in two hours, and they didn’t charge her any additional fees.
“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. “My luggage was delivered to where I was staying, and I even received a call from Southwest asking how my son was doing.”
Uhle couldn’t be more thankful for experiencing such wonderful and thoughtful service from Southwest.
“The care that I was shown is second to none. We have always liked Southwest Airlines and now we can’t say enough good things about them,” she said.
As for Southwest Airlines, spokesperson Thais Hanson said in a statement to WGN: “We’re certainly proud of, but not surprised by, any of the hard work that went into doing the right thing for Ms. Uhle and her family.”
“This example is a direct reflection of the Southwest Airlines Culture,” Hanson added. “Employees are empowered at Southwest to go above and beyond the call of duty and follow their Hearts to make decisions that positively impact our Customers.”
This Boeing 737 is flying into Shark Week with a bigger bite than ever before. Spot the plane with #SharksTakeFlightsouthwest.com/sharkweek
Owing to the airline’s excellent service, the worried mom was able to fly to Denver to be with her son, who undoubtedly needed her support, without paying a single cent. According to media reports, today, Uhle’s son has fully recovered from his brain injury.
This heartwarming news of Southwest Airlines going the extra mile surfaced just weeks after another passenger, Karen Momsen-Evers, of Wisconsin, accused the airline of not allowing her to call her husband after seeing his suicidal message. Instead, the flight attendant told Momsen-Evers the phone needed to be put on flight mode, as her flight to Milwaukee from Orleans was about to take off.